Thinking of heading to the ‘Nature Island’ for a break? There is something refreshing about being surrounded by tropical lushness and gorgeous views. Dominica has all of that and so much more, like boiling lakes, volcanic mountains, and beautiful farmlands. With so many attractions, it is really challenging to decide what to do while you visit. Here are the top 10 things to do in Dominica:
1. Like a clear glass of effervescent bubbly, Champagne Reef is one of the most notable dive sites in Dominica. Geothermal activity is all over the island of Dominica and it runs under the ocean floor, too. Here at Champagne Reef, sparkly warm bubbles slip out from under rocks and cause the fizzy water. This all takes place just a few feet from Champagne Beach. Grab your snorkel gear and your fins and swim to the reef for glimpses of trumpet fish, tiny sea horses and pink coral. The warm waters are teeming with aquatic life. When you are done, the beach has showers and changing rooms and a place to grab a snack.
2. Dominica’s Festivals are a sure draw for people touring the island. Experience the real people of Dominica doing what they love. Creole music from around the Caribbean and Africa is celebrated during the World Music Creole Festival. This is an annual event bringing crowds from all over the world. During October and November, Dominica celebrates their independence. This month-long festival is full of Creole customs, traditional clothing, great food, and, of course, music. Dancing is full-blown and lively as people celebrate. Calypso competitions, Mardi Gras and more are just a few reasons to party in Dominica.
3. If you enjoy tropical flowers as big as dinner plates, in vivid hues of red, blue and yellow, see the Amorphophallus Paeonifolius which blooms in the Papillote Tropical Gardens. Here, bromeliads, ginger and orchids live alongside butterflies and birds. If you get tired of strolling, relax in a natural hot springs mineral pool. The garden was started in 1967, stripped to the bare ground by Hurricane David in 1979, and is now flourishing again.
4. For a lasting memory, make the 3-hour trek in Morne Trios Pitons National Park to Boiling Lake. Here, greenish-gray water steams with rolling bubbles at 180-197 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the 2nd largest boiling lake in the world. Sometimes the trail can be muddy and slick. You certainly don’t want to fall or slide into this water. It is highly recommended that you get a guide to take you to the lake.
5. For another dip into a warm pool after a taxing hike, head to Victoria Waterfall in Morne Trios Pitons National Park. The White River streams over the edge of a high, rocky cliff. Milky, mineral-rich water warms the natural pool below. This is a great spot to take photos, especially from the vantage point in the pool looking upward.
6. Trafalgar Falls has two falls, the Mother and Father falls. A short hike through a forest smelling richly of vanilla and ginger plants will bring you to the falls. Again, a hot spring waits to ease those sore feet and soothe the tired muscles.
7. Visitors coming in on cruise ships will dock in Cabrits National Park. Here, black rocky beaches and swampland, beautiful coral reefs and rainforest are waiting to welcome tourist to the Nature Island. View the ruins of Fort Shirley. Dive or snorkel. Take pictures on the high vistas.
8. Morne Trios Pitons National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site and for good reasons. Mountains filled with bubbling mud fields, waterfalls, hot springs and giant ferns are just some of the glories that all deposited in this one Eden. See wild orchids, mini-geysers and cloud forest. If you are looking to see the real Dominica, this is the place to visit.
9. When you hear the unique sound of a conch being blown, head to the market. Fresh fish has just come in from the Caribbean sea. Roseau, Dominica’s capital, teems with life, from the Old Market where people can purchase not only fresh fish, but fresh fruits, flowers and souvenirs. The buildings along the promenade are colorfully Caribbean with blues, bright reds and pastels. Visit the Dominican Museum to see slave trade exhibits. St. Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral and the Botanical Gardens are good choices to visit while you are in the city. There is also a cruise ship port in the city, convenient for visitors.
10. To meet the indigenous people of Dominica, head out to the Carib Territory on the northeast coast. The reserve is home to the largest tribe of Carib Indians remaining. When you tour the village and talk with the people, you see into the history of these amazing people who are mostly earning a living fishing and farming. Most welcome the opportunity to tell visitors about their lives and culture. See the Indians weaving mats or carving. Selling the hand-crafted items supplements the incomes of the indigenous people and gives tourist an authentic souvenir reminder of their trip to the island of Dominica.
For flight and hotel deals to the Dominica and the rest of the Caribbean, check out our Caribbean travel partner, Expedia.com.
Top photo: Fishermen in Carib Territory. Photo: ©Discover Dominica Authority.
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Dominica is known as The Nature Island of the Caribbean due to its spectacular, lush, and varied flora and fauna. With only 100,000 visitors each year, this Caribbean travel destination is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. Check out our list of top 10 things to do in Dominica.
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