Occupying the eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola (Haiti makes up the rest of the island) between the Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic Ocean, the Dominican Republic is known for its beaches and coral reefs, fertile valleys, tropical rainforests and rugged highlands and mountains. Pico Duarte (3098m) in the Cordillera Central range is the highest peak in the Caribbean.
Wildlife in the Dominican Republic includes many species of birds, amphibians and reptiles, including the threatened rhinoceros iguana. Off the coast, one finds four species of marine turtles – leatherback, loggerhead, hawksbill and green – as well as dolphins and humpback whales. Many of these species are protected within a number of national parks and nature reserves, both on land and at sea.
Major threats to the island nation include deforestation, water shortages and soil erosion, which is responsible for damaging many of the country’s coral reefs.