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Dominican Republic Travel Guide

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Prepare for your travels to Dominican-Republic

The Dominican Republic is a country in the Caribbean that occupies the eastern two thirds of the island of Hispaniola. Haiti is the western part of this island. The Dominican Republic boasts of miles upon endless miles of beaches, access to the Caribbean Sea, and rugged highlands in the country’s interior. It is on the second largest island in the Caribbean.

Use this guide to help you prepare for your travels to Dominican-Republic. Below are topics and categories that are important for travelers going to Dominican-Republic. Browse the topics and submit links, comments, ideas, and information wherever you can to assist other travelers in Dominican-Republic.

Map of Dominican-Republic

Introduction for travel to the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is reputed to be the top travel destination in the Caribbean, and offers the amenities of any beach resort compound in the world. A walk through a beach town shows that sex tourism is big, as well as bar tourism, as well as resort tourism. But the people seem relaxed and happy — expat, tourist, and local alike — and they all sit on the beach watching the waves, buying crap, selling crap, getting drunk, and hanging out with beautiful women.

Beach at Sosua, Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is a good country for voyeurism, as there are probably more human dramas per square mile here than most places on the planet. Walk slow, enjoy the beach, and watch how the various tribes of people interact with each other.

A very interesting country.

Dominican Republic Facts

  • This is where Columbus landed in 1492 after sailing the ocean blue
  • The Dominican Republic was the base from which the Spanish invaded other places in the region
  • The Dominican Republic brings in over 3.5 million tourists a year — a quarter of all Caribbean tourism
  • Geographical Coordinates are 19 00 N, 70 40 W
  • Total area is 48,670 sq km, 350 square kilometers of which is water
  • The Dominican Republic has 1,288 km of coastline
  • The climate is tropical with little weather variation throughout the year except for a difference in rainfall. Expect temperatures in the range of 25 degrees C, 77 degrees F.
  • Natural hazards: hurricane, floods, drought. Hurricane season is June to October.
  • The Dominican Republic is the 85th most populated country in the world with 9,650,054 people recorded in the 2009 census.
  • The infectious disease risk is high with food or waterborne illnesses, bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever, dengue fever, malaria, and leptospirosis topping the list.
  • Ethnicity: mixed 73%, white 16%, black 11%
  • 95% Roman Catholic
  • Language: Spanish
  • The terrain is mostly rugged highlands and mountains and valleys with a lot of coastline.

How to travel to the Dominican Republic

  • Most travelers come to the Dominican Republic by air, flying into Santo Domingo, Santiago, or Punta Cana. Flights from JFK or Miami are relatively cheap, expect to pay between 150 to 300 USD one way.
  • There are also ferries that connect Santo Domingo with Mayagüez, Puerto Rico. It is around a 12 hour ride and the ferries leave three times a week. The cost of a one way ticket is between 114 and 200 USD one way and food costs are $16 for dinner and $12 for breakfast. You will also need to pay a 30 USD fee to get into the Dominican Republic.

Dominican Republic Travel Tips

National parks in the Dominican Republic

  • Los Haitises National Park
  • Jaragua National Park
  • National Park Isla Cabritos
  • Armando Bermudez National Park
  • Jose Del Carmen Ramirez National Park
  • Sierra del Bahoruco National Park
  • Parque Nacional del Este
  • Monte Cristi National Park
  • Parque Historico La Isabela

Dominican Republic News

Dominican Republic History

  • Explored and claimed by Christopher Columbus on his first voyage in 1492, the island of Hispaniola became the base 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.  In 1965, the United States led an intervention in the midst of a civil war sparked by an uprising. Since 1996, regular elections have been held in which opposition candidates have won the presidency.
  • The island was first inhabited by the Taínos, an Arawakan-speaking people who had arrived around A.D. 600.

Topics for Travel to Dominican-Republic

Dominican-Republic Travel Essentials

What to do in Dominican-Republic

  • Find Work
  • Search for Volunteer Opportunities
  • Archaeology Fieldwork in Dominican-Republic
  • Teach English
  • Study Abroad
  • Study a Foreign Language
  • Tattoos in Dominican-Republic
  • Ride a Bike
  • Go Hiking
  • Hitchhike Across Dominican-Republic

Know what you are getting into

Practical Matters for Travel in Dominican-Republic

  • How much money does it cost to travel in Dominican-Republic?
  • Visa Questions
  • How to Stay Healthy in Dominican-Republic
  • Find Doctors and Medical Care in Dominican-Republic
  • Find a Travel Companion
  • Plan your travels to Dominican-Republic

More VagabondJourney.com Travel Guides

Submit Links, Comments, Ideas, and Anecdotes about traveling in the Dominican Republic

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Filed under: Dominican Republic

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 76 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3048 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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