Here are 32 fun and interesting facts about the Dominican Republic:
#1 It is the oldest country in the Americas, the 2nd largest country in the Caribbean, and the first place reached by Christopher Columbus in 1492.
#2 It occupies the eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles which lies in the center of the hurricane belt. It is subject to tropical storms from June to October.
#3 It is one of the world’s smallest countries with an area of 48,670 square miles (approximately twice the size of New Hampshire).
#4 This country has a total coastline of about 800 miles (1,288 kilometers). A part of the coastline is lined dramatically with rocky cliffs, some of it has fabulous white-sand beaches shaded by rows of palm trees, and other has clear mangrove lagoons or wind-swept dunes.
#5 For more than 5,000 years before Columbus discovered America for the Europeans, Hispaniola island was inhabited by Amer-Indians. However, in 1492, Christopher Columbus visited this remarkable island, that he named Hispaniola (literally translating as “Little Spain”).
#6 Spain ordered the depopulation of the west part of the Hispaniola island because of piracy, in 1606. Moreover, by 1697, the Spanish administrators of the Hispaniola island shared approximately fifty percent of the island of the territory with the French, which lastly becomes Haiti.
#7 The entire island of Hispaniola declared independence from Spain in 1821. In 1861, the Dominicans returned to the Spanish Empire, however, a few years later, they started a war which restored their independence.
#8 The capital of this country is Santo Domingo and is also the oldest city in the New World. It was founded in 1496 by Christopher Columbus’ brother – Bartholomew Columbus. In the present day, the capital city has a population of about 3 million people.
#9 In 1562, this capital city was destroyed by an earthquake. In addition, in 1856, it was burnt down by Sir Francis Drake, a British explorer.
Santiago de los Caballeros
#10 The 2nd ranked city (in terms of population and developments) is Santiago de los Caballeros and is known as the capital of the Cibao region. This city is situated in the heart of the fertile Cibao Valley, on the Yaque del Norte River, and it has a population of around 550,753 people.
#11 “Catedral de Santa Maria La Menor” in this country is considered to be the oldest cathedral in the Americas as well as the first Catholic diocese established in the New World.
#12 In May 2016, Danilo Medina Sanchez, an elected member of the Political Committee of the PLD, was re-elected as president. Sanchez 1st came to power on August 16, 2012, succeeding President Leonel Fernandez Reyna. Wide-ranging reforms have led to progress in administrative efficiency, boosting this country entrepreneurial environment.
#13 Spanish is the official language of this fantastic country, however, Italian, English, French, and German, are spoken all over the island. Also, approximately 8,000 people (the majority descended from United States slaves who came to this country during the U.S. Civil War) speak an English creole.
#14 The official currency is Peso that is similar to the United States dollar. Moreover, each peso constitutes 100 centavos. Most of the restaurants and hotels in the tourist zones usually display their prices in US dollars as well as in Pesos. Moreover, some places will accept Euros.
#15 About 95 percent of the population are Roman Catholics, while the other 5 percent follow different religions or none.
#16 It is the only country in the world to have an image of the Holy Bible on its national flag, and it was adopted on November 6, 1844. It is believed to be the oldest national flag in the world.
#17 In 2017, the total population is 10,766,564, plus, around 1 million Dominicans live part or full-time in New York City.
#18 Mama Juana, a brew of twigs and bark and herbs, is an alcoholic drink unique to this country. It is also considered an aphrodisiac.
#19 This country is acknowledged to have developed the Merengue style of music that is fast-paced, rhythmic dance music.
#20 The Rhinoceros Iguana, a threatened species of lizard in the family Iguanidae, is indigenous to this island.
#21 Mt. Duarte (3,175 m/10,417 ft), is the highest mountain in the DR and is located approximately 53 miles north-east of the island’s lowest point, Lake Enriquillo.
#22 Lago Enriquillo, dipping 135 feet below sea level and an area of 265 km², is the lowest point in the Caribbean.
#23 This country is the only place in the world where Larimar is mined. It is a rare form of blue pectolite with an appearance just like the colors of the ocean in tropical areas.
#24 The DR has produced four MVP Award winners, including – Albert Pujols, Miguel Tejada, Vladimir Guerrero, and Sammy Sosa.
#25 It has beautiful tropical weather all year long with an average temperature of 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius).
#26 It has more blue flag beaches than any other Caribbean island. In addition, most beaches have resorts and other lodging facilities attached. Also, diving, water sports, surfing, and deepsea fishing are popular as well as yacht and boat rentals are available.
#27 Playa Boca Chica, located 20 miles east of the capital, is one of the most popular beaches.
#28 Playa Dorada is one the most celebrated beaches along the Amber Coast.
#29 Boca Chica Beach, protected by a reef, has some of the calmest waters you will find in the DR.
#30 Juan Luis Guerra, a popular singer in Latin America, was born in the capital city. He has won two Grammy Awards and 18 Latin Grammy Awards over the course of his career and sold more than 30 million records worldwide.
#31 Oscar de la Renta, one of the best-known fashion designers and famous for his women’s evening wear, is Dominican.
#32 Amelia Vega, a Dominican actress, model, singer, and winner of the Miss Universe competition in 2003, is also born in this country.