The Spanish Language Blog

The Dominican Republic is not just the country with sun, sea and beautiful beaches, subtropical temperatures and merengue and bachata music. The Dominican Republic has more to offer. Besides the beautiful and highly varied landscape, the country also has several impressive festivals that are celebrated every year.


The Dominican Republic, along with Haiti, is located on the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean Sea. The Dominican Republic is located in the center and east of the island and covers about two-thirds of the island. The capital is Santo Domingo and in addition to the island of Hispaniola, the country includes three other reasonably sized islands. The best travel advice for the Dominican Republic is from December to April. The months of June through November are hurricane season with the highest chance of hurricanes in the month of September.

Besides enjoying the sun, sea and beautiful beaches on the island, the country has much more to offer. Dominican Republic excursions are very diverse. The island has many mountain ranges including the Cordillera Central with the highest mountain in the Caribbean (3175m). Furthermore, the island has several waterfalls and national parks. There are also many lakes including Lago Enriquillo, the largest lake on the island and also the largest lake in the Caribbean.

Carnival in February and in August

The Dominican Republic is also known for its carnival. This feast is celebrated twice a year nahetmically in February and in August. However, carnival in August is celebrated somewhat less exuberantly than in February. In 1510, the first carnival was celebrated in the Dominican Republic, in La Vega, hence the name Carnaval Vegano. The celebration was organized by Christian who wanted to get the "wild" out of their slaves. Wanting to enjoy the feast themselves, they added their own influences to the carnival. The Haitian occupation caused costumes to disappear from the streets in the period between 1822 and 1844.

On Feb. 27, 1844, the Domincian Republic became independent. Since then, Carnival has been known for its colorfulness and the masks people wear. The masks are made by "carreteros" and are made of feathers, burlap and mostly paper maché. During the month of February, a parade takes place every Sunday in a different town each time. The big national parade takes place on the last Sunday of February in Santo Domingo, in honor of the country's independence. During these parades, all the "comparsas" (carnival associations) are dressed in costumes typical of their region. Every year more than 100,000 people from home, and abroad, descend on Santo Domingo's national parade. Since the Dominican carnival has expanded throughout the island, this celebration is called the "Carnaval Dominicano".

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