A country set on the Caribbean like a scattered jewel, Dominica has a secluded environment that sets it apart from its more popular neighbors. This lends an unspoiled beauty for the island, making it one of the go-to destinations for ecotourism. Scientists who have studied the topography of the country described Dominica as the youngest island in the Lesser Antilles due to the ongoing volcanic activity that continues to develop the island's geography.
Dominica's strategic location has made it a pawn of various international powers since 1493. Christopher Columbus brought it to the attention of the Spaniards who left the island some years after due to its isolation. The Kalinago people, natives to the region, remained in the island as the years went by. The French, however, started a colony in 1715 and imported African slaves to work in their plantations. By the late 1700s, the British came into the scene and administered the island until the blacks and native population gained their independence in 1978.
Unlike its more populated neighbors that are famous for their beaches, Dominica is a country whose nature spots are home to various species. Environmental enthusiasts will find the island delightful to explore, especially when searching for the endemic Sisserou parrot and the Jaco, a red-necked parrot. Dolphin and whale watching is also another typical activity in the island nation. Spinner and bottlenose dolphins are seen here regularly with occasional sightings of killer whales, sperm whales, and many others.
Visitors to Dominica will also find the volcanic activity fascinating, especially when going to Morne Trois Pitons National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This 1,342m volcano has shaped the landscape in the country. From it came the hot springs, in addition to the numerous rivers and waterfalls in the island. The richness of the water supply has made the rainforest and mountains flourish and provided a shelter for different species.
More activities await tourists, other than going on a nature safari, boating on the rivers, or swimming in the freshwater lakes. There's also the hot sulfur springs in Wotten Waven where guests can soak themselves in the refreshing heat and just relax. The low-key furnishings keep the experience simple and basic, which travelers can enjoy. After a day of relaxation comes an occasion of learning. A trip to Dominica wouldn't be complete without a visit to Kalinago Barana Autê, where visitors can view the traditional village life of the Kalinago. Souvenirs such as decorative hand-woven baskets can be bought in the gift shop here to commemorate the journey.
How to get around within Dominica
Travelers can go around on bus and tram in Dominica. There are buses going between Roseau, the capital, and Scotts Head. Routes are also available from Roseau and Portsmouth for better convenience. Car rental services are also available for those who want a faster and more private way to commute. There are agencies offering various cars for hire in Canefield and Melville Hall Airport. Tourists can also look for other providers in Roseau to have a wider range of choices.
When driving, travelers need to keep in mind that the orientation is on the left side of the road. Caution must be exercised in every phase of the journey due to lack of marked roads and continuous construction. This makes it better to hire a knowledgeable guide who can advise you which roads to take or point out other modes of transportation.
Cruises are also another way to get around the island. There are many ports where travelers can ask for more information for a tour.
How to get there
When going to Dominica by air, the most likely landing point would be Melville Hall Airport in the northeast coast of the country. There are no direct flights coming to this part of the world, however. To go here, tourists will have to book connecting flights to a gateway island. American Eagle, for instance, offers air travel going to San Juan. From there, Dominican flights are available via LIAT. Other airlines offering this service include Air Antilles Express, BVI Airways, Conviasa, Seaborne Airlines, and Winair.
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