Hato Mayor Province

province of the Dominican Republic

Hato Mayor is a Dominican province; it is on the eastern part of the country. Its name comes from the name of its capital city, Hato Mayor del Rey (in English: the largest cattle farm of the King).

Hato Mayor
Salto de Jalda waterfall in Hato Mayor, Dominican Republic
Salto de Jalda waterfall in Hato Mayor, Dominican Republic
Coat of arms of Hato Mayor
Location of the Hato Mayor Province
Location of the Hato Mayor Province
Country Dominican Republic
Province since1984
CapitalHato Mayor del Rey
 • TypeSubdivisions
 • Body3 municipalities
4 municipal districts
 • Congresspersons1 Senator
2 Deputies
 • Total1,329.29 km2 (513.24 sq mi)
 • Total103,032
 • Density78/km2 (200/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC-4 (EST)
Area code1-809 1-829 1-849
ISO 3166-2DO-30
Postal Code25000

It is one of the last provinces created in the Dominican Republic; it was made a province on 3 December 1984. The province's territory was part of the El Seibo province.



Hato Mayor is bordered to the northwest by the province of Samaná, to the east by the El Seibo province, to the west by the Monte Plata province and to the south by the San Pedro de Macorís province. The Samaná Bay is to the north of the province.



Some native groups lived close to the coast, in caves in Los Haitises region.[1] There were other groups, mainly Taínos, living inland but, in general, the population was low.

When the Spanish people came to this region, they found that there were many savannas with good grasses for food for cattle (cows), horses and sheep. And they made nine hatos. "Hato" is a word from southern Spain that means a large farm for raising cattle (a ranch); it is a common word in the Dominican Republic. One of those "hatos" was Hato Mayor del Rey, made in the name of King Charles I of Spain (Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor) but given as a Mayorazgo (a family property) to Francisco Dávila as the manager and the property was called sometimes "Hato Mayor de Dávila".

Because there were many French people and from other countries trying to live in the Samaná region, the colonial government founded the city of Sabana de la Mar in 1760 and brought people from the Canary Islands to live here.

The area of Hato Mayor was part of the El Seibo province until the new province began in 1984 with three municipalities: Hato Mayor del Rey, its capital, and Sabana de la Mar and El Valle.[2]

The municipal districts of the province were created in:[2]

  • 1197 : Yerba Buena y Elupina Cordero de las Cañitas
  • 2000 : Mata Palacio
  • 2001 : Guayabo Dulce



In 2014 (last national census), there were 103,032 people living in the Hato Mayor province, and 63,012 (61.2%) living in towns and cities. The population density was 78.1 persons/km².[3]

Its population represents 1.09% of the total population of the country and the province is ranked as the 26th (out of 31 plus the National District) more populated province.

As of 2016, the total estimated propulation of the province is 85,610 inhabitants.[4]

The largest city of the province is Hato Mayor del Rey, its head municipality or capital, with an urban population (in 2010) of 37,798 inhabitants.[3]



The Hato Mayor province has a total area of 1,319.3 km2 (509.4 sq mi).[3] It has 2.7% of the area of the Dominican Republic and it is ranked as the 15th (out of 31 plus the National District) largest province. The altitude of Hato Mayor del Rey, provincial capital, is 106 m (348 ft).[5]

The territory of the province covers across four geographical regions.[6] From north to south, these regions are:

  1. Llanos Costeros de Sabana de la Mar y de Miches (English: Coastal Plains of Sabana de la Mar and Miches). These are small plains close to the Samaná Bay coast. The municipalities of Sabana de la Mar and El Valle are in this region.
  2. Cordillera Oriental (English: Eastern mountain range), a short mountain range with low mountains. Another name for these mountains is Sierra del Seibo (English: El Seibo mountain range). On the southern side of this range, there is a region of low hills where is Hato Mayor del Rey, the capital of the province.
  3. Llano Costero del Caribe (in English, "Caribbean Coastal Plain"), a large plain in southeastern Dominican Republic. Most of the province is in this region.
  4. Los Haitises, in the northwest. It is part of a national park. It is a region with many low hills of limestone; the trade winds (winds from the northeast) bring a lot of water that falls in this region.

Rivers with their sources on the northern side of the Cordillera Oriental are short and flow into the Samaná Bay. The longest here is the River Yabón, 44 km (27 mi) long, with its mouth west of the city of Sabana de la Mar.

Those rivers that flow to the south of the Cordillera Oriental and into the Caribbean Sea are longer. The most important rivers are, from east to west:

  • Higuamo
  • Maguá. It is a tributary of the Higuamo river; the city of Hato Mayor del Rey is near this river.
  • Casuí. It is the main tributary of the Higuamo river.

There are two main roads in the province. One is the Carretera Mella ("Mella National Road") that begins in Santo Domingo and goes through Hato Mayor del Seibo, the El Seibo province and ends in Higüey; it is one of the most important road in the country.

The second road begins in Hato Mayor del Rey and ends in Sabana de la Mar.



The climate of the province is a tropical climate, hot most of the year.



There are 3 municipalities and 4 municipal districts (M.D.) in the province.[2] The municipalities and its municipal districts (M.D.) are:

Municipalities of the Hato Mayor province
Municipality (code) Municipal Districts (code) Population
Density Altitude
Hato Mayor del Rey (300101) 44,900 269.6 166.5 106
Yerba Buena (300102) 3,244 134.7 24.1 205
Mata Palacio (300103) 5,393 149.8 36.0 33
Guayabo Dulce (300104) 7,980 89.7 89.0 69
Hato Mayor del Rey (300100) 61,517 643.9 95.5
Sabana de la Mar (300201) 13,723 362.4 37.9 1
Elupina Cordero de las Cañitas (300202) 2,549 150.2 17.0 375
Sabana de la Mar (300200)) 16,272 512.6 31.7
El Valle (300301) 7,228 162.8 44.4 30
El Valle (300300) 7,228 162.8 44.4
Hato Mayor province (300000) 85,017 1,319.3 64.4



The main economic activity of the province is farming; the main products are cacao (in the Cordillera Oriental), flowers and African oil palm around El Valle, and sugar cane south of Hato Mayor.

Because there are many savannas with grasses around Hato Mayor del Rey and to the south of it, cattle raising is a very important activity in the province; the dairy industry is important, with a large amount of cheese produced in the province.

Fishing is important in Sabana de la Mar and other towns around the Samaná Bay.



  1. Veloz Maggiolo, Marcio (1972). Arqueología Prehistórica de Santo Domingo (in Spanish). Singapur: McGraw-Hill Far Eastern Publishers.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "División Territorial 2015" (in Spanish). Oficina Nacional de Estadística (ONE). October 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 November 2015. Retrieved 14 December 2016.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Consejo Nacional de Población y Familia. "Estamaciones y Proyecciones de la Población Dominicana por Regiones, Provincias, Municipios y Distritos Municipales, 2014" (PDF) (in Spanish). Retrieved 2014-02-02.
  4. "REPÚBLICA DOMINICANA: Población por año calendario, según sexo y grupos quinquenales de edad, 2015-2020" (in Spanish). Oficina Nacional de Estadística (ONE). Archived from the original (XLS) on 24 June 2016. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  5. "Hato Mayor del Rey". Geonames.org. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  6. De la Fuente, Santiago (1976). Geografía Dominicana (in Spanish). Santo Domingo: Editora Colegial Quisqueyana.