Dominican Republic is the second largest nation in the Caribbean.
It shares the island of Hispaniola, situated between Puerto Rico and
Cuba, with Haiti. The Dominican Republic occupies the eastern two-thirds
of the island and Haiti occupies the western portion. To the north
is the Atlantic Ocean and to the south is the Caribbean Sea.
The Dominican Republic has a semitropical climate, with an average
yearly temperature of 26°C (78°F). The rainy season is from
May to November, with rainfall heaviest in the northern regions and
lighter in the southwest. The hurricane season lasts from June until
November, with August and September being the peak months.
The Dominican Republic is geographically diverse for its size, having
extensive beaches of white sand, evergreen forests in the highlands,
fertile valleys with exuberant vegetation, and even desert zones with
dune formations. Its mineral resources include nickel, bauxite, gold
The country is crossed by four parallel mountain ranges running northwest
to southeast, with fertile valleys in between. The largest is the
Cordillera Central, extending from northwest of Santo Domingo into
Haiti. Its peak, Pico Duarte, is 3,175 metres high. It is the highest
point in the Caribbean and is often covered with frost during the
winter. Along the north coast is the Cordillera Septentrional. South
of the Cordillera Central are the Sierra de Neiba and the Sierra de
Bahoruco ranges. Between the Sierra de Neiba and the Sierra de Bahoruco
is Lake Enriquillo, the largest natural lake in the country, with
the lowest elevation in the Caribbean islands. It is also the only
salt water lake in the world inhabited by crocodiles.
The country is divided into 31 provinces and a district, in which
the Capital Santo Domingo is located. Other important cities are Santiago,
San Pedro de Macorís, La Romana, Puerto Plata, Barahona, La
Vega, San Francisco de Macorís, and Higüey.
There are maritime ports in Barahona, La Romana, Manzanillo, Puerto
Plata, San Pedro de Macorís, and Santo Domingo. The Caucedo
Peninsula, near Santo Domingo, is now home to a new state-of-the-art
container terminal facility. The country has seven international airports
and three for domestic flights.