Know more about our country...

Dominican Republic is a privileged land in which vivid colors, friendly people, contagious rhythms and magnificent landscapes all join together to create unforgettable memories. Whether you visit our white sand and clear blue water beaches, hike the Pico Duarte (highest peak in the Caribbean), adventure inside our underground caves or explore our highland and lowland areas, the beauty and uniqueness of the our greatly diverse geography will offer numerous adventure travel options for you within short distances.

Our island was initially inhabited by the Taino Indians until it was discovered and colonized by the Spaniards in 1492. We are the eldest city in the Americas and our historical past can be appreciated when you visit the colonial area located in Santo Domingo. Currently, the Dominican Republic is the second largest nation in the Caribbean, sharing the island with Haiti and constituting the eastern two-thirds of the island. Although we are a developing country, we have the second largest economy in the Caribbean and Central America.

General information:

Location: The Dominican Republic is located in the center of the Caribbean Sea, west of Puerto Rico, east of Cuba and Jamaica, and north of South America. You can reach the Dominican Republic by air in three hours or less from important cities in the US and from direct flights from many cities in Europe to our various international airports.
Area: 48,422 sq km (18,696 sq miles). There are 240 miles from east to west and 170 miles from north to south.
Population: 10 million (2009). Approximately 3.5 million live in Santo Domingo, the capital city.
Ethnic Groups: 73% Mixed origin, 16% White and 11% Black.
Government: Democratic Republic.
Language: Spanish is the official language but the number of persons who either understand some or speak fluent English is growing every day. French, German, Italian and other languages are frequently spoken in tourist destinations particularly in the north east and south east areas of the country.
Religion: The Dominican Republic is 95% Roman Catholic and 5% other including but not limited to Protestant, Baptist, Mormon and Jewish.
Climate: Hot with tropical temperatures all year round. Rainy season is from June to October. Hurricanes may sometimes occur during this time.
Time: GMT - 4.
Electricity: 110 volts AC, 60Hz. American-style 2-pin plugs are in use.
Television: TV signal system follows American standards (NTSC). There are a number of cable providers exhibiting an extensive variety of local and international channels. Television services are by cable, satellite and IP.
Communications: The telecommunications infrastructure is well-developed, with extensive services of mobile phones, fixed lines, internet and television. The internet services comprise mobiles 3G and 4G, fixed lines with ADSL technology and cable with up to 50 MBPS in speed.
Internet TLD: .do
Calling Codes: 1+809, 1+829, and 1+849. Outgoing international code for the US: 1. Outgoing international code for Europe, Asia and Central and South America: 011. For 1+800 calls you have to dial 1+880 and charges apply. For 1+877 calls you have to dial 1+882 and charges apply.
Currency: Dominican Peso.
Currency exchange: Euros and American dollars are accepted for change into local currency. All exchange must be done through banks and hotels approved by the Central Bank.
Credit cards: MasterCard, Visa and American Express are accepted.
Banking: There are many prestigious banks located all around the Dominican Republic. Most are usually open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday.
Postal System: The Instituto Postal Dominicano is the national postal system. In addition, standard worldwide couriers located in the country are frequently used (Fed Ex, UPS, DHL).

Official Holidays 2011*:

  • January 1: New Year's Day
  • January 6: Three Kings Day
  • January 21: Our Lady of Altagracia Day
  • January 26: Duarte's Day
  • February 27:Independence Day
  • April 21: Jueves Santo
  • April 22: Corpus Christi Day
  • May 1: Labor Day
  • May 29: Mother's Day
  • July 31:Father's Day
  • August 16: Independence Restoration Day
  • September 24: Our Lady of Mercedes Day
  • November 6: Constitution Day
  • December 24: Christmas Eve
  • December 25: Christmas Day

(*) Some holidays are moved to the nearest Monday according to the yearly calendar.

Entertainment: Art galleries, museums, parks and movie cinemas are located within the city.  Concerts and cultural events are held regularly at theatres and cultural centers.
Shopping: There are several important shopping centers and department stores.  There are small boutique stores in almost every corner and supermarkets available within short distance of each other.  The larger grocery chains offer an assortment of international and local brands. 
Schools:  The private education system is very good but pricey.  Many schools are bilingual and most American schools are accredited by SACS  (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools).  The school year starts in September and ends in May.  Enrollment takes place in February.  Summer vacation takes place during June, July and August.
Housing: An extensive range of housing options including apartments and private homes are available.  The costs of the properties vary significantly.  Prices may range from US$800 up to US$10,000 depending on the area and the property. The areas with higher demands are Piantini, Naco, Arroyo Hondo, Los Cacicazgos, Bella Vista and Mirador Sur.
Health care: Recognized medical practitioners are usually located in private hospitals and private health care centers. Health insurance that includes emergency repatriation and air ambulance service is strongly recommended.

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