Viaje a la República Dominicana
(Journey to the Dominican Republic)
Where is the Dominican Republic?
Maybe you are one of the lucky few who have already been to the DR (in which case, I will have to ask you all about it), but for many of us, there is plenty to learn! The Dominican Republic (endearingly known as the DR) is located on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. Hispaniola is one of the largest of the Caribbean islands, and it has been divided into two countries: Haiti and the DR. Occupying ⅔ of eastern Hispaniola, the DR has become one of the most popular places to visit in the region. Locals lovingly refer to the DR as Quisqueya (mother of all lands) due to its position as the first permanent Spanish settlement in the Americas.
Some Fun Facts about the Dominican Republic
Music and Dance: Both music and dance are important parts of the DR’s culture. Some popular styles of dance include merengue, salsa, and danzón (the official dance and musical genre of Cuba). Likewise, Dominicans enjoy a wide variety of music, including rock and reggae; African folk songs; Mexican ranchera; bolero (a genre originating from eastern Cuba); and other Afro-Caribbean musical styles. Their dress and dance look very similar to the Mexican style of folkloric dancing that you can see here.
Sports: Baseball is the national sport and pastime of this country, but it is also one of their passions. Many athletes from the island are recruited to play in the US, such as Fernando Tatís Jr who is currently playing major league as a shortstop for the San Diego Padres as of this blog posting.
Arts: The DR is well-known for its ceramics, textiles, wood carvings, jewelry, baskets, and dolls
Dominican Faceless Dolls (Muñecas Limé)
As mentioned above, Dominicans are well known for their handcrafted ceramics, like dolls. Those dolls, also known as Muñecas Limé, became well known after 1981 when Liliana M
era Limé began making clay dolls without their faces! The dolls have become popular symbols of both womanhood and diversity in the Dominican Republic, as they often show women in all kinds of different roles (carrying fruits, pots, or flowers as they work) with different skin tones and heritages.
What to do in the Dominican Republic?
The DR is home to wonderful natural sights, including idyllic beaches, intriguing hiking trails, and breathtaking azure springs and waterfalls. If you are interested in visiting, here are some popular activities to try during your stay:
Beach Activities: If you are craving a good time on the water, you can surf, kitesurf, scuba, snorkel, raft, and fish
Other Activities: If you are looking for non-water activities, you can go ziplining, hiking, caving, rappelling, biking, or paragliding. You can even attend an inland safari to see the beautiful wildlife of this island
Local Festivals: The Dominican Republic has many cultural festivals that you can participate in, including cooking, art, and music events
What To See in the Dominican Republic
I cannot wait to thaw out in the Dominican Republic someday and experience all its vibrant culture has to offer! If I have also piqued your interest, here are a few of the favorite sites recommended to visit while on your trip:
3 Eyes National Park (pictured above)
Altos de Chavon
I would love to exchange travel stories and experiences the next time I see you. Where is the coolest place you have ever been? Maybe you have been to the Dominican Republic? Tell me all about it!