The Dominican Republic is an idyllic Caribbean island situated amongst the likes of Jamaica, Puerto Rico and Cuba. Known as Hispaniola, or ‘Little Spain’, it hosts strong Hispanic influences, beautifully combined with the Colonial heritage of its capital, Santo Domingo.
The Dominican was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1492 when he claimed: “There is no more beautiful island in the world”. Spain usurped the power of the Tainos, an Arawak-speaking population whose population later dropped from about 1 million to half this number in just 50 years. After a period of French colonisation, the island declared independence in 1821 as the Dominican Republic, but was quickly annexed by Haiti. Today, the Dominican population is of mixed European and African origin, with influences most clear in the island’s meringue music. Politically, it is mainly a US style democracy, while the western third of the island is composed of French-speaking Haiti.
Visitors come to the Dominican Republic to enjoy many things: its fine white sandy beaches; palm trees; warm, crystal blue waters; and its vibrant Afro/Hispanic culture. Green valleys, lakes, tropical rainforests and mountain ranges such as the Pico Duarte, the tallest in the entire Caribbean, are also of great attraction, making the Dominican an interesting an varied destination. The expanding capital city of Santo Domingo is a smart, cosmopolitan metropolis, boasting modern, international amenities: here you can enjoy anything from ballet, cinema and museums to bowling, nightclubs, shopping or fine wining and dining, making the city a popular commercial and recreational hub.
Currently, the eastern tip of the island is undergoing much development at Punta Cana to produce luxury eco-resort developments and golf courses, aimed at satisfying the growing influx of international tourists and second homebuyers, all demanding affordable, dream homes in the heart of the Caribbean. Here, you will find the longest strip of white sand in the entire region and for now a combination of sheer beauty and low prices is attracting many international investors.
The Dominican Republic offers an ideal climate for year-round enjoyment. A tropical climate, with local rather than seasonal variations in temperature, means average temperatures hover around 25°C.
Upon arrival, you will be charged USD 10 for a Tourist Card (can also be paid in Euros only). Departure tax of USD 20 must be paid in cash, for most charter and some scheduled flights - your airline should give you full details.
Hepatitus A, Diptheria recommended
GMT –4 hours
00 1 809/829
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