Explore Dominican Republic in North America

Dominican Republic
Country Guide

Map of the area of  in

Dominican Republic with its capital Santo Domingo is located in North America (Caribbean, eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola). It covers some 48,731 square kilometres (slightly more than twice the size of New Hampshire) with 9,507,000 citizens. Spanish is the language commonly spoken by the majority in Dominican Republic. Haiti is a bordering country.

The Dominican Republic is a Caribbean country; not to be confused with the Caribbean island country of Dominica. The island lies in the middle of the hurricane belt and is subject to severe storms from June to October. Citizens of most countries can purchase a tourist card on arrival. Guaguas are the traditional means of transport in the Dominican Republic. Guaguas will be filled to the brink with people and luggage; expect to squeeze to fit more people who will be picked up en route :D. Taxi services are available but potentially dangerous when dealing with unlicensed drivers. In all cases, it's a good idea to go with a licensed driver and negotiate a price for your destination before you leave. Do not drink tap water! Locals, even in the most rural areas, will either boil their water or purchase bottled water. Eating salads or other food that may be washed in tap water is not advisable. Dominicans are kind and peaceful people and the Dominican Republic is generally a safe country. Still a third world country, poverty is still rampant so you should take common sense precautions. Attempts at speaking Spanish are a good sign of respect for the local people.

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Pictures from the Dominican capital

Have a look at our dedicated photo collection to get a view of what Santo Domingo is like. We have selected more pictures from Santo Domingo on our dedicated gallery page.

Awesome photos provided by Panoramio are under the copyright of their owners.

Landscape, climate and basic hints for travelling

National Tourism office

Website: Dominican Republic Tourism

The terrain offers rugged highlands and mountains with fertile valleys interspersed. The average density of population is about 195 per km². The climate in Dominican Republic can be described as tropical maritime with little seasonal temperature variation, seasonal variation in rainfall. Possible natural disasters include lies in the middle of the hurricane belt and subject to severe storms from June to October or occasional flooding or periodic droughts.

To reach someone in Dominican Republic dial +1-809 and +1-82 prior to a number. There are 965,400 installed telephones. And there are 8,630,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks operate on frequencies of 1800, 1900 Mhz. Websites typically end with the top level domain ".do". If you want to bring electric appliances (e.g. battery charger), keep in mind the local 110V - 60Hz.

Learn more on our Dominican Facts page.

Description of the flag of Dominican Republic

A centered white cross that extends to the edges divides the flag into four rectangles - the top ones are blue (hoist side) and red, and the bottom ones are red (hoist side) and blue; a small coat of arms featuring a shield supported by a laurel branch (left) and a palm branch (right) is at the center of the cross; above the shield a blue ribbon displays the motto, DIOS, PATRIA, LIBERTAD (God, Fatherland, Liberty), and below the shield, REPUBLICA DOMINICANA appears on a red ribbon; in the shield a bible is opened to a verse that reads "Y la verdad nos hara libre" (And the truth shall set you free); blue stands for liberty, white for salvation, and red for the blood of heroes.

National administrative regions of Dominican Republic

Historical background information

The Taino - indigenous inhabitants of Hispaniola prior to the arrival of the Europeans - divided the island into five chiefdoms and territories. Christopher COLUMBUS explored and claimed the island on his first voyage in 1492; it became a springboard for Spanish conquest of the Caribbean and the American mainland. In 1697, Spain recognized French dominion over the western third of the island, which in 1804 became Haiti. The remainder of the island, by then known as Santo Domingo, sought to gain its own independence in 1821 but was conquered and ruled by the Haitians for 22 years; it finally attained independence as the Dominican Republic in 1844. In 1861, the Dominicans voluntarily returned to the Spanish Empire, but two years later they launched a war that restored independence in 1865. A legacy of unsettled, mostly non-representative rule followed, capped by the dictatorship of Rafael Leonidas TRUJILLO from 1930 to 1961. Juan BOSCH was elected president in 1962 but was deposed in a military coup in 1963. In 1965, the United States led an intervention in the midst of a civil war sparked by an uprising to restore BOSCH. In 1966, Joaquin BALAGUER defeated BOSCH in an election to become president. BALAGUER maintained a tight grip on power for most of the next 30 years when international reaction to flawed elections forced him to curtail his term in 1996. Since then, regular competitive elections have been held in which opposition candidates have won the presidency. Former President Leonel FERNANDEZ Reyna (first term 1996-2000) won election to a new term in 2004 following a constitutional amendment allowing presidents to serve more than one term, and was since reelected to a second consecutive term.

Learn more on our Dominican Facts page.

Based on the content from wikitravel.org. The original article can be found here based on the work of these users. Geography information is based on the data provided by geonames.org, CIA world facts book Edition 2010 and 2013, Unesco, DBpedia, wikipedia and others.