Dominican Republic (DO)
- Continent: North America
- Area: 48,730 km²
- Population: 9,184,000
- Capital city: Santo Domingo
- ISO code: DO
- National language: Spanish
- International dialing code: +1809
- Currency: Dominican Peso
- License plate number: DOM
- Flight routes from Dominican Republic: 2611
- Flight routes to Dominican Republic: 2973
- Popular airports: Santo Domingo (SDQ), Punta Cana (PUJ), Santiago de los Caballeros (STI), La Romana (LRM), La Isabela (JBQ), Samana (AZS), Puerto Plata (POP)
- Large cities: Santo Domingo, Santiago de los Caballeros, San Pedro de Macorís, La Romana, San Cristóbal, San Francisco de Macorís, Salvaleón de Higüey, Puerto Plata, Concepción de la Vega, Santa Cruz de Barahona, Bonao, San Juan de la Maguana, Bajos de Haina, Baní, Moca
- Airlines based in Dominican Republic: Air Century, Sky High Aviation Services
Dominican Republic travel guide (North America)
The Dominican Republic is an island state on Hispaniola east of Haiti, between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean.
Geography: the Dominican Republic is to a large extent mountainous; in the centre of the island are the Cordillera Central mountains. The highest point in this mountain range is the Pico Duarte with 3,175 m (10,416 ft). It is the highest mountain on the island as well as in the entire Caribbean area.
Climate and best time to travel: on the north coast the climate is tropical with very high air humidity. The south is drier, this part of the country is in the rain shadow of the Cordillera Centrals. The temperature on the entire island never falls below 16°C. The mountains however, tend to be a little cooler with temperatures in the winter falling to around freezing point.
Language and communication: the official and national language is Spanish. Employees of the tourist and hotel industries and those involved in business usually speak English along with other European languages.
Health and vaccinations: vaccination against hepatitis A, typhoid, diphtheria, polio and tetanus is recommended. Long clothing should be worn to provide protection against mosquitoes and other insects, and a locally purchased insect repellent should also be used. There is a mid to low malaria incidence in the Dominican Republic, visitors should seek advice from their GP on effective anti malaria medication. Medical care is sufficient in all larger cities and tourist resorts. Visitors are advised to take out a comprehensive medical and travel insurance that covers repatriation costs. A first aid kit should be packed and fruit and vegetables peeled or boiled before being eaten
Entry requirements: A tourist card must be obtained by all visitors and may be obtained from the Representation in the UK for Dominican Republic or on arrival at the airport. Please also contact the Dominican Republic Embassy for information on entry requirements for persons under the age of 18. Importing meat and dairy products from EU countries is currently banned for private persons.
Arrival and onward journey: the Dominican Republic has become a very important holiday destination for Europeans wanting to flee the cold weather. From London, Delta (DL) fly to Santo Domingo (SDQ) in cooperation with American Airlines. Flights offered by American Airlines (AA) involve a stopover in New York (JFK). In the Dominican Republic, the national airline Air Santo Domingo (EX) provides flights to Santiago (STI), La Romana (LRM) or to Barahona (BRX).
Capital city: the capital Santo Domingo is on the mouth of the Rio Ozama. It was founded by Bartolomé Kolumbus in 1496 and is the oldest city in the Americas. The historical old town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1990 and elaborately redeveloped in time for the 500-year anniversary. The cathedral is the oldest "house of God" in the new world and is alleged to hold the bones of Christopher Columbus.
Places of interest and beaches: most package holiday makers rarely if ever leave their hotel complex, but the island has much more to offer than just sun and sea. The grotto "Los Tres Ojos" on the outskirts of the city of Santo Domingo is worth a visit. Tectonic activity in the course of time formed three large water pools here, which are part of a large subterranean cave complex. About 100 km further west of the capital on the coast is the town of Altos de Chavón. It was built in the 1970s from coral stones and populated by artists. On the north coast, the peninsula of Samaná is guaranteed to enthral every visitor. The most famous place must be the offshore island Cayo Levantado, known in Europe from the Bacardi advert. Cayo Levantado is also called "Bacardi Island“. Also in the north is Santiago de Los Caballeros, the second largest city in the Dominican Republic. With about 600,000 inhabitants, this is the country’s cigarette and funfair metropolis. Here visitors may take part in organised factory tours. The expensive and famous "Davidoff cigar is manufactured here and can be purchased cheaply. On the dream island of Saona, only a few km from the southeasterly point, there is the most intact coastal eco system in the Caribbean. The island is part of the "Parque Nacional del Este" which has been a nature reserve since 1975. It is one of the biggest nature reserves in the country and known for its large diversity of rare species of birds, the fine sand beaches and the glass clear water. The Pico Isabel de Torres should also definitely be seen. The local mountain measuring 793 m can be reached from Puerto Plata with a cableway. A figure of Christ was erected inspired by that in Rio de Janeiro on the hill. The Parque Nacional Los Haïtises surprises the visitor with one of the most interesting landscape forms in the Caribbean. The park is comprised of a lush green karst area with many complex cave systems, craters and impressive stone columns which, seen from the sea, take on the appearance of islands. The main attraction of the national park no doubt are the impressive Taino drawings in the caves of La Arena and La Linea, as well as the tropical vegetation and the diverse animal world.
Religion: the population is comprised of immigrants of Spanish origin and the descendents of African slaves. About 80% are adherents of the Christian faith; the rest is without religion.
Major Cities and accommodation: Santo Domingo, Puerto Plata, Punta Cana, La Romana, Samaná and Santiago de Los Caballeros.