Set between the islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique, Dominica's landscape is dramatic and stunning. Here you'll discover a new kind of Caribbean getaway with its skyscraping mountain peaks, deep green flora, hot springs, a boiling lake (the second largest in the world), and hundreds of crystal blue rivers and streams. The island's many faces make it the perfect place to kayak in the mountain lakes, snorkel the reefs, or hike the picturesque valleys and forests.
Before You Go: Need-to-know info
Valid passport and return ticket
Eastern Caribbean Dollar
6 ½ hours from NYC, 14 hours from LA
When To Go: Dominica at its best
A tropical island climate, the best times to visit are December-April when the weather is cooler and the rains aren't as common. Also be forewarned, hurricane season runs June to October.
What To Do
Test the waters:
Whether you're kayaking on one of the island's many lakes, swimming in a secluded rainforest pool, or snorkeling and diving among the fishes and the dramatic reefs and pinnacles, you won't want to miss out on exploring the island's waters. For diving sites, consider taking a night dive to Champagne Reef near Soufriere where you may spot exotic seahorses and frogfish.
See the whales:
Dominica prides itself as the "Whale Watching Capital of the Caribbean" and boasts a 95% success record on whale watching tours. The deep waters around Dominica make the area an ideal place to see the rare sperm whale, as well as 21 other whale species. Another rare water mammal to see while you're there? Don't be surprised if you spot some dolphins, which are abundant in the surrounding Dominica waters.
Hike the rainforest:
Nature lovers look no further. Dominica's trails will take you through gorges, valleys, and mountains as tall as 4,000 feet. For an easy hike, take a 15-minute walk to the Trafalgar Falls where you'll find a lush rainforest, waterfalls, and warm pools too. Or, take a longer trek to Boiling Lake and feast your eyes on the world's second largest bubbling lake.
-- Anja Winikka