We were lucky enough to be introduced to the magical island of Dominica by our friend, George Feinn. He shares his thoughts here on what makes Dominica so special (and we agree!)
It’s been said that if Christopher Columbus were to return to the Caribbean today, the only island he’d recognize would be Dominica. Things just have a way of moving extra slowly down there – even by Caribbean standards. Nestled between Guadeloupe and Martinique in the Lesser Antilles, this small island nation offers jaw-dropping natural beauty to those lucky enough to experience it. The biggest challenge is getting there. With no direct flights and limited access from outside the Caribbean, Dominica seems to be playing a game of hard-to-get with the rest of the world. It’s a long way from being overdeveloped because it’s still working on being developed in the first place. But that’s exactly what makes it so special.
Known as “Nature Island,” Dominica’s beauty is as undeniable as it is unspoiled. Before the pandemic, there were only about 75,000 stay-over visitors a year on the island (which is more people than the entire population of the country). Today, there’s even less. Which means anyone who visits can explore volcanic landscapes, rugged mountains, lush jungles, and tropical beaches with few others around. It even has the world’s second largest boiling lake, which is heated from an active volcano nearby. Reaching it requires a difficult but awe-inspiring hike through some of the Caribbean’s largest mountains (only Jamaica’s are taller). I did it recently with the help of a guide and can confirm it’s well worth the effort. Along the way, I saw endless wonders including parrots, warm springs, fiddlehead ferns, stick insects and Boiling Lake itself. What I didn’t see is other people. During the grueling six-and-a-half-hour hike, we passed exactly one small group the entire way. In Dominica, “two’s company, three’s a crowd” takes on a whole new meaning.
Of course, secret island getaways don’t stay a secret forever. Dominica recently signed an agreement to begin construction on an international airport that will offer direct flights to and from the US and Europe. The hope is that it will be completed within five years. Then again, the way things move down there, I suspect it will be closer to ten. But just to be sure, I highly recommend you channel your inner Christopher Columbus and head there sooner rather than later.