There are so many interesting facts about the Dominican Republic that most people are not familiar with! The Dominican Republic has plenty of culture, a fascinating history and heaps of exciting geography facts… and this article I will share the best of them with you. Read on to learn all about the Dominican Republic!
- Facts About Dominican Republic
- 1. The Dominican Republic Has the Lowest Point in the Caribbean
- 2. The Dominican Republic Has a Rich Ecosystem
- 3. The Dominican Republic Owns the Highest Peak in the Caribbean
- 4. The Dominican Flag Has Many Meanings
- 5. There’s a Stereotype that Dominicans Struggle With Punctuality
- 6. The Dominican Republic Produces Great Rum
- 7. Larimar Stone Is Only Produced in the Dominican Republic
- 8. The Dominican Republic Is One of the Best Places for Whale Watching
- 9. Feb 27 Is the Dominican Republic’s Independence Day
- 10. Spanish Is the Official Language of the Dominican Republic
- 11. The Dominican Republic Has a Unique Phenomenon
- 12. The Dominican Republic Produces a Lot of Fruits
- 13. The Godfather II Was Filmed in the Dominican Republic
- 14. The Dominicans Love Joint Families!
- 15. La Bandera Is the Dominican National Dish
- 16. Dominicans Have Mixed Races
- 17. The Dominican Republic Is Not a Small Country
- 18. What Are the Faceless Dolls All Over the Dominican Republic?
- 19. The Dominican Republic Loves Baseball
- 20. The Dominican Republic Was Discovered by Christopher Columbus
- 21. Cabarete, Dominican Republic Is the Kiteboarding Capital of the World
- 22. The Dominican Republic Has a Tasty Replacement for French Fries
- 23. President Beer Is the National Beer in the Dominican Republic
- 24. Dominicans Created Merengue
- 25. Dominican Republic Is More Than 1000 Years Old
- 26. Punta Cana Is Worth a Visit
- 27. Don’t Miss the Waterfalls of Damajagua
- 28. The Country Has a Lot of Beautiful Birds
- 29. Dominican Republic Is One of the Largest Cocoa Producers
- 30. Dominican Republic Has Many Festivals and Celebrations
Facts About Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is the classic example of “don’t judge a book by its cover”. It may seem like a small country, but it’s one of the largest ones in the Caribbean region.
Additionally, the country is a paradise, with magnificent natural landmarks, rich history, and vibrant culture.
So, if you want to know more, read these facts about Dominican Republic!
1. The Dominican Republic Has the Lowest Point in the Caribbean
Lake Enriquillo, located in the southwestern Dominican Republic, is the lowest point in the entire Caribbean region.
The lake has hypersalinity and is one of the saltiest lakes in the world. It is also the largest lake in the Caribbean. When it comes to its elevation, Lake Enriquillo’s surface level is below sea level (-45 metres)!
Lake Enriquillo has a depth of 52 metres or 171 feet. It is known for housing the largest population of American crocodiles, and the endemic species, Hispaniolan slider turtle.
There are more than 90 bird species surrounding the lake’s area as well. Hence, these facts about Dominican Republic are for those who love bird-watching!
2. The Dominican Republic Has a Rich Ecosystem
The country boasts a rich ecosystem due to its strategic location in the Caribbean. There are beaches and coastal shores, lovely rainforests (about 43% of the country), 18 national parks, 6 protected reserves, and 2 marine sanctuaries.
3. The Dominican Republic Owns the Highest Peak in the Caribbean
Apart from having the lowest point, the country also has the highest peak in the Caribbean, Pico Duarte.
Pico Duarte is located on Hispaniola island and is a part of the Cordillera Central range. It has an elevation of 3,101 metres or 10,174 feet above sea level. Therefore, the mountain also provides the 16th highest elevation of any island in the world.
The peak is known for trekking and hiking activities, as they’re suitable for beginner to intermediate hikers. The hike takes at least two to three days as you’ve to cover 49 kilometres round trip.
4. The Dominican Flag Has Many Meanings
Let’s discuss some flag-related facts about the Dominican Republic.
The Dominican Republic’s flag symbolises the country’s history, objectives, and aspirations. It consists of three main colours, each having its own meaning.
The blue colour stands for liberation, whereas the red colour symbolizes the blood of the countrymen. The white colour stands for salvation and peace.
You’ll also find objects like White Cross, representing the country’s faith in Christianity. It also has the Trinitarian Motto, standing for “God, Fatherland, Liberty”.
5. There’s a Stereotype that Dominicans Struggle With Punctuality
Here are some cultural facts about Dominican Republic.
Although no one knows exactly how true it is, many people believe that the Dominicans aren’t on time. Keep in mind that this practice isn’t followed in business meetings.
However, you may notice that many social events in the country start half an hour or an hour after the discussed time!
Keep in mind that this is just a cultural stereotype, and it differs from person to person.
6. The Dominican Republic Produces Great Rum
Do you love reading about alcohol and its types? If so, you’ll love these facts about Dominican Republic.
The country is popular for rum-making, as it offers just the perfect temperature and terrain for sugarcane production. The sugarcane produced here is often of high quality and imparts a fresh sweetness to the rum.
Traditional rum-making practices, like ageing the rum in oak barrels for a long period of time, also help with producing good-quality rum.
Some of the popular rum brands in the Dominican Republic include Brugal 1888 and Vizcaya VXOP Cask 21.
7. Larimar Stone Is Only Produced in the Dominican Republic
There are some facts about Dominican Republic, that are unique to the country.
For example, the Larimar is an elegant semi-precious gemstone with a beautiful blue-green colour.
In fact, the gemstone’s name is based on its colour. Larimar consists of two words – “Lari” and “mar”. “Lari” is the daughter of the stone’s discoverer, whereas “Mar” is the Spanish word for sea. Hence, the latter describes the stone’s similarity to the sea’s crystal-clear waters.
Larimar stone is found only in the Dominican Republic, specifically around Barahona city.
8. The Dominican Republic Is One of the Best Places for Whale Watching
If you love whales, you need to know these facts about Dominican Republic!
The Dominican Republic is the perfect place for whale-watching due to the migration of the Humpback Whales.
During the cold months between January and March, Humpback Whales travel from the Atlantic waters to the warm waters of the coast surrounding the Dominican Republic. The purpose behind it is to mate and give birth.
The country also has whale-watching tours that take you around locations near the coasts like Punta Cana, Santo Domingo, and Puerto Plata.
9. Feb 27 Is the Dominican Republic’s Independence Day
The Dominican Republic got independence from Haiti’s rule on Feb 27th, 1844. Every year. However, the country came under Spanish rule again in 1861. Then, it received freedom from Spain in 1865.
Every year the Dominicans celebrate Independence Day with various cultural events and parades.
10. Spanish Is the Official Language of the Dominican Republic
Here are some language-related facts about Dominican Republic.
The major population of the country speaks Spanish, and it’s also the official language. There are many dialects, out of which the Dominican Spanish dialect is the most popular one.
More than 10 million Dominicans speak Spanish over any other language. However, apart from this, English and French are also popular languages and are taught in schools. Some with Haitian heritage also speak Haitian Creole.
11. The Dominican Republic Has a Unique Phenomenon
The southwest town of Polo may seem like a gravity-defying zone. When you place your car at neutral while going downhill, it will go uphill! However, note that this is simply an optical illusion due to the road’s shape.
12. The Dominican Republic Produces a Lot of Fruits
It’s no surprise that the Dominican Republic produces several fruits, as the country boasts many forests and plantations.
Fruits such as mango, pineapple, banana, guava, and coconuts are the main fruit produces. The country is also the second-largest producer of avocados, right after Mexico. It produces 8% of the world’s avocados!
13. The Godfather II Was Filmed in the Dominican Republic
If you’re a cinephile, these facts about Dominican Republic will impress you!
The Godfather II, the sequel to the famous The Godfather, had several scenes that were shot in the Dominican Republic.
Most scenes that were apparently shown as Cuba, were actually parts of the Dominican Republic. The El Embajador Hotel in Santo Domingo is one such popular filming location for the movie.
14. The Dominicans Love Joint Families!
Unlike the West world where the concept of joint families barely exists, the Dominican Republic has a different approach.
Dominicans focus on family values and living together. Therefore, you’ll find many people from different generations living in the same home sometimes.
15. La Bandera Is the Dominican National Dish
The Dominican Republic is full of delicious dishes for those who love additional flavours and spices.
La Bandera, the national dish of the Dominican Republic, is a combination of rice, meat, and red beans. It is frequently served with salad.
The name itself means “The Flag”, as the dish resembles the various colours of the flag.
16. Dominicans Have Mixed Races
The population of the Dominican Republic consists of several races.
73% are of mixed African and European (Spanish) descent, 17% are African, and the rest 10% are indigenous or natives.
17. The Dominican Republic Is Not a Small Country
These facts about Dominican Republic are quite surprising!
The Dominican Republic seems like a tiny country on the map. Yet, it is the second-largest country in the Caribbean, after Cuba.
It is spread across an area of 48,670 square kilometres. Hence, its size is almost similar to Slovakia!
18. What Are the Faceless Dolls All Over the Dominican Republic?
I won’t lie these facts about Dominican Republic spooked me out a bit!
Muñecas Limé, also known as the faceless dolls, are a traditional craft of the country. They’ve both cultural and spiritual significance, as the dolls are believed to ward away any evil energy.
The Dominican craftsmen make these dolls using yarn and cloth. They are also decorated with flowers, hats, and pretty dresses.
19. The Dominican Republic Loves Baseball
You’ll love these facts about Dominican Republic if you love baseball!
Almost a million kids in the Dominican Republic love playing baseball. The country has also given birth to extraordinary baseball players like Juan Marichal, Manny Ramírez, Vladimir Guerrero, and many more.
Baseball is also the national sport of the Dominican Republic. The Dominicans also refer to baseball as “pelota”.
20. The Dominican Republic Was Discovered by Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus discovered many present-day countries in the Americas, including the Dominican Republic.
During Columbus’ first voyage in 1492, he reached the island of Hispaniola, in the Dominican Republic, and established control over it.
21. Cabarete, Dominican Republic Is the Kiteboarding Capital of the World
Cabarete, located on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, is popular for kiteboarding.
Kiteboarding is a water sport, which involves pulling a rider across the water using a power kite. Cabarete is perfect for kiteboarding as it has consistent winds to carry out kiteboarding. There are many skilled instructors to help you kiteboard as well.
I love how the town also has a competition, “Master of the Ocean” for people skilled in kiteboarding.
22. The Dominican Republic Has a Tasty Replacement for French Fries
This list isn’t complete without discussing the food facts about Dominican Republic!
The Dominican Republic has its own form of french fries, known as plantains.
Plantains are a type of starchy and firm fruit, related to bananas. The unripe fruits are sliced and then, fried. They’re often served as sides with various savoury and sweet dishes. You can also eat them with some delicious dips.
23. President Beer Is the National Beer in the Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic has its own national beer, the President Beer.
The Cervecería Nacional Dominicana (CND), the largest brewery in the Dominican Republic, produces the President Beer. It contains 5% alcohol by volume.
Also, as the name suggests, the founders decided to honour the then-president of the Dominican Republic, Rafael Trujillo.
The beer gained immense popularity and soon became a symbol of celebration and pride for the Dominicans.
24. Dominicans Created Merengue
If you love exploring the music of different countries, here are some musical facts about Dominican Republic.
Merengue, a type of music and dance, originated in the Dominican Republic. It is influenced by African, European, and indigenous dance and music forms.
The best part about Merengue is how energetic it is! You’ll get to experience entire Merengue festivals held in Santo Domingo and Puerto Plata too.
25. Dominican Republic Is More Than 1000 Years Old
Here are some historical facts about the Dominican Republic. I was surprised to know that the country is more than 1000 years old!
Before the arrival of the Spaniards and the British, present-day Hispaniola Island was under the control of the Taino indigenous community around 1200 CE. The tribe continued to live there for ages.
Sadly, due to the invasion of the Europeans and deadly diseases, like smallpox, the community ceased to exist.
26. Punta Cana Is Worth a Visit
If you’re looking for a serene beach town to visit, Punta Cana is waiting for you.
Located on the easternmost tip of the Dominican Republic, Punta Cana is an exciting tourist town. You can find almost everything here – pristine beaches, luxurious beaches, a tantalizing nightlight, and obviously, the cheerful spirit of any charming place!
Some of the most magnificent beaches to visit in Punta Cana include Playa Macao and Bavaro Beach. You can also explore the deep waters through snorkelling and scuba diving available in the region.
27. Don’t Miss the Waterfalls of Damajagua
I adore waterfalls, so these facts about Dominican Republic are my personal favourites!
The 27 Waterfalls of Damajagua are situated in Puerto Plata and offer spectacular sights. Keep in mind that it can easily take more than five hours to explore the whole area properly!
There are many things to do at the waterfalls. You can hike through the rainforests, slide through the natural slides of the waterfall, or just relax in the calming turquoise waters.
28. The Country Has a Lot of Beautiful Birds
Do you love birds? Then, these facts about Dominican Republic will make you want to visit the country ASAP!
As of July 2022, the country is home to more than 320 bird species. There are exotic and endemic bird species, like the White-fronted Quail-Dove, La Selle Thrush, Hispaniolan Trogon, and Hispaniolan Highland-Tanager.
You’ll also see some common birds flying across the country, like Palmchat (the national bird of the country), Hispaniolan Lizard-Cuckoo, and Vervain Hummingbird.
29. Dominican Republic Is One of the Largest Cocoa Producers
Just like other Central American countries, the Dominican Republic is widely known for being one of the top producers of cocoa.
The country has ideal temperature, terrain, and rainfall for the growth of cocoa trees, Theobroma cacao. The cocoa produced here, like criollo and trinitario, has distinct and rich flavours, unlike any other varieties.
In 2015, the cocoa exports of the country reached $261 million, as it was exporting 60% of the world’s organic cocoa.
30. Dominican Republic Has Many Festivals and Celebrations
If you want to soak in the culture and festivities, these facts about Dominican Republic are for you.
The country is high on celebrations and traditions. For example, the Dominican Carnival is an all-out festival in February. Many cities engage in parades, and dances, and lift up the spirit of the country!
The week before Easter, Semana Santa, is also a spiritual week for the Dominicans. You’ll find many people in the churches, along with traditional meals being cooked.
Festival del Merengue, held in Santo Domingo in July, celebrates the country’s music and dance.
Further Reading – Facts About Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is an enchanting country with a lot to show for itself!
I hope these facts about Dominican Republic were interesting enough and helped you know more about the country.
If you enjoyed this post, you can also check out some of my other posts too!