If you long for an exhilarating adventure, a breath-taking view of landscapes and fairy-tale coral reefs, then a visit to Dominica is all you need. Located between Martinique and Guadeloupe, it is known as “The Nature Island.” Although it appears often as Dominica, its official name is the Commonwealth of Dominica, and to distinguish the island from its northerly Caribbean sister, the Dominican Republic.
Dominica is home to about 1,200 plant species, and its rainforests covers two-thirds of the island. The island also has extensive geothermal activity, and its volcanic physique is a testament to that. The island is sparsely populated with 70,000 people inhabiting its 289 square miles. The major religion practiced by its resident is Catholicism, and about 80% of the population is Roman Catholic.
Dominica is the only Caribbean island with a remaining population of pre-Columbian Carib Indians. Today, over 2,000 Caribs, properly known as the Kalinago, inhabit a 3,700-acre territory on the north-western side of the island. However, do not expect to be greeted by some primitive people, English is the official language, spoken with a melodic British lilt, but a large portion of the population speaks Kwèyòl (Creole), and a few northern villages speak Kokoy.
A retreat into nature or a bold step towards discovering the rich culture of the people will give you a Caribbean experience like no other, merging English, French, African, and Carib peoples. National Independence Day (November 3rd, 1978) is marked with a rich display of cultural celebrations which can last up to four weeks. It also boasts of being the host of the World Creole Music Festival. Also, its architectural mix of French, English and Spanish influences helps gives one a glimpse of their ancestral roots, especially from their craft, canoe building, and traditional culinary activity.
A natural blend of lush rainforests, rivers, and waterfalls with scenic volcanic wonders on both land and sea altogether culminates into a lifetime experience that would leave you craving for more. Dominica is a diver’s ultimate paradise, a hiker’s dream, a romantic’s getaway spot and the perfect honeymoon spot. Its volcanic peaks, boiling waters, sparkling waterfalls, rushing streams and lush vegetation all compliment each other to give the perfect holiday experience.
Trafalgar Falls, in the mammoth Morne Trois Pitons National Park, will serenade you with its rhythmic rush and fall, Or take a pleasant walk down to Emerald Pool, also in the park, for a beautiful waterfall and brilliant green pond. Scotts Head Pinnacle boasts of being one of the most famous dives on Dominica, is a 120-foot drop off and swim-through full of lobster and grunts. Don’t forget to visit the Boiling Lake, located in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park. The opening in the Earth’s crust releases steam and gas, and it’s flooded with hot bubbling water that rises into a cloud of vapor.
Dominica’s national dish is the mountain chicken, although roadside stands and small-town restaurants serve fish and chips, fried chicken, snacks made from fried dough made with flour, water, and sugar or sometimes salt, along with cold drinks. The word exotic takes on another meaning especially when you see its array of fruits like bananas, papaya, guavas, pineapples, and mangoes. Meat is not left out as beef, which is normally stewed down with onions, carrots, garlic, ginger and herbs like thyme is made using the browning method to create a rich dark sauce. Lunch or dinner usually contains common vegetables like plantain, yam, potato, rice and peas.