56 Fun And Interesting Facts About The Dominican Republic

Wendy’s Big Sacrifice At The Edge Of The Caribbean Sea

I was privileged to be in Santo Domingo for last week’s Live and Invest in the Dominican Republic Conference.

While there were many fun activities to distract me, I didn’t participate… not in a single one.

I abstained completely.

Because I had an important assignment.

My Mission: Attend two-and-a-half days of information-packed presentations to learn all about the Dominican Republic and everything it has to offer.

My Challenge: Condense two-and-a-half days of presentations into a series of reports to showcase this amazing Caribbean country for you.

Sitting inside that conference room when the Caribbean Sea was just outside our windows was a sacrifice, I have to admit… but anything for you, dear reader.

Today I’m delighted to share the next installment in my series:


Basic Fun

  • Location: in the Caribbean Sea, southeast of Cuba
  • Size: second-largest island in the Caribbean (after Cuba)
  • Official Island Name: Hispaniola, which is comprised of the DR and Haiti
  • Capital: Santo Domingo (population 3 million)
  • Political Structure: Democratic with peaceful elections every four years
  • Population: 10 million people
  • Square Kilometers: 40,000
  • Culture: Spanish, European, and Caribbean with modern overlays

Random Fun

  • Sunny Days Per Year: 300+
  • Tourists In 2016: 6 million
  • Percentage Breakdown Of Hispaniola: the DR occupies 75% of the island
  • Most Tourists Come For: Punta Cana
  • Major Crops: sugarcane and rice
  • Second-Largest City: Santiago (population 800,000)
  • Percentage Of People Who Speak Spanish: 95%
  • Official Dance: Merengue
  • Biggest Foreign Investors: Canada, the United States, and Spain, in that order
  • Banking: can transact business in DR pesos, U.S. dollars, and euros

Fun Bests And Firsts

  • First landing place of Christopher Columbus in the New World
  • First city in the New World—Zona Colonial
  • First cathedral in the New World
  • First monastery in the New World
  • First street in the New World
  • First royal court in the New World
  • First university in the New World
  • #1 tourist destination in the Caribbean
  • Longest river in the Caribbean
  • Tallest mountain in the Caribbean (which affects the weather and helps divert hurricanes)
  • Second-fastest-growing economy in Central America after Panama (and the DR has no canal)
  • The Samaná Peninsula has more palm trees per mile than any other Caribbean location
  • One of the first Free Trade Zones in the Caribbean

Infrastructure Fun Facts

  • 8 international airports
  • Servicing 60+ cities worldwide
  • 5 cruise ship ports
  • 10 marinas able to dock boats with lengths up to 250 feet
  • Cap Cana Harbor and Marina is the largest in the Caribbean and has the capacity to dock mega-yachts up to 500 feet long
  • 28 public golf courses
  • 4 private golf courses
  • No Jet Skis allowed in Las Terrenas
  • Toll roads lead from Santo Domingo to Las Terrenas in the north and to Punta Cana in the east
  • Bus service is inexpensive and reliable
  • Taxis are available but not the least expensive way to get around

Tourism Fun Stats

  • The Ministry of Tourism invests over US$45 million yearly to promote DR internationally
  • Tourism income realized: US$4.3 billion in 2011 (the last full year of statistics available)
  • 6 million tourists arrived in 2016
  • The country’s more than 72,000 hotel rooms have an average occupancy rate of 82%
  • The DR has 23 Ministry of Tourism offices around the world
  • Medical tourism is a growth industry
  • Basic expat demographics in the DR show that 42% are from the United States and 15% are from Canada
  • The remaining expats come from Germany, France, Venezuela, the U.K., and Spain
  • A new cruise port has been built in Puerto Plata

Fun Things To Do

  • On land: golf, polo, tennis, caving, hiking (in the mountains and the forests), shopping, visiting museums, viewing ancient pictographs
  • On water: whale watching, sailing, surfing, paddleboarding, kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, rafting
  • In the air: kitesurfing, zip-lining
  • Plus: International Jazz Festival, Carnaval every Sunday in February, excellent international cuisine

Best Fun Tip

  • The best way to learn about this beautiful country is to come and experience her for yourself.

If you are interested in learning more facts about The Dominican Republic, you can go here. 

Wendy Howarter
LIOS Conference Insider in the Dominican Republic

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