This small island nation in the Caribbean (not to be confused with the Dominican Republic) has 91 miles of coastline surrounded by deep blue water plunging to the depths. The deep oceanic water abounds with pelagics, from whales and dolphins to billfish. A year-around population of sperm whales makes its home just offshore, offering a welcome bonus: Dominica is one of only a few places in the world where sperm whales can be seen regularly.
With lofty mountains surrounded by clouds, deep valleys plummeting to the ocean, more than 300 crystal-clear rivers and dozens of monstrous waterfalls, Dominica has something for everyone. While most Caribbean islands need to ration water, Dominica generates electricity with its bountiful supply of fast-moving water. A third of Dominica has been protected from development as a national park, which means that Dominica has some of the last remaining old-growth tropical rainforests in the Caribbean. It also has the only remaining tribe of true Carib Indians, living in an isolated northern section of the island.
The magnificent diving ranges from colorful shallow reefsto lush, steep walls covered in gorgonians, and even includes some incredible muck diving sites chock full of critters like frogfish and seahorses. Dominica is an ideal destination for divers who like a little topside adventure or have non-diving family members. After two exhilarating morning dives, you can spend the afternoon swimming in waterfalls, parrot-spotting in the rainforest, or trekking to one of only two boiling lakes in the world, heated by volcanic activity (diving not recommended). A trip to Dominica offers non-diving activities exciting enough to tempt even the most die-hard divers out of the water for a few afternoons. Jonathan Bird/Photography by Jonanthan Bird
Average Water Temp: 80°F
What to Wear: Dive skin or shorty wetsuit is fine for thermal protection.
Average Viz: 80-150 feet is typical
When to Go: Year-round
1. La Bym
2. Dangleben's Pinnacles
3. Scott's Head Drop-off
5. Scott's Head Pinnacle
Not Just a Hike
Middleham Falls is about a one-hour, relatively easy hike. The reward for the effort is a 200-foot waterfall
with excellent swimming in the pool below.