Description of Dominica
Dominica is an island located between the North Atlantic Sea and the Caribbean Sea. It is about half the way from Puerto Rico to Tobago and Trinidad. Dominica is often referred to as being the nature island in the Caribbean because of the spectacular fauna and flora that are found on the island. These are protected through a national park system which is quite extensive.
Dominica offers a tropical climate with moderate temperatures because of the trade winds from the northeast. There is heavy rainfall that occurs and flash floods are a threat constantly. During the later months of summer there are destructive hurricanes that occur.
Dominica was the last Caribbean island to be colonized by Europe. The main reason for this is because of the great resistance from the native Caribbean’s. Possession of the island was given to Great Britain from France in the year 1763. Britain made the island one of its colonies in 1805.
In the year 1980, just 2 years after the island gained its independence, the fortunes of the islanders improved as the tyrannical and corrupt administration was replaced by the 1st female prime minister of the Caribbean, Mary Eugenia Charles. She remained in office for the next 15 years.
Currently, there are around 3000 Carib Indians that live on the island. These people are the only pre-Columbian population that remains in the eastern Caribbean.
There are many great destinations found throughout the island. The Waitukubuli National Trail is quite popular. This 115 mile hiking trail starts at the southern tip of the island and travels to Cabrits national Park, which is located near Portsmouth on the northwest part of the island. The trail is fairly well marked and includes several sections that overlap with roads as well as wilderness trails that are easy to spot. There are 14 segments of varying difficult. Most of the segments will take about 6 hours to finish. The majority of the landscape is lush rainforest combined with steep mountain trails. There are some portions on the road as well. The trail is marked so that you walk from the south to the north. If you go the other way you will find it a bit more difficult to find the signs.
Another national park on the island is Morne Trois Pitons. This is a World Heritage Site and offers many great attractions including the freshwater lake, boiling lake, Middleham falls, and Boeri Lake. The hike around Boiling lake is 12 miles and takes about 8 hours to complete. It is recommended that you hire a guide for this hike, especially if you are not an experienced back country hiker.
Champagne offers a wonderful spot for snorkeling off the south coast of the island. There are underwater volcanic vents that let off continuous streams of bubbles. This makes the area seem just like a large glass of champagne, hence the name. The coral and fish of the area are a bit below average.
Glassy offers and incredible 2/3 hour hike on the southeastern part of the island. The trail starts out through a bit of farmland and then goes through a deep jungle valley. The trail will then approach the coast and skirts steep cliffs on one side. This is not a great place for people suffering from vertigo. The end of the trail is at an older volcanic flow that goes into the ocean. There are small ponds that collect the crashing waves. There are fish and coral that have made these small ponds their home.
Jaco Steps are found when you cross the creek located in Belles and hike up a forest plateau in the rain forest. The steps were built by slaves who escaped while under Jaco’s leadership many years ago. The camp was protected by the inaccessibility for 40 years.
Roseau is the capital of Dominica and offers many great restaurants as well as some small shops. You will find many gorgeous views of the mountains as well as the sea. You can arrange dolphin watching, whale watching, and boat tours from the city.
On the northwest side of Portsmouth there is a British Fort that is worth visiting. You may be charged a small fee to enter, but it is a great way to pass a couple of hours while on the island.
At the southern tip of the island is Scotts Head. This is a great place to hike up a steep outcrop. Once you reach the top you will be rewarded with some great views of the coast.
The waters of Dominica are home to 3 marine turtle species, the Green, Hawksbill, and Leatherback turtles. You can see these giants coming in to nest from April through October. There is protected view sites located throughout the island.
Some facts about Dominica
Gallery of Dominica
Dominica video guide
More information about Dominica
Climate of Dominica:
Top cities of Dominica
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