Has everything you dream of!
The Dominican Republic forms with Haiti the second largest island of the Caribbean - Hispaniola. Known for beach vacations on dream beaches, the country offers many other highlights.
The Dominican Republic is known for Caribbean vacations at reasonable prices. But it is worth to discover the country also away from the popular beaches!
The Pico Duarte, with more than 3000 meters height the highest mountain of the Caribbean. The area around Constanza and Jarabacoa in the center of the country, ideal for outdoor enthusiasts, the southwest, still undiscovered by mass tourism, with dream beaches and colorful Caribbean villages, as well as the hinterland of the Samana peninsula in the northeast are waiting to be discovered. The local cigars and rum are among the best in the world.
TOP 10 places of interest
· Playa Rincón & Playa Frontón - picture book · Colonial Old Town of Santo Domingo - UNESCO World Heritage Site
· Pico Duarte - highest peak of the Caribbean near Jarabacoa and Constanza
· Whale season in the bay of Samaná (January - March)
· Dream beach Bahia de las Aguilas & Laguna de Oviedo southwest of Barahona
· Gondola Pico Isabel de Torres, Puerto Plata
· Los Haitises National Park
· El Limon Waterfall, Samaná Peninsula
· Wild nature and wildlife at Lago Enriquillo, Barahona
· Las Terrenas - former fishing village and dream beaches, Samaná
· Isla Saona - nature reserve with white beaches & turquoise waters.
Festivals & Events
· Party in the ruins of San Francisco, Zona Colonial Santo Domingo - every Sunday evening
. · Whale watching in Samana - January 15 to February 15
· Dominican Carnival, nationwide - every Sunday in February
· Master of the Ocean, Cabarete - February
· Merengue Festival, Santo Domingo - August
· Colonial Festival Santo Domingo - November
Land & People
The Dominican Republic has a very eventful history. Traces of it can be found everywhere on the island, where the heritage of the colonial era and modern culture coexist equally. Historic buildings and monuments provide an insightful journey into the past.
In 1492, Christopher Columbus encountered the Taíno Indians, a brave and sophisticated people who rebelled against Spanish colonization, when he landed in Hispaniola. They were enslaved and put to work on the new sugar cane plantations. The Indians tried some rebellions, but died of epidemics and wars, so slaves were brought to the island from Africa. In the 17th century, the French conquered the western part of the island, which declared itself independent as Haiti in 1804; the Dominican Republic did so in 1865. Unstable years under rapidly changing dictators followed; the country defaulted on its debt and was occupied by the United States. In 1930, a brutal government came to power with Trujillo in a military coup; the country experienced civil war, numerous human rights abuses, and another U.S. invasion in 1966.
Turbulent years under democratically elected presidents followed, and the situation stabilized. Today, the Dominican Republic can be safely traveled individually. Social justice and debt remain important issues, but the Dominicans' sparkling joie de vivre and warm-heartedness dominate.
The inhabitants of the Dominican Republic are about 75% Catholic, 4% Protestant, 1.5% Adventist, 2% belong to other Christian churches (such as Jehovah's Witnesses or the New Apostolic Church), and 16% have no religious affiliation. However, many declared Catholics practice a form of Catholicism infused with African elements (syncretism). These practices are known as brujería - witchcraft - and are often practiced covertly.
Music and a great sense of rhythm are in the blood of almost all the inhabitants of the Dominican Republic. The music is mainly characterized by African and Spanish influences, which is especially evident in merengue, which is national music and dance in one. In the 1990s, a mixture of merengue and hip-hop or house emerged: reggaeton. Also from the Dominican Republic comes Bachata, a rather slow and soulful dance.
One of the biggest social events is the cockfight, which may seem rather strange to Europeans. For this there is in many villages a wooden arena, which was built especially for these fights. Two roosters compete against each other, which are dressed up by their owners, the ''galleros''.
Many different types of art are produced in the Dominican Republic. Many colorful paintings are made, as well as artistic wood carvings, which are then sold to tourists as souvenirs.
Food & Drink
Dominican cuisine is very international in character. Both African and European influences can be found in the "Cocina Criolla" (Creole cuisine). The typical food of the country is essentially based on meat or fish. Different spices are used and also coconut as a flavor enhancer. Very famous is the local beer Presidente or the local rum like Brugal or Barcelo.