The Commonwealth of DOMINICA is not to be confused with the Spanish speaking Dominican Republic. It is nestled between the French Islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique in the Caribbean's eastern chain of Windward Isles. This 290 square mile island is a must for eco-tourists, nature-lovers, botanists, divers and visitors seeking holiday adventure. Dominica is one of the few Caribbean islands that has truly changed very little since Columbus visited and named it 500 years ago.
Dominica is arguably the best all-around adventure vacation island in the Caribbean, with gorgeous reefs, plenty of tropical lush rain forests, hiking, waterfalls, warm water springs, splendid fruits and vegetables and modest hotels, expect daytime temperatures in the 80s and night lows around 68 in winter and 73 in summer, although a few minutes up the mountain and into the cloud forest can change all that dramatically. July to November is the wet season, but showers may occur anytime. Dominica's at the edge of the hurricane belt.
Known as the Nature Island of the Caribbean, Dominica has a unique micro-climate – lush rainforests, volcanic peaks, 365 rivers, cloud-covered hills, sulphur springs, pools of bubbling therapeutic mud, hot mineral streams. The exotic animals and plants that have become extinct on nearby islands thrive here. Nature is spectacularly and uncontrollably rampant.
Roseau is the capital and largest city of Dominica. The city lies on the southwestern coast of the island, at the mouth of the Roseau River. Roseau, which has a population of about 11,000.
Roseau is the best base from which to journey into the interior. It’s a quiet town where, although English is the country’s official language, you’ll hear the French-based creole patois spoken in the streets, markets, cafés and many rum shops. Night-life is usually calm and relaxed except, perhaps, when the island hosts the annual World Creole Music Festival, attracting singers and musicians from throughout the French Caribbean, Africa and Europe.
Lush vegetation and indigenous forest cloak the island's mountainous terrain, several peaks of which exceed 4,000 ft. in height, whilst 365 rivers and streams wind their way through ravines and gorges to cascade over countless waterfalls, providing the island's cooling system and many opportunities to take a refreshing bathe in crystal clear waters. Tree ferns, orchids, heliconia and anthurium lilies decorate the forest floor whilst 175 species of birds, green iguanas, geckoes, tree lizards, aguti, manicou, beautiful butterflies and a multitude of colourful flora can be enjoyed throughout an island where nature trails abound.
Dominica is rated among the top 5 dive destinations in the whole of the Caribbean and number 8 in the World. Diving opportunities off the 29 miles of sheltered west coast are exceptional and not to be missed if you are divers. There are several dive centres scattered along this stretch - from north to south: Cabrits Dive Centre, close to Picard Beach Cottages, Anse-A-Liane Lodge, near to Colihaut, the East Carib Dive Club at Salisbury beach, Dive Castaways at Mero, Dive Dominica and the Anchorage Hotel, side by side at Castle Comfort just south of Roseau, and Nature Island Dive at Soufriere.
The marine reserve at Scotts Head/Soufriere Bay is a sumerged volcano, renown for its 'champagne' bubbles and great diversity. Douglas Bay, north of the Cabritts peninsular is also a designated marine reserve. On the Atlantic side, the north facing stretch of coastline from Blenheim to Woodford Hill has many attractive inlets and coves which are sheltered from the strong currents and breakers of the Atlantic and where snorkelling is also possible.
Columbus sighted the island on Sunday, November 3, 1493, but the island had been inhabited by Caribs from around 1000 AD, giving the island the name Waitukubuli which meant 'Tall is her body'.
The British fought the French over control of the island several times in the 1700s before gaining control in the early 1800s.
Lightweight and casual, with a light sweater for cool nights in the mountains. Swimwear is restricted to the beaches. When hiking, walking shoes and raincoats or anoraks are recommended in the rain forests.
220-240 volts, 50 cycles.
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