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Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic is said to be a very colorful and tasteful place to take a vacation for everyone. Dominican Republic is also very diverse with colorful tapestry of Spanish, French, Haitian, and African influences. All of these come from a very rich history. It was Christopher Columbus who said this was "a beautiful island paradise with high forested mountains and large river valleys". That statement made by Christopher Columbus is still true today. There is sun, sea, and sand which offers a very exciting and relaxing experience with culture added in to captivate the essence of the land. People say this is a destination like no other with amazing landscapes, exotic cuisine and a wide variety of arts and entertainment. The Dominican Republic is known for the merengue, premium cigars, rich history, and world class baseball.

The Dominican Republic was first founded on December 5, 1492 by Christopher Columbus. He founded it on his very first voyage to the New World. At that time the island was called "Quisqueya" by the Taino Indians, these were the people who actually resided on the land. Taino means "the good" and these Indians were very peaceful and hospitable. In 1493 the Europeans made their settlement on the island due to the discovery of gold deposits in the island's rivers. At the same time the Taino Indians were put to slavery by the Europeans and over the next 25 years they were eliminated. After they were all gone the Europeans brought in African slaves to take the Taino Indians place to make sure the settlers plantations were taken care of.

In 1496 Bartholomew, Columbus' brother, was made governor and founded Santo Domingo which is the capital city. Santo Domingo became the seat of Spanish royal court which made it very powerful and influential. The culture in Dominican republic is mostly captured by its music, food, and national pastimes. There is spirit and charm to the country which makes it a warming place to visit. Dominican Republic is also known for its professional winter sport baseball, handcrafted cigars, and annual music festivals. There is never a dull and boring moment when visiting the country and everyone loves to express their culture through art and color. Even the museums and archeological sites are in tune with the vibrant colors and daring history. They have antique treasures, jewels, and time capsules that bring back the long lost culture.

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Cathedral of Santa Maria in Dominican Republic

Attractions in Dominican Republic

   The Cathedral of Santa Maria La Menor is located in Santo Domingo and is known to be the oldest existing settlement that was first founded by Europeans in the western hemisphere. This cathedral was built in the early 1500s and some people say there are remains of Christopher Columbus that rest in the Cathedral. The style of the church is a mixture of Spanish Renaissance and Gothic architecture which makes it a very overwhelming experience for visitors. The construction of the cathedral began in 1514 and was finished in 1540. It was the very first Catholic cathedral in the New World. It remains the reminder of the city's history and culture and is still used until this day.

The Columbus Lighthouse Monument in Dominican Republic was built on the eastern shore of the Ozama river some time in the early 1990's. This attraction was built to honor Santo Domingo's status as the oldest European city as well as the 500th anniversary of Columbus' arrival into the New World. The structure of the building is in the shape as a cross at 639 feet long and at a 45 degrees angle. Inside of the building structure are the remains of Christopher Columbus in a tomb at the center of the building. At night there is a light that is projected into the sky and is in the image of a cross and can be seen as far away as Puerto Rico. The building was designed by architect J.L. Gleave who also wont the international competition for the designer. The building also holds many documents and artifacts that are in reference to the early Spanish colonial times.

The Amber Museum in Dominican Republic was first thought of after the restoration of Villa Bentz in 1980. This museum holds fossil collections that are way too important to be kept hidden in a safe. This museum is known as a dream of many years, it first opened in March of 1982. The collection that is held in the museum is composed of thousands of pieces. These pieces are rare but beautiful. The one exhibit that is most appreciated and studied is the lizard which is 40 centimeters and in a perfect condition for being 30 to 40 million years old. There is also another exhibit that is formed with drops of a resin falling one after another which form little tubes that are like needles of coniferous.

The Brugal Rum Factory in Dominican Republic is a great experience for anyone visiting. This includes a tour that takes visitors to the Brugal Rum Plant and shows how the process of rum first starts. The plant is owned and operated by the Brugal family. First they harvest the sugarcane then press it to get the juice. Then it is processed into molasses. The molasses is distilled into 96 percent alcohol, the alcohol is cut with water to get the 80 proof rum we drink today. The tour then takes visitors to the bottling plant so they can see how the rum is bottled and cased. After the tour everyone is greeted with a small daiquiri and gets a chance to buy some of the rum they made. It is a very interesting experience for anyone who visits the rum factory.

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Monster Truck Tour in Dominican Republic

Things to do and see in Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic Monster Truck Safari is a very unique way to see what the tour buses cannot show you. This helps visitors explore the island in a way not many people do. This is an 8x8 monster truck that takes visitors through breathtaking scenery, along back country roads, crossing through rivers, streams and sugar cane fields. This tour will also take visitors to small colorful villages to see how those people live on a day to day basis. It also stops at the coffee connoisseur so people cant taste the locally brewed Dominican Coffee which is known to be one of the country's most popular products. The tour also has lunch and drinks waiting right alongside of a river so people can eat lunch and relax. The people can also take a swim in the refreshing waters of the river before heading back.

There are a few things for visitors to do to get a good look under the waters of the Dominican Republic. One of them is the Scubadoo Underwater Adventure which is a mixture of a submarine and a motorbike. After being picked up from your hotel you will be taken out into the ocean and given some lessons on how the scubadoo's work then you and a small group will take a 15 minute dive with a couple professional scuba divers. The scubadoo's are tethered to the boat at all times so there are no problems. The professional divers will be more than happy to snap some pictures for you if you bring an underwater camera as well. Then there are the Glass Bottom Boat Tours with a boat that has two windows on the bottom of the boat for everyone to see great views of the ocean floor without getting wet.

The Punta Cana Seaquarium Underwater Adventure is known to be the easiest way to explore the ocean floor. Visitors get to walk along the ocean floor while exploring the vast array of colorful fish, sharks, sting rays, and much more. The tour also takes visitors to a submarine wreck, reefs, and more. This adventure is very easy to get ready for, all there is to it is to put on a helmet that has an air tube connected to it. Even visitors with eyeglasses can do this and keep their glasses on. There is a professional diver that is there to help guide you as well throughout the whole adventure to ensure your safety and comfort. This underwater seaquarium adventure is ready for anyone starting at age 8 and up.

The Dominican Republic also offers great Dolphin Encounters and Sea Lion Encounters at Ocean World. At the Dolphin Encounters visitors get to interact with dolphins. This is a great opportunity for guests of all ages. Guests get an up close and personal visit with one of the amazing creatures. The guest and the dolphin can share kisses, give hugs, dance, and just have fun. The guest can even feed the dolphin some fish. Then there is the Sea Lion Encounter where guests can watch the Patagonian sea lion swim, dive, leap, bark and show off all while being up close and in person. Guests get to play games with the sea lions as well as touch and feed them too. After playing with the sea lions guests can get a hug and kiss from them as well as a photo. These are most definitely opportunities of a lifetime.