Found halfway between Puerto Rico and the islands of Trinidad and Tobago, the lightly visited isle of Dominica (not to be confused with the much more popular Dominican Republic) somehow has managed to fly under the radar of sun starved Americans and Europeans, logging only 200,000 arrivals per year.
This is somewhat mystifying, as Dominica has copious amounts of sun, sand and surf to enjoyed by all. Perhaps the fact that the sand isn’t a perfect white color has scared off perfection hunters, but those looking for a quiet, unspoiled place with tons of secrets waiting to be uncovered can use this slight to their advantage.
While the uncrowded beaches of this overlooked Caribbean nation may woo you with their wild, untamed nature, there are many wonders waiting to be discovered within its interior. The following attractions will add enough spice to your holiday, ensuring it will be one that you won’t soon forget!
Trekking is one of eco-tourism focused Dominica’s greatest strengths, as this lush island is criss-crossed with trails that will take you deep into its green heart. It is home to the Caribbean’s first long distance trekking route, as the Waitukubuli trail covers over 115 miles of all the terrain that make Dominica special.
If you don’t have a week to spare, there are many shorter walks that will put you in contact with wild parrots, boiling lakes heated by the volcanic depths of this isle, and take you up into the refreshing highlands that peak out at 1,400 metres above sea level.
Drenched by over 2,500 millimetres of rain per year, the creeks, rivers and waterfalls gush with copious amounts of water throughout the year, but especially following the conclusion of hurricane season, when the majority of annual precipitation occurs. Through Dominica’s interior, there are countless chutes to visit and refresh one’s body and spirit beneath.
Emerald Pool is an easily accessible and very attractive place to swim, with its jade-shaded but crystal water beckoning your sweat-beaded body. Also, be sure to make time to see Trafalgar Falls, as it is one of the tallest cataracts on the island at 38 metres high. While the gorge is too dangerous to swim in here, the sight of this wonder of nature makes it well worth the trip.
As mentioned earlier, Dominica is an island formed by volcanic activity, a process which continues to shape the area to this day. The heat of the Earth heats ground water in many places, causing the formation of hot springs, some too scalding to touch, but others still are bearable for bathers. Cook away your sore trekking muscles in these natural hot springs, many of which are located on the property of establish resorts.
Also, be sure to ask the locals about their favorite spots: they’ll know where the good spots are, including places along riverbeds are just off beaches where vents of hot water rise to meet cooler water of thew surface, making for the perfect hot spring experience.