Above the sea in Dominica
Dominica, the largest of the Windward Islands, covers 289 square miles and has approximately 91 miles of coastline. The island is characterized by very rugged and steep terrain. Dominica, formerly a British colony, became independent in 1978 and remains a member of the British Commonwealth and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States.
Dominica has a population of approximately 70,000 people, including 3,000 indigenous Caribs. Everyone speaks English. An English Creole dialect and French patois are widely spoken. The Eastern Caribbean Dollar, the Euro, and the US Dollar are widely accepted in Dominica.
Dominica boasts a variety of natural attractions including 365 rivers and streams, waterfalls, hot sulfur springs, a boiling lake (considered the world's second largest) and four cold freshwater lakes, two of which are situated more than 2,500 feet above sea level. You will have the chance to hike the adventurous route to Boiling Lake during this retreat.
Native flora includes over 1,000 species of flowering plants including 74 species of orchids and 200 ferns. Twenty-two endemic species of plants have been identified, one being the bwa kwaib, officially designated as the island's national flower. Fresh fruit and vegetables abound on Dominica--roadside farm stands feature mangoes, coconut, cocoa, coffee, sugar cane and more.
Dominica is also home to a wide variety of tropical wildlife. And it is the only place you can get Kubuli beer, the best Caribbean beer and one of Todd's top-5 favorite beers from anywhere.
Below the sea in Dominica
Dominica's underwater terrain is as diverse as the island's terrestrial areas, with a wide variety of marine life and dramatic underwater features including sunken volcanoes and deep drop-offs. More than a half-dozen types of whales and a dozen types of dolphins have been identified in Dominica's waters.
We will be diving at Scotts Head Marine Reserve, which is one of three protected marine areas in Dominica. The bay at Scotts Head is an extinct volcanic crater plummeting to indeterminate depths as a lava chute. There are many Carib myths and legends associated with the region, adding to its mystery. Our dive operator, Nature Island Dive, is located right at Scotts Head and with so many great dive sites close by, we will spend the majority of our surface intervals on shore.
Due to the deep depths of the warm West Coast waters, a variety of whales use the Dominican coastline to seek food, mate and give birth, making Dominica the Whale Watching capital of the Caribbean. Imagine having a 30-to-45 foot-long sperm whale stare you down, or glimpsing a cow sperm whale nursing her calves-- there's no better place for this than Dominica!
We will be in Dominica during the prime whale-watching season of November - March and in addition to the dive trips you will enjoy a whale watching trip with the group.
You are already more familiar with the island of Dominica than you think. Two Pirates of the Caribbean movies were filmed on Dominica. Read more about Dominica at its official web site.