Dominican Republic Overview

Dominican Republic Overview



Santo Domingo.


As a country located in North America according to computerannals, the Dominican Republic is located in the Caribbean and shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti. The landscape is wooded and mountainous with fertile valleys and plains. On the coasts in the north, south-east and east there are excellent beaches, some of which are surrounded by mountains. At 3175 m, Pico Duarte is the highest mountain in the Antilles.


Presidential republic since 1966. Constitution from 1966, last amended in 1994. Bicameral Parliament (Congreso de la República), consisting of a House of Representatives (150 members) and a Senate (32 members). Independent since 1844 (formerly under Haiti).

Head of state

Head of state and government is Danilo Medina, since August 2012.


110 V, 60 Hz; two-pole flat plug. Adapter and transformer required.

Time zone

Atlantic Standard Time: CET -5



The official language is Spanish. There is an English-speaking minority in the cities of Samaná and San Pedro de Macorís. Immigrants of Haitian descent speak Haitian Creole and French. The Dominicans are proud of their Hispanicity and are very happy if you speak at least a little Spanish.

The Spanish spoken in the Dominican Republic is very different from the Castellano spoken in Spain. For example, some expressions and phrases from the colonial era have been retained. Dominican Spanish contains numerous Anglicisms (e.g. el switche – the light switch) and Afro-American expressions (e.g. merengue – dance). The grammar corresponds to Latin American Spanish. It is spoken very quickly, the final syllables are often swallowed. The final r is often pronounced as l (e.g. Calol instead of Calor (heat) or Señiol instead of Señior (gentleman)).

The word bomba is used many times in everyday language. It can be called bomb, gas station, gas bottle or air pump and is also used as an expression of enthusiasm (Bomba! – class!). A pretty girl is called una chica bomba.


  • Eight – Scho
  • Three – Tré
  • One – Uno
  • Inhabitants of the capital Santo Domingo – Capitaleño
  • Five – Cinco
  • In a moment – Ahora
  • Minibuses – Guaguas
  • Motorbike taxis – conchos
  • Nine – Nueve
  • Six – Be
  • Seven – Siete
  • Immediately – Ahora mismo
  • Later – Ahorita
  • Bye – Abur
  • Four – Cuatro
  • Folk festival, dance – bachata
  • Ten – Thie
  • Two – Dó




The Dominican Republic is known for its lively nightlife. Folklore and dance evenings are held in numerous hotels. Perico ripiao trios accompany dances such as salsa and merengue. Also Bachata -Klänge, a form of Caribbean boleros are often heard and gain more and more popularity. The genre became internationally known through the band Aventura, which was also in the charts in Germany in 2004 with the song ” Obsesión “.

Outside the hotel complex there are countless nightclubs, discos and casinos where you can meet many locals, especially on the weekends. Santo Domingo has a particularly diverse nightlife to offer: Along the promenade (Malecón) at the port there are numerous dance halls and nightclubs as well as some cozy cafes. One of the best clubs in the world is the Guácara Taína disco cave, where up to 2000 visitors can dance to hot beats under stalactites.

Younger Dominicans enjoy listening to reggaetón, a mixture of reggae, dancehall, hip-hop, merengue hip-hop, various Latin American music styles and electronic dance music. In addition, one danced Perreo, in which the dancers in particular provoke with strong hip movements.

Concerts and other cultural events are often held in the Casa de Francia and Plaza de la Culturain Santo Domingo. A special event are the fiestas (live concerts), which often take place at car wash stations and where you can experience merengue and bachata bands for a small entrance fee.

Note: There is a legal curfew in the Dominican Republic, so bars and nightclubs must close at 12:00 a.m. on weekdays and at 2:00 a.m. on weekends.



Catholics (95%). Minorities of Protestants, Baha’i and Jews.

Social rules of conduct

General: The Roman Catholic Church plays an important role and exerts an influence on the social structure. The Spanish influence can also be felt all over the island. The Dominican way of life does not know the tradition of long lunch breaks.

Manners: Shake hands to greet you. The common courtesy formulas should be observed. B. when inviting the host with a small gift. Flowers are only given on special occasions.

Clothing: Casual clothing is particularly appropriate during the day. Swimwear and shorts belong on the beach or the pool without exception. Men should wear a jacket in the evening, a tie is not absolutely necessary. Correct clothing is expected when entering churches, arms and legs should be covered.

Photographing: People should be asked before photographing them. Photography is sometimes allowed in churches and museums, but you should ask beforehand.

Smoking: In principle, you can smoke anywhere. However, some hotels divide into smoking and non-smoking rooms. Non-smoking areas should be observed.

Crime: As everywhere in the world, there are pickpockets in the Dominican Republic. Valuables belong in the safe and should not be left unattended on the beach. Rental cars should always be locked and parked in secure parking spaces. It is better to avoid walks in dark neighborhoods and night drives overland.


Best travel time

Hot and tropical all year round. Rainy season from May to October. Hurricanes can occur from June to November.


Area code +1 Area (sq km) 48 670 Population 10 478 756 Population density (per sq km) 215 Population in 2015 Member of the EU No main emergency number 911

Dominican Republic Overview