You might not realize it , but the Dominican Republic might be more interesting than you think.

The Dominican Republic is an excellent place to pay a visit, during any time of year. Here, you have the opportunity to enjoy a tropical vacation in a casual, welcoming culture. The vast array of high-class resorts in the Dominican Republic makes it easy to find a great place to spend your trip. Check out the rolling white sand beaches and dive into the translucent waters of the Dominican Republic as you enjoy tropical paradise. Before you travel to this island nation, however, you should do a little research on the country. The Dominican Republic is actually quite an interesting destination and worth learning more about. Take the time to learn some Dominican Republic facts as you prepare for your trip.

Educating yourself on your destination is a great way to better appreciate your trip. When you have the inside scoop on the country’s culture and history, you can fully understand what is around you. You also will know where you want to most visit and document amidst your travels. The Dominican Republic is no exception to this norm, and is chalk full of many incredible sights. Learn a few Dominican Republic facts to expand your knowledge of this unique island nation.

Check out these 19 amazing Dominican Republic facts to increase your knowledge about your next travel destination.

1. Before the Dominican Republic and Haiti each became their own nations, the island was collectively named Hispaniola.

2. This island of Hispaniola turned out to be the very first permanent European settlement within the Americas. The island was actually the place that Christopher Columbus landed during his first voyage across the Atlantic Ocean.

3. Santo Domingo is the first capital city within North and South America. In addition to this, you can also find the first catholic cathedral, first university, and the first hospital. Santo Domingo’s Colonial City is the place to go if you want to take a peek at these historical edifices for yourself.

4. Among the practical Dominical Republic facts, you should know that Spanish is the official language of the country. In addition, you can also find English, Italian, German, and French within the tourist areas.

5. People like to call the Dominican Republic the bread basket of the Caribbean. This is because of how the country farms, grows, and fishes nearly every part of their meals. Each dish is specially hand prepared and locally sourced, which is not an easy task.

6. Baseball is the national sport of the Dominican Republic. This activity is widely loved throughout the country. In fact, some of the best baseball players in the world are from the Dominican Republic.

Dominican Republic facts

7. You can only find the rare Larimar gemstone in the Dominican Republic. Otherwise known as “Stefillia’s Stone,” this variety of the silicate mineral pectolite resides exclusively within the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Amber is another precious gemstone exclusive to the country. This one was created millions of years ago because of the temperate climate. The Dominican Amber is known as the finest amber available in the world today.

8. The national flower of the Dominican Republic is the Bayahibe Rose. Their national bird is the Cigua Palmera, or the Palmchat. Also, the national tree is the West Indian Mahogany.

9. The Dominican Republic’s flag is composed of three colors: white, red, and blue. Its founding father of the Dominican Republic, Juan Pablo Duarte created the flag. This flag is considered to be an influential national symbol, with important meaning. The white of the flag’s center cross symbolizes salvation, the blue rectangles represent liberty, and the red rectangles symbolize the blood of those who fought for the country’s independence. This flag represents the extensive history of the nation’s origins. In addition to the colorful symbols, this flag also contains a picture of the holy bible on it. This is the only flag in the world to do so. The depicted bible is open to the Gospel of John chapter 8, verse 32. The biblical passage reads, “And the truth shall make you free.”

10. The Dominican Republic serves as a winter residence for beautiful sea creatures. Each year, nearly 2,000 and 3,000 giant humpback whales migrate to the Dominican Republic coast. Here, the humpback whales remain throughout the cold weather in order to calve and breed. This helps get the young whales ready to return to the summer feeding grounds of North America, Iceland, and Greenland. Because of this, you can often spot a humpback whale in the Dominican Republic’s waters.

11. The supposed location for Columbo’s tomb is Santo Domingo’s Columbus Lighthouse. This retired lighthouse serves as a historical destination in modern day. However, in the evenings, the Columbus Lighthouse projects cruciform shaped light beams that can easily be seen up to 200 miles away. You can often catch a glimpse of these rays from the nearby Puerto Rico.

12. Every city has a unique activity that every visitor should try at least once. The Dominican Republic city of Polo lets people actually defy gravity. The Magnetic Pole (El Polo Magnetico) is the place to stop your car in neutral gear downhill. If you do this, you will actually experience the sensation of rolling up. This is a gravity hill experience, which incorporates an optical illusion into the unusual feeling.

13. The Pico Duarte is the highest peak in the Caribbean. At 3,087 meters altitude, climbers come from all over the world to reach new heights. Nearly 3,000 visitors trek to the Pico Duarte each year to soak in the spectacular scenery.

14. The Catedral de Santa Maria La Menor is the oldest cathedral within the Americas. This beautiful building dates back to 1540 and resides within the capital city Santo Domingo.

15. If you are visiting from another country, you might not be used to day drinking. In other cultures, day drinking is often frowned upon. However, you can kick back and enjoy an alcoholic beverage any time of day when you are in the Dominican Republic. One of the more fun Dominican Republic facts is that drinking during the daytime is completely normal here. Locals also drink at night and on the weekends with no issue. Enjoy the casual culture here, as well as the excellent beverage selection.

Dominican Republic facts

16. Coffee, tobacco, and sugar serve as the Dominican Republic’s primary sources of income. The nation regularly grows these natural products and exports them to surrounding countries. Be sure to try some of the high-quality products during your time here.

17. In 1804, the western third portion of the island was separated and Haiti was created. This was the year the nation, Haiti, became independent. The other part of the island received the name Santo Domingo until 1844. It was then that the region became independent and earned the title “Dominican Republic.”

18. Nearly five million people visit the Dominican Republic each year. The high tourism appeal also serves as a primary source of the country’s income. This high influx places the nation as the 6th overall popular tourist destination in the Americas. The Dominican Republic anticipates reaching 10 million annual visitors by the year 2023.

19. The Dominican Republic is the native home for the endangered species of lizard, known as the rhinoceros iguana. This reptile is typically dark green, grey, or brown and easily camouflages within the Dominican Republic’s landscape.

Witness these Dominican Republic facts for yourself when you visit this island nation.

Clearly, the Dominican Republic is a nation full of rich history and memorable culture. These 19 Dominican Republic facts are just the beginning of all there is to learn about the country. When you visit the Dominican Republic, make a bucket list of all the historical monuments throughout the island. In addition, be sure to keep an eye out for the native animal species in the Dominican Republic.

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