Named after the Latin word for Sunday, Dominica is a country known for its fierce history. It was the last country that the Europeans was able to colonise in the Caribbean due to the intense and determined fight of the native Caribs to defend their territory. When Spain abandoned it, the island came to French hands in 1635. This started the influx of African slaves who worked on the plantations. Dominica didn't remain under the French, however. The British claimed it by the start of the 18th century, which further heightened the power struggle in the island.
Independence for Dominica didn't come until the middle of the 20th century. It was granted Associated Statehood in 1967 where the British only handled the defence and external affairs. Full independence followed in 1978 when a republican constitution was established. The new government was tested on its first few years, especially during the start of the service of Eugenia Charles, Dominica's first female prime minister. The country soon recovered by the end of the 1980s, which preserved a peaceful state for the country.
One of the exciting things about Dominica is its rich history spanning several centuries of conflict and interaction with various cultures. This shows in the architecture of Roseau, the capital city, where tourists can see well-preserved examples of Creole architecture, such as the Church of St. Mark in Soufriere, the fountain by the Dawbiney Market, and the Public Library.
Travellers will also enjoy exploring the countryside on a biking or birdwatching tour. Called the Nature Island of the Caribbean, Dominica offers sights such as the Sisserou parrot, the national bird of the country. They live on the northern part of the island with a reservation in the Botanical Gardens of Roseau to aid in the propagation. The Sisserou parrot is not the only attraction for birdwatchers, however. There are more than 160 species to be found in the country, which makes it an adventure for those who want to take pictures of the easily spooked winged creatures.
Other nature lovers will be fascinated with a trip to the Botanical Gardens which contains more than 50 types of indigenous plants and imported trees. The communal areas of the gardens are also lively with some parts serving as playing fields and picnic grounds. Travellers might also see some weddings held here, and hear the live music which plays often. For those looking for more intensive nature adventures, the Cabrits National Park is a must, where a scenic land opens up to tropical forests and other nature spots.
Dominica isn't all about its nature reserves, though. There are also various marine activities waiting such as diving down to the Champagne Reef, which will let travellers see the water life in the island. Other than that, there are also river cruises to look forward to, as well as kayaking by the Soufriere Bay, which beginners can paddle easily. Middleham Falls and the Emerald Pool are also beautiful destinations to round out an eco-tour adventure.
How to get around within Dominica
Going around in Dominica is relatively manageable due to the various modes of transportation available. The cheapest way to move from place to place is by bus. One can go to their terminals in Roseau or flag one down from other locations. Taxis are also available, but the costs can add up, as charges apply to every passenger riding in the taxi. Prices can be negotiated with the driver, as long as they meet the minimum amounts set by the government.
Another option for transportation is to rent a vehicle. Travellers who want to do so will need to apply for a local driver's permit and drive on the left side of the road. They will also need to be careful while driving due to the steep and narrow conditions of the pavements. Local drivers can also be aggressive, so securing collision damage insurance would not go amiss.
Biking is also another option to consider when travelling in Dominica. The nature trails make the trip fun, but one has to take precautions especially when cycling in or near urban areas.
How to get there
Travellers going to Dominica will most likely land in Melville Hall Airport. There's a need to make connecting flight reservations, however, as the country welcomes only Caribbean flights at present. Commercial airlines serving this airport are Air Antilles Express, BVI Airways, Conviasa, LIAT, Seaborne Airlines, and Winair.
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Airports near Dominica
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