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Dominican Republic

Driving Directions Dominican Republic

The DOMINICAN REPUBLIC forms the eastern portion of the island of Hispaniola in the West Indies. It covers two-thirds of the island, the small­er portion consisting of Haiti. The climate is semitropical and occasional hurricanes cause great destruction. The west of the country is made up of four almost parallel mountain ranges and between the two most northerly is the fertile Cibao Valley. The southeast is made up of fertile plains.

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Although well endowed with fertile land, only about 30 percent cultivated. Sugar is the main crop and mainstay of the country’s econo­my and grown on plantations in the southeast plains. Other crops grown are rice, coffee, bananas, cocoa beans, and tobacco. Mining of gold, silver, platinum, nickel, and aluminum is carried out, but the main industries are food processing and making consumer goods. Fishing is also carried out but not to any great extent due to the lack of equipment and refrigeration facilities.

The island has fine beaches, and the tourism industry is now very important to its economy.

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