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Native Indian tribes of the Caribbean and South America were the first inhabitants of this island. Spanish settlers followed on the heels of Admiral Christopher Columbus after his landing on 5 December 1492. The French ruled the island for two brief periods, as did the Haitians. Today, Dominican Republic has become home to migrants from countries around the world, attracted by the natural hospitality of those who have preceded them and creating a most rich cultural heritage.
Immigration To Canada
There are very few places where people live with a permanent smile and a sparkle in their eyes. Dominican Republic is one of those places. An oasis of light, scents and colors. A place to let yourself go, to feel the freshness of the palm trees dancing merengue, to dip in emerald colored waters, rest on a cushion of warm sand or feel a rush of adrenaline while going on an adventure.
Geography: The Dominican Republic occupies the eastern two-thirds of the island of La Hispaniola, which it shares with Haiti, and is the second largest country in the Caribbean, comprising an area of 48,442 sq.km (29,948 sq.miles). Dominican Republic is bordered on the north by the Atlantic Ocean and on the south by the Caribbean Sea.
Climate: As with the rest of the Caribbean, the most common weather forecast is partly sunny with a chance of a shower lasting 10 minutes or less, most likely in the late afternoon. Temperatures: from a high of 33 C (91F) in August, to a chilly 17C (62F) on winter mornings.
Currency: Foreign currency can be converted to Dominican pesos at the Banc de Reservas exchange booths found at airports, major hotels and authorized exchange houses.There are over 1600 automatic teller machines(ATMs) located nationwide.
Language: Spanish is the official language of the Dominican Republic although English is widely spoken, especially in the tourist areas and large cities.
Ports of Entry: With few exceptions most Dominican tourism destinations have an airport within less than an hour’s drive. Tourists should be sure they are choosing arrival at airport nearest their final destination. Be warned that some airports are eight driving distance between one another. The airports regularly receiving international flights are: Las Americas Int. Airport-SQD, La Isabela Int. Airport – SLI, La Romana Int. Airport – LRM, Punta Cana Int. Airport – PUJ, and Samana Int. Airport AZS.
Maritime ports regularly receiving tourists are the Santo Domingo Port the Casa de Campo cruise port and Marina de Casa de Campo in La Romana, and the Ocean World Marina in Puerto Plata.
Activities: On an island, there is a whole world of aquatic activities:excellent beaches for swimming, windsurfing and deep sea fishing. On the South coast, the Los Patos beach or the Nizao Beach are ideal for surfing. Sailing, water skiing and para-sailing can also be enjoyed in countless places. Barrier reefs, shipwrecked galleons, tropical fauna and flora of silent colors and places like Cabarete, Nizao, Catalina Island, Ocoa Bay, Punta Cana and Cabo Rojo offer a whole world for scuba diving. Those in search of a thrill will find it in the central mountainous region of Dominican republic (in Jarabacoa and Costanza). Famous for rafting,climbing, gliding, bungee jumping this region offers nature, adventure and joy.
$$$$ Tortuga Bay at Puntacana Resort & Club is an exclusive destination located on the Eastern coast of the Dominican republic. Featuring 15 luxury villas, equivalent to 35 Suites, and designed by renowned fashion designer Oscar De la Renta – Tortuga bay offers luxury, privacy and impecable personalized service.
$$$$ Ocean Blue & Sand – A magnificent, 24 hours all inclusive resort with private Jacuzzi for all suites, a gorgeous beach, plus the finest selection of themed restaurants and a unique coffee house. Great offer of activities from bowling alley and special sports to unforgettable weddings and customized group experiences.
$$$$ Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort & Spa – Preferred partner resort of Ocean World Adventure Park, Casino & Marina, 5 minutes away, this beachfront 4 stars all inclusive hotel is located right on beautiful Cofresi beach. Besides the wide variety of amenities included, guests may enjoy the additional services offered at sister hotels Crown Residence Suites and Penthouses, all within the Lifestyle complex.
Dominican Republic offers a multitude of unique souvenirs at a very good price in its shopping centers, stores, markets and stalls. The most popular items are the mahogany rocking chairs, the earthenware faceless dolls typical for this country, amber – a thousand year old resin that is considered to get rid of negative energy, and larimar – a rare blue variety of pectolite, used to make necklaces, earrings, rings and bracelets. Other highly sought-after products are the straw hats and baskets, the carvings made from mahogany, quayacan, bone or coconut, and also the naive colored paintings. Among the popular items you cannot leave without are world famous Dominican Rum, Dominican Coffee & cigars but also bamboo furniture, linen clothing and antique coins of sunken ships during the colonial times.
The capital city of the Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo, is the most active metropolis in the entire Caribbean. The city is constantly evolving to cater for thousands that are attracted by its contrasting modern lifestyle. The city is known for its vibrant nightlife, fashionable shopping and superb dining.
The city’s skyline has changed as dozens of new skyscrapers now peak out to the Caribbean Sea or look over the sprawling neighborhoods. This is a city that celebrates culture, with continuing showing of Dominican republic and international performances booked for its many venues. Santo Domingo has a population of one million, while another two million live in the environs of the province.
La Romana & Bayahibe
Casa de Campo put La Romana on the travel map since its start as a tropical golfers’s paradise in the 70 s’. Over the years, the destination has added more word class golf courses. To complement the golfers, yachtsmen and water sport buffs join horseback riders, weekend cyclists, tennis fans, hunters and skeet shooters alike who all enjoy mingling with the Dominican Republic’s jet-setters.
Barahona and Pedernales
The Barahona – Pedernales, Dominican tourism destination with the greatest biodiversity of the country, is the final frontier of local touristic development located on the southwest coast. The striking natural attractions of this region make it an incomparable eco-tourism destination. This region boasts about having the largest lake in the Caribbean, the Enriquillo lake, a spectacular panoramic highway with vistas along the coast, a mountain scenic viewpoint that overlooks a remarkable chasm, hot dry forests that lie not far from pine tree forests, and is at the same time, one of the most significant fruit-producing areas in the country.
People generally travel to the southwestern destinations by land. Small private planes or chartered flights into the Maria Montez International Airport in Barahona are available. Public transportation in Barahona is offered by minibus and public cars.
Barahona is the region’s most important city and provincial capital. Barahona is a port city at the end of a magnificent horse -shoe- shaped bay that is framed by rugged mountains. Because of its salt and gypsum mines and numerous discos, Barahona is know as the town ”that worked hard and plays hard”. Small hotels readily aboind and are easily accessible from the highway that heads south from the city of Barahona. This is perhaps the most splendidly scenic highway in the Caribbean, exceptional in its views of a multi-colored sea, untamed stretches of dense forest, sparkling rivers and towering green mountains. Visitors may be glimpsed the simple ways of traditional village life along the route. Wave to the residents and they will smilingly wave back. It’s a lush landscape of brilliant greens, complemented by millions of graceful yellow butterflies and the melodies of innumerable birds. Also found along the way are the pebble beaches of Quemaito and San Rafael, with its natural pools that are filled by tumbling mountain spring water.
Check out Villa Miriam, a private home that charges a small fee from the admission to its pools set amidst river cascades and lush vegetation. Next is Paraiso, an aptly named ,,paradise” of intense turquoise waters in a calm and crystalline bay. The views upon approaching the small town of Enriquillo and its rough watered beach, where a small cemetery overlooks three shades of blue are simply spectacular.
Las Caritas is one of the famous Barahona attractions. This archaeological site is located on the north side of the Enriquillo Lake. If you drive by on a weekend, there may be tour buses or cars perked on the road to indicate the site of the carvings in the rocks atop the pronounced cliff. There is a trail that leads to smiling and sad faces etched into history.
$$$$ Casa BonitaTropical Lodge Barahona – Spend the day relaxing on the nearby beach or pampering yourself at the hotel’s full service spa. Services include massage, facials, bodyscrubs, and manicures. Recreational amenities at the hotel include an outdoor tennis court, a fitness facility and a seasonal outdoor pool.
$$$$ Gran Ventana Beach Resort, Puerto Plata – This wonderful Beach Resort offers a distinctive blend of sophisticated design with the charm and hospitality of the Dominican Republic. The resort’s lobby extends with beamed ceilings and a view of the ocean as its centerpiece. Exceptional service and a sense of relaxation greet singles, couples and families from the moment of arrival. Hotel is located 15 minutes from Puerto Plata Airport in the complex known as ”Playa Dorada”. Gran Ventana Beach Resort offers a variety of dining options. With three a la carte, all inclusive restaurants featuring authentic Caribbean cuisine, fine Italian dishes and fresh seafood, there is something to satisfy every craving.
$$$ Viva Wyndham Tangerine Resort, Puerto Plata – Lies in the middle of the hottest windsurf and kitesurf location in the western hemisphere. It is an all-inclusive resort located on the Sosua – Cabarete road on the northwest coast of the island with 110 meters of private beach, offering the perfect setting for an action packed getaways. Resort offers a wide range of amenities, children swiming pool, Jacuzzi, kid’s club, discotheque, theater, diving center, spa, fitness center, daily activities program, night entertainment and many more.
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