The Dominican Republic is situated on the eastern part of the second largest island in the Greater Antilles, Hispaniola. The Dominican Republic shares the island roughly at a 2:1 ratio with Haiti. The whole country measures an area of 44,442 km² making it the second largest country in the Antilles after Cuba.
The country is a tropical, maritime nation. Wet season is from May to November, and periodic hurricanes between June and November. Most rain falls in the northern and eastern regions. The average rainfall is 1346 mm, with extremes of 2500 mm in the northeast and 500 mm in the west. The mean annual temperature ranges from 21°C in the mountainous regions to 25°C on the plains and the coast. The average temperature in Santo Domingo in January is 23.9°C and 27.2°C in July.
The culture of the Dominican Republic, like its Caribbean neighbors, is a creole blend of mostly African and indigenous American cultural elements, as well as remnants of Spain's colonization such as language and religion. Castilian commonly known as Spanish, is the official language. Other languages such as English, French, German, Haitian Creole, and Italian are also spoken to varying degrees. Haitian Creole is spoken fluently by about 1.2 million people and is the second most widely spoken language. African cultural elements are most prominent in food (rice and beans), family structure, religious syncranization and music.