60 Interesting Facts About Dominican Republic

Last updated on March 15th, 2020

The Dominican Republic is the 86th most populous country in the world. It has an area of 48,670 sq km. It is a sovereign state located in the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean region. Santo Domingo is its capital and largest city. Spanish is the official language of the Dominican Republic. The natives or inhabitants of this country are called Dominican. Peso (DOP) is its currency. It has only one bordering country and that is Haiti.

Dominican Pesos in the black wallet
Dominican Pesos in the black wallet

With these interesting facts about the Dominican Republic, let’s explore more about this Hispaniola island nation, which was once ruled by its adjacent nation and had a turbulent time in the past.

60 Interesting facts about the Dominican Republic

1. Before the formation of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, the island was jointly named Hispaniola.

2. The Dominican Republic is the only country in the world to have an image of the Holy Bible on its national flag.

The Dominican Republic Flag

Flag of The Dominican Republic
The National flag of the Dominican Republic. Image source – CIA

3. It is also the second-largest island in the Caribbean. Wondering which one is the largest? It is Cuba.

4. The country shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, making Hispaniola the one island shared by two countries. The Dominican Republic occupies the eastern five-eighths of the island of Hispaniola while the western three-eighths of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti.

5. Street signs and restaurant menus are written in Spanish, which is the country’s official language.

6. People of the country are very loyal to their families.

7. “Catedral de Santa Maria La Menor” in the Dominican Republic is believed to be the oldest cathedral in the Americas. It dates back to 1540. The cathedral can be visited in the capital city of the country – Santo Domingo.

Catedral de Santa Maria la Menor.
Catedral de Santa Maria la Menor. Image credit – Reinhard Link

8. The island country saw difficult days of brutality, conspiracy, and downfall during colonial times. It was affected by a poor economy and political instability even after gaining independence. However, as of today, the country is improving with the help of agriculture and tourism.

9. February 27, 1844, is the official independence day of the D.R.

10. Sugar processing is one of the main industries in the country.

11. People of the island nation prefer living in joint families.

12. The Dominican Republic is a popular destination for weddings and honeymoons.

13. The country is also known the world over for its golf courses that are set along the breathtaking coast.

14. The people of the region are not punctual. Say, if you had a meeting with someone at 8 pm, you could expect them to arrive by 8:45 or 9 pm. Arriving late is a norm in D.R., so do not fret when you have to wait for someone to arrive.

15. D.R. is also known for producing excellent rum. They are known as the 3 Bs, for Brugal, Barcelo, and Bermudez.

16. The northern west part of the island, the Bay of Samana, sees humpback whales that visit the island every year between December and March for mating.

17. Voting is not permitted to the members of the armed forces and the national police.

Dominican Republic Map
The Dominican Republic on the map with bordering Haiti. (the eastern five-eighths – Dominican Republic, the western three-eighths – Haiti)

18. Do not be surprised if you are handed a few chiclets in return when you pay the bill and there is some change to be given to you. Businesses generally hand over something of equal value to your change when the situation demands.

19. Drinking during the day, at night and on Sundays is completely normal. So, you can very much enjoy your drink at any time during your visit to the country.

20. Honking your horn as loud as possible, in traffic jams, is considered very normal. Though honking won’t clear the traffic, it will still keep you busy during the trying times.

21. Coffee, sugar, and tobacco are the island’s main sources of income. Tourism is also playing an important part in supporting the economy now.

22. Moreover, the capital of the country–Santo Domingo–is the oldest city in the new world.

23. The country experiences warm and sunny conditions for most parts of the year. For this reason, the climate of D.R. is also known as an “endless summer.”

coffee Dominican Republic

24. Coffee is their national drink, and baseball is their national sport.

25. “Dominican flag” is the name of their traditional dish. It is prepared using chicken, beans, and rice.

26. They have a beer named “Presidente.

27. “Merengue” is the name given to the Dominican Republic’s music. It (Merengue) is a Spanish word for whipped egg whites in sugar.

28. The Dominican Republic is the site of the first permanent European settlement in the Americas.

Columbus Statue and Cathedral, Parque Colon, Santo Domingo, Caribbean.

29. Christopher Columbus visited the island on December 5, 1492. Actually, he founded the island (accidentally), naming it Hispaniola.

30. It is the largest economy in the Caribbean and Central American region, and the tenth-largest economy in Latin America.

Caribbean Sunset, Bavaro.
Caribbean Sunset, Bavaro. Image credit – Joe deSousa

31. A large group of people from the Dominican Republic live in the U.S., sending billions of dollars in remittance to their families.

32. D.R. also served as headquarters for the pirates of the Caribbean during the mid 17th century. Pirates recruited people here for raiding Spanish treasure ships.

33. It is also the most visited destination in the Caribbean.

34. Before independence, the country was known as Santo Domingo.

35. The Colonial City of Santo Domingo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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