Dominica isn’t just called “The Nature Island” for tourism purposes. One look at the lush greenery in every direction you turn, beautiful waterfalls hidden in the depths of these forests, beaches and water that contrast the colours of the land, and friendly smiling locals give the island a completely different vibe altogether.
When on a cruise, there is limited time and the decision always boils down to either going on an excursion or simply making the most of the port and some sun-bathing at a beach. However, in Dominica, you must make the effort to take one of the various nature-centric activities/tours that are available.
Similar to almost all the other Caribbean islands there is no shortage of great beaches in Dominica, but the real magic of the island is in exploring what it holds inland – as I found out during the Middleham Falls hiking tour.
Dominica has something for everyone.
On the one hand, I loved our hike to Middleham Falls, but also wished that we had just one more day so I could have gone tubing in the river which some of the fellow cruise-mates did.The idea of gently drifting down a river on one of those gigantic round tubes sounds wonderful… doesn’t it?
If “adventure” is not your thing, fear not, there are enough tours available – via the cruise tourism center or outside – that can take you around the primary touristy spots of the island, including some of the more accessible waterfalls. This turned out to be perfect for my parents and daughter who would not have been able to do the hike.
Then, there are simpler activities like exploring museums and official buildings along with enjoying the local food, which can be accommodated in your single cruise-day if you plan your time well.
One of the negatives of cruising – and I always have to think real hard to come up with one – is that there is so much food on-board, included in your fare, that trying local food by paying extra is always a dilemma even for food enthusiasts like myself.
Still, if you get a chance, besides enjoying the local cuisine, you can at least taste the various local beers – quite relaxing and refreshing after the hike. I had the chance to drink Kubuli, a rather strong yet delicious beer that gave me the right high to end the day.
Dominica is definitely an island that demands a little more time than just one day. It’s eccentric in its own way – imagine making a school bus that was crushed under a huge tree into a tourist attraction (thankfully no one was hurt), but it also has a lot to offer in terms of activities one can partake in, and places that are scenic enough not to be missed.
A family vacation, a cruise – half way around the world, one of the severest winters seen by Europe, the warm Caribbean weather living up to its name; Captivating Caribbean is a small series where I shall cover some of the stops we made during this 14-day cruise. Hopefully these “photo-essays” with the occasional tips can give you a glimpse into island life in this part of the world.