Dominican Republic Geography

The territory of the Dominican Republic comprises the eastern part (74%) of the island of Hispaniola or Santo Domingo, located in the Caribbean Sea, which is the second largest island in the Antilles. Its total area is 48,730 km², of which 350 km² are covered by water. It is bordered to the west by the Republic of Haiti (276 km of border) and is separated to the east from the island of Puerto Rico by the Mona Passage. It is bordered to the north by the Atlantic Ocean along 586 km of coastline and to the south by the Caribbean Sea at a distance of 545 km. There are many small islands and cays that are part of the Dominican territory. The two largest islands off the coast are Saona, in the southeast, and Beata, in the southwest. [10] The Dominican coast is characterized by a great diversity of bays and natural harbors, among which the Calderas and Samaná bays stand out. [eleven]


The Dominican territory offers a mountainous aspect for the most part, with four main orographic axes, oriented from West to East, being the Central Mountain Range the most important of the island, where the Pico Duarte is located with 3 087 m, the maximum elevation of The Antilles. Other mountain systems are the Northern Cordillera or Sierra de Monte Cristi, the Eastern Cordillera, the Sierra de Yamasá, the Sierra de Samaná, the Sierra de Baoruco, the Sierra de Neiba and the Sierra Martín García.


It presents the characteristics of a subtropical climate modified by the northeast trade winds and by the country’s topography. The climatic variations are marked, ranging from semi-arid to very humid. Its latitude and the prevailing pressure systems, influenced by the mid- Atlantic system, which has high pressures, make its climate similar to that of the other Greater Antilles (Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico).

According to bridgat, the average annual temperature at sea level is 25 ° Celsius, with small seasonal variations. Average annual rainfall varies drastically from 455 mm in the Hoya de Enriquillo (Neyba Valley) to 2,743 mm along the northeast coast. The geographical and seasonal distribution of the rains is erratic. There are normally two rainy seasons: April to June and September to November. Generally, the period from December to March is the least rainy.The country is located in a region characterized by tropical storms and, between the months of August and November, you may experience damage from strong winds, rain, and high tides. [12]


Inland waters (rivers and lakes) represent 1.6% of the national territory. There are numerous river basins, and among them there are some that, due to the volume of water they transport, the territorial dimensions they cover and the use that is given to their waters, are considered the most important. Many Dominican streams or streams have the peculiarity of presenting their dry bed during the dry season, multiplying their flow in the rainy season, and becoming highly destructive currents in some cases. [13]

The large Dominican river basins are those of the Yaque del Norte, Yuna, Yaque del Sur, Ozama and Artibonito rivers. Among the main dams or hydroelectric dams are Hatillo, Taveras, Bao, Valdesia, Monción, Sabana Yegua, Rincón, Sabaneta, Maguaca, Chacuey, Jigüey and Aguacate. [14]

The most important lagoons that exist in your region are: Laguna Cabral or Rincón (the total area of the refuge is 65 km 2); Oviedo lagoon (27 km 2), Bavaro lagoon (9 km 2), Limón lagoon (7 km 2) and Redonda lagoon (5 km 2). The last two are in the eastern region of the country, in an area declared since 1983, a Scientific Reserve. [13] and Lake Enriquillo.

Flora and fauna

The Dominican Republic represented 36% of endemism, (in 2011) ranking second in the Caribbean islands after the island of Cuba. [15] Its abundant flora has around 8,000 species of plants, flowers and trees, of which 1,800 are endemic. Due to its immense diversity, it has been classified as one of the richest and most varied flora of all the Antilles.

There are seven types of species interaction that normally, in nature, maintain the stability of an ecosystem: amensalism, commensalism, competition, cooperation, predation, mutualism, and parasitism. [15] In the northeast region of the country is the Los Haitises National Park, one of the protected areas of the territory.

Among the best known marine mammal species in the Dominican Republic, found in the Caribbean Sea, are the West Indian manatee, dolphins and humpback whales. There are more than 500 species of classified marine mollusks. Of the marine turtles, there are four species that can be seen most frequently on Dominican beaches: the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), the hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), the leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) and the loggerhead (Caretta caretta). [13]

The prohibited periods for the capture of certain species, both flora and fauna, are regulated by Law 5914-62 on fishing, and other resolutions issued by the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources. Protected species include: spiny lobster (Panulirus argus), lambí (Strombus gigas ; S. raninus ; S. Costatus ; S. gallus), crabs (Cardisoma guahnumi ; Ucides cordatos ; Gecarcinus ruricola), river crab (Epilobocera haytensis) and several species of seabirds.

Dominican Republic Geography

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