When Europeans arrived in Dominica in 1493, they found an island flourishing with nature's wild abandon. Today, Dominica remains largely as it was and immensely appealing for adventurous travelers.
All across this lush island, which is one of the world's smallest countries, rivers rush through dense rainforests, placid lakes reflect mountains, and the songs of rare birds mingle with the roar of waterfalls.
At Morne Trois Pitons National Park, 3 mountain peaks rise above one of the world's last oceanic rainforests. Hikers discover the serene Emerald Pool, the ancient Boiling Lake, and the volcanic landscape of the Valley of Desolation.
The best place on the island for dining and nightlife, the capital city of Roseau also hosts fine examples of Victorian and post-colonial wooden architecture. The promenade along the new Bay Front is a delightful place to stroll and watch the fishermen, while the Old Market Plaza is the top shopping destination for fresh local produce and hand-made crafts.
Dominica, untouched by time, is the face of the true Caribbean.
Trafalgar Falls - Just a short drive from the capital of Roseau is a trail leading to these famous falls, called "mother" and "father". The "mother" falls are cold, and the "father" falls are fed by warm water from sulfuric springs.
The Boiling Lake Trail - This trail for serious hikers leads down to the Valley of Desolation, where sulfur fumes rise up through volcanic rock to the Boiling Lake, the second largest on Earth. This hike is an all-day, 6 mile round-trip that requires a guide.
Snorkeling and Diving - Head for the large reef just offshore in Douglas Bay, and to Rodney's Rock, which can be reached by land or water, where they canyon-like features making it a great diving site.
Fort Young Hotel - On a cliff overlooking the Caribbean is Dominica's premier hotel, a renovated bastion of colonial charm attended by a friendly staff. Relax at the pool bar and sink into a sea view Jacuzzi on the sun terrace. Spacious rooms feature high ceilings, ocean view balconies, mini-bars, and room service. Entertainment complements on-site Caribbean dining.
Castaways Beach Hotel - This beachfront hotel is a great base for diving, snorkeling, kayaking, and sailing. Landside there's tennis and beach volleyball. Adventurers go whale-watching, rafting, and rappelling. The restaurant/bar is open daily, and Sunday is beach barbecue day. Guest rooms have refrigerators and balconies with beach or island views.