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The Dominican Republic is one of the most popular destinations for overseas property buyers in the Caribbean. Given the heritage and past of the island, there is a rich culture to attract visitors, and like all of the Caribbean islands, there is a distinct individual flavour to the Dominican Republic.
Dom Rep, as it is known, takes up two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola, and is a favourite stopping-off point for the many cruise ships that wend their way among the islands throughout the year. The local economy depends largely on tourism for survival, but makes a superb location for a second home, or even as a destination for permanent emigration.
Property in the Dominican Republic is somewhat less-expensive than is found in much of the rest of the Caribbean, but don’t let that put you off a great location for a home overseas.
As a country that was home to the first permanent European settlement in the Americas, the Dominican Republic holds a significant place in the history of the region. Santo Domingo was also the site of the first colonial capital, cathedral, university, European-built road and fortress, and many other things in the development of the islands.
As a Spanish colony, the island of Hispaniola had a turbulent period of revolt, conflict and invasion. Occupied and ruled for a time by the French, the nation of the Dominican Republic eventually became independent for the first time in 1861. Following more turbulence, a period of US rule and several failed governments, a representative democracy is now in operation in the country, and has been successful in stabilizing the political process and getting various modernisation initiative pushed through in the country. The latest of these has been the construction of the Dominican Republic Metro.
The island of Hispaniola is located in the Greater Antilles, to the west of Puerto Rico and the east of Cuba and Jamaica. The island itself is mountainous, and the Dominican Republic alone has four significant mountain ranges, including the highest range in the whole of the West Indies, the Cordillera Central. The ranges run parallel to one another across the island, creating a number of valleys and plains.
In addition, the Dominican Republic has a number of cays and islands dotted off the coast, which are also popular tourist attractions. The two largest islands are Beata and Saona, which is protected as a nature reserve.
Property development on the island tends to be spread around the coastal areas, with Puerto Plata on the north coast and Punta Cana among the most popular locations.
The climate in the Dominican Republic is that shared by the majority of the Caribbean – tropical and maritime. The wet season lasts from May to November, with the periodic hurricanes that afflict the Caribbean from time to time. Otherwise, the weather is generally warm, with mean temperatures across the year above 21 degrees C. The advantage of the Caribbean is that there is little temperature difference between the summer and winter months, and in general, temperatures are around five degrees colder in the depths of winter than in the height of summer.
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