by Elbert Joseph
While growing up on this mystical island there was never a shortage of things to do and places to go. From one adventure to the next, I spent my childhood exploring the beautifully untamable rainforest of the Nature Isle of the Caribbean. Swimming in many of its 365 rivers and finding secret beaches made growing up on this island the experience of a lifetime. So, if you want to go on a vacation that is full of adventure and exploration, then you should visit Dominica. The island isn’t like one of those cookie cutter touristy islands with massive hotels and crowded beaches. In quite a contrast from most islands, you may find that you’re the only one on the black sand beaches, and may only run into one or two people while hiking the island’s mountainous terrain. Here are a few things you can do on a visit to the island.
1. Hiking the Waitukubuli Trail
This trail snakes its way through the entire island and is probably the hardest thing to do on the island. It is divided into 14 segments so you could complete a segment a day, or just attempt the brutal task of doing it all in one day. While doing the trail, I remember finding every shade of green possible and many different creatures along the way, such as the Sisserou parrot, which can only be found on the island. Make sure to bring along a camera because the views are breathtaking. Also, be prepared to walk through a lot of mud when in the interior of the island. Wear proper shoes for the occasion and bring along a bottle of water.
2. Visit the Boiling Lake
The world’s second largest boiling lake is situated in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park which is also a World Heritage site. There is no road access so you will have to hike in, which takes about three hours to get there and another three hours to get back, for a total of six hours. Along the way there many hot springs and streams that you can stop at to take a dip in. You can even bring along eggs to boil in the hot springs and consume as a mid hike snack. During the final hour of your hike, be prepared to smell the sulphur fumes that come from the Valley of Desolation.You will know you have arrived at your destination when you see the steam that is constantly rising from the grayish-blue waters.
3. Snorkel in Champagne Bay
Taking a dip in these waters will make you never want to leave the island. I remember swimming around in the water and being wrapped in bubbles that emerged from the reef below and appeared in straight lines like the ones that can be found in a glass of champagne. The bubbles emerge due to the bay being located in an active volcanic crater. Besides the bubbles, one can also find rare species of sea urchins and other sea creatures that contribute to the beauty of the reef, which is invaded by schools of multicolored fish.
4. Batibou Beach
Getting to the beach is a bit difficult due to the rocky road that gives the beach access (which I recommend getting a 4 wheel drive vehicle for) but it worth dealing with the rough drive. The beach located on the Northeast coast (Saint Andrews Parish) is one of the largest beaches on the island. On the way down to the beach you will get a glimpse of the it and understand why it’s called Batibou beach, which is due to its shape. While on the beach you might run into one or two other tourists, or you could be the only person there, which will make you feel like it’s your own private space.
5. Carib/Kalinago Territory
If you want to learn more about the island’s history you should absolutely visit the Carib territory. There you can learn some of the traditions of the Kalinago people who have lived on the island since before the days of French and British colonization and Christopher Columbus. The Kalinago people named the island Waitukubali, which translates to, “as tall as her body.” There are only about 3,000 of the Kalinago people living in the village. On a visit to the territory, one can expect to see the art of basket weaving, and learn how to make cassava.
Elbert was born and raised on the Nature Isle of the Caribbean known as Dominica. While on the island, he explored many of its forests and 365 rivers, which provided him with numerous, unending adventures. His time on the Island unfortunately ended when his family moved to the U.S Virgin Islands when he was twelve. That was about the time he decided to pursue a career as an attorney. A few practicing attorneys told him to get an Liberal Arts college education, since an attorney should have a grasp on many facets of life. During his first year at Flagler College he decided to transfer to APU.