Ever heard of the Caribbean island called ‘Dominica?’ This off-the-radar tropical destination boasts off some of the planet’s most pristine natural environments—from geothermic rock pools and lush tropical rainforests, to giant waterfalls and gorgeous black beaches—spread across an area smaller than New York City! Let this article from Vogue make you fall in love with this island:
Tucked away between Guadeloupe and Martinique is unadulterated Dominica (pronounced dom-ah-nee-ka). Because it’s often confused with the Dominican Republic and lacks direct long-haul flights, the destination has predominantly remained under the radar. But with few places left in this world that feel unspoiled, the country truly stands out. A favorite of Vogue’s Fashion News Director, Chioma Nnadi—who used to live on Martinique and brought her family and friends to Dominica twice because she loved it so much—she blissfully sighs when I tell her I’ve just returned from the verdant island. “Everything about Dominica is kind of magical. The fact that it feels like a small village, but has so many natural and unexpected wonders packed into one island, is beyond anything I have ever seen before. If you’re expecting a picture-postcard Caribbean beach scene with powdery white sand, then you won’t find it [there], but that’s also what makes it special,” she raves. With two-thirds of Dominica covered in rain forest, 365 rivers weaving their way around the land, and a number of volcanoes and waterfalls, you’ll wonder whether or not you’ve been transported back to the Jurassic period. Don’t expect to come here for white-glove service the way you would in St. Barth’s or Grand Cayman, but rather to get a taste of what local, unsullied life is like. “Seeing how the indigenous Carib communities, which still build very traditional wooden houses literally on stilts, live was super-memorable,” recalls Nnadi. Now, who’s ready to pack their bags for the Caribbean’s “Nature Island”?
What to Do
Hike Waitukubuli Trail
The longest in the Caribbean, coming in at 115 miles, it’s recommended that you walk one segment a day, which would lead to a whopping two-week hike through the mountainous terrain. It’s no easy feat, but for the truly ambitious, it’s a scenic bucket-list endeavor that will put you face-to-face with sulfur springs, local farmers, and picturesque waterfalls.
Sail Around the Island
For those who want a quick glance of Dominica without all the work of a grueling 14-day trek, hop on a speedboat and motor your way around. On the northern end you’ll come across Douglas Point, otherwise known as Split Rock, named after the slab of stone that halved underwater upon separating from its cliff, as well as a waterfall that cascades directly into the ocean.
Visit Boiling Lake
Be forewarned that this is known as one of the most difficult hikes you may ever endure. Located in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park, the island’s UNESCO World Heritage Site, it takes about six hours round-trip and requires scaling steep inclines and trudges through sludgy mud and multiple rivers. It’s strenuous, but for the avid hiker, totally worth it when it comes to the panoramic views of the rain forest and a pit stop at a natural Jacuzzi before reaching the world’s second largest boiling lake.
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