Dominican Republic Explorer

The Dominican Republic occupies the eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola, which it shares with the Republic of Haiti to the west. Its geographic coordinates are approximately 18.7357° N latitude and 70.1627° W longitude.



The Dominican Republic experiences a tropical climate with warm temperatures year-round. Coastal areas tend to be hotter and more humid, while higher elevations enjoy cooler temperatures. The country has a distinct wet season from May to November, during which it receives the majority of its rainfall, and a drier season from December to April.


The Dominican Republic boasts a diverse range of flora and fauna, thanks to its varied geography and ecosystems. Its forests are home to a wealth of biodiversity, including birds like the Hispaniolan parrot and the palmchat, as well as mammals such as the Hispaniolan solenodon and the Hutia, a large rodent endemic to the Caribbean.

Longest Rivers:

The longest river in the Dominican Republic is the Yaque del Norte, which flows approximately 296 kilometers (184 miles) from its source in the Cordillera Central mountain range to its mouth in the Atlantic Ocean. Other significant rivers include the Yuna, Yaque del Sur, and Ozama.

Highest Mountains:

The Dominican Republic is characterized by mountainous terrain, with several peaks reaching impressive heights. Pico Duarte stands as the highest mountain in the Caribbean, towering at 3,098 meters (10,164 feet) above sea level. Other notable peaks include Pico La Pelona, Pico Yaque, and Pico Diego de Ocampo.



The island of Hispaniola has been inhabited by indigenous peoples for thousands of years, with evidence of early settlements dating back to the Archaic period. The Taíno people, an Arawakan-speaking group, were the dominant indigenous culture at the time of European contact, cultivating crops like maize, yams, and cassava.

European Colonization:

Christopher Columbus arrived on the shores of Hispaniola during his first voyage to the Americas in 1492, marking the beginning of European colonization in the region. The Spanish established the first permanent European settlement in the Americas, Santo Domingo, in 1496, and quickly subjugated the indigenous Taíno population through forced labor and disease.

Colonial Period:

Under Spanish rule, Hispaniola became a key hub for colonial trade and exploitation, with the island’s resources, including gold, sugar, and later, tobacco, enriching the Spanish Empire. The colony of Santo Domingo served as the administrative center of Spanish America, influencing the development of colonial governance, culture, and architecture in the region.

Independence and Modern Era:

The Dominican Republic declared independence from Spanish rule on February 27, 1844, establishing itself as a sovereign nation with Santo Domingo as its capital. However, the young republic faced political instability, foreign intervention, and economic challenges throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries. Today, the Dominican Republic is a democratic republic with a diverse economy and vibrant culture.


The Dominican Republic has a population of approximately 10.8 million people, making it the most populous country in the Caribbean. The majority of the population identifies as mixed-race (mulatto), with significant numbers of people of African, European, and indigenous descent. Spanish is the official language, and Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion, although there is religious diversity within the population.

Administrative Divisions

The Dominican Republic is divided into 31 provinces and one National District (Distrito Nacional), each with its own local government. The provinces, along with their respective populations, are as follows:

  1. Azua Province – Population: 214,004
  2. Bahoruco Province – Population: 97,313
  3. Barahona Province – Population: 187,105
  4. Dajabón Province – Population: 68,674
  5. Distrito Nacional (National District) – Population: 1,048,543
  6. Duarte Province – Population: 295,768
  7. Elías Piña Province – Population: 85,631
  8. El Seibo Province – Population: 95,774
  9. Espaillat Province – Population: 289,574
  10. Independencia Province – Population: 58,244
  11. La Altagracia Province – Population: 314,706
  12. La Romana Province – Population: 262,820
  13. La Vega Province – Population: 394,955
  14. María Trinidad Sánchez Province – Population: 169,865
  15. Monseñor Nouel Province – Population: 241,324
  16. Monte Cristi Province – Population: 108,286
  17. Monte Plata Province – Population: 182,388
  18. Pedernales Province – Population: 32,019
  19. Peravia Province – Population: 248,207
  20. Puerto Plata Province – Population: 390,515
  21. Hermanas Mirabal Province – Population: 116,931
  22. Samaná Province – Population: 123,565
  23. San Cristóbal Province – Population: 569,930
  24. San José de Ocoa Province – Population: 89,198
  25. San Juan Province – Population: 239,086
  26. San Pedro de Macorís Province – Population: 434,219
  27. Sánchez Ramírez Province – Population: 262,456
  28. Santiago Province – Population: 1,018,419
  29. Santiago Rodríguez Province – Population: 57,828
  30. Santo Domingo Province – Population: 2,003,980
  31. Valverde Province – Population: 176,490

10 Largest Cities by Population

The Dominican Republic’s largest cities by population include:

  1. Santo Domingo – Population: 2.9 million
  2. Santiago de los Caballeros – Population: 1 million
  3. Santo Domingo Este – Population: 700,000
  4. Santo Domingo Oeste – Population: 690,000
  5. Santo Domingo Norte – Population: 550,000
  6. San Pedro de Macorís – Population: 240,000
  7. La Romana – Population: 220,000
  8. Bella Vista – Population: 200,000
  9. San Cristóbal – Population: 200,000
  10. Puerto Plata – Population: 190,000

Education Systems

Education in the Dominican Republic is provided by both public and private institutions, with primary and secondary education being compulsory and free in public schools. The country has made significant strides in expanding access to education in recent years, although challenges such as high dropout rates and unequal access persist. The Dominican Republic is home to several universities and higher education institutions, including the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (UASD), the oldest university in the Americas.



The Dominican Republic is served by several international airports, including:

  • Las Américas International Airport (SDQ) in Santo Domingo
  • Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ) in Punta Cana
  • Gregorio Luperón International Airport (POP) in Puerto Plata
  • Cibao International Airport (STI) in Santiago
  • La Isabela International Airport (JBQ) in Santo Domingo


The Dominican Republic has an extensive network of highways, including the Autopista Duarte, Autovía del Este, and Autopista Las Américas, connecting major cities and tourist destinations across the country.


The Dominican Republic is home to several major ports, including:

  • Puerto de Haina
  • Puerto de Caucedo
  • Puerto de Sans Souci
  • Puerto de Barahona
  • Puerto de Manzanillo

Country Facts

  • Population: 10.8 million
  • Capital: Santo Domingo
  • Language: Spanish
  • Religion: Roman Catholicism
  • Race: Mixed-race (mulatto), African, European, indigenous
  • Currency: Dominican Peso (DOP)
  • ISO Country Codes: DO
  • International Calling Code: +1-809, +1-829, +1-849
  • Top-Level Domain: .do