The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of La Hispaniola, part of the West Indies in the Caribbean region. One third of the western part of the island is occupied by Haiti, thus two countries occupy La Hispaniola. Both by area and population, the Dominican Republic is the second largest Caribbean nation (after Cuba), with 48,442 km ² and an estimated 10 million people.
Inhabited by taínos since the seventh century, the territory of the Dominican Republic was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1492 and became the site of the first permanent European settlement in the Americas, namely Santo Domingo, the capital city and first capital Spain in the New World. In Santo Domingo stand, among other firsts in the Americas, the first cathedral and castle, the both in the Ciudad Colonial, declared as a World Heritage Site.
The Dominican Republic has become the Caribbean’s largest tourist destination, and the country’s year-round golf courses are among the main attractions. This mountainous country also has the highest peak in the Caribbean, Pico Duarte, and also Lake Enriquillo, the Caribbean’s largest salted lake and with the lowest elevation.
Quisqueya, as Dominicans often call their country, has a moderate average temperature (26 ° C) and is known for its great biological diversity .La music and sport are of the highest importance in Dominican culture, with merengue as the national dance and song and baseball the favorite sport.