The Dominican Republic: rich in resources and history
The Dominican Republic (DR) is not only the Caribbean’s largest economy but also its prime tourist destination. It shares the Hispaniola island with Haiti, ironically, the poorest country in the region. This disparity is no more dramatic when you fly over the Hispaniola, and see the clear demarcation between the lush green forests of DR and the brown, largely deforested terrain of Haiti, which occupies about three-eighths of the island.
A stroll through the DR’s capital of Santo Domingo is a quick lesson in the colonial history of this fascinating country where Genoa native Christopher Columbus(aka Cristobal Colón) established the first European settlement, and visited on several occasions during his voyages to the New World.
After his demise in Valladolid, Spain on May 20, 1506, Columbus’ ashes were moved to a number of places, including Havana, Seville, and Santo Domingo, as if his itinerant spirit could not be dissuaded, even in death. Now both Seville and Santo Domingo lay claims to his remains. In Santo Domingo, the Columbus Lighthouse (Faro a Colón), a cross-shaped mausoleum and museum, was built as a resting place for some purported relics of this iconic world explorer of the 15th century.
For the modern-day traveler, DR no longer takes months to reach. It boasts six international airports, with direct flights from the U.S. and other parts of the world. Top notch hotels and resorts abound.
Oct 12, 2015
Category: DR Living |