Thursday, August 29, 2013

Dominica--The Nature Island

"Don't you mean the Dominican Republic?"  No.  This post is not about the country that shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti.  I'm talking about the gorgeous island of Dominica (pronounced Do-mi-NEE-ka).  This tropical gem is found between the Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique.  Take a look at the map below:

This common confusion between Dominica and the Dominican Republic drives Dominicans (pronounced Do-mi-NEE-kans) bonkers.  If you are ever fortunate enough to visit this little known paradise, I'm sure they will appreciate it if you pronounce the name of the island and its people properly.  

And I'm sure you will appreciate the untouched nature of this blessed island.  Dominica is rightfully called "The Nature Island" because, in my estimation, about 95% of the island is undeveloped.  Forget Bali!  (Been there, done that.)  If you crave rustling jungle, crystalline rivers, and ruggedly beautiful beaches, then Dominica is the island for you.  

Dominica is often overlooked for its more famous neighbors like the Virgin Islands, Barbados or St. Lucia.  All the better for you.  That means no hassles, no crowds of jostling tourists, no overpriced tours on Dominica.  I was in Dominica from mid November to mid January, during the Christmas and New Year season, and had the whole island practically to myself!

I spent 7 weeks on Dominica visiting my sister who taught at a primary school near Canefield airport.  Check out the hidden valley neighborhood where she lived:

While exploring Dominica, one item on my travel life list was checked off--hiking alone in a jungle.  I found a trickle of a trail that started at a cul-de-sac in Cochrane.  To be sure I could find my way back, I counted the 7 pristine streams I crossed and planted sizable sticks in the ground to keep me from walking down false trails.  It was a thrill to walk unguided on a trail no wider than my foot and not know where it would lead me. After about two hours, Middleham Falls was the magical end of my adventure.

This is just an introduction to Dominica!  Each week during the month of September I will highlight a different attraction in Dominica. So come back each week to learn more about Dominica and see more stunning pics!

If you can't wait till next week to see more photos of Dominica, please visit my Facebook page "Kolin's Travels" by clicking on the appropriate tab at the top of this blog.  Once on my Facebook page,  you will find an album called "Intro to Dominica" with more great pics to give you a taste of this "undiscovered" island.

Travel Tips:
Dominica's official tourism site.
BBC's country profile.  BBC describes Dominica as "potentially a great tourist attraction." Trust me--it's great! Though tourist infrastructure is minimal, with a little effort, you can visit almost all attractions on this island unguided...then have them all to yourself.
The best way to get to Marigot Airport (DOM) in Dominica is through San Juan, Puerto Rico. Liat is a popular airline for this leg of the journey.

Thanks for visiting Kolin's Travels!  See you next week!

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