This is an educational and informative article that includes all general information and facts about the Dominican Republic. By reading it, you will learn many things that will make your stay in this unique country easier. From the article you will learn:

  • The country of the Dominican Republic, general facts
  • Dominican Islands
  • Which country is nearby
  • Safety
  • Flag
  • Emblem
  • Language
  • Currency and money
  • Time zone
  • Tourism in the Dominican Republic
  • Sites or domains of the Dominican Republic
  • Climate
  • Population and area of the country
  • Phone code
  • Religion
  • Some interesting facts about the Dominican Republic

General information and facts about the Dominican Republic

Let’s go in order and briefly tell you about each point. After reading, you will have a general understanding of the Dominican Republic.

The country of the Dominican Republic, general facts

The Dominican Republic is located in the Western Hemisphere on the Antilles Islands in the Caribbean Sea.

The capital of the country is the city of Santo Domingo.

It is a presidential republic, where the president appoints the main positions in the country and provinces.

The highest peak in the Dominican Republic is Pico Duarte at 3093m above sea level. This same peak is also the highest point of all the Antilles Islands and the Caribbean Basin.

facts about the Dominican Republic
We are at the top of the Caribbean Basin, but you can find more information about this in the pages of this guidebook.

Useful to know:

People often ask if the Dominicana and Dominican Republic are different countries or not. The answer is: they are the same country. But the confusion comes from the country called Dominica. Dominica is often mistaken for the Dominican Republic. Dominica is another small country also located in the Caribbean Basin.

Dominican Islands

The Dominican Republic is an island nation. 97% of the country’s area is located on the island of Haiti (Hispaniola). In addition to the Dominican Republic, the island of Haiti also includes the country of Haiti. This is the only country with a land border with the Dominican Republic.

In addition to the island of Haiti (Hispaniola), the Dominican Republic includes several dozen islands, but people live only on the four largest of them:

  • Saona
  • Catalina
  • Beata
  • Island of Bacardi or Cayo Levantado

Interesting to know:

To understand the sizes of the islands, I have listed them in order of decreasing area. And while Saona is a fairly large island, Bacardi, the fourth largest island, is about 1200m by 800m and has an area of only 1 sq km. There is only one hotel and a paradise beach on this island.
general information about the Dominican republic
Bacardi Island Beach

Which country is nearby

As already written, the Dominican neighbor on land is the Republic of Haiti. This is one of the poorest countries in the world. Today in Haiti there is a high level of crime, hunger and poverty, disease, and in the 21st century they can buy or sell a person here.

The Dominican Republic guards its land border with Haiti very seriously. There are hundreds of military bases and checkpoints here. Another 100 km from the border, there are points for checking documents and inspecting cars traveling from the direction of the Haitian border.

Interesting fact:

When we were driving from Santo Domingo in the direction of Haiti, we were never stopped. But on the way back, for a section of the road 100 km, there were 4 inspections of cars and 2 checks of documents. There were so few identity checks because we are fair-skinned and don’t look like Haitians at all.

Nevertheless, there are many illegal Haitians in the Dominican Republic, according to unofficial data, about 1.5 million people. They are all fleeing their country for a better life. By the way, this also affected safety in the Dominican Republic itself.

Safety

In general, the Dominican Republic is considered a safe country. But at the same time, many things are still striking to the Europeans and to me personally. Here are a few facts about safety in the Dominican Republic:

  • All windows in all houses in the country have grates.
  • There are certain areas that are not recommended for tourists to visit.
  • Local residents always lock all doors, windows, gates, and put on more padlocks at night.
  • It is not recommended to walk around at night, except in popular resorts, where there is a lot of police presence and robberies and theft are minimized.
safety in dominicana facts
Such fences with grates and barbed wire are commonly found in the Dominican Republic.

For more information about safety in the Dominican Republic, read the article at the link. There you will find out where to hide your money, how many times we were tried to be robbed and many tips that will help you prepare for a trip here. Spoiler: it’s not as scary as it’s written.

Flag of the Dominican Republic

The photo below shows the flag of the country itself.

facts about the Dominican republic flag
The Dominican flag, with a small coat of arms in the center

And now a very brief history of its origin.

  • Until 1821, the Dominican Republic was under Spanish control for its entire history.
  • In 1821, the country gained independence.
  • And in 1822, it was occupied by the Republic of Haiti.
  • Only 16 years later, the now national hero Juan Pablo Duarte revolted and was able to liberate the Dominican Republic from the invaders.
  • The flag of Haiti is two horizontal stripes, blue on top and red on the bottom.
  • Duarte simply added a white Catholic cross to the Haitian flag and since then it has been the national flag of the Dominican Republic.

Emblem of the Dominican Republic

The Emblem of the country can be seen in the photo below.

general information about the Dominican republic coat of arms
Coat of Arms of the Dominican Republic

There is not such a story behind the coat of arms as there is with the flag. However, approximately six years after being liberated from Haitian occupiers, in 1844, the country gained its own coat of arms.

It changed several times and finally took its modern form in 1896. You see this coat of arms even now.

As part of the coat of arms you can find: two national flags, spears, a cross, a bible, a laurel branch and a palm branch.

The national language of the Dominican Republic

The reason is simple, Christopher Columbus landed on the island of Hispaniola (present-day Haiti and the Dominican Republic) during his first voyage in 1492. Since then, this land belonged to the Spanish crown, which Columbus served.

The country was under Spanish rule for almost 350 years, while the Dominican Republic has only been independent for about 170 years. Therefore, it is not surprising that the official language of the country is Spanish.

It is important to know:

Dominican people very poorly know English, many cannot even count, even those who work with tourists. This is a big problem and really creates difficulties in communication.

We learned the basics of Spanish while traveling faster than they learned English. Only a few local residents can speak English to some extent, but even they have such a pronunciation that I doubted whether it was English at first.

I recommend that everyone who is planning to come here for a vacation and does not know Spanish, at least the basics, read an article about the Spanish language for tourists in the Dominican Republic. 10 phrases that will make your vacation a lot easier.

Currency and money

Today the official currency of the country is the Dominican peso. However, in the early 20th century, the country came under financial control of the United States and received a grant from America.

Therefore, to this day, the Dominican Republic has not been able to rid itself of the influence of the dollar. The American dollar is accepted almost everywhere here, even in grocery stores, pharmacies, cafes, and restaurants, etc.

There are, of course, a few nuances that you need to know, but you can read about them and many other aspects of money and currency in the Dominican Republic in the article at the link. There you will find everything a tourist needs to know: where to exchange, what exchange rate, how to save, what currency to bring with you, etc.

General information and interesting facts about the Dominican Republic
The Dominican peso. There are also coins of various denominations from 1 to 25 pesos.

What is the time zone in the Dominican Republic?

Dominican Republic is located in the Western Hemisphere in the UTC-4 time zone.

For example, Washington is located in the UTC -5 time zone, Los Angeles is in the UTC -8 time zone, and London is in the UTC 0 time zone.

By simple calculations, we find that: Los Angeles is 4 hours behind Dominican Republic, Washington is 1 hour behind, and London is 4 hours ahead.

Facts and general information about tourism in the Dominican Republic

Tourism in the country accounts for about 15-20% of its GDP, which is not as much as the Maldives, but still a lot. Of course, a country with eternal summer, an ocean and a sea could not be deprived of tourists.

Interesting to know

By the way, I often get asked where to go on vacation in the Dominican Republic or the Maldives. Read the link for the main differences and tips on what to choose.

If we return to tourism, the country was visited by more than 5 million tourists in 2022, with a population of 10.5 million. This is a worthy indicator.

Most tourists arrive in the Dominican Republic from:

  • United States, as it is close to them, just like Europeans traveling to Turkey.
  • Spain – of course, after all it was a former colony and the language is the same
  • France – very convenient direct flights from Paris several times a week with AirFrance.”

Sites or domains of the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic has its own domain zone.

All websites of this country are located at the addresses: website.do

General information and facts about the climate in the Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic is located in the tropics and has a rainy season that lasts for 4 months. Here is what tourists need to know about the climate in the Dominican Republic:

  • The temperature of the air varies between 25 and 30 degrees Celsius (77-86 °F) throughout the year, which is very comfortable.
  • “The rainy season, although long, does not rain all day. Rain usually falls in the afternoon and at night. And after them, the sun always comes out, unless it’s night.”
  • “The main rains fall on the northern resorts. The south always has a drier weather.”
  • “There are three times more annual precipitation on the north than on the south.”

Read more about the weather, climate, rainy season, how to choose a resort, and the best time to visit in the article “Weather in the Dominican Republic

General information and facts about the Dominican Republic: population and area of the country

According to the latest census, the population of the country is almost 10.5 million people. The area is 49,000 sq km.

To give you an idea of how much this is, let’s compare it to a similar country whose size and population is well known: Portugal.

DominicanaPortugal
Population, million10,510
Area, thousand sq.km.4992
Population density, people/sq.km215110
There is a clear trend that the Dominican Republic is a country of modest size, but the population density here is quite high. The area of the country is 2 times smaller than that of Portugal, and the population density is 2 times greater.

The country is very poor, according to the Ministry of Statistics, more than 35% of the country’s population is below the poverty line. And the coronavirus has not reduced this group, but even increased it.

The ethnographic composition of the Dominican Republic is as follows:

  • Mestizos, they are also indigenous Dominicans, make up the majority – about 60% of the country’s population
  • African Americans – 16%. Most of them are from Haiti.
  • Europeans – 15%, they are usually expats in the first generation.

Phone code of the Dominican Republic

Everything is simple here and in the Dominican Republic the same international code as in the USA + 1. But since there are three mobile operators in the country, each has its own prefix.

Therefore, in order to understand that you are being called from the Dominican Republic, the number must begin with one of three combinations:

  • +1-809
  • +1-829
  • +1-849

For more information about coverage in the Dominican Republic, which operator to choose, packages for the Internet for tourists and much more, read the article mobile communication and Internet in the Dominican Republic.

General information and facts about religion in the Dominican Republic

Christians make up 70% of the country’s population, the advantage is Catholics. By the way, 170 years ago, when Haiti was captured by the Dominican Republic, it was on religious grounds that the Dominican uprising took place.

Since in those days all the inhabitants of the Dominican Republic professed Catholicism, and the Haitians all worshiped the African gods of the medieval tribes.

In addition to Christians, 27% of the country’s population are atheists today and the remaining 3% are distributed among different directions.

General information and interesting facts about weights and measures in the Dominican Republic

With this point we will end such an extensive article. Perhaps the American, getting here, feels at ease.

But for us, Europeans, it is definitely not easy at first. For example, what measures of lengths and weights are used in the country.

  • Milk, wine and gasoline in the Dominican Republic in gallons. Moreover, the size of a gallon is different for different types of liquid.
  • Coca-Cola, for example, in ounces.
  • The weight of food, meat, vegetables and other things only in pounds
  • But the distances, road signs and speed limits in kilometers.

This is unusual, especially at a gas station and in a store, when you try to convert the cost in euros, and you realize that the price, for example, is 21 pesos per pound of potatoes, it’s not clear how much in euros, and you can’t count in one action.

General information and facts about the Dominican Republic weight and volume
228.50 pesos for 1 gallon of 95 gasoline. 1 gallon of gasoline in the Dominican Republic is equal to 3.79 liters. By simple actions, we get 60 pesos per 1 liter. At the rate of 57 pesos for 1 dollar, we find out that a liter of gasoline here costs about 1.05 dollars. And such mathematics with each product 🙂 By the way, gasoline has recently risen in price and in 2023 it costs $ 1.35 per liter

All about prices in the Dominican Republic: food, alcohol, fuel, housing, excursions and much more, read the link.

In conclusion: general information and facts about the Dominican Republic are very extensive and there is much more to write. But here the most important things are collected so that the reader who is going here on his vacation has a correct and fairly complete impression of the Dominican Republic.

This country is definitely worth your attention!


Resources to help you plan your dream trip to Dominican Republic

  • Flights at the best prices with discounts
  • Car rental: DiscoverCars – a largest international resource
  • Hotels and apartments:
    • Hotellook – compares hotel prices among dozens of booking platforms and offer you the best price.
    • Booking – large online booking platform.
    • Agoda – even more accommodation options in Dominican Republic.
  • Vacation packages:
    • Expedia – best deals from Europe.
    • CheapOair – cheap packages from all US cities.
  • Tours, excursions and extreme activities:
    • GetYourGuide – more than 800+ tours and water activities.
    • Viator – 3500+ tours and excursions in Dominican.
  • Comprehensive travel insurance: EKTA
  • Internet and Calls:
    • Airalo – eSIM with internet package.
    • Drimsim – universal SIM card (or eSIM) in any country in the world.
  • Taxi and airport transfers: Intui.Travel