Well known for its spectacular mountains and beautiful beaches, the Dominican Republic is blessed with a wide variety of landscapes and natural attractions. It has dense mountain forests, extensive mangroves, bone-dry deserts as well as a large number of protected national parks. Its beaches range from placid stretches of white sands to some of the world's best windsurfing sites. It is also a country with a vibrant cultural life, producing internationally famous musicians, artists and sportsmen. A blend of European, African, North American and pre-Columbian influences has created a culture expressed in the arts, architecture and infectious merengue music. In this introduction to the Dominican Republic, James Ferguson surveys the country's many historic and national treasures, ranging from colonial-era churches and mansions to modern beach resorts. Exploring its often tumultuous history as well as its contemporary life, he looks at how the past has shaped today's nation and how Dominicans have created their own unique identity.
In an area-by-area account of the country, this book takes you on a tour of the Dominican Republic: from the Caribbean's highest mountain to some of its most unspoilt beaches; from the cobbled streets of 16th-century Santo Domingo to the high-rise tourist palaces of the east coast; from adventure activities like canoeing and horse-riding to lazy days on idyllic beaches; and, from the distinctive sounds of merengue and bachata to real Dominican delicacies and world-class rum.
James Ferguson is the author of several books on the Caribbean, including A Traveller's History of the Caribbean (Interlink, 1998).