This lush Caribbean island is not called the “Island of Nature” for nothing. Its magnificent tropical natural treasures are by far its main attraction. While other Caribbean destinations usually boast palm-fringed white beaches, Dominica shows a different side to the region. Head to the mountain village of Laudat and hike through the UNESCO-protected Morne Trois Pitons National Park. It encompasses some of the island’s most beautiful mountain scenery in a 17,000-hectare protected area. A good hike will take you to beautiful misty lakes, waterfalls, hot springs and fumaroles in an environment of volcanoes and dense jungle. Enjoy the view and swim in the Emerald Pool or explore Titou Gorge.
From the gorge, real hikers should embark on the challenging six-hour hike to Boiling Lake, the second largest of its kind in the world and an impressive sight. If you don’t fancy a long hike, consider the Rain Forest Aerial Tram, which takes you on a gondola ride through the treetops before leading you – via a quick and easy route – to a bridge where you can see no less than five waterfalls.
The capital, Roseau, is a pleasant place to explore, with many restaurants, small shops and beautiful views of the mountains (to the east) and the Caribbean Sea (to the west). The city hums with the sound of vehicles, Caribbean accents and small businesses (e.g. crickets on the pavement, clothing vendors in street stalls). Go to the botanical garden to escape the hustle and bustle, or have a coffee in a gallery.
A former British fort is located on the northwest coast in Portsmouth. A small fee may be charged. Allow one to two hours to visit the site. A guided tour of the replica village of Kalinago Barana Autê in the Caribbean Territory offers an interesting insight into traditional Kalinago culture.
Scotts Head is a small isthmus at the southern end of the island. It is also the name of the small community that is located there. It is about an hour’s drive from Roseau. Scotts Head is a great place to hike up the steep rocky outcrop that offers great views of the southwest coast of Dominica and the Caribbean Sea (and even the island of Martinique to the south).