For many people this Caribbean island symbolizes the
perfect exotic holiday loca-tion, a paradise of sun,
sand, and sea all year round.
For Christopher Columbus it
was the most beautiful place he had ever seen, deserving
of the name "La Espaņola", while the original
inhabitants honored it with the name "Quisqueya",
fertile Mother Earth.
The modern name of the island is "Hispa-niola"; it is
home to the Dominican Republic. The country offers a
variety of natural trea-sures which are unique in the
Caribbean: lush, subtropical vegetation, fertile
valleys, mountain ranges
up to 10,400 feet (3175 meters) high, and hundreds of kilometers of its famous palm-lined
white sand beaches and shimmering turquoise sea.