The Dominican Republic is located in the heart of the Caribbean, where the waters of the Atlantic Ocean bathe the northern part of the island; to the east, the Mona Passage separates us from Puerto Rico; on the west side we share the island with Haiti; and the warmth and blue hues of the Caribbean Sea shine in the south.
In his diary, the admiral described this land as: “The most beautiful land that human eyes have seen.” He called it “Hispaniola” and from here the Spaniards went to conquer the so-called “New World”.
The island was inhabited by “Tainos”, an Indian ethnic group whose lifestyle was based on hunting, fish and fruit gathering, developing a culture around these activities, until the moment that history calls “the meeting of two cultures “: the arrival of the Spanish conquerors under the command of Admiral Cristóbal Colón on December 5, 1942.
The Dominican Republic has the ninth largest economy in Latin America and is the largest economy in the Caribbean and Central America region. Although it has long been known for agriculture and mining, the economy is now dominated by services. In the past two decades, the Dominican Republic has stood out as one of the fastest growing economies.
The Dominican Republic is the most visited destination in the Caribbean. Year-round golf courses are among the country’s top attractions. A geographically diverse nation, “Pico Duarte” is the highest mountain peak in the Caribbean and “Lago Enriquillo” is the largest lake and lowest elevation point, located at sea level.
The country is also the site of the first cathedral, castle, monastery and fortress built in all of the Americas, most of them located in the Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo, an area declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Music and sports are of great importance in Dominican culture, with merengue and bachata as the national dance and music, while baseball is the favorite sport.
Ecotourism has also been an increasingly important issue in our country, with cities like Jarabacoa and neighboring Constanza, as well as destinations like Barahona, Bahía de las Águilas, and others that have become more important in efforts to increase sustainability.
Most visitors from other countries must purchase a tourist card to enter the country, depending on the country of citizenship.
The Dominican peso (DOP or RD $) is the national currency, with the United States dollar (USD), Canadian dollar (CAD), and the euro (EUR) also accepted at most tourist sites.
Dominican cuisine is predominantly Spanish, Taino, and African. The typical cuisine is quite similar to what can be found in other Latin American countries, but many of the names of the dishes are different. A breakfast dish consists of eggs and mangú (boiled banana puree). For more hearty versions, the mangú is accompanied by fried meat (Dominican salami, typically) and / or cheese. Similar to the Spanish tradition, lunch is generally the biggest and most important meal of the day. Lunch usually consists of rice, meat (such as chicken, beef, pork, or sh!), Beans, and a serving of salad. “La Bandera” (literally “La Bandera”) is the most popular lunch dish; It consists of meat and red beans on white rice. Sancocho is a stew often made with seven varieties of meat. Meals tend to favor meats and starches over dairy products and vegetables.
Many dishes are made with sofrito, which is a mixture of local herbs used as a wet way to eat and sauté to bring out all the flavors in a dish. Throughout the south-central coast, bulgur, or whole wheat, is a main ingredient in quipes or tipili (bulgur salad). Other favorite Dominican foods are chicharrón, yuca, casabe, pastelitos (empanadas), sweet potatoes, yams, leaf cakes, chimi, tostones (a plate of fried plantain). Some goodies that Dominicans enjoy are arroz con leche (or arroz con dulce), bizcocho dominicano (lit. Dominican cake), beans with sweet, cold cold (snow cones), and caña (sugar cane).
The drinks that Dominicans enjoy are Morir Soñando, rum, beer, Mama Juana, mabí and coffee.
For dessert, the chaca (also called maiz caqueao / casqueado, corn with candy and corn with milk), the last item found only in the southern provinces of the country such as San Juan.
Musically, the Dominican Republic is known for the worldwide popular musical style and genre called merengue, a type of lively, fast-paced rhythm and dance music consisting of a tempo of approximately 120 to 160 beats per minute (although it varies) based on the musical elements such as drums, brass, stringed instruments and accordion, as well as some exclusive elements of the Spanish-speaking Caribbean, such as the tambora and the güira.
Bachata, a form of music and dance that originated in the countryside and rural slums of the Dominican Republic, has become quite popular in recent years. Her themes are often romantic; stories of heartbreak and sadness are especially frequent. In fact, the original name for the genre was amargue (“bitterness” or “bitter music” or blues music), until the rather ambiguous (and mood-neutral) term bachata became popular. Bachata grew out of the pan-Latin American romantic style called bolero, and is still closely related to it. Over time, it has been influenced by the merengue and by a variety of Latin American guitar styles.