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Hispaniola

Travel Guide Caribbean Hispaniola

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Introduction

Punta Cana - Saona Island view

Punta Cana - Saona Island view

© All Rights Reserved JOSE_MARIA

Hispaniola is an island in the Caribbean, comprimising the countries of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. It is one of the largest and most populous islands in the region and is the place where Christopher Columbus founded the first colonial settlements in 1492 and 1493.

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Geography

Hispaniola is located west of Puerto Rico and east of both Cuba and Jamaica, in the northwestern part of the Caribbean. Both the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands lie to the north of Hispaniola. It's about 76,500 square kilometres big of which about two thirds is formed by the Dominica Republic, the other third is Hait. It has between 19 and 20 million inhabitants.
Hispaniola is a mountainous island with five major mountain ranges. The Central Range spans the central part of the island, extending from the south coast of the Dominican Republic into northwestern Haiti. It has the highest peak on the island: the Pico Duarte at 3,087 metres above sea level. The Cordillera Septentrional runs parallel to the Central Range across the northern end of the Dominican Republic, extending into the Atlantic Ocean. The lowest of the ranges is the Cordillera Oriental, in the eastern part of the island. The Sierra de Neiba rises in the southwest of the Dominican Republic, and continues northwest into Haiti, parallel to the Cordillera Central. Finally, the southern range begins in the southwestern part of the Dominican Republic and extends west into Haiti forming the mountainous spine of Haiti's southern peninsula.

My nieces sweet 16 cruise

My nieces sweet 16 cruise

© All Rights Reserved peter al


In between the mountain ranges are lowlands and valleys, the Atlantic coastal plains and a depression runs parallel to the southern range where salt lakes are a main geographical feature.

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Countries

  • Dominican Republic - Spanish speaking, the more popular country among travellers, good for relaxing and all sorts of beach and water activities, but also with a rich culture and abundance of natural highlights.
  • Haiti - Creole speaking, French understanding, is much less travelled, but probably more interesting because of that. With a vibrant and unique history Haiti can overwhelm the senses. Recently hit by a devastating earthquake.

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Sights and Activities

Dominican Republic

  • Cigars - The Dominican Republic is one of the largest producers of cigars in the world. Some argue Dominican cigars are even better than Cubans. A great activity is to go explore the entire cigar making process from growing to rolling and lastly smoking. The best places to experience the cigar process are in the center of the island near Santiago and Cibao Valley region.
  • Beaches - The Dominican Republic has more then a thousand miles of white sand beaches with clear blue water. If you're looking for super high end resorts with pools and gold course then some beaches are perfect for you. If you're looking for something more off the beaten track with no people, that is also easy to find! The beaches surround the entire country and all of them are great in different ways. The beaches are amazing and are a great place to relax.
  • The north shore "Cabarete Beach" in Puerto Plata is famous for windsurfing, kitesurfing and regular surfing. It's also an excellent place for paragliding.
Paradise Island , Dom Rep

Paradise Island , Dom Rep

© All Rights Reserved shinenyc

  • Diving - Go for some excellent diving at places like Boca Chica, Juan Dollo and Ocoa Bay.
  • Eco and Adventure Tourism - This has grown in the Dominican Republic in recent years. Travellers who enjoy bird watching, camping, climbing, horseback riding, or white water rafting will find plenty of opportunities.
  • Baseball - Catch a baseball game and experience a local sports event.
  • The Colonial District of Santo Domingo - Explore the back allies of this historic district and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Catedral Santa María La Menor - This was the first Catholic cathedral in the Americas and is located in Santo Domingo.

Haiti

  • National History Park – Citadel, Sans Souci, Ramiers - The National History Park is the only sight in Haiti that is on the Unesco World Heritage List. The Haitian monuments date back to the early 19th century, when Haiti proclaimed its independence. The Palace of Sans Souci, the buildings at Ramiers and, in particular, the Citadel Laferrière serve as universal symbols of liberty as they were the first monuments to be constructed by black slaves after gaining their freedom. The park is located near Cap Haitien and offers great views as well.
  • Bassins Bleu Falls - The Bassins Bleu Falls are three deep blue pools, connected by spectacular waterfalls. Because of the special minerals in the water these waterfalls have a very special colour. Legend has it that that there are water nymphs living in the caves near the waterfalls, who enjoy the sun on the rock in Palm Lake. But they disappear whenever they hear people's footsteps.
  • Étang Saumâtre - The Étang Saumâtre is the main place to visit if you are interested in seeing the local flora and fauna. It is Haiti's largest saltwater lake and supports over 100 species of waterfowl, flamingos and American crocodiles. It offers a fantastic natural feature with great colours and dotted by brush and cacti. The western part of the lake is a bit salty, while the eastern part is actually freshwater!
  • Voodoo - Haiti is known because of its voodoo practices
  • Cap Haitien - This is probably the nicest city in the country, with its nearby beaches, lush forests and mountains.
  • Aid Work - ranging from healthcare, reforestation and economic development can be found in Haiti. Many people come to Haiti in order to help the country.

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This is version 2. Last edited at 21:43 on Jun 9, 10 by Lavafalls. 7 articles link to this page.

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