About the Dominican Republic
Run along our beaches. Sail upon our crystal blue waters. Climb to the top of our bluffs and gaze out to the green valleys below. Discover our island. Our culture. Our traditions and our future. This is our home. Let us share it with you.
Beyond its natural charms, the Dominican Republic also has a rich history and culture, being, in 1492, Cristobal Colon's first settlement in the Americas. As a result of this, the first asphalt street, cathedral and university of the New World are situated in Santo Domingo, the country's capital.
Dominican Republic is located on the eastern two-thirds of the Caribbean island La Hispaniola, which lies between the islands of Cuba to the west and Puerto Rico to the east, and situated about 670 miles southeast of Florida. The Dominican Republic is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and to the south by the Caribbean Sea. The country is the second-largest island in the Caribbean, with a surface area of 48,198 square kilometers. Its white sand beaches, tropical weather and natural biodiversity attract a great number of visitors making it the number one touristic destination in the Caribbean.
The population of the Dominican Republic is more than 8.5 million people.
Local time is Caribbean Eastern Time (GMT -04:00). In the winter it is an hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time in the United States. The Dominican Republic does not practice daylight savings time, as is customarily done in the United States.
The capital of the Dominican Republic is Santo Domingo, which is the oldest city in the new world. It has a population of almost 2.5 million people.
The Dominican Republic's political structure is based on democratic principles. Every four years the country elects its president, vice president and legislators.
Spanish is the official language of the Dominican Republic. However, you'll be surprised how many hotel and tourist destination employees speak English, French, German and Italian. If you decide to venture outside of the tourist areas, it is helpful to learn some basic Spanish phrases.
The Dominican Peso (RD$) is the official currency of the Dominican Republic. You can find out the exchange rate at www.xe.com/ucc. Major credit cards and travelers' checks are accepted at many of the country's tourist locations; ATMs are located in almost all of the Dominican Republic's cities, as well as at most resorts.
The Dominican Republic enjoys a tropical climate year-round. Depending on your location, a typical day could have full sun or a combination of sun and clouds. Its average annual temperatures range from 66° to 93° F (19° to 34° C). The coldest season is between November and April, and the hottest season is between May and October.