Flag of Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is a country located on the eastern two-thirds of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, bordering Haiti. Hispaniola is the second-largest of the Greater Antilles islands, and lies west of Puerto Rico and east of Cuba and Jamaica. The Dominican Republic is not to be confused with Dominica, another Caribbean country.

Dominicans sometimes refer to their country as Quisqueya, a name for Hispaniola used by indigenous Taíno people meaning "mother of all lands".

The landscape of the Dominican Republic is forested and mountainous, with valleys, plains and plateaux. There are excellent beaches on the north, southeast and east coasts, rising up to the mountains. The old parts of the capital, Santo Domingo, have been carefully restored to retain their colonial charm. The modern areas contain a thriving port city with discotheques and casinos. A few miles east of the city is a remarkable cave complex, Los Tres Ojos de Agua (The Three Eyes of Water), containing three turquoise lagoons, fed by an underground river and surrounded by stalactites, stalagmites and lush vegetation.

Native Dominican cooking combines Spanish influences with local produce. Local dishes include la bandera (comprising white rice, red beans, stewed meat, salad and fried plantain) and cassava (fried yucca) Locally produced beer and rum are relatively cheap. For nightlife, the choice varies from a Las Vegas-style revue, discotheques and casinos to a quiet cafe by the sea in Santo Domingo. The national music, merengue, is celebrated in several festivals which draw large numbers of national and international musicians.

Map of the Dominican Republic