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Dominican Republic

Background

Dominican Republic

Explored and claimed by Christopher COLUMBUS on his first voyage in 1492, the island of Hispaniola became a springboard for Spanish conquest of the Caribbean and the American mainland. In 1697, Spain recognized French dominion over the western third of the island, which in 1804 became Haiti. The remainder of the island, by then known as Santo Domingo, sought to gain its own independence in 1821 but was conquered and ruled by the Haitians for 22 years; it finally attained independence as the Dominican Republic in 1844. In 1861, the Dominicans voluntarily returned to the Spanish Empire, but two years later they launched a war that restored independence in 1865. A legacy of unsettled, mostly non-representative rule followed, capped by the dictatorship of Rafael Leonidas TRUJILLO from 1930-61. Juan BOSCH was elected president in 1962 but was deposed in a military coup in 1963. In 1965, the United States led an intervention in the midst of a civil war sparked by an uprising to restore BOSCH. In 1966, Joaquin BALAGUER defeated BOSCH in an election to become president. BALAGUER maintained a tight grip on power for most of the next 30 years when international reaction to flawed elections forced him to curtail his term in 1996. Since then, regular competitive elections have been held in which opposition candidates have won the presidency. Former President (1996-2000) Leonel FERNANDEZ Reyna won election to a new term in 2004 following a constitutional amendment allowing presidents to serve more than one term, and was since reelected to a second consecutive term.

About

Not to be confused with the Caribbean island country of Dominica.

The Dominican Republic is a Caribbean country that occupies the eastern two-thirds of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. The western one-third of Hispaniola is occupied by the country of Haiti. To the north lies the North Atlantic Ocean, while the Caribbean Sea lies to the south.

Read more about Dominican Republic in our Dominican Republic travel guide »

Featured journals from

Dominican Republic

Featured hotels in

Dominican Republic

Dominican RepublicThe Royal Suites Turquesa By Palladium - All Inclusive 

C/ El Cortecito
Playa Bavaro
Punta Cana
Dominican Republic

Price (US$): $539 - $568 / night

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Location. The Royal Suites Turquesa By Palladium All Inclusive is located on the beach in Punta Cana's Bavaro neighborhood, close to Palma Real Shopping Village, Cocotal Golf and Country Club, and Manati Park Bavaro. Other points of interest near this all inclusive resort include Dolphin Island and The Lakes Barcelo Golf Course. Property Features. This resort is all inclusive. Rates include meals and beverages at onsite dining establishments. Charges may be applied for dining at some… more »

Dominican RepublicZoetry Agua Punta Cana All Inclusive 

Uvero Alto
Punta Cana 23000
Dominican Republic

Price (US$): $652 - $816 / night

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Location. Zoetry Agua Punta Cana All Inclusive is located on the beach in Punta Cana's Uvero Alto neighborhood and attractions in the region include Macao Beach, The Faldo Legacy Course at RocoKi, and HorsePlay Punta Cana Stables. Regional points of interest also include Cana Bay Golf Club. Property Features. This resort is all inclusive. Rates include meals and beverages at onsite dining establishments. Charges may be applied for dining at some restaurants, special dinners and dishes, some… more »

Dominican RepublicCasa De Campo 

La Romana
La Romana
Dominican Republic

Price (US$): $494 - $882 / night

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Location. Casa De Campo is located on the beach in La Romana, close to Teeth of the Dog, Altos de Chavon Village, and Playa Minitas. Other points of interest near this all inclusive resort include The Links and Dye Fore Golf Club. Resort Features. This resort offers both all inclusive and room only rates. Meals and beverages at onsite dining establishments are included in all inclusive rates. Charges may be applied for dining at some restaurants, special dinners and dishes, some beverages,… more »

Dominican RepublicExcellence Punta Cana Luxury Adults Only All Inclusive 

Playas Uvero Alto - Punta Cana
Punta Cana 43000
Dominican Republic

Price (US$): $493 - $1106 / night

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Location. Excellence Punta Cana Luxury Adults Only All Inclusive is located on the beach in Punta Cana's Uvero Alto neighborhood and local attractions include Macao Beach and The Faldo Legacy Course at RocoKi. Regional points of interest also include HorsePlay Punta Cana Stables and Cana Bay Golf Club. Property Features. This resort is all inclusive. Rates include meals and beverages at onsite dining establishments. Charges may be applied for dining at some restaurants, special dinners and… more »

Dominican RepublicCatalonia Royal Bavaro Adults Only - All Inclusive 

Cabeza De Toro 1 Playas De Bavaro
Punta Cana
Dominican Republic

Price (US$): $881 - $882 / night

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Location. Catalonia Royal Bavaro Adults Only All Inclusive is located on the beach in Punta Cana's Cabeza de Toro neighborhood, close to Catalonia Caribe Golf Club and Bavaro Lagoon. Other points of interest are Bavaro Beach and The Lakes Barcelo Golf Course. Property Features. This resort is all inclusive. Rates include meals and beverages at onsite dining establishments. Charges may be applied for dining at some restaurants, special dinners and dishes, some beverages, and other amenities.… more »

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Dominican Republic

Capital
Santo Domingo
Location

Caribbean, eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola, between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east of Haiti

Geographic coordinates

19 00 N, 70 40 W

Area comparative

slightly more than twice the size of New Hampshire

Border countries

Haiti 360 km

Coastline

1,288 km

Climate

tropical maritime; little seasonal temperature variation; seasonal variation in rainfall

Terrain

rugged highlands and mountains with fertile valleys interspersed

Lowest point

Lago Enriquillo -46 m

Highest point

Pico Duarte 3,175 m

Natural resources

nickel, bauxite, gold, silver

Population

9,823,821 (July 2010 est.)

Ethnic groups

mixed 73%, white 16%, black 11%

Religions

Roman Catholic 95%, other 5%

Languages

Spanish (official)

Government type

democratic republic

Independence

27 February 1844 (from Haiti)

National holiday

Independence Day, 27 February (1844)

Chief of state

President Leonel FERNANDEZ Reyna (since 16 August 2004); Vice President Rafael ALBURQUERQUE de Castro (since 16 August 2004); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

Head of government

President Leonel FERNANDEZ Reyna (since 16 August 2004); Vice President Rafael ALBURQUERQUE de Castro (since 16 August 2004)

Internet country code

.do

Internet users

2.701 million (2009)

Airports

35 (2010)

Ports and terminals

Andres (Boca Chica), Puerto Haina, Puerto Plata, Santo Domingo

Other countries in the region