Our next port call was to the island of Dominica which is part of the Lesser Antilles. Dominica is the Caribbean’s best kept secret. Its towering mountains, lush green forests and winding rivers are practically begging for exploration. Plus, there are no chain resorts (yes, none) and limited nightlife; in fact, commercial development of any kind is extremely sparse. But if you’ve heard of this island, you know that you don’t visit for only the resorts and beaches. Instead, Dominica attracts the adventurous eco-tourist that treasures authenticity while on vacation. And despite the deepening of the island’s main port to accommodate large cruise ships, Dominica is adamant in its preservation and conservation of local forestry and wildlife, more so than any other islands in the region. In fact, the island is considered one of the most pristine and well-preserved spots in the Western Hemisphere. This makes Dominica’s many unique natural features great destinations for outdoors and nature enthusiasts, as well as shutterbugs, but the island probably ought to be avoided by travelers who are particularly averse to hiking.
English is the official language, but a French patois is commonly spoken, and the original Carib language is evidenced in a number of place-names. The majority of the population is Roman Catholic, but there are also Methodists, Pentecostals, and Seventh-day Adventists.
Agriculture remains the most important sector of the economy, in terms of both employment and contribution to the gross national product. The main crops are bananas, citrus fruits, and coconuts. Bananas accounted for nearly half of Dominica’s export earnings in the 1980s, but in the late 20th and early 21st centuries the banana crops were devastated repeatedly by hurricanes. Production also fell in the 1990s in part as a result of a World Trade Organization ruling that the European Union had breached free-trade rules by offering Dominica and other former European colonies—notably, other eastern Caribbean banana-producing islands—preferential access to the European market. Cocoa, coffee, and vegetables are also produced.
Here are a few images taken during our visit to this beautiful island.