Dominica – The Nature Isle
Dominica – not to be confused with the Dominican Republic 200 miles northwest – has rightfully earned the title Nature Isle of the Caribbean for its lush forests and pristine waters. Historically known as Waitukubuli, Dominica is the perfect place to experience a Caribbean that has not succumbed to mass tourism, dumbed-down beach parties, plastic trinkets, or commercial overdevelopment.
The youngest island in the Lesser Antilles, Dominica is located between Guadeloupe and Martinique. Its eight active volcanoes are a prominent feature, and many visitors regard the hike to Boiling Lake (with stops in numerous lush, thermal pools along the way) a lifetime travel highlight. A snorkel or dive in the bubbling waters at Champagne Reef are another unforgettable experience you just won’t find anywhere else on earth. Most of the 290-square-mile island is covered in natural vegetation and the majority of the island’s 70,000 inhabitants live near the capital city of Roseau. This leaves Dominica wide open to every adventurous traveller with a good pair of hiking shoes or a mask and snorkel.
Looking for a ‘green’ destination? Dominica’s Morne Trois Pitons National Park was the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in the eastern Caribbean and Dominica frequently appears on Ethical Traveller’s list of The World’s Best Ethical Destinations. The island is on track to be “carbon negative” by 2020, and was the on-location set for much of Johnny Depp’s Pirates of the Carribbean franchise.
Dominica is more than just a diver’s dream and a hiker’s paradise. It is home to the Kalinago community, the world’s only remaining intact Carib tribe. Beyond the production exquisitely woven basketware regularly seen around Dominica, the Kalinago are actively engaged in an effort to preserve and revive ancient musical, dance, and art traditions. Your visit to their cultural center helps sustain this vital effort. In addition, a full year-round calendar of dance and music festivals brings locals and visitors together for days and nights of enthusiastic celebration and tradition.
Why Travel with Wilderness Explorers?
For more than 20 years, we’ve been working at the crossroads of adventure travel and community tourism. Not from the sidelines or behind a desk, but on the ground. In the jungle. On the boats. Getting our feet dirty and seeing everything first-hand. Tourism isn’t our business – it’s our life. Our handcrafted itineraries prove it.
Our partners in the field aren’t just suppliers in the traditional sense: we are deeply involved with the development of the lodges, tours, training programs, and attractions that draw adventurous souls to this part of the world. Back in 1999 Wilderness Explorers was one of the first tour operators to embrace the now-fashionable idea of community tourism, partnering with the Amerindian Makushi village of Surama in Guyana to provide marketing and administrative support for that country’s first indigenously-operated ecolodge. These days we continue to work with lodges and regional consortiums with tourism development aspirations. Hand-in-hand we are building opportunities for economic growth that don’t rely on resource extraction or the mass-market.
We know that tour companies are increasingly looked upon as unnecessary middlemen in a world where the internet connects everyone with marvelous ease. And, no doubt, someone with ample time and patience could organize their journey independently. But we know that sometimes you want to spend less time researching and more time travelling. If that’s you, we can vastly simplify your trip planning, get you into the best (and often least-known) lodges, prioritize your activity list, and set you up for an unforgettable getaway. Having the time of your life once you get there? Well, that part is entirely up to you!