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Monday, March 23, 2015

Spotlight on the Nature Island of the Caribbean


Dominica is known as the " Nature Isle of the Caribbean "


Dominica (pronounced Dom-in-eek-a) has 365 rivers, 300 miles of hiking trails, 40 dive sites, 30 pristine reefs, 7 live volcanoes, 3 national parks, too many waterfalls to mention, a lush mountain range reaching heights of more than 4,900 feet, and one of the Caribbean's best botanical gardens


Coming into to port the pastel colored capital of Rosseau comes into view

Photo Credit: Globe Guide 

English is the official language, however Creole and French are widely spoken. Dominica is located in the Eastern Caribbean, a few miles from Martinique to the south and Guadeloupe to the north. 

Dominica is known for hiking, diving, snorkeling, relaxing in hot spring pools - experiencing nature at its finest, and the opportunity to view the indigenous Carib Indians.   

The people of Dominica are very serious about keeping their island clean, and free from over development. The island has no hotel chains or high rises, no casinos and little night life. 


This is a Caribbean island where most people prefer to swim in fresh water rivers. The best places to swim are the pools at the base of waterfalls many of them are six stories high. 

The black and yellow sand beaches that line the shore are beautiful to view and photograph, as each one offers a unique topography and backdrop. You will not find the typical soft sand beaches of the region here - the majority are rocky with lots of pebbles.  

Dominica is home to the Boiling Lake 
The second largest thermally active lake in the world


Photo Credit Paul Crask - www.paulcrask.com/

The actual depth is unknown, and the temperature of the blue/gray waters averages a boiling 190 degrees! The island receives up to 400 inches of rainfall per year, which makes the trail to the lake slippery and very dangerous. Just a few miles is another bizarre hot spot the Valley of Desolation. Visitors are advised not to enter these areas without a local guide

More volcanic activity can be found to the South at Champagne Reef

The experience is like swimming through a giant glass of champagne

This is an area where volcanic activity causes thousands of bubbles to come from the rocks beneath the water - a nice cool refreshing fizzle. Photo Credit George Kourounis via Storm Chasers

Jing Ping Bands are unique to Dominica history and culture

Photo Credit: Roseau City Guide 

The music consists of the Boom Boom (long hollow tube that is blown into ), an Accordian, a Gwa (scraper-rattle), and Tambou (tambourine) - Jing Ping has now become a part of popular music through bouyon music. The Giraudel Jing Ping Band is known among the best on the island.  

The Caribbean derives its name from its original inhabitants

Carib Indian Photo Credits: Travel 2 the Caribbean

Dominica is home to the last remaining Carib Territory in the Caribbean. The Caribs inhabit 3,600 acres on the northeast coast of the island. 


They elect their own chief who holds the position for four years, and they still make the products of their ancestors - carving traditional dugout canoes, weaving mats and baskets. 

Authentic Carib baskets made from larouma reed

Take a visit to the Kalinago Barana Aute cultural center and tour the Carib village, learn more about their culture, and purchase products. Carib products can also be purchased in the capital city of Roseau at the Old Market Plaza. 

This is the ideal place to spot Whales and Dolphins

You can view more killer whales, sperm whales, pilot whales and dolphins here than anywhere else in the Caribbean, and the peak season for seeing whales is between November - March.  

Annual October World Creole Music Fest October 30 to November 1, 2015

Definitely one of the more unique music festivals in the Eastern Caribbean region, and features the best in creole music from around the world. 

The festival's primary focus is on the indigenous music of Dominica including Jing Ping with steelpan, bouyon and cadence sounds. 

In addition the Creole Festival also features a variation of Creole music from Haiti, Afro-beats from Africa, Zydeco from Louisiana, along with the sounds of Zook, Soca and Reggae.  

Photo Credit: Large Up

Creole Day (Oct 31st) is celebrated right after the creole festival ends, and the last Friday before Independence Day is the most colorful day on the island. 

Locals wear the national traditional dress or some variation. The girls wear a “jupe,” the women wear a “robe dwiyet” and the men wear black pants, white shirt and a red sash around the waist.  

Dominica gained its independence from Great Britain on November 3, 1978 and became an independent republic within the Commonwealth. The day is spent celebrating the unique Creole culture. The day would not be complete without enjoying the islands unique cuisine - Crab-backs, Callaloo, and Titiwi accras are just some of the delicious local foods to sample. 

While Dominica may not be your ideal Caribbean beach bumming destination, this is a island that will appeal to travelers looking for an eco-friendly Caribbean vacation. If you enjoy nature photography, hiking, diving, snorkeling and experiencing a unique cultural experience, head to the Nature Island - you will not be disappointed!   


Happy Travels,
Linda

(ˆ◡ˆ) Discover more about the Nature Island at the tourism site
http://www.dominica.dm/