Dominican Republic Information and Travel Guide

Dom Rep Information and Travel Guide

Latin America

The Dominican Republic is the second largest nation in the Caribbean after Cuba, occupying two thirds of the island of Hispaniola, along with Haiti.

The official language is Spanish and the majority of the population is Catholic, although freedom of worship is allowed. The country is one of the most, if not the most, visited in the Caribbean. Five star hotel resorts are commonplace but there are also options for the single traveller, families, eco-tourists and sports enthusiasts to enjoy the beautiful island along with its 8.5 million inhabitants.

Almost Perfect

Despite its location in the hurricane belt, one of the Dominican Republic's attractions is that it enjoys beautiful tropical weather throughout the year. Winter is noticeable from November to April as the days are less humid, maximum temperatures are 28 degrees Celsius and the nights somewhat cool. Summer runs from May to October with average temperatures of 31 degrees Celsius, although the humidity often makes the temperatures feel higher. At night time, the temperature drops to an average of 22 degrees Celsius. Impromptu rain showers often take visitors by surprise, but they rarely last longer than 30 minutes before clouds clear and the sunshine returns.

Latin America

The visitors who come for the white sands and crystal water seas are often surprised to see the Dominican Republic's attractions are so varied. Canyoning, caving, hiking, golf, water sports; quad, horse and mountain bike riding are all available too. Birdwatchers can spot over 300 different species, other nature enthusiasts can take a quad bike or 4x4 tour through sugar and cocoa plantations and golfers can take their pick of 18-hole championship courses as the island has become the golfing capital of the Caribbean.

There are 16 national parks within a total of 67 protected areas in the Dominican Republic. Attractions for those who dare include snorkelling with sharks, fly down zip lines or pay a visit to Lago Enriquillo and get face to face with the American Crocodile. Although the American Crocodile can also be found in Peru and across Central America, Lago Enriquillo is home to one of the largest populations in the world.

Dominican Culture

Santo Domingo is the Dominican Republic's capital city and located on the southern coast. It is the oldest European settlement in the Americas and has been continuously inhabited since the Spanish settled there. Strolling through the Colonial area, recogizeable for its distinctive architecture, both the first hospital and first cathedral built in the Americas can be seen. Other buildings of interest include the Alcázar (castle and residence of Diego Colón, one of Christopher Columbus' sons), the Monasterio de San Francisco (first American monastery), the Iglesia del Convento Dominico (first American convent), many museums and the Parque Colón (a large, pretty plaza of trees and fountains).

After a visit to the Dominican Republic it is easy to see how, according to a report published in 2009 by a British company, the people of the Dominican Republic are the second happiest in the world. Topping the list is Costa Rica.