What is the terrain and geography like in Dominican Republic?
The Dominican Republic has a land area of 18,712 square miles. The country, with its 1,000-mile coastline, extends about 240 miles from east to west and has a maximum north-south width of about 170 miles.
Much of the terrain is rugged. Four nearly parallel mountain ranges transverse the country from northwest to southeast. The Cordillera Central is the largest range and divides the country into almost equal parts. Pico Duarte is the highest mountain in the West Indies at 10,128 feet. The largest and most fertile valley, the Cibao, is in the upper central part of the country and is approximately 150 miles long by 10–30 miles wide.
Dominican rivers vary in flow with the season and are only navigable for short distances at their mouths, if at all. Their main use is for irrigation and hydroelectric power. Major rivers in the Dominican Republic are the Ozama, Yaque del Norte, Yaque del Sur, La Isabela, Higuamo, and Soco.
The climate varies little year round. Although the country is in the tropics, constant trade winds keep temperatures from frequently exceeding 90°F. Temperatures in its coastal cities average about 78°F, with seasonal variations of 5-8 degrees.
Rainfall varies regionally with about two-thirds of the annual 57 inches in the capital falling in the rainy season from May to November. Hurricanes are a significant weather threat, particularly from June through October, and have caused serious damage in the past.