37 Interesting Facts About The Dominican Republic

Situated in Caribbean Archipelago, the Dominican Republic is the second largest country of the Greater Antilles after Cuba. Settled by Taíno people in 7th century AD, the Dominican Republic was discovered by the great explorer, Christopher Columbus on his expedition to the Americas. The Dominican Republic was soon occupied by Spain within a Millennium of its settlement. Due to its enchanting beaches, Spanish got captivated and subjugated the entire island soon. Not only for its beaches, the Dominican Republic is also famous for its pleasant climate, Spanish Art and Architecture and welcomes tourists all year round. If Saona Island is welcoming tourists in the south-east whereas Beata is waiting at the south-west. So pull up a chair, get half-naked and receive a perfect sun-bath at the tranquil beaches of this Breadbasket of the Caribbean, Dominican Republic.

A beach in Dominican RepublicImage: Pixabay

1. 2/3rd Of Hispaniola

Hispaniola covered by Haiti (Left) and Dominican Republic (Right)
Hispaniola covered by Haiti (Left) and Dominican Republic (Right)

About 2/3rd of the Hispaniola Island is under the Jurisdiction of the Dominican Republic and rest is under Haiti. Hispaniola is an island covering about 76,192 square kilometers or 29,400 square miles, of which 48,440 square kilometers or 18,700 square miles area is covered by the Dominican Republic.
Source: britannica.com, Image: Wikimedia

2. Once The Home Of Taino

The Island Hispaniola was the home of the Taino people before the advent of Europeans. Taino people settled here in the 7th century AD. Taino not only settled Hispaniola but, other nearby Caribbean Islands also.
Source: blackhistorymonth.org.uk

3. When Christopher Columbus Landed?

Painting depicting Christopher Columbus landing on Hispaniola and meeting with locals
Painting depicting Christopher Columbus landing on Hispaniola and meeting with locals

According to sources, the first European contact to the Island took place December 5, 1492, when the great explorer, Christopher Columbus arrived, he started to maintain a friendly relationship with the locals. However, later, he claimed the region for Spain and colonized the whole Hispaniola Island. In March 1493, he returned to Spain.
Source: history.com, Image: Wikimedia

4. Flag Of Holy Bible

The Dominical Republic is the only country in the world that has the Holy Bible in its flag.
Source: proprofs.com, GIF: Gfycat

5. It Was Called Santo Domingo!

Map of Hispaniola in the early 19th century
Map of Hispaniola Island in the early 19th century

Yes! formerly, the Dominican Republic was called Santo Domingo until the early 20th century.
Source: Wikipedia, Image: Wikimedia

6. Do They Speak Spanish?

Country’s official language is Spanish. When Spaniards came here, they gave their tongue to the native people of the region. According to the 1514 Census records, about 40% of Spanish men in Santo Domingo were married to Taino women. However, at present, some Dominicans have Taíno ancestry also.
Source: Wikipedia, GIF: hypixel.net

7. Loyalty In Blood

In the Dominican Republic, people are very loyal to their families.
Source: thefactfile.org

8. Famous For The Beaches

A Beach in Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is famous for its white sandy beaches. It houses about 200 beaches and most of them are unspoiled and uncrowded. The Dominican Republic is the most visited country in the Caribbeans.
Source: godominicanrepublic.com, Image: Pixabay

9. Under The Spell Of Santo Domingo

Faro a Colon, Santo Domingo
Faro a Colon, Santo Domingo

The capital city of Santo Domingo is really a charming city. The city offers a variety of things to explore including Museum of the Royal Houses, Plaza de España, Alcázar de Colón, Faro a Colón, Basilica Cathedral of Santa María la Menor, etc. It’s unique culture will get you captivated and lure you to visit again. Faro a Colon is a lighthouse that was erected on the 500th anniversary of the discovery of the island by Christopher Columbus.
Source: theculturetrip.com, Image: Wikimedia

10. The Oldest Cathedral In Americas

Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor, Santo Domingo
Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor, Santo Domingo

Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor is the oldest cathedral in the Americas. It is located in the capital city, Santo Domingo and dates back to 1512.
Source: sacred-destinations.com, Image: Wikipedia

11. Subjugation By Spain And The United States

The Dominican Republic first came under the control of Spain from the 16th century to the 19th century and later until 1965, it was under the domination of the United States.
Source: Wikipedia

12. Once Ruled By A Dictator

Rafael Trujillo
Rafael Trujillo

The Dominican Republic was once ruled by the dictator President Rafael Trujillo. He was the President of the country from 1930 to 1961. He was trained by U.S. Marines in 1918 and elevated to commander in chief of the National Army by 1927. However, he was very effective President and during his tenure, economic growth took place in the country.
Source: history.com, Image: biography.com

13. More Attached To Relatives

People of the Dominican Republic love to live in a joint family. Even after marriage, families do not break up.
Source: thefactfile.org

14. Known For The Golf Courses

La Cana Golf course
La Cana Golf course

The Dominican Republic is a popular destination for those who love playing Golf. It’s golf courses near beaches attracts thousands of golfers each year. It is the premier Golf destination in the Caribbean.
Source: top100golfcourses.com, Image: caribbeangolftours.com

15. Favorite For Weddings And Honeymoons

Couple at the beach of Punta Cana
Couple at the beach of Punta Cana

The Dominican Republic is one of such countries which are considered favorite for weddings and honeymoons. For Americans, it is a popular destination for weddings.
Source: thefactfile.org, Image: Flickr

16. Swim With Humpback Whale

A Diver with Humpback Whale
A Diver with Humpback Whale

Around 90 km north of the Dominican Republic, the Silver Bank is one of the few breeding and calving zones of the North Atlantic Humpback Whale. In 1986, it was declared a whale sanctuary by the then President Joaquin Balaguer. The area was later enlarged and renamed the “Sanctuary for the Marine Mammals of the Dominican Republic.” The Silver Bank and surrounding areas play host to thousands of migrating North Atlantic Humpback Whales each year.
Source: aquaticadventures.com, Image: Flickr

17. Have You Ever Drunk Presidente?

Presidente Beer
Presidente Beer

They have a beer named Presidente. It is among the most distinctive cultural symbols in the Dominican Republic.
Source: dr1.com, Image: Flickr

18. Are They Baseball Lovers?

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Yes! they are Baseball lovers. The National Sport of the Dominican Republic is Baseball and the best Baseball players in the world are Dominicans.
Source: yourconcierge.net, GIF: giphy

19. Oldest City In Americas

Panoramic view of Santo Domingo
Panoramic view of Santo Domingo

The capital city of Santo Domingo is the oldest city in the Americas. It was founded by the brother of Christopher Columbus, Bartholomew Columbus in 1496. It hosted the first colonial rule under the Spanish Crown in the New World.
Source: multiculturalkidblogs.com, Image: Wikimedia

20. Drink Anytime

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In most countries, people take alcohol mostly in the evening, but in the Dominican Republic, it is quite normal to take alcohol at any time of day and night.
Source: thefactfile.org, GIF: gifer.com

21. The Endless Summer

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The country experiences a warm and sunny climate most of the year. This is why the Dominican Republic is also known as the place of the Endless Summer.
Source: usit.ie, GIF: giphy.com

22. Largest Economy In Caribbean

It is the largest economy in the Caribbean region and the ninth largest in Latin America. In past, Agriculture and mining were the main industries in the country but, now the service sector accounts for the dominant part of the economy.
Source: facts.net

23. Country Of The Oldest University In New World

The main Facade of the University
The main facade of the University

Universidad Santo Tomás de Aquino or St. Thomas Aquinas University was the oldest University in the Americas that was founded in 1538 by Spaniards. The University was closed in 1823. The Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo or the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo followed St. Thomas Aquinas University and currently in operation.
Source: Wikipedia, Image: semana.com

24. Challenge The Gravity Here

In the southern Dominican Republic, there is a town named, Polo, which is known for its green mountains and coffee production. In Polo, there is a place called El Polo Magnético  (the magnetic pole), if a car or any vehicle is stopped at the right place, it does not go down the hill. The vehicle rolls up the hill despite the descent. This is an optical illusion and called gravity hills in science.
Source: multiculturalkidblogs.com

25. Armed Forces Do Not Vote

In the Dominican Republic, Soldiers and Policemen are not allowed to cast their vote.
Source: thefactfile.org

26. Oldest Castle In The New World

Alcazar de Colon, Santo Domingo
Alcazar de Colon, Santo Domingo

Alcázar de Colón is the oldest castle and first fortified place in the Americas located in the capital city of the Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo. It was built by the Spaniards in the early 16th century.
Source: visitdominicanrepublic.org, Image: Wikimedia

27. Only Country In The World

Larimar found in Dominican Republic
Larimar found in the Dominican Republic

It is the only country in the World to produce a rare blue variety of the silicate mineral pectolite. It also exists in different colors, i.e., white, light blue, green-blue, dark blue.
Source: thefactfile.org, Image: Wikimedia

28. Honking Is Bearable Here

Image result for Stuck in traffic GIF

If you are driving in the Dominican Republic and held up in the traffic, like others, honk as much as possible. It does not bother Dominicans.
Source: dr1.com, Image: Tenor

29. Unique Carnival Festival

El Carnaval de la Vega, Dominican Republic
El Carnaval de la Vega, Dominican Republic

El Carnaval de la Vega is a carnival festival held annually on February 27 in the city of La Vega. The El Carnaval de la Vega dates back to 1500s when the first European settlers arrived. On this day, the Dominican Republic got independence and festival signifies the victory over evil. People wear haunting devil masks and take part in the procession.
Source: atlasobscura.com, Image: Flickr

30. Delicious Sancocho

Sancocho Soup
Sancocho Soup

Most of the people who visit the Dominican Republic, they do not forget taking Sancocho in their lunch or dinner. Sancocho is a very tasty soup made up of Meat, vegetables, broth, Yuca, and Platano. It is usually served with rice, beans, and salad.
Source: theculturetrip.com, Image: Wikimedia

31. Country Of Erotic Dance

Image result for Merengue dance GIF

Merengue is considered one of the most erotic dances and it was originated in the Dominican Republic.
Source: theculturetrip.com, GIF: Gfycat

32. Abortion Is Banned

Abortion is completely banned in any case in the Dominican Republic. However, some feminist organizations support legalizing abortion in cases of rape, incest or danger to a woman’s life.
Source: Wikipedia

33. See Prehistoric Mosquito

A 15-20 million-year-old mosquito Culex malariager, was discovered in the Dominican Republic preserved in amber
A 15-20 million-year-old mosquito Culex malariager, was discovered in the Dominican Republic preserved in amber stone

In the north of the country, there lies a city, Puerto Plata in which Amber Museum has an amber stone with a prehistoric mosquito preserved inside it.
Source: thefactfile.org, Image: Wikimedia

34. Trend Of Curly Hair

Curly Hair

In the Dominican Republic, most of the women have curly hair. If the hair get straight, they go to the salon to get it fixed.
Source: thefactfile.org, Image: Flickr

35. Home To Threatened Lizard

Rhinoceros Iguana
Rhinoceros Iguana

The rhinoceros iguana is in the vulnerable condition. Only about 10,000 exist in the wild. it is mainly found in Hispaniola shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
Source: Wikipedia, Image: Pixabay

36. Neighbor Also Ruled Over The Dominicans

The neighboring country, Haiti also ruled over the Dominican Republic for around 20 or 22 years from 1821-22 to 1844.
Source: thefactfile.org

37. HIV Is Getting Epidemic

As in 2017, around 67,000 Dominicans have been suffering from deadly disease, AIDS.
Source: unaids.org, Image: leisedireitos.com.br