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Columbus discovered the Dominican Republic in 1492. The native Taino Indians who occupied the land greeted the newcomers with warmth and friendliness. Unfortunately for the Indians, gold was found on the island and they became an enslaved people. Within twenty-five years the population of six hundred thousand had been wiped out.
The island has had a turbulent history and now the land is divided into two countries with troubled Haiti in the north.
The Dominican Republic has become a popular holiday destination because of its glorious sandy beaches and wonderfully clear waters, its mountains, rivers and waterfalls and its saltwater lakes. The accommodation is first rate and the leisure activities are numerous.
A Dominican Republic Holiday has something for everyone.
The Dominican Republic is one of the most popular islands in the Caribbean. Attracted by stunning scenery, glorious sunshine, and a vast array of sporting activities both in and out of the water visitors are rarely disappointed. Golfers can enjoy world class championship courses designed by famous names in the golfing world. Whether you are looking for a relaxing holiday on the palm-lined beaches or a sporting holiday on land or sea, the Dominican Republic is the perfect destination.
A Dominican Republic holiday is popular with a wide variety of people. Families with small children enjoy the all-inclusive holiday packages knowing that it will cater for their every need. Couples of all ages will enjoy the romance of the island. Indeed, it is becoming a popular place for wedding ceremonies. Water sport enthusiasts will be amazed by the range of activities and golfers will be similarly impressed by the number of superb courses.
Temperatures in the Dominican Republic are fairly constant unless travelling to the mountains. The average temperature range is between twenty-eight and thirty-one degrees centigrade. The main tourist season is November to February and July and August. June to September is the hurricane season and on the southern coast the rainy season is from May to October. The best months to visit are February and November.
The Dominican Republic, lying south of the Bahamas between Cuba and Puerto Rico, is fast becoming one of the most popular islands in the Caribbean. The hotel accommodation has been designed with comfort and convenience in mind. The beaches are considered to be the best in the world. Miles of fine white or golden sand washed by warm clear waters greet the visitor on arrival. It is easy to find a deserted beach along the thousand miles of coastline. Depending on your location the sea can either be as calm as a mill pond or windy with waves. Conditions for kite-boarding and wind surfing are perfect in the north which regularly hosts the Kite-boarding World Cup. The waters around the island teem with a wide variety of marine life ideal for diving and snorkelling.
Golfers have a choice of nineteen sea front courses where clubs can be hired at reasonable cost. Other pursuits include, catamaran cruises to the coral reefs, jeep safaris to the inland regions and swimming with dolphins at Ocean World near Puerto Plata.
The Dominicans are a very friendly people and every effort will be made for you to enjoy a perfect holiday.
The Dominicans appear to celebrate some festival or other every month, most of them are patriotic in nature and some are religious fiestas. These are celebrated with music and dance. The Spanish and the African heritage of the islanders is seen in its music, the very lively Merengue music with its high tempo.
Nightlife in the beach resorts is fairly lively with bars and discos along the waterfronts. Many of the large hotel complexes provide their own entertainment often with live shows.
There are many opportunities for shopping in the Dominican Republic from department stores to upmarket boutiques and jewellers and from craft shops to market stalls. If you are buying jewellery, you should look for larimar, the blue semi- precious stone that is only found on the island. When set in silver it is very pretty and fairly inexpensive. Amber from the Dominican Republic is considered the best in the world and there is a choice of colour from yellow to deep red and smoky green. Traditional wooden carvings make popular gifts and holiday mementoes. Rum, cigars and coffee are all well known island exports. When buying in the markets bartering is an essential part of the transaction as prices are often inflated by one hundred percent.
Food in the Dominican Republic is similar to that in Central and South America. Rice, fish and vegetables are prepared simply with spices. Coconuts and coconut milk is a frequent ingredient.
Hotel complexes and the beach resorts serve a wide variety of foods catering for most tastes.
The drinks of choice are the local beer and rum.
Dominicans pride themselves on their hospitality and go out of their way to help. They take a pride in their appearance as dress as best as they can afford and if invited into a Dominican home you should do likewise.
Tipping is important as many rely on gratuities to improve their standard of living.