The Dominican Republic is a Caribbean country that occupies the eastern two-thirds of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. The western one-third of Hispaniola is occupied by the country of Haiti. To the north lies the North Atlantic Ocean, while the Caribbean Sea lies to the south. After attaining independence in 1844 the Dominican Republic endured many years of largely non-representative rule until Joaquin Balaguer became president in 1966 holding office until 1996. Today, regular elections are held and the Dominican Republic now has an impressive and fast growing economy with tourism playing a major role. For the adventure tourist this Caribbean country offers a diverse countryside comprising tropical rainforests, arid desert expanses, alpine ranges and steamy mangrove swamps. It's a playground for trekkers, mountain bike enthusiasts and water-sport junkies!
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