Official state name: Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic has approximately 9.378.000 inhabitants, of which about 9.300.000 (99,2% of the population) Spanish native speakers.
Head of State and Government Chief is Leonel Fernández.
The Dominican Republic covers an area of approximately 48.000 km² and borders on Haiti.
Currency of the Dominican Republic: Peso Dominicano (code: DOP, currency symbol: RD$)
Current time in the Dominican Republic: 05:21:19 h
Time difference between Dominican Republic and UTC/GMT (Londres): -4 hours
Daylight saving time (DST): not observed
The international area code for calls from abroad for the Dominican Republic is : +1.
Voltage in the Dominican Republic: 110 V.
Websites of the Dominican Republic end usually with .do
Well known products of the Dominican Republic: Agricultural products Sugar cane, Coffee, Cacao, Tobacco; Jewel: Amber, Larimar
Discover the Dominican Republic
For many people this Caribbean island symbolizes the perfect exotic vacation location, a paradise of sun, sand and sea all year round. For Christopher Columbus it was the most beautiful place he had ever seen, deserving of the name 'La Española', while the original inhabitants honored it with the name 'Quisqueya', fertile Mother Earth.
The modern name of the island is 'Hispaniola'; it is home to the Dominican Republic. The country offers a variety of natural treasures which are unique in the Caribbean: lush, subtropical vegetation, mountain ranges up to 3175 meters (10,400 feet) high, fertile valleys, and hundreds of kilometers of its famous palm-lined white sand beaches and shimmering turquoise sea.
Its nature as well as its moving history, the vivid everyday culture and its people make it worth visiting this beautiful country.
All this turns the Dominican Republic into a wonderful place to learn Spanish. Discover the exotic-Caribbean flair, the easy-going vitality, openness and hospitality of its people
Hispaniola which belongs to the Greater Antilles is after Cuba the second largest island of the Caribbean. In the north, the island borders the Atlantic Ocean, in the south the Caribbean Sea. Hispaniola hosts two countries, the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The Dominican Republic covers two third of the island.
The country has different climatic and vegetation zones: a tropical, warm-humid climate at sea level, a moderate climate in the mountains. From the highest peak, the Pico Duarte (10,400 feet) and the deepest trench of the Caribbean, the Puerto Rico Drift (about 30,000 feet), it covers a spread of more than 40,000 feet.
The average temperature is 28°C (82°F) which means that you will encounter ideal holiday conditions all year round. No wonder that tourism is the major economic factor of the country.
Besides many all-inclusive vacation resorts the Dominican Republic offers multifold possibilities for individual travelers to discover the country on their own.
The original inhabitants were the Taino Indians, a peaceful tribe of whose culture only few relicts are left. In 1492 Christopher Columbus discovered the island; it is from here where he started the colonization of America. The country’s capital Santo Domingo dazzles visitors with plenty of colonial architecture.
Other important dates of the country’s history are 1822 the occupation by Haiti, 1844 the proclamation of independence by Juan Pablo Duarte which gave birth to the modern Dominican Republic, and 1930 till 1961 the dictatorship of General Rafael Trujillo.
Today the Dominican Republic is a democratically governed state in the form of a presidential democracy with 9.1 million inhabitants, 73% of them mulattos, 16% white and 11% black.
The hospitality of the Dominicans is proverbial. Close family ties and good neighborhood relations are very important to them. That is why Dominicans always seem to be on the road:
You will meet them in the street chatting, enjoying a cafecito in the small colmado next door, or heavily gesticulating while playing Domino in the little village pub.
Carnival is very popular in the country and, to make the most out of it, celebrated twice a year, in February and in August. The more famous one is the carnival of La Vega with its magnificent masks, colorful costumes and parades every Sunday in February.
If you travel to the country between January and March then you should not miss to visit the peninsula of Samana.
Every year at that time thousands of humpback whales gather in the Samana Bay for breeding and giving birth.
A very rarely and fascinating nature sensation.
Dominicans love music. The most typical place they like to meet for dancing is the car wash, a mixture of a real car wash and a bar.
Famous Bachateros and Merengue singers like Anthony Santos, Frank Reyes or Juan Luis Guerra come here to play live concerts.
In no way you should miss the big Merengue Festival which takes place every year in Santo Domingo in July. For days the capital goes nuts during that festival.
Thousands of people flock to the sea promenade called the Malecón to dance, sing and party at one of the numerous live concerts.
Baseball or “Beisbol”, as the Dominicans say, is the national sport.
There is no Dominican boy who does not dream about being the next Sammy Sosa or Pedro Martinez, the Dominican heroes of the US American Baseball League.
The Dominican cuisine is dominated by Creole, Spanish, and African influences. Typical dishes are La Bandera, consisting of white rice, red beans and chicken, as well as Sancocho, a soup featuring seven meats. Dominicans love snacks. That’s why you will always find a comedor near-by or a mobile snack-bar that offers all kinds of delicious treats.
The official currency of the country is the Dominican Peso (RD$). US-Dollars and Euros are only accepted in tourist areas and bigger cities. There, you can also pay with your credit card almost everywhere. Banks and exchange offices change cash and traveler’s checks. Cash machines accept ATM- and ec/maestro-cards.
Internet cafés and call centers are widespread. If you bring a modern mobile phone, you can buy a local card and use it in your phone. The international area code is: +1 – 809. The voltage is 110-120 V/60Hz; flat-pronged plugs are common practice.
Power failures happen quite often but are usually absorbed by private emergency power supplies
The country runs a very good and low-priced public transportation network. Coach transportation lines cover the long routes between major cities while gua-guas (mini-buses) and carro publicos (public taxis) go between smaller towns.
Motoconchos are motorbike-taxis for short distances. Domestic air travel is provided to major tourist destinations.
Compared to other Caribbean countries, the Dominican Republic is still one of the safest places. Travelers should follow the common rules for being in a foreign country like: do not to carry valuables or expensive jewelry, take just small amounts of cash with you, avoid lonely, dark streets and in bigger cities certain districts at night.
Various scheduled and chartered flights go to the Dominican Republic like e.g. American Airlines, Continental Airlines, JetBlue from USA; Air Canada, Sky Service, Air Transat from Canada; ThomsonFly from Great Britain; Condor, LTU from Germany; Edelweiss from Switzerland; MartinAir from The Netherlands and many more. The major ports of entry are: Santo Domingo (SDQ), Puerto Plata (POP), Punta Cana (PUJ), Santiago de los Caballeros (STI), La Romana (LRM), Samana (AZS).
Citizens of the US, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Great Britain and several countries do not need a visa. They are allowed to enter the country after purchasing a tourist card for USD 10.-
An airport tax of USD 20.- is to be paid when departing. Please contact the local embassy in charge or your state department for more detailed information.
The Dominican Republic is 4 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and on USA East Coast Time respectively. The country does not adjust to daylight saving time
Intresting websites related to Dominican Republic
Tourism Ministery of the Domenican Republik (page works in Spanish only)
Embassy of the Dominican Republic - general information about the Dominican Republic, Consular Information, Tourism Information and Economic Information.
Law firm specialized in Corporate Law and Real Estate Investments, founded in 1982 in the city of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Cinemas in the Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic Travel Guide - Hotel guide, trip advices, virtual tour, photos, forums and more.
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