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About the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic or as its offically known in Spanish, República Dominicana, is a Latin American country located in the Greater Antilles archipelago on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. It shares a border with the Republic of Haiti, making it one of two Caribbean islands that are split by two countries. Hispaniola is the second-largest of the Greater Antilles islands, and lies west of Puerto Rico and east of Cuba and Jamaica.

More than 500 years of mixed lapses of prosperity and turmoil give this island-nation the longest historical record of any of the other country in the Western hemisphere: The Dominican Republic is the site of the first permanent European settlement in the Americas, and became the first point of colonization in the Western Hemisphere by explorers from Europe. The Dominican Republic has the first cathedral and university, as well as the first European-built road and fortress, in the Americas. Santo Domingo (originally New Isabela) was also the first colonial capital in the Americas.

The Dominican Republic is situated on the eastern part of the second largest island in the Greater Antilles, Hispaniola. The Dominican Republic shares the island roughly at a 2:1 ratio with Haiti. The whole country measures an area of 44,442 km² making it the second largest country in the Antilles after Cuba. The country's mainland has three mountain ranges, those being Cordillera Central (starting from Haiti towards east crossing the island), Cordillera Septentrional, and Cordillera Oriental in the East. In between the Central and Septentrional mountain ranges lies the rich and fertile Cibao valley. This major valley is home to the city of Santiago de los Caballeros and to most of the farming areas in the nation. The country's capital and greatest metropolitan area, Santo Domingo, is located at the southern shore.

The Dominican Republic has the highest peak in the Caribbean named Pico Duarte(3,087 m / 10,128 ft above sea level) and the Biggest lake in the Caribbean named Lake Enriquillo.

The Dominican Republic has many rivers, including the navigable Soco, Higuamo, Romana (also known as 'Rio Dulce'), Yaque del Norte, Yaque del Sur, Yuna River, Yuma, and Bajabonico. The two largest islands near shore are Saona Island in the southeast and Beata Island in the southwest. To the north, at a distance between 100 and 200 km, are three extensive, largely submerged banks, which geographically are a southeast continuation of the Bahamas: Navidad Bank,Silver Bank and Mouchoir Bank. Navidad Bank and Silver Bank have been officially claimed by the Dominican Republic.

The Dominican Republic uses its rivers and streams to create electricity, and many hydro-electric plants and dams have been created on rivers, including the Bao, Nizao, Ozama, and Higuamo.

A beach on Saona Island.The country is a tropical, maritime nation. Wet season is from May to November, and periodic hurricanes between June and November. Most rain falls in the northern and eastern regions. The average rainfall is 1346 mm, with extremes of 2500 mm in the northeast and 500 mm in the west. The main annual temperature ranges from 21 °C in the mountainous regions to 25 °C on the plains and the coast. The average temperature in Santo Domingo in January is 25 °C and 30 °C in July.


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