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Fun facts about the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is the one of the most interesting and beautiful holiday destinations in the Caribbean region. There's much more to it than blissful beaches and delicious food. From dancing to fashion design and baseball to dinosaurs, take a look below at our list of interesting and fun facts.


They'll give you a different insight into this stunning country before you visit.


Name Games

The large island that the Dominican Republic shares with Haiti was originally called Hispaniola.

It was the first land mass reached by Christopher Columbus on his voyage to find the Americas in 1492.

Humble beginnings

Santo Domingo is the capital of the Dominican Republic and was the first main settlement developed on the island. It was founded by Bartholomew Columbus, the younger brother of Christopher Columbus, in 1496.

Santo Domingo was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1990 due its historical significance and the fine collection of impressive buildings and architecture on offer here.

Home of the Free

The Dominican Republic is very proud of its independence. At various points in its history it has successfully won freedom from the influences of Spain, France, Haiti and the United States.

Take me out to the ball game

Baseball is the most popular sport in the country and it has produced several top class baseball players.

The town of La Romana is known locally as Baseball Town and is home to the Los Toros del Este, or the East Bulls baseball team. Their state-of-the-art baseball stadium is a huge 10,000 capacity venue.


High Flying Fashion

Renowned designer Oscar de la Renta was born in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. When he was 18 he travelled to Spain to study painting at the Academy of San Fernando in Madrid and initially he drew clothes for newspapers and fashion houses purely to fund his art studies.

While there the wife of the US Ambassador to Spain asked him to design a dress for her daughter. The dress was featured on the front cover of Life magazine which marked the starting point of his fashion designing career.

All that Glitters

Amber from the Dominican Republic is highly prized for its beauty and is also quite unusual. Dominican amber differs from other types due to both its transparency and the number of prehistoric insects that have been found preserved within it.

Prehistoric Stories

In the science-fiction film Jurassic Park, the Mano de Dios Amber Mine in the Dominican Republic is referred to as part of the story.

The idea is that Dominican amber provides the dinosaur DNA samples needed to bring the creatures back to life, but in reality, amber from the Dominican Republic region is far too recent for dinosaurs.


Latin Moves

Merengue, pronounced 'merengeh', is a rhythmic type of popular music and dance style that developed in the Dominican Republic in the 19th century. The music has a fast, Latin sound, but merengue dancing is a little more sedate than wilder Cuban styles such as the rumba, salsa and mambo.

In Merengue dancing partners hold each other in a closed position and keep the upper body relatively still and slow moving. When they do separate turns away from each other they keep their hands held together in various intricate twists.

Turns are also slow and majestic, giving the whole style a more deliberate, but no less dramatic appearance.

Natural Wonders

There are several distinct ecological regions in the Dominican Republic, home to a rich abundance of wildlife and plantlife.

It has four of the highest mountains in the Caribbean with spectacular valleys and waterfalls. There are lush tropical rainforests and dry forests covered with pine trees. Some parts are covered with dense mangrove swamps and others are wide dry plains of grasses.

Water Water Everywhere

The Dominican Republic is also home to several idyllic lakes and lagoons such as Lake Enriquillo, which lies 45 metres below sea level - the lowest point in the Caribbean region.

This hugely diverse landscape makes the Dominican Republic one of the most interesting and varied places to go on holiday.

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