By Jerry Roman
Every island has a story to tell. Something that makes it stand out from the rest. It may be a particular attraction, festival or cuisine. For others, there are initiatives that allow destinations to become leaders within the industry. Dominica is one of those nations.
This small yet powerful island, with a focus on conserving its natural landscape and avoiding the rush of over-consumerism, has made a case to be the island to discover – and rediscover – this year. Here are three reasons:
Leader in Climate Resiliency
As part of its comeback, Dominica has committed to be the world’s first climate-resilient Caribbean nation. Following the 2017 Hurricane, government officials launched a task force called Climate Resilient Execution Agency for Dominica (CREAD) to essentially hurricane-proof the entire island.
CREAD’s first mission will be to determine best practices across every sector – from roads, building codes, energy grids, water management – before enforcing them. Some of the steps include:
- Any roofs that are being rebuilt with aid from the government are being reengineered for steeper angles to better withstand wind and for the use of screws rather than nails to strengthen frames.
- Building codes are being rewritten with the help of the Canadian government and the U.K.’s Department for International Development.
- Burying utility cables, elevating bridges, and shifting to solar from generator power.
Once instituted, the Island will eventually be able to rebound from a Category five storm faster and more efficiently.
UNESCO Heritage Site Designation
As one of a handful of Caribbean destinations, Dominica is pleased to have been awarded a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site designation for their Morne Trois Pitons National Park.
The national park is named after the highest mountain point in Dominica – Morne Trois Pitons. There are several attractions within the national park including the Valley of Desolation, Emerald Pool, Boiling Lake and the Titou Gorge. It also features the Waitukubuli National Trail, known as the Caribbean’s first long distance walking trail.
The park covers 114 miles and over 17,000 acres, spanning the length of Dominica, and is known as a hiker’s paradise. As a bonus, it passes through historical Kalinago (Carib) villages, ruins of 18th Century French settlements, the renovated Fort Shirley at The Cabrits, and many more interesting historical and natural sites.
Award Winning Diving
With 365 rivers – essentially one for every day of the year – around the island, Dominica has been officially recognized as one of the top dive destinations in the Caribbean.
The Island is so well recognized that it continues to receive awards and honours for its unique underwater experiences and macro-diving aquatic reel life to view. Some of their impressive awards include:
- 1 destination for “Top Marine Life,”
- 1 destination for “Top Small Animal Encounters,”
- No 1 destination for “Top Healthiest Marine Environment,”
- “Top Destinations for Underwater Photography in the Caribbean/Atlantic”.
It is also the top choice for some of the world’s leading underwater photographers. Unique underwater terrain, including volcanic vents creating warm “champagne bubbles” offer a truly authentic experience, whether you are a novice or professional snorkeler/diver. Creatures such as frogfish and seahorse, rare in other regions, are commonly visible in Dominica.
Aside for underwater experience, Dominica is also known as the whale watching capital of the Caribbean, with a 95 per cent success rate. It is common to view sperm whales and dolphin while sailing the waters.
So what are you waiting for? Whether its diving, hiking, or whale watching, Dominica is ready to be discovered again and again.