9 Things To Know Before Visiting The Nature Isle Of Dominica
Photo Credit: Paul Piebinga

Photo Credit: Paul Piebinga

9 Things To Know Before Visiting The Nature Isle Of Dominica

Dominica
Nasha Smith
Nasha Smith Nov 8, 2021

Dominica is not your average Caribbean island. If you’re looking for the usual — and very enjoyable — sun, sea, and sand while sipping on a rum punch, there are many other contenders to choose from. But no other island offers the natural, seemingly untouched beauty of the island, aptly titled the nature isle.

You won’t find the endlessly white sand beaches, but you will be left breathless by the dramatic gorges, infinite rivers, cascading waterfalls, and startlingly emerald lush foliage. But before you plan your next island adventure, here are a few things to know before visiting the nature isle of Dominica.

1. It isn't the Dominican Republic

Dominica is often confused with the Dominican Republic, but these are two separate countries. Dominica is an island in the Lesser Antilles, tucked between the French overseas territories of Martinique and Guadeloupe.

The Dominican Republic is a Spanish-speaking island in the Greater Antilles. It occupies two-thirds of Hispaniola and is bordered by Haiti.

2. Dominica is known as the nature island

Dominica should be at the top of your travel list if you’re the outdoorsy or adventurous type. It’s known as the nature island for its verdant rainforests, abundance of rivers, and mountainous topography. The world’s second-largest hot spring, called Boiling Lake, is a reminder of the island’s volcanic beginnings.

3. It is the land of 365 rivers

There is literally a river for every day of the year in Dominica, some leading to clear pools and waterfalls. A ride along the popular Indian River will take you through the forest to an old set for the witch’s house featured in the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ films.

4. There are no direct flights from the US or UK to Dominica

But it’s not a hassle to get there. From the United States, flights typically go through San Juan before landing at Douglas–Charles Airport.

From the United Kingdom, most planes stop in Antigua, which is only a 30-minute flight away from the island.

 

5. English is the official language of Dominica

English is the official language of Dominica, but locals also speak some French creole. The Kalinago language, which was an Arawakan language spoken by the indigenous Kalinago of the Lesser Antilles, is unfortunately bordering on extinction. However, there are efforts to preserve the culture.

6. The Waitukubuli National Trail extends across the island

The Waitukubuli National Trail spans an epic 115-miles across the length of Dominica, weaving through dense rainforests, steep gorges, and stunning waterfalls. It starts from Scotts Head and culminates at Cabritts National Park.

Keep an eye out for standouts like the Boiling Lake, Marine Reserves, and the highest mountain in Dominica, Morne Diablotins.

7. Dominica is the whale watching capital of the Caribbean

Sperm whales are the highlight of any whale watching trip to Dominica, but there are also 20 other whale species that have been spotted along the coast all year round.

8. It's not a beach destination

The Caribbean is teeming with pristine white sand beaches. Antigua alone boasts 365. But this is not the case in Dominica, where the black sand and rugged and rocky beaches reflect the island’s volcanic history.

9. The high season for tourism in Dominica lasts from February to June

The high season falls during the island’s driest months, when the average temperature hovers between 75 and 85 °F. July to October ushers in the rain and hurricane season.

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