Rainforest, astonishing waterfalls, top-10 diving and snorkeling, hiking, bird watching, horseback riding, whale watching, friendly people, beaches, great cocktails and music… everything you hope to find for your ideal holiday is here for you in Dominica.
Dominica – not to be confused with the Dominican Republic- is one of the smaller islands in the Eastern Caribbean, situated between its French neighbor islands Guadeloupe and Martinique. It is roughly 45 km (25 miles) long and 25 km (16 miles) wide, covered with green mountains of which the highest is Morne Diablotin at 1,447 m (4,747 ft) in elevation.
The name “Dominica” is pronounced with emphasis on the third syllable (Dominíca). It is an independent republic with its own president, and the language is English. The population is between 55,000 and 70,000 (no recent official census). It’s capital is Roseau with circa 15,000 inhabitants, and the second largest city is Portsmouth with some 3,000 inhabitants.
Dominica has been named the “Nature Island of the Caribbean” for its natural environment. It has a lot of geothermal-volcanic activity, as evidenced by the world’s second-largest hot spring called Boiling Lake. The island has lush mountainous rainforests and it is the home of many rare plants, animals and bird species. Both the Jacco and the Sisserou parrot are found only on Dominica and the Sisserou features on the national flag.
The island was originally inhabited by the Kalinago Indians and later colonized by Europeans, predominantly by the French from the 1690s to 1763. Columbus is said to have passed the island on Sunday 3 November 1493, and the island’s name is derived from the Latin for “Sunday”. Great Britain took possession in 1763 after the Seven Years’ War, and it gradually established English as its official language. The island republic gained independence in 1978.
Hiking, lakes and waterfalls
Dominica’s nature is there for you to discover. All over the island you can walk parts of the famous Waitukubuli National Trail, a 185 km hiking trail. Challenging hikes go to Boiling Lake or the top of Morne Diablotin (1,447 meters), but there also many beautiful smaller hikes. Try for instance:
Diving and snorkeling
There are dozens of excellent dive and snorkeling sites on Dominica, with great reefs, walls and caves. And there are several professional diving schools to help you discover this underwater beauty, both for beginning and experienced divers. A special experience is snorkeling in the sea with thermal vents, sending crystal bubbles upward in the sea, for instance at the Soufriere Champagne reef.
Tours and sightseeing
For some special sightseeing on Dominica you can use guides or guided tours to see, hear and experience even more. How about:
Beaches, restaurants and shopping
After all that excitement it’s time for relaxing and enjoying the good life. Spend some days at one of the great Dominican beaches, for instance at Batibou, Picard, Hampstead, Mero, Purple Turtle or Marigot. Visit one of the many great restaurants, often with authentic Caribbean cuisine made from the freshest ingredients infused with French, Asian, African and Carib influences. Or just enjoy a delicious cocktail watching a spectacular Caribbean sunset… paradise at your feet.
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