Dominica isn't just one of the most breathtakingly beautiful islands in the Caribbean, it's one of the most breathtakingly beautiful nations in the entire world. And, on the rare chance that you're aware it exists, you may be mispronouncing its name. It's 'DOM-ih-NEE-kə,' not to be confused with the Dominican Republic, which is only 1,000 kilometers northeast from Dominica but feels infinitely further away still.
Located in the Eastern Caribbean Sea, Dominica is known as the "Nature Island" of the Caribbean, and it is decidedly wilder and less tamed than many of its neighbours in the Windward Island chain. With its majestic waterfalls, champagne reefs, volcanic valleys, and tropical rainforests, Dominica is absolute heaven for the outdoors-lover, or the nature-enthusiast, or even the wellness-warrior. The herbs growing in the rainforest are rumored to cure just about anything, and the year-round sperm whale population frolicking in the water just off the west coast is a guaranteed dose of perspective on a sunny afternoon.
Dominica has thus far remained lesser-known to would-be tourists than the neighboring French isles of Martinique and Guadeloupe (both islands remain under French rule). But the times, they are-a-changing: Dominica covered the April 2019 issue of Travel & Leisure and is receiving increased international attention with the October 2019 unveiling of the Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski, a luxury property set amongst Cabrits National Park..
Yet, even before this 5 star addition to the hotel landscape, Dominica boasted several charming, sophisticated, and utterly bliss-inducing properties from coast-to-coast - most notably Toucari Cottages with their own spectacular views of the Caribbean Sea. It is unclear how much longer such destinations will remain under-the-radar - and so, in short, the time to visit is now.
365 rivers, dozens of waterfalls, miles of coastline, mountains to climb and trails to explore - Dominica is a hiking paradise. There are signposted easy walks like Emerald Pool, Syndicate Trail and Trafalgar Falls. Some more adventurous trails such as La Chaudière Pool or Middleham Falls that can be tackled with a guidebook. And then there are those strenuous hikes that are better attempted with a guide to Boiling Lake or the peak of Mont Diablotin.
Sometimes called the whale watching capital of the Caribbean, Dominica is home to several families of Sperm whales who can be seen all year round. In addition, there are dolphins, pilot whales and migrating humpback whales that are attracted to the deep waters close in to the island's west coast.
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Snorkeling and Scuba Diving
The whole coastline is dotted with magnificent dive sites and all a diver's needs can be accommodated by several local dive centres. As well as the beautiful flora and fauna, you can experience swimming through rock and coral tunnels or through volcanic bubbles. Alternatively, there is plenty to see just off the beach with a mask and snorkel.
Our local dive master and dive instructor - www.saltdominica.com
A fabulous way to explore the rugged interior and feel like a true adventurer. An organized trip with fully qualified guides will take you down waterfalls and through pools in the very heart of the rainforest - unforgettable.
Contact Extreme Dominica - www.extremedominica.com
In some locations, locals have tamed the hot volcanic springs into relaxing spa pools. Mixing the sulphurous spring water with clear cold spring water, pools of different temperatures are created where you can lie back under the rainforest canopy and forget about the outside world.
There is no better way to experience the beauty of the Nature Island than by horseback. Catering for all ages and abilities, choose from two local operators.
Brandy Manor: Wonderful trail rides through pristine rainforest with spectacular views of Cabrits and Prince Rupert Bay. brandymanor.wixsite.com/riding-center