The "Nature Island" is different than others you'll encounter in the Caribbean in that the attraction is not beaches but lush places inland. Surrounded by underwater volcanoes, Dominica (pronounced Do-min-ee-kah) has rain forest, waterfalls, and bubbling hot springs you can visit, and some you can't — much of the island's interior is undeveloped.
What We Love
The Culture: In the frenetic main city of Roseau, you can wander the streets and smell delicious things being created in bakeries, stop by a small restaurant to sample crab back and other Creole dishes, and chat with artisans at the Old Market, one of the best in the Caribbean.
The Scenery: There's a reason the producers of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies used Dominica as a backdrop. The unspoiled landscapes, including green mountains and jagged cliffs plunging into the sea, are simply beautiful.
Best Known For
Hot Springs: Who needs a spa when you can take a dip in natural springs heated by a volcano? People swear by the detoxifying power of the sulfur-infused water.
The Caribs: The island is one of the few places where the indigenous Carib people have survived. You can drive through "Carib Territory" for a glimpse at their traditional way of life.
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Who It's Best For
Nature Lovers: Don't come here with plans to sit on a soft sand beach. This is a destination for people who like to get out and explore.
Divers: With underwater volcanic activity and plentiful life in the sea, Dominica is one of the best locations in the Caribbean for diving.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Hiking Is Required: Sights such as the naturally green Emerald Pool in Morne Trois Pitons National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are accessible only on foot.
Transportation Is Expensive: With many of the natural attractions far from the cruise pier, you'll have to pay about $30 per hour for a taxi.
Fran Golden is a Cleveland-based contributor to ShermansCruise who also writes for USA Today.