Dominica

n 2005, rugged, jungle-filled Dominica became the first nation to be certified by Green Globe 21 for sustainable development. Nature-oriented visitors appreciate Dominica’s rich culture and history, and this locale has a great deal to offer travelers with a quest for adventure. Located between Guadeloupe and Martinique, Dominica’s mountains soar to nearly 5,000 feet, yielding a thriving rainforest, hundreds of rivers and waterfalls, rare orchids and colorful birds. Geothermal activity results in colorful hot springs, bubbling mud pools, small geysers and Boiling Lake, the second largest lake of its kind in the world.  The sites are found in Morne Trois Pitons National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

DominicaDOMINICA’S NATURAL GIFTS

Hikers can trek to Victoria Falls, and Middleham Falls, a narrow plume of water falling 200 feet from a cliff notch. A strenuous excursion to Morne Diablotin (Devil’s Mountain) reaps glimpses of two endemic parrots, the jaco and the sisserou. Mountain biking, horseback riding, river tubing and jeep safaris are other ways of enjoying

The offshore marine environment is equally fascinating, as healthy reefs, extraordinary formations and 100-foot visibility draw scuba divers. Dominica’s waters host 22 species of whales and dolphins, making it a prime whale-watching destination throughout the winter. Beaches are mostly black sand, with a few golden strands in the northeast.

For history lovers, the capital, Roseau and Fort Shirley are fun to explore. At the Kalingo Barana Aute, visitors can watch as Kalinago Indians carve the trunk of a Gommier tree into a canoe. Cultural performances, storytelling and “spiritual cleansings” are part of the outing. Tours of a rum distillery and the Rosalie slave plantation estate are also popular. Local restaurants serve predominantly native Creole cuisine; Callaloo, the new national dish replaces the Mountain Chicken which was Dominica’s unofficial national dish for many years.

Among Dominica’s major festivals are Mas Domnik, – The Real Mas, the most original of all carnivals, showcasing the rich culture and heritage of the island with competitions like the Princess Show, Teenage Pageant, Junior Monarch, Bouyon jams, National Queen Pageant and the Calypso Monarch; Dominica’s Jazz ‘n Creole scheduled  in May; and The World Creole Music Festival which takes place in October.

AIRPORTS/FERRIES/GATEWAYS/FLYING TIMES

Airports: Douglas-Charles (DOM), formerly known as Melville Hall, located in the north east of the island, 36 miles or one hour from the city of Roseau. Canefield (DCF) Airport is 15 minutes or 3 miles from the capital city of Roseau.

Ferry: Catamarans operated by L’Express des Îles, and Valferry with capacity of 300-400 passengers travel between Dominica, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and St. Lucia.

Gateways/Flying Times:  There are no direct flights from the Europe, however, direct flights go from London to Antigua, Barbados  St. Lucia and Trinidad, from Paris to Guadeloupe, Martinique and St. Maarten, and from Amsterdam to St. Maarten, all of which are within an hour.  London: 8-8 1/2 hours.  Paris:  8 hours 30 minutes.  Amsterdam: 9 hours.

CLIMATE:

Daytime temperatures vary between 75 & 90 degrees F. Coolest months are December to March.

DINING:

Restaurants available-Local.  Gourmet.  International.  Fast food.  Tipping is at the discretion of clients.  Dress code is casual.

LANGUAGE:

English is the official language.  Creole or French based patois is spoken by many.

NIGHTLIFE:

Entertainment includes – Discos.  Occasional Dinner/Dances.  Occasional Theater.  Cinemas.  Occasional Live Music.