DOMINICA ISLAND – March 15TH TO 20TH 2015
“AN UNTOUCHED AND UNSPOILED PARADISE.”– 365 RIVERS, STREAMS AND WATERFALLS – 300 MILES OF TRAILS – 210 SQAURE MILES OF RAINFOREST – 90 MILES OF COASTLINE – 9 ACTIVE VOLCANOES – ONE ISLAND
Dominica (DOM-in-EEK-a), or Waitukubuli as the natives call it, is simply known today as the “Nature Isle of the Caribbean”. Five hundred years after its discovery, it’s said to be the only place in the new world that Christopher Columbus would still recognize today.
Resembling a scene straight out of Jurassic Park, Dominica’s landscape is a lost and unspoiled world dominated by lofty peaks, lush rainforest, thundering waterfalls, wild coastlines and an incredible diversity of flora and fauna. One look and it’s easy to see why Dominica was chosen as the backdrop for much of Pirates of the Caribbean.
Dominica’s tropical rainforests cover two thirds of the island, and are home to 1,200 plant species. Rivers, lakes, streams, and waterfalls abound, fed by the island’s high annual rainfall. It’s home to one of only two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Caribbean – Morne Trois Pitons National Park, Dominica boasts 21 one named mountains, the highest Mount Diablotins towers 4,747 feet from sea level. It’s one of the most geothermically active islands in the world containing the world’s second largest hot spring, and is home to nine active volcanoes. Traveling through the Valley of Desolation near Boiling Lake over fifty active fumaroles can be observed, and similar thermal activity feeds numerous sulphur hot springs located across the island.
The island is the youngest island in the Caribbean and was the last to be colonized, due mainly to its rugged coastline, steep mountainous interior and the fierce resistance of the Kalinago people who fought off European invaders for more than 100 years. Today Dominica is the only place where the native Kalinago people still live their traditional way of life. The Carib Reserve is a 3,700 acre territory which runs from the eastern coast through coastal rainforest and into the steep interior. Visitors to this area can experience the Kalinago culture through homestays in traditional Carib houses, and sampling of their traditional cuisine, crafts and customs.
Dominica’s location is 15 degrees North latitude and 61 degrees West longitude. The island sits midway along the Eastern Caribbean archipelago, just a few miles from Martinique to the south and Guadeloupe to the north. Its official name is the Commonwealth of Dominica, which is mostly referenced in official communiqués and to distinguish the island from its northerly Caribbean sister, the Dominican Republic.
The island is sparsely populated with 70,000 people inhabiting its 289 square miles. A significant portion of the population lives in and around the capital city of Roseau. About 80% of the population is Roman Catholic. English is the official language, spoken with a melodic French lilt, but a large portion of the population speaks Kwèyòl (Creole), and a few northern villages speak Kokoy.
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