Hail the eco adventurers, the wanderers and the wayfarers, the traveling and the lost, the remaining few who look at the world’s natural beauty and still see wonder, those who are not asleep to the charms and the romantic nature that the wild offers.
The wilderness is known to cause people to find themselves or lose themselves, and the Dominica has been called Nature Island for a reason. The absence of white beaches has given it a sort of sheltered life, as has the lack of interest from those looking to be pampered or journey off the beaten path. A good thing in my mind as there are few places in the world that could be called ‘Nature Island,’ though the world is vast and there are countless places to explore. Dominica should be on your list.
With it’s boiling lake, champagne reef and rainforest shrouded volcano, as well as many other wonders, Dominica is not meant to be just for the eco eccentric, it has other things to draw in some attention.
The island itself has tons of cultural history. It was home to an indigenous group called the Kalinago. They had originally named the island Wai’tukubuli, which means ‘tall is her body,’ Christopher Columbus arrived a hundred or more years later and decided to name it the latin word for Sunday, since that is ironically, the day of the week he arrived.
The Kalinagos fierce resistance made it one of the last islands to be colonized by the British in 1763. Dominica is still the home of 3000 Kalinago, the last remaining pre- Columbian people in the eastern Caribbean. They live on the Kalinago territory which is a 3700-acre expanse along the eastern coast. If their culture is something that draws you in, your best option would be to book a homestay with a local family, which will allow you the chance to learn about their ancient culture and modern traditions, herbal remedies, culinary treats and local crafts.
If you’re not planning on spending a few days there, then I highly recommend the Kalinago Barana Aute, a cultural center and museum village. It’s trail loops, leading you past small huts where locals sometimes hold demonstrations for basket weaving, Calabash-carving, Cassava baking and canoe building. I hope this convinces even the least eco adventurous person to explore Dominica. It’s a hidden gem and worth the trip.