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Destinations:

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

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Santo Domingo Overview

The Dominican Republic is fast becoming one of the most visited destinations in the Caribbean. Every visitor comes for a different reason. Some choose the Dominican Republic for its all-inclusive resorts while others come for the specialty shopping. While in the Dominican Republic you’ll find yourself joining the locals in shaking your hips and moving your feet: the sound of Merengue music is everywhere.

The Dominican Republic was the first land to be discovered in the New World. Its 300 monuments are testimony of a long and arduous history. For this reason UNESCO has declared the capital city of Santo Domingo a “cultural heritage.”

The Dominican Republic is located on the Eastern part of the Caribbean. It’s the second largest island in the Greater Antilles. It was once known as Quisqueya. This was the name by which the Taino Indians called it. They were the first inhabitants prior to Christopher Columbus’ arrival in 1492. After its discovery it became the site of the first Spanish settlement in the Americas.

The Islands’ climate boats hot temperatures throughout the year. Strong winds make this the ideal place for windsurfing and kite boarding. Its extensive miles of coastline, pristine beaches and crystalline waters attract sun worshippers as well as water-sports fans. A large percentage of the country’s landscape has been set aside as sites for national parks, marine sanctuaries and scientific reserves. The country’s mountain ranges present the tallest peaks in the Caribbean. They’re home to multiple species of animal and plants that can only be found in the Dominican Republic. In winter, visitors can enjoy observing the hundreds of humpback whales, dolphins and manatees that make their way through the bays.

Sports aficionados can share in the country’s love of baseball. The Dominican Republic has the second highest number of players in the Major League after the United States.

Its cuisine is as exciting as the sounds of Merengue that play everywhere you go. The gastronomy of the Country is a combination of African, Spanish and Taino. Lunch, as in Spain, is the most important meal of the day. The main dish also known as “the flag” is usually a plate of rice, beans, some type of meat and salad. Sofrito is the main seasoning that gives Dominican dishes that special zing. It’s made of herbs and spices sautéed to bring out the main flavors. Crispy pork rinds, ripe plantains, yucca and empanadas (stuffed puff pastry) are among the favorite side dishes. Sweets are always eaten after a meal. These include savory rice pudding, sugar cane and snow cones. A meal is not complete without Dominican rum. It’s distilled in a somewhat unusual way, making it the sweetest rum of the Caribbean.

Every city is a Mecca for shopping. In the Dominican Republic you’ll find unique gemstones. Among these are amber and larimar. And among other gems are the famous Dominican hand-rolled cigars. Beautiful arts and crafts also top the list of favorite things to buy.

Travel back in time or marvel in this amazing destination’s present.
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