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Not to be confused with the much larger Dominican Republic, the island of Dominica lies in the Lesser Antilles region of the Caribbean, close to Martinique and Guadeloupe. Discovered by Christopher Columbus on Sunday 3rd November 1493, he named the island after the day of the week - Sunday being ‘Dominica’ in Latin.
Unlike much of the Caribbean, Dominica is relatively undeveloped for tourism.
Nicknamed the ‘Nature Isle of the Caribbean’, it has grown a reputation for its pristine nature and rich wildlife. At just 750 square kilometres and with a population of only 71,293, Dominica is tiny. However its mountain rainforests are home to a wide array of rare plant, bird and animal species, including the endemic Sisserou parrot, a national emblem which features on the Dominican flag.
Around the island you can enjoy tropical beaches, mainly with black rather than white sand, due to the island’s volcanic origins. Offshore the coastal waters are calm, enclosed and protected by coral reefs that form one of the best-preserved marine parks in the Caribbean. Visibility for divers and snorkelers is exceptional, up to 30 metres or more, and the corals are some of the finest in the world. In season you can witness up to 22 species of whale and dolphin in these waters.
Inland the landscapes are astonishing: a combination of fast-flowing rivers, thundering waterfalls, seething geothermal activity including a boiling lake, along with the deep, green rainforest vegetation. It’s an exciting place to explore on foot: hikers can trek into the mountains, visit and bathe in the waterfalls, enjoy the prolific birdlife and enjoy spectacular views out over the Caribbean Sea. Other activities include horse riding, mountain biking, jeep safaris and river tubing.