A green tropical blanket envelopes the mountainous flanks of the island Dominica, located half-way between Puerto Rico and Tobago. While the island's interior is lush and diverse, Dominica's beautiful rugged peaks run down to the sea's edge, which limits the availability of soft beaches. Don't let that fool you into thinking less of Dominica. Billed the ?Nature Island of the Caribbean', attractions in this extensive garden abound.
For adventure, take a guided float down one of Dominica's rivers, or rent sea-kayaks and explore rocky promontories and hidden alcoves. Keep an eye peeled for the whales and dolphins that frequent the west coast waters. Scuba divers won't want to miss spending some serious time under the surface along the south shore taking in bright corals and brighter sea-creatures. Snorkellers can bubble around in the warm underwater hot spring, Champagne, or past the undersea community thriving on Soufriere Pinnacle.
Wander the public market in Roseau, the island's capital, for a glimpse of native Dominica, or stop in at Dominica Museum for an overview of island history. Acquire transport and head out of town for mountainous vistas and a walk in one of the national parks.
Hike the muddy trail across the Valley of Desolation to thermally active Boiling Lake, the second largest in the world, and a reminder of Dominica's volcanic history. Guides are recommended on this route, where the way is wet and steamy, some parts steep and slippery. If this trip isn't long or hard enough to get your pulse racing, finish with a short walk to Emerald Pool and Trafalgar Falls. Numerous wilderness treks offer the chance to perspire freely while taking in the natural side of Dominica.
Cool off after all this exertion with a dip in the sea from one of the black-sand beaches on the northwest shore.
Dominica is 156 miles south of Antigua.