Top Ten Dominican Republic Attractions

Top Ten Dominican Republic Attractions

The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western third of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are shared by two countries. Both by area and population, the Dominican Republic is the second largest Caribbean nation (after Cuba), with 48,442 square kilometers (18,704 sq mi) and an estimated 10 million people. Inhabited by Taínos since the 7th century, the territory of the Dominican Republic was reached by Christopher Columbus in 1492 and became the site of the first permanent European settlement in the Americas, namely Santo Domingo, the country’s capital and Spain’s first capital in the New World. Santo Domingo can boast of many firsts in the Americas, including the first university, cathedral and castle, the latter two in the Ciudad Colonial area. After three centuries of Spanish rule, with French and Haitian interludes, the country became independent in 1821 but was quickly taken over by Haiti. Victorious in the Dominican War of Independence in 1844, Dominicans experienced mostly internal strife, and also a brief return to Spanish rule, over the next 72 years. The U.S. occupation of 1916–1924, and a subsequent, calm and prosperous six-year period under Horacio Vásquez Lajara, were followed by the dictatorship of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina until 1961. The civil war of 1965, the country’s last, was ended by a U.S.-led intervention, and was followed by the authoritarian rule of Joaquín Balaguer, 1966–1978. Since then, the Dominican Republic has moved toward representative democracy, and has been led by Leonel Fernández for most of the time after 1996. The Dominican Republic has the 2nd largest economy in the Caribbean and Central American region. Though long known for sugar production, the economy is now dominated by services. The country’s economic progress is exemplified by its advanced telecommunication system. Nevertheless, unemployment, government corruption and inconsistent electric service remain major Dominican problems. The country also has “marked income inequality.” International migration affects the Dominican Republic greatly, as it receives and sends large flows of migrants. Haitian immigration and the integration of Dominicans of Haitian descent are major issues; the total population of Haitian origin is estimated to be 800,000. A large Dominican diaspora exists, most of it in the US, where it numbers 1.3 million. They aid national development as they send billions of dollars to their families, accounting for one-tenth of the Dominican GDP. The Dominican Republic has become the Caribbean’s largest tourist destination; the country’s year-round golf courses are among the top attractions. In this mountainous land is located the Caribbean’s highest mountain, Pico Duarte, as is Lake Enriquillo, the Caribbean’s largest lake and lowest elevation.

  1. Santo Domingo
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    Santo Domingo, known officially as Santo Domingo de Guzmán, is the capital and largest city in the Dominican Republic. Its metropolitan population was 2,084,852 in 2003, and estimated at 3,294,385 in 2010. The city is located on the Caribbean Sea, at the mouth of the Ozama River. Founded by Bartholomew Columbus in 1496, it is the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the Americas, and was the first seat of Spanish colonial rule in the New World. It lies within the boundaries of the Distrito Nacional, itself bordered on three sides by Santo Domingo Province. Santo Domingo was called “Ciudad Trujillo,” from 1930 to 1961, after the Dominican Republic’s dictator, Rafael Trujillo, named the capital after himself. Following his assassination, the city resumed its original designation. Today, Santo Domingo is the Dominican Republic’s major metropolis and the largest city in the Caribbean by population.
    Links: Cities, Top Ten North American Cities, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santo_Domingo,
  2. Colonial City of Santo Domingo

    Ciudad Colonial is the first settlement made by Christopher Columbus and the Spanish explorers in the New World. Colloquially known as “Zona Colonial” (Colonial Zone), Ciudad Colonial is part of the original Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and the origin of the district dates back to the 16th century. The District is located in the west corner of the Ozama River, which bisects the city. The district today covers less than 5 square kilometers. It is an important section of the city due to the high number of landmarks, including Alcázar de Colón, Fortaleza Ozama, Catedral Primada de America, as well as others.
    Links: Top Ten Explorers, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ciudad_Colonial_%28Santo_Domingo%29,
  3. Carnival of La Vega
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    Description:
    Links: Top Ten Carnivals,
  4. Links: Top Ten Golf Courses, Top Ten North American Golf Courses,