Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic

Etymology

For most of its history (up until independence), the country was known as Santo Domingo — the name of its present capital and patron saint, Saint Dominic—and continued to be commonly known as such in English until the early 20th century. The residents were called Dominicanos (Dominicans), which is the adjective form of “Domingo,” and the revolutionaries named their newly independent country La República Dominicana. [wikipedia]

Places to Meet People

Places to Meet People

Azure {Open Source}; Santo Domingo – This group is for all those interested in trying and learning Open Source related issues in Azure, the latter being the Microsoft Open Cloud. [meetup]

Hub maker space – As our name indicates “HUB”, we are the central point where innovation, creativity and invention converge. Where we articulate, provide and develop collaborative tools, work and teachings. [meetup]

Liderazgo – Entrenamiento – Ministros Cristianos – All those who wish to prepare themselves to respond positively to the call of God and to fulfill with excellence the special mission assigned to them are invited. Includes workshops, seminars, conferences, visits and meetings to share experiences. [meetup]

Ministerio Cristiano en Andrés, Boca Chica, Santo Domingo – United we can make a difference! The most important resource needed to transform communities into extreme poverty is your active participation. We only ask that you devote your time, your skills and your knowledge. [meetup]

Mobile Do – This is group is for anyone interested in learning more about Mobile Development and technologies. We focus on the Development of Native experiences utilizing an array of different technologies including. [meetup]

Seguidores de Casey Neistat – Do you follow Casey Neistat’s Youtube channel? You have everything you need to be part of this group. Let’s join together for a while, share ideas, anecdotes, jokes, adventures, dreams and maybe your new vlog.[meetup]

How to Find a Date

How to Find a Date

Badoo – A massive worldwide online dating site launched in 2006, Badoo will be an Ok option for the Dominican Republic if you really want to put in the time to send out a lot of messages (a good number of the profiles don’t appear to be real). The quality though is not as good here, and the most attractive people will get bombarded with messages. Your message message will most likely get lost in the mix. Give it a try though if you run out of options on the sites above. [visa hunter]

Dominican Cupid – This is the best website for finding love in the Dominican Republic. Dominican Cupid is part of the Cupid Media family that owns sites such as Colombian Cupid, Brazil Cupid and Afrointroductions (sites that I’ve used in the past). DominicanCupid was started in October 2006 and has a user base numbering in the thousands – fairly small compared to many other dating sites, but reasonable size considering the small population of the Dominican Republic. DominicanCupid is primarily geared towards helping North American men meet Dominican women. [visa hunter]

Latin American Cupid – Latin American Cupid has been up and running since 2003. It is a solid option for the Dominican Republic, but, like any site, you will have to weed through some scammy profiles asking for help and money. I find that those profiles are easy to spot, and Latin American Cupid does a pretty good job of keeping the riff-raff out. [visa hunter]

Tagged – Tagged is a social media site with 300 million members and growing. Started in 2004, it now is available in 200 different countries. The thing that separates Tagged from other social media sites like Facebook is that, instead of staying connected with people you already know, Tagged helps you meet new people. Despite the site’s popularity, it actually has a low-quality look and feel, and is an overall plain looking site. That said, it does offer some great and useful features that make it not only useful for social media but also finding someone to date. [visa hunter]

Walking Tours

Walking Tours

Colonial Tour & Travel – Colonial Tour and Travel, DMC (Destination Management Company), Tour Operator and Travel Agency IATA in Dominican Republic. We are a reliable and experienced company with more than 20 years in the market. Our experience through the years has given us the best tools to understand the particular needs of our clients. [colonial tours]

Get Your Guide – We are the world’s largest online platform for booking tours, attractions and activities. Our diverse team, from over 45 nationalities, works hard every day to create the best experience possible for travelers so they can enjoy the fun part of their trip. [get your guide]

Happy to Visit – Depending on your wishes and your group size it can be cheaper that most of the offered tours! [happy to visit]

Runners Adventures – Pay homage to the First Cathedral of the Americas. Stroll down Las Damas Street where and see many important monuments. Pass by the Museo de la Casas Reales. A walk across the Alcázar de Colón will take you back to the era of the Spanish conquistadors. Watch a movie in a 4D cinema and get a break from the heat. [runners adventures]

Free Things to Do

Free Things to Do

Bahia de Las Aguilas and Jaragua National Park – On the Dominican Republic’s southwestern coast, near Pedernales, remote Bahía de Las Águilas is one of the country’s most magnificent beaches. This six-mile-long stretch of powder-soft sand lies in the protected Jaragua National Park and is best accessed by boat from the small village of La Cueva. The shallow, turquoise waters teem with marine life and the bay harbors many species of birds. [planet ware]

Basilica of Our Lady – The modern Basilica de Nuestra Senora de la Altagracia is one of Latin America’s finest examples of modern religious architecture and a leading pilgrimage center in Latin America. Annually, on January 21, a pilgrimage from across the country attends Mass at the church. [planet ware]

Eastern National Park – A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Eastern National Park (Parque Nacional del Este) is a prime habitat for hundreds of species of plants and animals, including 112 species of birds. The reserve also encompasses one of the Caribbean’s largest marine parks with an immense coral reef system. Four species of sea turtles as well as manatees, bottlenose dolphins, and numerous species of fish live in its tropical waters. [planet ware]

Jarabacoa – An emerging eco-tourism destination, Jarabacoa lies in the spectacular Cordillera Central, (Central Mountains) a landscape of sweeping pine forests, rivers, waterfalls, and the highest peaks in the Caribbean. The Dominican Republic’s only whitewater river, Río Yaque del Norte, offers gentle rapids for rafters. [planet ware]

La Romana – La Romana, on the southeast coast of the Dominican Republic, is home to the charming Altos de Chavón, a replica of a 16th century artisans’ village and one of the island’s best spots to shop for crafts. Visitors will also find the luxurious Casa de Campo resort here encompassing several hotels, beautifully landscaped gardens, a riding school, polo ground, and tennis courts. [planet ware]

Lake Enriquillo – Lake Enriquillo (Lago Enriquillo) is the lowest point and largest saltwater lake in the Antilles. Flamingos and iguanas are found in abundance here, and an island in the center of Lago Enriquillo, Parque Nacional Isla Cabritos, has one of the largest wild reserves of American Crocodiles. The park is home to over 106 species of flora and 62 species of bird ranging from the Hispaniolan Parrot to the White-crowned Pigeon. [planet ware]

Playa Dorada – Minutes from the center of Puerto Plata, Playa Dorada is one of the most popular beach destinations on the Dominican Republic’s north coast. This massive resort complex lies on a picturesque stretch of replenished beach dotted with deck chairs and coconut palms. Known as the country’s first tourism destination, the area is packed with amenities, including dozens of restaurants, a shopping center, and a Robert Trent Jones golf course. [planet ware]

Punta Cana – Punta Cana, on the eastern tip of the Dominican Republic, is one of the most popular tourist areas on the island. Packed with resorts, this large town is known for its beautiful beaches (palm-lined Bavaro is a favorite) and world-class golf courses. Nearby Scape Park offers a zipline tour, dune buggies, and a visit to the cool waters of Hoyo Azul Lagoon. [planet ware]

Samaná Peninsula & Samaná Bay – Studded with islets and fringed by palm-lined beaches, the waters of the humid Samaná Bay (Bahía Samaná) are a haven for marine animals. One of the biggest draws here are the humpback whales that calve here during January and February. This lush peninsula also encompasses popular Parque Nacional Los Haïtises, an ecological wonderland of jungle-covered islands, translucent waters, and thick mangrove forests. [planet ware]

Santo Domingo – Santo Domingo, the oldest city in the New World, lovingly preserves the jewels of its rich history and culture. Top on the list of the city’s treasures is the historic Colonial City (Zona Colonial), a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with cobblestone streets, stunning Spanish Colonial architecture, and excellent restaurants. Perhaps the most significant site here is the First Cathedral of America, the oldest existing cathedral in the Americas. [planet ware]

Festivals

Festivals

Carnival – The final day of Carnival falls on February 27, the same day that Dominican Republic became independent from over two decades of Haitian rule. Although each community celebrates in their own way, no festival is bigger than the one in La Vega, where revelers wear devil horns and whack each other with balloons. Santo Domingo’s Carnival culminates with a giant Independence Day parade along the Malecón. [iexplore]

Espiritu Santo – The sounds of conga drums and other African instruments ring throughout the Dominican Republic during this lively festival held in June, seven weeks after Semana Santa. The biggest Espiritu Santo celebration takes place in a community called Villa Mella situated not far from Santo Domingo. [iexplore]

Juan Pablo Duarte Day – This late January celebration in honor of Juan Pablo Duarte, one of the biggest fighters for an independent Dominican Republic, is held on the closest Monday to Duarte’s birthday, January 26. People lay wreaths and flowers on his tomb at Santo Domingo’s Altar de la Patria and children march alongside military members in parades across the country. The liveliest celebrations take place in front of the statue at Duarte Park. [iexplore]

Merengue Festival – The Malecón comes alive with the sound of merengue during this annual Santo Domingo festival, which starts in late July and coincides with the August 4 anniversary of the city’s founding. Several of the world’s finest dancers and musicians perform live while enjoying separate food and craft fairs. [iexplore]

Puerto Plata Festival – Fuerte San Felipe is the main location of this lively October festival on the Dominican Republic’s north coast. The most talented folk, blues, jazz, and merengue musicians perform during the day’s costumed parades, food fairs and dance performances. African spirituals are also part of the tradition. [iexplore]

Restoration Day – In 1863, the Dominican Republic regained its independence from Spain for the second time. Each August 16, Dominicans celebrate their ‘second independence’ by dressing in elaborate costumes and marching in street parades. The two biggest celebrations are in Santo Domingo’s Plaza España and in Santiago, the city where the fight began. [iexplore]

Semana Santa – The normally vibrant Dominican Republic grinds to a halt during the annual Christian Holy Week celebrations, which usually take place in early April. Church services and parties are the two most important features of these Easter festivities. The Dominican Republic’s Haitian community incorporates ancient voodoo ceremonies in their traditions. [iexplore]

Virgen de Altagracia – No Dominican religious day is more important than this January 21 tribute to the patron saint, the Virgin of Altagracia. It takes several days to make the pilgrimage to the basilica in the eastern community of Higuay where a 15th century painting of Altagracia hangs. The trip is just one of many smaller vigils and services held throughout the Dominican Republic and once the praying ends, the parties begin. [iexplore]

Public Transit

Public Transit

Buses – The 4 main private bus companies Bávaro Express, Caribe Tours, Metro Tours and Terra Bus all have comfortable 52-seat buses with air-conditioning. Trips up to 225 km taken with the Metro Tours an Caribe Tours can cost less than RD$453 (€9). [just landed]

Carro Publicos – You can recognise these small cars known as public taxis by the signs on the roof which show their specific route. It is very important to make sure that your final destination matches with their route before getting into the car as well as agreeing on the price. [just landed]

Guaguas – Mostly operating between cities, towns and villages, guaguas are privately owned minivans. These vehicles will stop anywhere and everywhere along their specific route. At the end of their route there are usually other guaguas waiting to carry you on until their route ends, and so on. [just landed]

Metro – Operating from 2009, the Santo Domingo metro system is the first one in the country, with plans to add several additional lines. One subway card normally costs RD$30 (€0.60). [just landed]

Motoconchos – Motoconchos are privately owned motorcycle taxis, they tend to be much easier to find than regular taxis, as well as much cheaper. These motorcycle taxis are perfect for shorter trips. Longer journeys can be quite dangerous as they do not offer any helmets. If you feel that the driver is going way too fast, ask him to slow down (¡Más despacio por favor!). [just landed]

Taxis – If you appreciate comfort, taxis are definitely one of the best options for transport in Dominican Republic. The comfort, however, comes at a cost with rates significantly higher when compared to the public transportation. Since the taxis do not have meters, the fares are fixed and depend on the distance covered to your destination. [just landed]

Professional Groups & Events

Professional Groups & Events

Meteor Dominican Republic – Meet other developers using Meteor. Share your knowledge, apps, and get feedback from others. Meteor is an open-source platform for building top-quality web apps in a fraction of the time, whether you’re an expert developer or just getting started. [meetup]

MongoDB Dominican Republic – This group is a place for developers to learn more about the non-relational, open source, document-oriented database MongoDB. [meetup]

Santo Domingo Cassandra Users – The Apache Cassandra™ Project develops a highly scalable second-generation distributed database, bringing together Dynamo’s fully distributed design and Bigtable’s ColumnFamily-based data model. [meetup]

Santo Domingo Mobile .NET Developers Group – Xamarin Platform & Windows Development using .NET. [meetup]

Santo Domingo Salesforce Developer Group – There are Salesforce.com developers in Santo Domingo, capital of the beautiful Dominican Republic. This group is intended to be the virtual place where these devs meetup! [meetup]

Language Exchange

Language Exchange

Amigos Internacionales en Santo Domingo – This group is for people with desire to meet people, whether new in the city, passing or always. It is a democratic group and open to proposals to stay and attend all kinds of events, both organized by us and those that are part of the cultural offer of the city. You are all welcome! [meetup]

Santo Domingo Spanish & English Language Exchange – We will be meeting at local bars and restaurants for a Spanish-English language exchange about every two weeks. People who want to learn either language in a laid back environment with a few drinks are welcome to come. [meetup]

Your Expat Community in Dominican Republic – Hola, and a warm welcome to our expat community in the Dominican Republic, the largest nation of the Caribbean. We offer you a wealth of invaluable information dedicated to supporting expats around the world. You are invited to use our detailed guides, take advantage of insider tips, and visit our forum to pose questions to other expats in the Dominican Republic who are happy to share their experience. You’ll find the answers to any questions, from the tricky, “how do I apply for a work permit?” to the practical “where can I attend language classes?” and the everyday “can I buy takeaway pizza?”. [internations]

LGBT Groups

LGBT Groups

Resources

Resources

Places in Dominican Republic

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