Dominica Journals

The Last Caribbean Paradise

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A travel journal to Dominica by Ben the Grate

Scotts Head Photo, Dominica, Caribbean More Photos
Quote: Imagine a wild island, untouched by tourism, marked by tall, misty, jungle-covered mountains, laced with waterfalls, and warmed by thermal springs. An island so beautiful and so menacing that Columbus dared not sail too near. It's within your reach if you can reach the Caribbean island of Dominica.

The Last Caribbean Paradise

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Overview

Scott's Head Photo, Dominica, Caribbean
Quote:
First of all, Dominica is NOT the Dominican Republic. Most people are so confused on this that half of Dominica's mail ends up there. Dominica is located in the southeastern Caribbean between the French islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe. It is only 29 miles long and 16 miles wide, but it has over 300 hundred rivers and close to a thousand waterfalls. 4 of its peaks exceed 4,000 feet in elevation, and rainfall exceeds 300 inches a year, which means Dominica hosts the richest and most pristine oceanic rainforest on the planet. There are hot springs and a mysterious boiling lake hidden in the rainforest. So why don't more people come here? Read on!Quick Tips: Since you're visiting an i...Read More

Landmark Beach Resort

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Hotel | "Ft. Young Hotel"

Landmark Beach Resort Photo, Panama City Beach, Florida
Quote:
The Ft Young hotel, housed in a rennovated French fortress from the 1700s, is Dominica's only true luxury property. And it is, in fact, one of my favorite hotels ANYWHERE! The hotel excels in atmosphere, from the thick stone walls and canons of the main area, to the brand new oceanfront unit stairstepping down the cliff to the water's edge (NO BEACH!) alongside a delicate waterfall. Much of the hotel has an open-air atmosphere, including the dining room which, though it has a roof, is open on one side to the air. The Deluxe Oceanfront rooms in the new addition are simply PALATIAL ($155), and very tastefully decorated with rustic island decor made locally. Marble baths are huge and o...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 1, 2002

Landmark Beach Resort
17501 Front Beach Road
Panama City Beach 32413
(850) 233-1500

Ma Bass Central Guesthouse

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Hotel

Yours, Truly, with Ma Bass Photo, Dominica, Caribbean
Quote:
Ma Bass is legendary throughout the Caribbean for her warm hospitality. She owns a 4 story historic ramshackle building in downtown Roseau that is a haven for budget travellers who can't shell out $150 for the Ft. Young. The rooms at Ma Bass are small and spartan with no a/c, and the top-floor rooms can get downright SWELTERING in the summer. Thankfully you won't spend much of the daytime in this room, and Ma Bass does provide fans which bring some relief, as do the almost daily rainshowers in the afternoon. Bathrooms are shared, but there IS hot water now, thanks to a solar panel on the roof. Ma Bass will cook breakfast for you every morning a...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 1, 2002

Ft. Young Hotel Restaurants

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Restaurant

Quote:
The Fort Young Hotel has 4 restaurants, ranging from elegant to quick snack bar. The Marquis de Bouille restaurant is contained in the old French fortress walls, but one side is open-air, giving a very fresh, exotic feel to the place. They serve full breakfasts with hand-squeezed island juices, and both American and local breakfast cuisine. Breakfast is buffet style ($15EC or about $5US), or you can order from the menu. They also serve a set-menu 4 course lunch with traditional island cuisine that is delightful, and a bargain for such a large meal at $25EC (about $9US). The Waterfront Restaurant serves dinner Creole style, on a deck over the water, or ind...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 1, 2002

Boiling Lake

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Attraction | "The Boiling Lake, part 1"

Boiling Lake Photo, Dominica, Caribbean
Quote:
The trek to the Boiling Lake is regarded as the GREATEST hike in the Caribbean, and one of the great hikes of North America. The trail winds past a dark crevice fed by waterfalls, through lush rainforest, across pristine rivers, and over barren, steaming valleys to the rim of a volcano's crater that has flooded with water from the rainforest. The water seeps down to the lava where it is heated to the boiling point and spews back to the surface, causing the entire surface of the lake to boil turbulently. But the trail isn't easy. Under normal conditions, it will rain on you half the time, turning the trail into a river of slippery mud. The trailhead is easily accessible by c...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 1, 2002

Boiling Lake
Morne Trois Pitons National Park
Roseau, Dominica

Boiling Lake

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Attraction | "The Boiling Lake, part 2"

Boiling Lake Photo, Dominica, Caribbean
Quote:
The trail will climb higher into the rainforest, and then spit you out above another area similar to the Valley of Desolation. You'll wind down into this barren valley and across a hot grey stream and some more steam vents, and then begin the final ascent to the Boiling Lake. Be careful near the rim, as the cliff plummets 100 feet straight down into the water. A man rappelling here lost control and fell into the boiling water, and he was in the hospital for 2 weeks and had several reconstructive surgeries to replace his burned skin! The flat ledge above the lake is the perfect place for lunch, and you'll catch glimpses of the turbulent surface of the lake when the win...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 1, 2002

Boiling Lake
Morne Trois Pitons National Park
Roseau, Dominica

Diving Dominica

Attraction

Champagne Photo, Dominica, Caribbean
Quote:
Diving in Dominica is unlike any other Caribbean destination. Here, the rugged mountains and canyons are cloned underwater, which presents the diver with deep walls, caverns, and extinct volcano crater dives. Several sites (most famous at Champagne Reef) center around underwater hot springs where millions of tiny bubbles spew from the ocean floor, attracting an array of marine life. The island offers shallow reef dives, wreck dives, pinnacle dives, channel dives, and deep wall dives, and the waters here shelter dolphins and whales YEAR ROUND. If you've been diving the Caymans and Belize so much you just don't care to anymore, try Dominica. It's diving of a different sort!...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 2, 2002

Ken's Hinterland Adventure Tours

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Attraction

Ken's Hinterland Adventure Tours Photo, Dominica, Caribbean
Quote:
Ken Dill is a native Dominican who has gathered together the island's most educated and experienced naturalists and guides to form a tour service that is absolutely TOP NOTCH. I have used Ken's guides to take me and my guests all over the island for 4 years now, and he never lets me down. (Even Mick Jagger hired him to do the trek to the Boiling Lake. See picture below!) Finding a guide on Dominica can be sketchy. Virtually everyone on the street will offer to guide you to the Boiling Lake. Chances are, they've been at least one, but can they be trusted? If they CAN be trusted (as most Dominicans can be), are they knowledgable? Will they just walk ahead of you, or spend time an...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 2, 2002

Ken's Hinterland Adventure Tours
an
Dominica, Dominica

Waterfall Hunting

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Story/Tip

Trafalgar Falls Photo, Dominica, Caribbean
Quote:
Dominica is a tiny island, but receives over 300 inches of rainfall a YEAR, and has over 300 rivers. Add that to 4 mountains over 4,000 feet above sea level, and you've got WATERFALLS! Thousands of them...literally. And the island's terrain is so rugged, that (believe it or not) new waterfalls are being discovered all the time as intrepid (and well-equipped) explorers venture up remote and unexplored valleys. Luckily, there are four major waterfalls on Dominica that you can visit easily. TRAFALGAR FALLS Trafalgar is the most famous and easily accessible of Dominica's large falls. It consists of two seperate waterfalls (called Father and Mother) that are separated by...Read More

Dominica: An Overview and Cautions

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Story/Tip

Mellville Hall International Airport Photo, Dominica, Caribbean
Quote:
Dominica is just about the most perfect manifestion of "escape" that I can imagine. Her people have no desire for the "quick wealth" that tourism brings. In fact, if they TRIED to develop the island for tourism, they'd have a hard time. There aren't many flat places to build! The only flat place on the island long enough to support an airport is across the island from the town, and even then the planes pull to a dead stop inches from a thousand-foot cliff. Unfortunately, there are a few words of caution I extend. A decade ago, an American medical school was opened on the north end of the island, and gradually the students have introduced "hard drugs" to the Dominican people. Consequently, ...Read More