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Purely Dominica

Purely Dominica

In July, Dominica hosts its 19th Annual Dive Fest. Noted for its traditional canoe racing, dinner dances, sunset cruises, whale watching, and waterside fêtes, Dive Fest is one of the island’s most popular events and attracts locals, visitors and international sponsors.

It all began in 1994, thanks to pioneering watersports operators such as the late Derek Perryman. Derek began scuba diving Dominica’s reefs as far back as 1983 and, five years later, kick-started the recreational dive sector by establishing one of the island’s first professional dive operations, Dive Dominica. His legacy has been profound. Not only did he place Dominica on the international dive map, he introduced a new and exciting opportunity to young Dominicans. Here was a chance to train, get a professional qualification, and embark on a fascinating and rewarding career.


Dive Fest is an extension of this ethic. For many, the main attraction may be the festivities, but at its core it’s all about getting people into the water and having fun diving Dominica. Professionally managed “try-dives” are a fabulous chance for complete beginners to experience Dominica’s underwater world. The drama of the mountainous and forest-covered landscape is perfectly reflected beneath the waves; vertiginous drop-offs, volcanic pinnacles, and a lush adornment of corals, sponges and reef fish. This stunning kaleidoscope of color and life is a draw for underwater photography enthusiasts, now a key ingredient of Dive Fest, with competitions, treasure-hunts and workshops.

Very much the go-to man for anyone interested in scuba diving in Dominica, Derek Perryman died unexpectedly in 2010 and is greatly missed by all. From Soufriere all the way to the Cabrits, Dive Fest is a celebration of people like Derek, and of all those still involved in Dominica’s thriving dive industry. It is an island-wide party, an opportunity to try something new, and a unique showcase of the Nature Island’s exceptional scuba diving.

For more details on Dive Fest, visit or

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