THE SPANISH LANGUAGE
is the second most spoken language in the world due to the number of speakers who claim it as their native tongue (after Mandarin Chinese). It is spoken as a first and second language amongst 450 and 500 million people. It is the third most spoken language as a first or second language after Mandarin Chinese and English combined, and is the mother tongue to 400 million people worldwide... Read more
REPÚBLICA DOMINICANA Country Profile
The Dominican Republic is a Latin American country located on Hispaniola, the second-largest island in the Caribbean's Greater Antilles archipelago. Hispaniola lies west of Puerto Rico and east of Cuba and Jamaica. Its western third is home to Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are split by two countries, Saint-Martin/Sint Maarten being the other.
The Dominican Republic is the site of the first permanent European settlement in the Americas, its capital Santo Domingo, which was also the first colonial capital in the Americas. It is the site of the first cathedral, university, European-built road, European-built fortress, and more.
For most of its independent history, the nation experienced political turmoil and unrest, suffering through many non-representative and tyrannical governments. However, since the death of military dictator Rafael Leonidas
Trujillo Molina in 1961, the Dominican Republic has moved toward representative democracy.
.: Santo Domingo
.: Total 48,730 km² (130th)
18,815 sq mi
.: Water (%) 1.6
.: From Haiti
.: Date 27 February 1844
.: July 2007 estimate 9,760,000 (82th)
.: 2000 census 9,365,818
.: Density 201/km² (38th)
PROFILES REPÚBLICA DOMINICANA
Republic is a Latin American country located in the Greater Antilles archipelago on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. It shares the island with the Republic of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are split by two countries; the other is Saint-Martin/Sint Maarten. Hispaniola is the second-largest of the Greater Antilles, and lies west of Puerto Rico and east of Cuba and Jamaica.
The Dominican Republic is the site of the first permanent European settlement in the Americas, with Santo Domingo as its capital. For most of its independent history, the nation experienced political turmoil and unrest, suffering through many non-representative and tyrannical governments. However, since the death of military dictator Rafael Leónidas Trujillo in 1961, the Dominican Republic has slowly moved towards a representative democracy.
The Dominican Republic is a colourful tapestry of Spanish, French, Haitian, and African influences woven by a rich and varied history. Christopher Columbus described this lush land as "a beautiful island paradise with high forested mountains and large river valleys". This statement is still as true today as it was in 1492. In addition to the comforts of sun, sea, and sand, the Dominican Republic offers an exciting and unique cultural experience that will captivate your senses.
This is a destination like no other. It is a sensual feast of dazzling landscapes, exotic cuisine, and a remarkable variety of arts and entertainment options. The pulse-pounding thrill of the meringue, intriguing relics from centuries past, premium cigars, and even world-class baseball await you. The Dominican Republic is a surprising place that will delight even the most experienced traveller.
GEOGRAPHY AND ENVIRONMENT DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
The Dominican Republic in the West Indies occupies the eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola, which it shares with Haiti. Its area equals that of Vermont and New Hampshire combined. Duarte Peak, at 10,417 ft (3,175 m), is the highest point in the West Indies.
WEATHER AND CLIMATE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
The majority of the Dominican Republic enjoys beautiful tropical weather all year round, with the average annual temperature hovering around 25°C. Some call the Dominican Republic's climate, 'the endless summer', due to warm and sunny conditions experienced pretty much everywhere in the country, all year round.
There are slight variations between the summer and winter months. The so-called 'cool' or winter season, runs from November to April. The humidity is relatively low during these months and it tends to cool down in the evenings much more than in the summer months. The coastal/beach regions generally experience highs of around 28°C during the day and lows of about 20°C in the evening. The mountainous interior of the country is considerably cooler, and on the highest mountain peaks the thermometer can sometimes drop below freezing point. On rare occasions frost can even be seen on the top of these peaks. The summer season in the Dominican Republic runs from May to October. Average daily highs for the coastal/beach regions rise to around 31°C during the day, dropping down to about 22°C at night. It is the higher humidity during this period that can make it feel much hotter during this season.
Regardless of season, the coolest areas of the country is the Cordillera Central mountain region, around Jarabacoa and Constanza, where the average highs can hover around 16°C (61°F). The desert regions in the southwest of the country experience the highest average temperatures, at times soaring to over 40°C. The northern areas of the Dominican Republic tend to see the greatest amount of rainfall and do so predominantly between October and April. The southern areas of the Dominican Republic experience their greatest rainfall between May and November. Torrential downpour-like conditions can certainly occur in all areas of the Dominican Republic but the majority of this type of rainfall occurs in short bursts. Other than major storms that may move through a particular region, most showers are short-lived and have the sun shining brightly within a half hour.
The differences between the summer and winter seasons are not always consistent. Regardless of what is 'typical', the Dominican Republic, like anywhere, can experience abnormal weather patterns - weeks without any rain at all, while other times there are patches of rainy and overcast weather for a several days at a time. But more often than not, visitors to the Dominican Republic can generally expect long periods of sunshine and blue skies, at any time of the year.
MONEY DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Major credit cards and traveler's checks are accepted at most of the larger hotels/resorts and businesses, but you may find you'll be surcharged in some cases for this payment method. In the larger resort areas/towns/cities you will find banks that also have ATMs which are accessible 24 hours a day. Banks are generally open from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm, Monday to Friday. Some branches are open until 9 pm in the evening, as well as mornings on Saturdays. In addition to exchanging currency, most banks will also offer major credit card cash advances, with identification, such as your Passport.