Dominica is called the Carribean’s  “Nature Island” for its pristine rainforests, abundant waterfalls, and relatively low tourism. Those who do visit are never disappointed and enjoy being in on what could possibly be the regions best-kept secret.

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Dominica is one of the least visited of the Caribbean island, which may be why I loved it so much. 

Several things exemplify Dominica from the neighboring islands. For one the island has some of the few remaining Caribe Natives. Most of them died off after the Spanish arrived.  There are some settlements where the people still live as closely to the way they lived at the time of the discovery as they reasonably can.

The native people call themselves the Kalinago and have a 15 square kilometer reserve on the eastern side of the island. They number about 2,500 and have a chief who is a nominal leader. The community is the largest surviving settlement in the entire Carribean. Due to deforestation much of the soil is of poor quality and other than selling crafts to tourist. The community has no real source of income.

The second thing about Dominica that makes it unique is the indigenous parrots. Dominica has two endemic species of parrot. The Sisserou who is easily spotted with a purple body and green wings. This is the parrot that appears on Dominica’s national flag.  The second is the Jaco which is smaller and has a mostly green body with a red crest and a purple face. Both species are protected on the island due to frequent smuggling.

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I had the pleasure of visiting the national Parrot Conservation and Research Centre. They make every attempt to interdict the birds who have been smuggled and if in any way possible reintroduce them back into the wild.
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The Jaco are very social birds.  These are at the rehab center and will hopefully soon be returning to the wild.
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The Sisserou Parrot. The National symbol of Dominica. 

Of Course, being that Dominica is called “The Nature Island, I wanted to include some of the many beautiful plants and flowers.  

A large portion of the interior are national parks, Two of the most popular are Emerald Falls and Trafalgar Falls Parks. Also, another popular location is “Boiling Lake”. Each of these parks has miles of hiking trails.

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Much of the island is protected land and national Parkland.  Frequent rainfall and high central mountains create the island’s many waterfalls. 
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So no showering at the falls?  .Apparently, people bringing body soap and showering in the waterfalls is a real issue.
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Walking to the falls through very dense rainforest.

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The water was deep enough for swimming but very cold. Given how warm it was, the dip was worth the initial frisson from the cold.
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Trafalgar Falls was even more stunning. Two waterfalls a very tall angular one and a shorter thicker one. As usual, I had to get my plug for my Alma mater in.  Go Tigers!
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Definitely worth the hike. 
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Located in the Valley of Desolation (not kidding) Boiling Lake is a water-filled sinkhole over a volcanic vent.  Best viewed from the overlook. Or just in a picture instead. 
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Trois Pitons (Three Peaks) The nation’s most famous landmark. 
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The island is subject to hurricanes. This particular one had winds so strong it blew this school bus under the tree. 

The island of Dominica turned out to be such a delight for me. I was on a cruise that also took me to Grenada, Saint Lucia, Tortola, as well as Antigua and Barbuda. I had some expectations for all the other locations because I knew more about them. I didn’t really realize much about Dominica. I was so surprised by the natural beauty, the warmth of the people I met. While there are cruise ships that make the island part of their itinerary, the beaches and parks seemed really uncrowded. I really like the relaxed atmosphere. if you are looking for a Caribbean destination that offers immense natural beauty in a serene, relaxed pace, I am certain Dominica will delight you as well.

 

 

 

 

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