For most North Americans, the Punta Cana resort district defines the Dominican Republic. The area’s lush landscape of beautiful white-sand beaches, fertile rainforests and feature-rich, all-inclusive resorts draws millions of vacationers each year, pushing the country into a preeminent spot among Caribbean vacation destinations.
Yet Punta Cana’s popularity somewhat overshadows what may be the country’s most compelling city. Santo Domingo is not only the Dominican Republic’s capital, but is the Caribbean’s largest city based on population, so it’s not exactly a “hidden” gem.
However the city offers attractions and artifacts unrivaled across the Caribbean. The city’s Zona Colonial, one of the western hemisphere’s best-preserved colonial districts and a UNESCO World Heritage site, is tied to the earliest days of American history.
The population consists of approximately 9 million inhabitants.
Some 2.5 million live in Santo Domingo, the capital city. Dominicans are very friendly and will do their best to help you anytime.
They come in very different skin colors and tones. About 73% of the population is “mulata” or “mixed race”, which is a mixture between black and white, 16% is white and 11% black.
Santo Domingo is also a modern, cosmopolitan city, with upscale entertainment and shopping, and an emerging generation of deluxe hotels and resorts. The city is also the scene of a compelling contemporary legacy tied to the 31-year reign of one of history’s most brutal dictators, and the country’s emergence from those challenging times.
For visitors, access to Santo Domingo has never been an easier. The completion of a highway from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana cuts the drive from a tiring four hours to an efficient one and a half. So even visitors to Punta Cana can now opt for excursions as brief as one day in Santo Domingo.
The Dominican Republic is a one-of-a-kind destination boasting beautiful landscapes, mouth-watering cuisine, remarkable artistic expressions, and entertainment options. Here you’ll find a colorful tapestry of Spanish, French, Haitian, and African influences woven in its rich history.
The Dominican Republic is the most visited destination in the Caribbean. A geographically diverse nation, the Dominican Republic is home to both the Caribbean’s tallest mountain peak, Pico Duarte, and the Caribbean’s largest lake and point of lowest elevation, Lake Enriquillo. Music and sports are of great importance in the Dominican culture, with Merengue and Bachata as the national dances and music, and baseball as the favorite sport.
Dominicans are famous for being warm and friendly with foreign people. You will find this is true since the moment you arrive in The Dominican Republic.