Geography of the Dominican Republic

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Located on the eastern two-thirds of the second largest island in the region, “Hispaniola” is located in the Antilles archipelago and is the perfect paradise on which to vacation in the Caribbean. The Dominican Republic occupies two thirds of the island of Hispaniola, which it shares with Haiti. It is located between the Atlantic ocean (to the north) and the Caribbean sea (to the south), forming part of the tropic of Cancer. Its borders to the east include the Mona Passage, making it an ideal fishing destination. And to the west, is the Republic of Haiti. Its geographic coordinates are 17º 36’- 19º 58’ latitude north and 68º 19’-72º 01’ latitude west. Due to its large size of 30,000 m2 (77,700 km2 ) including many adjacent islands, the Dominican Republic occupies second place in terms of size, within the Greater Antilles after Cuba. It is 178 miles (286 km) from north to south and 242 miles (389 km) from east to west. The surrounding islands include: Saona, Beata, Catalina and Alto Velo.

The Dominican Republic has very accentuated topography, 50 percent of which is taken up by five mountain ranges and three large mountain chains. Within these is the Cordillera Central mountain range where the highest point of the Antilles is located, the Duarte peak at 10,417 feet (3,175 meters). The remaining surface area of the national territory is made up of four large valleys, the main one being Valle del Cibao. Its hydrography is made up of various lakes, lagoons and rivers, some of which have become very significant tourist attractions. For example, on the Southwest Coast of the Dominican Republic, Lake Enriquillo is the lowest point in all of the Caribbean. The Dominican Republic boasts nearly 1,000 miles (1,609 meters) of beautiful coastline and beaches along the North, Northeast, East and South Coasts. Due to its ideal position in the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic’s tropical climate is influenced by various geographic factors, such as the orography and influence of the trade winds. It has an average annual temperature of 77 F (25 C), and a high of about 93 F (34 C) registered between the months of June until August. Normal lows are about 66 F (19 C) in the winter (December through February). In the mountainous areas, temperatures have dipped as low as 41 F (5 C).

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