Dominican Republic Travel Guide

Dominican Republic Travel Guide and Online Tourist Information including beaches, attractions, maps, hotels, tips and more by photos4travel

Introducing Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic Travel Review

The Dominican Republic First Capital of the New World

Dominican girls at carnival
Dominican girls at carnival

Christopher Columbus landed on the island and named it Hispaniola in 1492. The island was inhabited by the Tainos, a group of South American natives, who discovered the island in the 7th century.
The permanent European settlement was named Santo Domingo, which is now the capital of this island nation. The Dominican Republic shares the island of Hispaniola with the country of Haiti, which takes up about a third of the island. These countries fought each other when Haiti tried to invade the Dominican in 1821. In 1844 the Dominican fought for its independence and won, but due to internal political conflicts, the Spanish regained control, which lasted for the next 72 years. The United States occupied the Dominican in 1916, but that only lasted eight years. The last civil war ended in 1965, when the island was under the dictatorship of Joaquin Balaguer; his reign ended in 1978. Today the Dominican is a Representative Democracy, led by Leonel Fernandez.

Saona Island Beach, Dominican Republic
Saona Island Beach, Dominican Republic - photo by Pisces With Camera

The Dominican Republic’s economy is the second largest in the region known as the Caribbean. Well known for its sugar cane plantations, the economy is now fueled by tourism, the service sector, agriculture and mining. The country is divided into 31 provinces, and four mountain ranges. The range known as the Cordillera Central is the highest range in the West Indies. The city of Santiago sits in the major valley in the country, and that’s where most of the farming takes place. The sugar plantations are found in the savannahs along the coastal plain known as Liano Costero del Caribe. There are four major rivers, but the Yaque is the most important because excess water drains through the Cibao Valley, and empties into the Monte Cristi Bay. The longest river is the Aritbonito, which actually flows westward into Haiti.

About the Dominican Republic Today

The Dominican Peso is the country’s currency, although the US Dollar and the Euro are also accepted in the tourist areas. The population is now over 9.7 million people and 63% of them live in urban areas. The most populated city is Santo Domingo with 3 million, followed by Santiago with 1.3 million. Puerto Plata is next with 277,000 and La Romana, San Cristobal, La Vega, San Pedro de Macoris, and Durante, have around 200,000 to 275,000 permanent residents. The residents are a mixture of African, European, and Haitian cultures.

The Dominican Republic in a Few Words

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Most people who visit the Dominican don’t see all the beauty it has to offer. The country is filled natural resources, beautiful mountains, lush valleys, unspoiled beaches and quaint little towns. There is so much diversity and pristine pleasure in the culture of the people, one visit can’t capture it all. The endless creamy white beaches, cascading waterfalls, and hidden islands filled with coconut trees can be perfect picnic spots. The sounds of the swashbuckling days of the pirates still vibrates through the salty air. The sapphire, emerald, and turquoise water, is filled with marine life that calls fisherman from all corners of the world. But the real treasures you’ll find in the Dominican are the people. Their warm smiles, friendly handshakes, or a wave from a passing motorbike, make a trip to the Dominican worth any price.