|Caribbean > Dominican Republic|
Sugar-white beaches, inexpensive resorts, and rich natural beauty have long drawn visitors to the Dominican Republic.
Dominican Republic Caribbean Vacations
The people of the Dominican Republic are among the friendliest in the Caribbean. The weather is nearly perfect year-round. And the Dominican Republic's white-sand beaches are among the finest in the Caribbean. Punta Cana/Bávaro, for example, is the longest strip of white sand in the entire region.
The combination of low prices and beautiful terrain has made the Dominican Republic one of the fastest-growing destinations in the Caribbean. The Dominican Republic has its own distinct cuisine and cultural heritage. Its Latin flavor is a sharp contrast to the character of many nearby islands, especially the British- and French-influenced ones.
Columbus sighted its coral-edged Caribbean coastline on his first voyage to the New World and pronounced: "There is no more beautiful island in the world." The first permanent European settlement in the New World was on November 7, 1493, and its ruins still remain near Montecristi in the northeast part of the island.
In the heart of the Caribbean archipelago - nestled amid Cuba, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico - the island of Hispaniola (Little Spain) is divided between Haiti, on the westernmost third of the island, and the Dominican Republic, which has a lush landmass about the size of Vermont and New Hampshire combined. In the Dominican interior, the fertile Valley of Cibao (rich sugar-cane country) ends its upward sweep at Pico Duarte, the highest mountain peak in the West Indies, which soars to 3,125m (10,250 ft.).
Much of what Columbus first sighted still remains in a natural, unspoiled condition. One-third of the Dominican Republic's coastline is devoted to beaches.
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