The Dominican Republic is a country in Central America with 9.5 million inhabitants. It is located in the Caribbean on the eastern half of the island of Hispaniola. Neighboring Haiti is on the western part. The Dominican Republic has a coastline along the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. The landscape is versatile. Many mountain ranges, fertile valleys, desert landscape, salt lakes, a limestone plateau, rivers, lakes and waterfalls. The coastal plains with caves, bays, lagoons, beaches, coral islands and coral reefs. Vegetation in the form of tropical rain forest, mangrove forests, pine forests, coconut palms and shrub vegetation. There is a tropical climate with trade winds and a hurricane season. The capital Santo Domingo has 3 million inhabitants. Sights include the old city gate Puerta del Conde, the palace of Diego Columbus, the lighthouse Faro Colon and the cathedral of Santo Domingo. The colonial part of the city is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Other important cities are Bonao, Bajos de Haina, Barahona, Higúey, La Romana, La Vega, Puerto Plata, San Cristóbal, San Francisco de Macorís, San Pedro de Macorís and Santiago. Other places of interest are the Christ statue on the Monte Isabel de Torres, the rum factory of Brugal, the Samaná peninsula, the Creole cuisine, the merengue, the Amber Museum, the national parks and the Caribbean nature.

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