Hispaniola is the 22nd-largest island in the world, located in the Caribbean island group, the Greater Antilles. It is the second largest island in the Caribbean after Cuba, and the tenth most populous island in the world.

Hispaniola is the site of the first permanent European settlement in the Americas, founded by Christopher Columbus on his voyages in 1492 and 1493.

Geography

Hispaniola is the second largest island of the West Indies, with an area of ​​about 76,840 km². The name given to the island was Columbus. Hispaniola means “small Spain”. The Tainos called the island “Quisqueya”, Mother Earth.

The island of Hispaniola is divided into the two countries Dominican Republic and Haiti. ⅔ the island belongs to the territory of the Dominican Republic and ⅓ to Haiti. Although both countries are on an island, the landscape, cultural and social differences are huge.

From a geological point of view, the island of Hispaniola is part of two branches of the North American cordillera system and is about 660 km long, 250 km wide and extends west-easterly. In the west, the island of Hispaniola is separated by the approximately 90 km wide Windward Passage from Cuba and in the east by the Mona Passage of Puerto Rico, which is up to 110 km wide.

On the island of Hispaniola lie five large mountain chains. The highest mountains of the Caribbean are in the Dominican Republic. The highest mountain is the Pico Duarte with 3,098 meters above sea level. Also the deepest point of the Caribbean lies on Hispaniola: the salt lake Enriquillo in the southwest of the Dominican Republic.

Hispaniola offers four vegetation zones and five climatic zones. More than 5,000 plant species, many of them endemic, make the island a paradise for nature lovers. The animal world is also convincing, although it is not possible to affect large animals except for a few species. For this, the bird world is represented even more arsenically.

The varied climate, geography, as well as plants and fauna found in the country should not only attract you to visit, but invite you to explore…

History

The island of Hispaniola (La Isla Española) was the first New World colony settled by Spain.

As such, it served as the logistical base for the conquest of most of the Western Hemisphere. Christopher Columbus first sighted the island in 1492 toward the end of his first voyage to “the Indies.”

For two centuries the Spanish ruled the island but, in 1697, western Hispaniola (present-day Haiti) came under French control, with the east remaining under Spanish control, a division that still exists today, with the Dominican Republic and Haiti sharing the island

Finally, and after decades on unstable political situations, on 27 February 1844, the territory of Santo Domingo recovered its sovereignty and declared independence as the Dominican Republic

Los Patos
Flamingos
Fisher Haiti
Iguana

 

What to see an what to do!

Wild mountain streams, hidden caves and dreamy waterfalls can be visited on guided tours in the mountains. Walks through tropical mountain forests, biking at the beaches and safaris for bird and bird watching are just a few of the recommendations that we can give you.

Discover the original southwest of the Dominican Republic and Haiti with Ecotour Barahona.
Read more about our tours!