This bucket list is a bit different from the past articles I have written on the same subject. Unlike the others, I’ve actually visited Dominica before; I just wouldn’t consider it an in depth experience. Over 15 years ago, I took a Southern Caribbean cruise that designated Dominica as one of its ports. After stopping for a few hours, we were whisked back to the ship and sailing to our next destination. That mere 3-4 hours wet my whistle and conjured up enough excitement that I have been wanting to go back ever since.

Dominica, not to be confused with the Dominican Republic, is located just a few miles from Martinique and Guadeloupe. My initial draw to this island was its lack of tourists; but it’s not a pretentious destination. Traveling to the island may require a few stops and it also lacks beaches (when comparing its volume to that of neighboring islands) which may also be the reason people aren’t jumping on the next thing smoking to get there. Oh well, I say more room for me!

When Would I Go

Although temperatures average 85 degrees year round, peak season for Dominica is January through June where the island sees the least amount of rain. Since Domninica is right in the Caribbean’s hurricane belt, I would steer away from travel between August and September. The island is never truly “busy” so travelers should still be able to enjoy this unspoiled Caribbean destination in peace even if traveling during peak season. Not to miss events: Carnival in January and February and the World Creole Festival in late October/early November.

What Would I Do

Nature is the name of the game in Dominica. Its beauty is raw and untampered and there is so much to discover! As found in other areas like Costa Rica, Dominica is filled with boiling and thermal/hot sulfur waters, underwater springs, a multitude of waterfalls, volcanoes, tropical rainforest canopies (covering almost two-thirds of the island), and many more wonders that are the end result of this mountainous Caribbean island also known as “The Nature Island”.

A hike to Boiling Lake would be a must see on my list. It is the most famous spring in the area and rightfully so. It is volcanically heated and covered in a blanket of steam. Located within Morne Trois Pitons National Park, which was the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in the eastern Caribbean, this preserve also boasts the twin waterfalls of Trafalgar Falls, botanical gardens, coral reefs, Titou Gorge, Emerald Pool, and the Valley of Desolation (comprised of boiling mud ponds and small geysers).

In addition, you can’t visit this wonderful place without enjoying the cuisine where dining with a view is basically a given. Dishes here will be a blend of continental and West Indian cuisine.

Where Would I Stay

I’ve had my eye on Secret Bay ever since I was planning my honeymoon over 5 years ago. It didn’t make the final cut, but I still have these villas saved away in my travel folder just waiting for a booked flight. The small boutique hotel only offers six luxury villas and bungalows that are spread across the area providing stellar service and unprecedented privacy and seclusion. It’s ideal for a honeymoon or anniversary vacation – or when you just want to get away from it all.

What is on your travel bucket list?

Shanna Jones

Shanna is the co-founder and editor of Urban Swank. She focuses on food and travel.


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