Dominica is a small English-speaking republic located in the Caribbean between Martinique and Guadeloupe. It was named by Christopher Columbus who landed on the island one Sunday back in 1493. After years of colonization by the French and English, it finally gained independence in 1978.
They don’t want your pity. They would love your tourist dollars. Dominicans are working hard to recover from the horrible damage inflicted by Hurricane Maria in September 2017. Six months later there are still houses without roofs, not all electricity has been restored and the land is not as lush as it once was. But it also feels way less commercial and more adventurous than the rest of the Caribbean.
Don’t miss open mike night at Mabida
A wonderful tiny treasure of a beach bar in Portsmouth. They have fabulous cocktails, amazing lobster with garlic butter sauce and the best view over the harbor. They also have open mike night on Wednesdays. Sipping a rum, feet in the sand and listening to a local couple sing classics from the 70’s and 80’s was about as perfect as a night gets.
This small family run chocolate factory uses sustainable practices to make wonderful chocolate from the cacao sourced from local farmers. Owner Allan Napier is delighted to show you how chocolate goes from bean to bar and then give a taste. I thought the spice flavored was divine. His grandparents left their aristocratic London life and bought this estate. The family led a wonderfully bohemian life gardening, dabbling in local politics and entertaining the likes of Noel Coward and Somerset Maugham. Princess Margaret and Mick Jagger have also visited. The shabby chic original three-bedroom villa is available to rent.
The ground underneath is very slippery. I carefully stepped my way along the rocks to get under Milton Falls. Why I was surprised by the force of the water crashing down 30 meters is beyond me, but it nearly knocked me over. I fought my way to standing and one of the most glorious experiences of my life. There are waterfalls throughout the rainforest that covers the majority of the island. Some are very touristy. Milton Falls was not. No gift shop, just a short hike through the woods and the place to ourselves. Magic.
Don’t take hiking the Waitukubuli National Trail off your bucket list
The government is working hard to get this 184 km trail cleared of all the debris deposited by the hurricane. They hope to have all 14 sections in tip top shape for the 2019 season. A beautiful well marked trek from the southern part of the island to the northwest corner each section takes approximately 6 hours. There are lots of guest houses where you can grab a shower, a bite and a good night’s sleep along the way.