Here Dominica's highest mountain, Morne Diablotin, soars 4,747 feet. The peak takes its name from a bird known in English as the black-capped petrel. Now extinct on the island, it was prized by hunters in the 18th century. Dominica is still a major birding destination with many exotic—and endangered—species such as the green-and-purple Sisserou parrot (Amazona imperialis) and the Jaco, or red-neck, parrot (Amazona arausiaca). Before this national park
was established, its Syndicate Nature Trail was aided by some 6,000 schoolchildren—each donated 25¢ to protect the area's habitat. The west-coast road (at the bend near Dublanc) runs through three types of forest and leads to the park. The trail offers a casual walk; just bring a sweater and binoculars. But the five- to eight-hour hike up Morne Diablotin is no walk in the park. You will need a guide, sturdy hiking shoes, warm clothing, and a backpack with refreshments and a change of clothes (including socks). All should be wrapped in plastic to keep them dry.
Bertrand Jno Baptiste. Local ornithology expert Bertrand Jno Baptiste is a good guide for Morne Diablotin. 767/245–4768.