In Dominica, Mother Nature comes to you. Her beauty reveals itself in underwater silence as you swim in volcanic bubbles while millions of colors dash by, or perhaps in its magnificent steep, narrow stretches of red mud and lush forests on your climb up a mountain volcano. Any way you choose to experience Dominica, her big and small wonders will awe you.
Wedged between the two French islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique, Dominica (pronounced dom-in-ee-ka) is as close to the Garden of Eden as you're likely to get. Wild orchids, anthurium lilies, ferns, heliconia, and myriad fruit trees sprout profusely. Much of the interior is still covered by luxuriant rain forest and remains inaccessible by road.
With this bountiful natural abundance, there's also a lot of active watching—flying birds and butterflies, turtles hatching, plus jumping dolphins and breaching whales. Even when you're not looking, something is sure to capture your gaze. The sensory overload isn't just visual. Your soul may be soothed by the refreshing smell of clean river water and cleaner air, your taste buds will be tantalized by the freshest fruits and vegetables, and your skin will be caressed by the purest natural soaps.
A natural fortress, the island protected the Caribs (the region's original inhabitants) against European colonization. The rugged northeast is still reserved as home to the last survivors of the Caribs, along with their traditions and mythology.
Dominica—with a population of approximately 73,000—did eventually become a British colony. It attained independence in November 1978 and has a seat in the United Nations as the central Caribbean's only natural World Heritage Site. Its official language is English, although most locals communicate with each other in Creole; roads are driven on the left; family and place-names are a mélange of English, Carib, and French; and the economy is still heavily dependent on agriculture.
With fewer than 78,000 overnight visitors annually, Dominica is a little-known destination with no major hotel chains, but the island's forestry service has preserved more national forests, marine reserves, and parks, per capita, than almost anywhere on Earth.
Dominica is an ideal place to be active—hike, bike, trek, kayak, dive, snorkel, or sail in marine reserves. Explore the rain forests, waterfalls, and geothermal springs, or search for whales and dolphins. Discover Dominica's vibrant Carib culture. To experience Dominica is really to know Earth as it was created.