Dominican Republic Travel Facts

By | April 7, 2022

The island nation of the Dominican Republic is found on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles between the Atlantic and Caribbean Seas. The western third of the island belongs to the neighboring state of Haiti.

Capital City Santo Domingo
Size 48.730 km²
Resident 10.700.000
Official Language Spanish
Currency Dominican Peso
Time Zone UTC-4
Telephone Area Code +1

Fast facts to know

  • The Dominicans radiate Caribbean joie de vivre.
  • Nature lovers will love the Dominican Republic.
  • The border shared with Haiti is 388 km long.
  • In the Dominican Republic, unfortunately, you have to reckon with serious natural disasters again and again.
  • Hurricane season is better avoided for travel.
  • The national sport is baseball.
  • Trash is a big problem in the Dominican Republic away from the tourist hotspots and national parks.
  • Santo Domingo is considered the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement on the American continent.
  • The Dominican Republic is home to both the highest and lowest points in the Caribbean.
  • From Jurassic Park to Fast and the Furios: Los Bandoleros, many Hollywood movies have been filmed here.
  • Fashion is an important issue in the Republican Republic.
  • Golfers can let off steam on more than 20 beautiful golf courses in the Dominican Republic.
  • Merengue was invented here and is still often danced today.
  • 69 percent of Dominicans are Catholic.
  • The Dominican Republic has the only national flag that features a Bible.
  • The Dominican Republic is considered a relatively safe holiday destination, but the crime rate is rather high.
  • Travelers are repeatedly abused as “drug smugglers” against their will and without knowing it. So be careful!
  • The Dominican Republic is one of the countries with the highest rate of road deaths in the world.
  • However, the road network is well developed.
  • Entry possible with a 6-month valid passport without a visa for 30 days.
  • Better be careful with drinking water. Pay attention to hygiene with drinks and food.
  • There are no compulsory vaccinations. Vaccinations against hepatitis A are recommended as travel vaccinations, for long-term stays also against hepatitis B, typhoid, rabies and possibly cholera.
  • Dengue fever, chikungunya fever, malaria are often transmitted by mosquitoes.

Exciting place in the Dominican Republic

  • La Romana
  • San Pedro de Macoris
  • Bayahibe fishing village
  • Santo Domingo
  • Puerto Plata
  • Altos de Chavón

History of the Dominican Republic

  • The Dominican Republic is part of the Spanish crown colony of Santo Domingo.
  • 1805 conquest by Haiti.
  • Santo Domingo gained independence in 1844.
  • 1861 renewed submission to the Spanish crown.
  • 1865 renewed independence.
  • 1882 Dictator Ulises Heureaux ends phase of democracy.
  • 1899 Heureauxs is murdered.
  • 1916–1924 U.S. military intervention by the United States.
  • 1930 Rafael Trujillo putsch himself into the presidency.
  • 1961 Trujillo assassination.
  • 1963 Juan Bosch wins the election and is overthrown by a military coup 7 months later.
  • 1964 Civil War.
  • 1965 the USA invades under a pretext and puts down the uprising with the help of the OEA.
  • 1966 Presidential election and withdrawal of the intervention troops.

Climate & travel weather in the Dominican Republic

  • Tropical climate
  • Significant differences between north (much wetter) and south (hot and dry)
  • Cooler in mountainous regions
  • Rainy season in the north: November to January, in the south: May to November
  • Recommended travel time:
    • December and May
    • Beach holiday: possible all year round in coastal regions
    • Humpback whales: mid-January to mid-March
    • Hurricane Season: June through November

Ideas for trips in the Dominican Republic

  • Island Excursions to Saona, Catalina and Catalinita Islands
  • Steindorf Altos de Chavon
  • Conquista Park theme park
  • Zip-Line Canopy Cumayasa
  • Swim and snorkel at the white sands of Punta Cana
  • Birdwatching in the Mallén Lagoon
  • Relax in Cenote Hoyo Azul
  • Leuchtturm Columbus Lighthouse
  • Party on the promenade El Malecón
  • Rafting on the Yaque del Norte River
  • Climb Pico Duarte
  • Ride on the cable car – el teleférico
  • Watch whales and dolphins in the wild
  • Drive on the Enriquillo Coastal Highway
  • Swimming on beautiful beaches:
    • Rincon Beach
    • Big beach
    • Coson Beach
    • Nice beach

Eating & Drinking in the Dominican Republic

  • Creole and Antillean cuisine form the basis.
  • Indian and Spanish influences can be found as well as Turkish, African and Asian accents.
  • Food mostly spicy, starchy and kept rather simple.
  • Fish and seafood are often on the menu.
  • Common meats: beef, pork, chicken, goat.
  • Popular processed vegetables: cassava, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, plantains.
  • Rice is often served as a side dish.
  • It is seasoned with chili, oregano, garlic, onions, coconut milk, soy sauce and Tabasco.
  • Fresh fruit tastes just divine.
  • Dominicans love sweet desserts (e.g. tarts, cakes, caramelized fruits, creams).
  • For breakfast there is Mangú (porridge made from bananas, cream cheese and eggs) and coffee.
  • Beer is often brewed in-house, the most famous type of beer: Presidente.
  • Typical drinks: rum, coffee, café con leche, fruit juices, cuba libre, mamajuana.
  • Typical dishes:
    • Bandera Dominicana (rice, meat, vegetables, fried bananas)
    • Moro (rice with beans).
    • Sancocho (soup with vegetables and rice).
    • Locrio (Dominican Reis).
    • Fish in Coconut (Fisch in Kokos).
    • Chicharrones de pollo Fried chicken pieces.
    • Cassava Cassava (Brot aus Yuca).
    • Mofongo (made from bananas).
    • Pastelon (baked vegetable pie).
    • Ropa vieja (boiled meat with rice and salad).
    • Pastelitos (meat or cheese croquettes).
    • Rum cake (Rum Torte).
    • Rice pudding (Milchreis).
    • Pastel de mango (mango cake).
    • Flan (pudding with caramel flavor).
    • Dulce de leche (sweet made from milk and eggs).
    • Helados bon (ice cream with tropical fruits, nuts, coconut and rum).
    • Bizcochos (various cakes with creams and fruits).
    • Frío fríos (chopped ice cream with syrup).

Particularly scenic

  • Cotubanama National Park
  • Cave of Wonders National Park
  • Three Eyes National Park
  • Los Haitises National Park
  • Jaragua National Park
  • Calderas Dunes Naturpark
  • Höhlen Cave of Wonders & Cueva Los Tres Ojos
  • Jima Falls
  • Damajagua Waterfalls
  • El Limon waterfall

Dominican Republic Travel Facts