There’s more to the Dominican Republic than meets the eye! Stunning vistas, dreamy beaches and a lively local culture are all hallmarks of this island nation, but we’re here to share with you some perhaps lesser-known facts about this Caribbean gem. Read on for 5 fun facts you didn’t know about the Dominican Republic!
Santo Domingo is One of the Oldest Cities in the Caribbean
That’s right, Santo Domingo is among the oldest cities in the Caribbean. To take things even a step further, many say Santo Domingo’s rich history is among the oldest in all the Americas! A quick walk around the Embassy Suites Santo Domingo will bring you face to face with colonial architecture dating back as far as the 1500s! The city is also home to the first cathedral built in the New World, just one of many impressive cultural landmarks the city has to offer!
Seasonal Home to Humpback Whales
Many people will find themselves venturing to some of the most northern regions of the world to go whale-watching. But did you know that each winter, over two thousand humpback whales call the northeastern coast of the island home? To take care of their young, these sea creatures migrate south to the island’s coast to ride out the winter, as the younger whales don’t have enough fat to survive the winter chill. If visiting the Dominican Republic during the winter, be sure to make your way over to Samana and sign up for a whale-watching boat tour.
A Record High and Record Low
Two superlatives in one: the Dominican Republic is home to the lowest elevation in the Caribbean, but also the highest! For those interested in hiking and mountain climbing, heading to Pico Duarte, the country’s staggering mountain, is an essential activity during your stay on the island. Every year, around 3,000 brave visitors make the trek up the mountainside to be reward with breathtaking vistas from above.
Faro a Colon
As a testament to the island’s expansive history, on the 500th anniversary of Columbus discovering the island, a lighthouse– Faro a Colon– was built in it’s honor. The lighthouse, which is located in Santo Domingo, projects light beams in the shape of a cross, which are reportedly so strong and vibrant they can be seen all the way from Puerto Rico!
While you may expect most island nations in the Caribbean to have year-round perfect weather, think again. Many of the Caribbean islands are plagued by tropical rains and hurricanes, however the Dominican Republic boasts an incredible 300 days of sunshine each year! With a 77 degree Fahrenheit average temperature all year long, the Dominican Republic can proudly proclaim they have almost perfect weather, if not the best weather in the Caribbean!