The Dominican Republic is an amazing and beautiful haven that offers a great range of lavish Mexican and Spanish architecture. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations and most likely so as it also offers beautiful beaches which are just perfect for your Instagram. It also has many different kinds of alcohol which adds more to its popularity.
There are countless interesting facts about the Dominican Republic starting from its history to even its food. If you plan on engaging with the locals or even your tour guide while on vacation, then you must know these fun and basic facts about the Dominican Republic. After all, their culture and tradition are what are going to grab their attention more.
Interesting Facts About Dominican Republic
You will find some basic as well as fun facts about the Dominican Republic in this article. Moreover, this article will also cover facts regarding the Dominican Republic’s food and discover the things this tourist spot is famous for. Below are some of the basic facts that you may not have known which are quite intriguing.
1. Facts about the place
The second largest island in the Caribbean is Hispaniola of which the Dominican Republic occupies about two-thirds of that place. The rest of the portion is occupied by Haiti.
The island of Hispaniola was not discovered on purpose but instead by accident by the famous Christopher Columbus in 1941 after which, this was the first destination to be settled by the Europeans.
Christopher discovered this island while on the search for a new route for trade and he first landed on what is now called the Bahamas. The people who used to live on Hispaniola a long time ago were Taino people.
The capital city of the Dominican Republic is Santo Domingo where the first ever hospital, cathedral, and university in all of America was constructed.
3. Basic facts
Similar to most countries, the Dominican Republic has a currency of its own which is the Dominican peso (DOP or RD$). However, they do not quite have a language of their own as the locals of that place speak Spanish which is their official language.
Before the Dominican Republic gained its independence in 1844, the entire island was controlled and ruled by Haiti. Now their Independence day is celebrated on the 27th of February. The national flag of the Dominican Republic portrays a background of red and blue and has a cross in white color in the middle of the flag.
This portrays the Bible. They even have a national bird which is the palmchat as well as a national flower called the Bayahibe Rose. This rose is unique as it does not quite look like a typical rose and it does not stop there.
This country even has a national tree! It is called West Indian mahogany. Unfortunately, this country does not have a national fruit but the unique species of bird and flower makes up for it.
Some Fun And Intriguing Facts About Dominican Republic
You may have usually heard about countries belonging to only one specific area. Well, this is not true about the Dominican Republic. This country is situated on both ends of the Caribbean giving you the best of both worlds.
Pico Duarte which is a city in the Dominican Republic is situated on the topmost peak of the mountain and Lake Enriquillo, another city, is situated at the lowest. As the country is located in the mountains, you will naturally find a lot of wildlife fauna in this place.
In fact, it is home to some unique and rare animal species. You can find the exceptional solenodon which is quite an uncommon but venomous animal so it is best to stay away from it if you ever sight it while on vacation.
It is also home to the rhinoceros iguana which, quite contradictory to its name, is a very big lizard. However, these animals are native so it is very unlikely that you will spot them in any other place.
Another fact that might intrigue you, especially if you are a movie freak, is that many blockbuster movies were filmed in this country. Jurassic Park, the second part of The Godfather, and Pirates of the Caribbean were all shot in this very destination.
Although, the last movie may not come off as a big surprise as the name itself depicts a lot. Other than that, UNESCO also declared the capital city of the Dominican Republic to be World Heritage Site due to all its beautiful and detailed architecture.
Apart from all these, Columbus made such an impact on the people of the Dominican Republic that they constructed a lighthouse in his memory. It is called the Faro a Colon which was built completely in the year 1992, almost 62 years after the construction work started and just in time for the 500-year anniversary of the settlement of the Europeans in America.
This lighthouse is also called The Columbus Lighthouse as it was made in memory of him. Although it may not seem like it but the Dominican Republic also has a national sport which is baseball.
Even though the USA is the biggest producer of players in Major League Baseball, Dominican Republic does not fall far behind at all as it takes second place after the USA! Furthermore, you will also find some incredible gulf courses just along the beautiful coastline.
If you are an animal lover then you will surely love to spot humpback whales, especially when you are on vacation to make your trip even better. Just in time for their mating season, these whales migrate to the Bay of Samana for 4 months during the months of December to March.
Moreover, the whales also make your sighting a more fun one as some males put up a show using their fins and tails to attract the females while the young ones swim around their parents.
All About Food
Believe it or not, the Dominican Republic has a national dish of its own! For the people of this country, having beans in their diet is a must. Thus, the national dish consists of the most fundamental ingredient, beans, along with rice and beef or chicken as per peoples’ preference.
This dish is called La Bandera Dominicana.
This translates to, “The Dominican Flag”. This is because the colors that are induced from this dish once it is cooked are the colors present in the flag; red, white, and blue. However, there is some confusion regarding the national dish as not everyone believes La Bandera to be the national dish.
For many people, it is Sancocho which is a meat-infused stew combined with root vegetables. For others, the national dish is Mangú which is made by mashing green plantains. Another one of the Dominican Republic’s unique dishes is the Habichuleas con dulce.
This dish is prepared using different kinds of spices and beans. However, it has a sweet flavor instead of a savory one. Dominican alcohol is also very famous and well-demanded. This is due to the special aging procedure which helps accentuate the taste of alcohol even more.
They mix a lot of alcoholic drinks together to come up with drinks that taste the best. One such drink is the Mamajuana. This drink is believed to have a lot of unique qualities and is made using herbs and tree bark that is soaked in three ingredients; red wine, honey, and rum.
This is what makes the drink so special and hence, renowned. Nonetheless, many dishes in the Dominican Republic have distinct and poetic names. One such drink is named Morir soñando is a drink which is made using citrus juice and milk mixed with ice.
The name of this drink translates to “to die dreaming”. Now, who wouldn’t be intrigued to try out these dishes and drinks when their names are this interesting?
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What is one of the most intriguing facts about the Dominican Republic?
The everyday meal that the locals of the Dominican Republic consume which consists of beans, rice, and the meat of people’s choice is named after the flag of the country, La Bandera Dominicana.
Q: What makes the Dominican Republic the most renowned?
If you carry out a survey, you will many different answers from different people. However, there is not one general, definitive answer to this question. The Dominican Republic is renowned for a number of things starting from its famous drinks and food to its amazing landscapes and beaches.
Q: What is one thing that is fascinating about the Dominican Republic?
Unlike most countries, Dominican Republic is situated at both ends of the Caribbean mountain as one of the cities is located a the very peak whereas another is located at the very bottom.
Q: Does the Dominican Republic have a capital city?
Yes, Dominican Republic has a capital city which is Santo Domingo. However, this is the short form of the name. The full name of this city is Santo Domingo de Guzmán.
Q: What is the location of the Dominican Republic?
It is located on the east side of Hispaniola island. The island is also occupied by another country which is Haiti.
The facts mentioned in the article are just a fraction of what this country has to offer. Dominican republic offers a great variety of things to make sure that you are never bored while on vacation such as whale sightings and many other fun activities.
With some proper planning, this can be a very fun and affordable trip especially if you are living in the United States. So, don’t think too much and get on the plane to the beautiful Dominican Republic for your next weekend’s getaway!