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The Dominican Republic
Are you looking for a place where you can relax under the shade of a palm tree, revel in the colonial architecture of the earliest battle or wear hiking boots thin in stunning surroundings, the Dominican Republic is the right choice. Republic was the Spanish colonial ring base and nature of this historically significant land is extremely varied, ranging from postcard beaches to majestic mountain ranges intersected by rivers and numerous waterfalls.

The Dominican Republic occupies the eastern two thirds of Hispaniola, the Caribbean's second largest island. The western third is occupied by Haiti. The landscape is characterized by four mountain ranges intersected by several rivers and includes the Caribbean's highest mountain, Pico Duarte at 3,087 meters. The country is also home to the Caribbean's lowest point, namely Salt Lake Enriquillo, which is full of crocodiles and flamingos. It lies 46 meters below sea level. Between the Dominican mountain ranges lies flat, fertile plains where it grows sugarcane, tobacco, cocoa, corn, citrus fruits and coffee. Along with fresh meat, tobacco is the country's main export crop, and particularly the United States takes diligent care of the dishes.

Of the Dominican Republic's 9.5 million inhabitants are majority mulattos. The others are Spaniards or Africans, and almost all professing the Roman Catholic faith. Dominican Republic's capital, Santo Domingo was the first capital of Spaniards in the New World. In 1496 houses and churches began to shoot up, and Santo Domingo became the capital of the Spanish West Indies. The island of Hispaniola was swiftly colonized and became a key base for exploration and conquest of the rest of the Caribbean and North and South America. New cities and fortresses were founded around the island, and it was found gold and silver in the earth. The original indigenous population was quickly wiped out because they did the hard work in the mines. Spain started to import West African slaves, who managed the demanding mining work better. Golden Years was eventually cleared, and many Spanish colonizers moved with his imported labor to Mexico and Peru, where there was more gold to be had. Hispaniola was weakened and was soon easy prey for English and French pirates. French pirates got their obsession of the western part of the island legalized in 1697, and in 1770 was officially divided Hispaniola in a French and a Spanish section. The Spanish part, which we know as the Dominican Republic gained independence from Spain in 1821. Shortly after the country was occupied by Haiti, and this occupation lasted 22 years. Fearing a new occupation bathroom Dominicans Spain take power again in 1862. This lasted anyway in just three years, then the country was left free. After independence was the Dominican Republic affected by dictator rule, military coups and other more or less unauthorized election and government forms until 1996, when the country got its first president elected with fully acceptable methods.

The pleasing climate, the many memories of colonialism, the long, wide sandy beaches and the friendly people make traveling to the Dominican Republic to a popular occupation among the eager traveler. The beautiful north coast facing the Atlantic Ocean is called Ravkysten because of the many ravfunn done there, and it attracts numerous visitors, especially from the U.S. and Canada. The main tourist area called Playa Dorada, but one need not search far less interest beaches bordered by tall palms, rugged cliffs and colorful coral reefs.

On the north coast are also Samaná Peninsula. The scenery there is incomparable, with tropical rainforest, natural springs and coral reefs, and beaches are long and sandy white. Whale watching is a popular activity in Samana, and the peninsula is rich in parrots and other tropical birds. On the south coast, where Santo Domingo is located, is home to many small beaches with great opportunities for snorkeling, diving and other forms of water sports. If you are looking to fill their vacation in the Dominican Republic with golf and tennis, the area around La Romana place to go. Here in the country's eastern part are some of the Caribbean's greatest golf courses - some directly at the sea - along with a wealth of tennis courts, fine dining, and of course the overriding Caribbean brand: beach sceneries that can easily be confused with paradise. But a trip to the Dominican Republic can also get a more historical theme than the beaches and golf courses to offer. As the first colonial capital of both American continents Santo Domingo an honored place on the UNESCO World Heritage list. The city is home to America's first cathedral, hospital and university and is built over a ground plane similar to a grid. Later became the model for almost all newly built cities in the New World. Santo Domingo is thus the place where you can revel in the colonial architecture and historical ambiance - for example, in the house that Columbus' son Diego lived in. Alcasar Museo de Colón is beautifully restored and a unique opportunity for a look into the very earliest colonial history.
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