Dominican Republic


December 8, 2021

The Dominican Republic (República Dominicana) is the second largest country in the Caribbean in terms of area and population. The Dominican Republic comprises mainly the eastern part of the island of Hispaniola, the western part being dominated by the State of Haiti. Bartholomew, the brother of Christopher Columbus, founded the oldest Spanish city in America, Santo Domingo, in 1496.


Image and water bodies

The Dominican Republic is a mountainous state. The mountains and valleys divide it into northern, central, and southwestern regions. To the north are the narrow Atlantic coastal strip, the Cordillera Septentrional Mountains, the Cibao Valley and the Samana Peninsula. The Cordillera Septentrional, which runs along the coast, rises to a maximum of more than a thousand meters. The central parts of the country are dominated by the Cordillera Central, which begins on the Haitian border. Its highest point is Pico Duarte, which rises to 3,175 meters and is also the highest mountain in the entire Caribbean. Cordillera Central continues to the east as the Cordillera Oriental, south of which is a coastal plain 240 kilometers long and 10 to 40 kilometers wide. The south-west of the Dominican Republic is the Sierra de Neiba and the Sierra de Bahoruco, and the valley of the Hoya de Enriquillo that separates them.


The climate of the Dominican Republic is tropical, but the climate is mildly influenced by mountainous heels and year-round trade winds. The average annual temperature ranges from 21 degrees in the central mountains to 28 degrees in the coastal plains. The mountainous northeast receives the most rain, with more than 2,540 millimeters a year. Inland, near the Haitian border, rainfall is only 760 millimeters. The Dominican Republic is a hurricane zone. Hurricanes are found there from June to November. A tropical storm or hurricane hits the area on average every two years. In 1979, Hurricane David caused severe damage. On the island of Hispaniola, 1,200 people died and 80,000 were left homeless.

Living nature

The vegetation of the Dominican Republic varies from lush rainforest to deserts. Indigenous forests continue to grow in mountainous areas, but forests have been felled from the lower parts and valleys of many slopes. Grasslands and rainforest grow in the wetter areas and shallow shrubs and bushes grow in drier areas. Some coastal areas, in turn, have mangroves. More than 300 species of palms and 5,600 other plant species grow in the country. The fauna includes crocodiles, iguanas and 254 bird species. Hispaniolanamatsoni is a native parrot species on the island. Palmulainen is the national bird of the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic has 16 national parks and 67 other nature reserves. The most popular national parks include Armando Bermúdez National Park, which includes the Pico Duarte Peak, and Jose del Carmen Ramirez National Park. Jaragua National Park is in the most remote part of the country on the Pedernales Peninsula. It is the largest in the country and is known for its diverse birdlife and sea turtles nesting on the shores.


The natives of the island of Hispaniola are the Tao Indians. Christopher Columbus landed on the island of Hispaniola in 1492. The diseases brought by the Spaniards, their colonial policies, and wars collapsed the number of dungplants from about a million to less than a thousand in a few decades. The Spaniards began producing African slaves for their sugar crops, and by 1520, almost all farm workers were of African background. The Spanish was the first target of Spanish colonial activity. Santo Domingo was inhabited as early as 1496, and the first cathedral, monastery, hospital, and university in America were established on the island. Hispaniola flourished in the first half of the 16th century, but Spanish interest shifted from the island to Mexico and Peru, where more readily available gold and silver were found.

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