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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 Reserve At Paradisus Palma Real Resort All Inclusive 

Playa Bavaro
Punta Cana 23000
Dominican Republic

Price (US$): $1022 - $1401 / night

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Location. Near the airport, The Reserve At Paradisus Palma Real Resort All Inclusive is located in Punta Cana's Bavaro neighborhood and close to Palma Real Shopping Village, Cocotal Golf and Country Club, and Dolphin Island. Additional points of interest include 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… more »

Dominican RepublicEden Roc at Cap Cana 

Cap Cana, Juanillo
La Altagracia
Punta Cana 23000
Dominican Republic

Price (US$): $3274 - $5500 / night

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Location. Eden Roc at Cap Cana is located near the beach in Punta Cana's Cap Cana neighborhood and close to Cap Cana Golf Club, Punta Espada Golf Course, and Scape Park at Cap Cana. Other points of interest are Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park and Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park and Reserve. Resort Features. Recreational amenities include 2 outdoor swimming pools. Also located on site are a golf course, a children's pool, a health club, a sauna, and a steam room. The property's full service… more »

Dominican RepublicCasa Colonial Beach & Spa 

57000 Playa Dorada
PO Box 22
Puerto Plata
Dominican Republic

Price (US$): $409 - $410 / night

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Location. Casa Colonial Beach & Spa is located on the beach in Puerto Plata, close to Playa Dorada, Playa Dorada Golf Club, and Fun City. Other points of interest near this luxury hotel include Lorilar Ranch and Long Beach. Hotel Features. Casa Colonial Beach & Spa features a poolside bar and a bar/lounge. Room service is available during limited hours. The hotel serves buffet breakfasts (surcharges apply). Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool, a health club, a spa tub, a sauna,… more »

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 RepublicParadisus Palma Real Golf & Spa Resort All Inclusive 

Playa de Bávaro
Punta Cana
Dominican Republic

Price (US$): $592 - $811 / night

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Location. Paradisus Palma Real Golf & Spa Resort 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 Dolphin Island. Other points of interest near this all inclusive resort include 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,… 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