So how many of you have heard of the amazing Caribbean island Dominica? Show of hands? Oh, a lot of you! Wait - not the Dominican Republic – Dominica - pronounced Dom-in-ee-ka? Ah ha – I see a lot of those hands went back down. Well – than I sure am glad that you are here because this gem of an island is one that should absolutely be added to your list of places you must see!
Now I am going to be honest with you guys – this was an introduction to Dominica for your Travel Guru too! I knew that Dominica was an island in the Caribbean, but I have to confess – I had no idea how beautiful it was or all that there was to see and do there.
Recently I had the pleasure of welcoming Fernanda Melgoza from Discover Dominica to one of my weekly video chats to walk us through all of the amazing pieces of what is known as Nature Island. And she was extremely excited to share with us all of the little secrets of this hidden gem in the Caribbean.
Now - tray tables up, seat in an upright position, fasten your seat belts and prepare for take off to an amazing little island!
Background: So, we have already made it clear that it’s not the Dominican Republic we are discussing today. Check. The country’s official name is the Commonwealth of Dominica and the original Carib Indian population named it Waitukubuli which translated means “tall is her body” – and this is because of the mountains and what the island looks like from the distance.
Dominica is situated south of Guadeloupe and north of Martinique in the Caribbean and has a population of 71,293. Its capital is Roseau and although the official currency is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar, the American the dollar is widely accepted throughout the island.
English is the main language with French Creole as the next commonly spoke language. And that is Dominica 101!
Getting There: Although it is certainly not hard to get to Dominica it is a destination where you will have to change planes as there are no direct flights to the island from the continental US. There is the option to fly directly into Antigua, Barbuda, Guadeloupe, Saint Lucia or Saint Maarten and then simply take a hopper from there for an easy transfer over to Dominica. Or – as Fernanda advised – the main hub where visitors travel to from the US is typically into San Juan and then on to Dominica. And you know what I am going to say next right? Yup - we can make this a multi-destination adventure and add a few days before or after in Puerto Rico for you! Note: There are some cities from the US that have same day service to Dominica but keep in mind they could be seasonal – among them are Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Connecticut, Fort Lauderdale, Houston (IAH), Los Angeles, Miami, New York City (JFK), Philadelphia, and Washington DC (DCA and IAD). Fernanda did confirm that she lives in New York and typical travel time to Dominica is that she will get an early morning flight out and be arrive to the hotel in Dominica by late afternoon.
Sightseeing and Activities: You may be wondering – just why should I visit Dominica? Well first and foremost the Nature Island has remained one of the hidden gems in the Caribbean. Meaning - it's a very unspoiled destination and it is quite different what from the image that you may have of Caribbean destinations. Home to three national parks where you can have everything from soft adventures to extreme adventure experiences - it's really a destination for everybody from nature lovers to those who just want to escape the crowds and do some social distancing in gorgeous surroundings.
Culture: Dominica is home to the last remaining community of people that are actually native to the Caribbean - the Kalinago culture. They have their own territory on the island that is just for the Kalinago population and there are about 3000 of them that are living there. Their traditions and culture are still very much alive so when you get there you can visit with and listen to a local historian relate stories about the history and the beginnings of Dominica. Here you will also have the opportunity to partake in the fine art of basket weaving, experience cassava bread baking and view presentations on traditional canoe building and herbal medicine. You can also buy really cute souvenirs made by the local people which as we all know is sustainable travel at its best. They have their own local language too, so you have an opportunity to learn a native language while you are there. And for my families who travel with your kids what a great living classroom experience this can be!
Accommodations: Fernanda noted that she only included four properties to talk about to give us an idea of the different options you have when it comes to accommodations but there are many more besides these.
Gastronomy: Let’s talk about eating because you guys know that I am always hungry and interested in the local dishes of each and every destination. Being an island, you will not be surprised that the cuisine is mainly seafood and always served as a very hearty meal including a side of rice and a salad. But although it is mainly seafood there are other local delicacies and Fernanda advised she has had some fabulous chicken and pork dishes in Dominica as well. As for the culinary scene – there are charming food establishment throughout the island and since it is very untouched you are going to get true, homemade meals wherever you go. And my friends – this is that cultural immersion that I so adore – homemade meals right from the locals. What a great place this would be to set you up with a family where you can go into their home and they can teach you how to cook local dishes or you can simply break bread with them – your choice!
Updated COVID-19 Information: As of this writing the CDC recommends travelers avoid all nonessential international travel to Dominica.
For the CDC’s most up to date information on COVID-19 click here. And for the most up to date entry requirements Dominica click here.
So, I think that this has been super amazing, and I have fallen in love with another country in the Caribbean that now is on my bucket list! And I am willing to bet a lot of you did too! So, what do you say we start planning a visit to the Nature Island for some wellness, social distancing and a bit of adventure to look forward to in 2021?
For more details on things to see and do in Dominica, where to stay, it’s price points and more - contact your Travel Guru! Oh, and if you need a payment plan to fund your travel adventure - we got those too!
During the shutdown of Covid19, Loulu Lima began interviewing many tourism boards, destination management companies and suppliers whom BHGH works with in the curation of your itineraries.
Here you will find the videos as well as written summary of each. Summaries are transcribed by Carole A. Peck.
Video post production managed by MotionDash.Media
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