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Purely Dominica

Purely Dominica

well-being in Dominica

Dominica is no doubt one the last islands close to nature, that’s why it’s usually referred to as the nature island of the Caribbean. Whether you want to be by the sea, in the mountains or surrounded by rainforest.

Or maybe, you enjoy hiking, canoeing, kayaking, cycling, River Tubing or camping, you will find much to do in Dominica.

While more adventurous travelers may want to explore year round, the primary tourist season is from October through May when temperatures are warm and refreshing compared to the hot summers, and the cold winter months experienced by much of North America and Europe.

One of the most prominent natural wonders in Dominica is the newly constructed Waitukubuli National Trail. Starting at Scotts Head peninsula, a mecca for snorkeling and scuba diving, the trail is composed of 14 sections, running 115 miles south-north, bisecting the length of the island. Much of the trail follows existing 200-year-old walking paths of the Kalinago Caribs, as well as slave routes to sugar plantations. Along the way you’ll pass villages, home-stays and B&Bs. No one has yet hiked the entire trail – are you up to the challenger? It might take you two weeks.

Getting to the Dominica is an adventure all by itself. Although there are no direct flights from the US mainland, Canada or Europe, there are several island hub options with daily connecting flights. Visitors may also get to Dominica by ferry service from the French islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique and St. Lucia via the L’Express Des Iles ferry service.

You can learn more about Dominica by visiting or by ordering your copy of Dominica (Bradt Travel Guide), which is filled with excellent maps, descriptions of hikes, snorkeling, places to explore and dive sites.

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A guide to wellbeing in Dominica

Forget the fluffy white robes, flotation tanks and expensive room service bills from the luxury spa hotel – wellbeing holidays on the Caribbean island of Dominica are all about harnessing the island’s natural resources to create a balance of mind, body and spirit.

Here, from ‘the Nature Island of Dominica’, are five steps to the ultimate natural wellbeing vacation.

1. Travel – with a clear conscience
2. Get fit and healthy in the ‘jungle gym’
3. Enrich your spirit
4. Expand your mind
5. Embrace new challenges

1. Travel – With a Clear Conscience

It is impossible to ignore the global warming debate and its links to overseas travel, but at the same time, it is important to remember that tourism is essential to the economies of many countries as well as for promoting understanding and developing cultural links.

In Dominica, visitors can be assured that they have chosen a destination that has gained worldwide recognition for its efforts in sustainable tourism. Dominica was the first country in the world to be benchmarked by Green Globe 21; the highest ranked Caribbean destination in a survey of sustainable islands by National Geographic Traveler; and recently nominated in the Best Green Destination category at the World Travel Awards.

Most hotels, guesthouses and tourism enterprises in Dominica are locally owned and run, so by staying on the island, making use of tour guides and taking part in the activities on offer, visitors are making a vital contribution to local businesses and the island’s economy as a whole.

Responsible travelers can offset their carbon emissions via companies like the Carbon Trust or Carbon Neutral.

2. Get Fit and Healthy in the ‘Jungle Gym’

The beautiful, rainforest landscapes of Dominica are far more inspiring than any gym. Forsake the rowing machine for an ocean kayak, or the treadmill for some brisk hikes in the hilly landscape to make exercise enjoyable. Swimming spots are also plentiful, with numerous freshwater rivers on the island. Some are even naturally heated due to the island’s volcanic nature.

For a more intense work-out, take a dip in the pool at the base of Victoria Falls, or in Ti-Tou Gorge, where the pressure from pounding waterfalls creates a strong resistance to swim against.

Relieve aching muscles with a dip in one of Dominica’s many hot springs, where the water temperature is comparable to a hot bath. Hot spring pools occur naturally across the island – including at the ocean’s edge near the town of Soufriere – and can also be found in the grounds of some guesthouses.

These springs are caused by the island’s volcanic nature, another result of which is mineral-rich mud. Volcanic mud is used across the world in spa treatments to draw toxins and impurities out of the body – in Dominica, visitors can take advantage of abundant supplies in areas including the Valley of Desolation. Indulging in a natural mud face pack will leave skin feeling instantly glowing and healthy.

Healthy eating is relatively easy in Dominica. Most hotels and restaurants offer locally sourced produce, including organically grown vegetables, fresh seafood and a delectable variety of tropical fruit juices. Cookery classes and tours are also available for visitors to learn how regional specialties are prepared.

3. Enrich your spirit

It’s official – Dominica is the fourth happiest country in the world according to the Happy Planet Index, a survey conducted by the UK’s New Economics Foundation. Visitors to the island should embrace this positive frame of mind, brought on by the friendly locals and the sheer beauty of the island.

Unlike some Caribbean islands, it is easy to find a retreat in Dominica – perhaps a corner of the rainforest, a deserted beach, or a stretch of river where you can remain tranquil for hours without being disturbed by another soul, except the wildlife. Make the most of the solitude to contemplate and appreciate the verdant, pristine beauty of the Nature Island, which has hardly changed since Christopher Columbus sailed past over 500 years ago.

Yoga fans might also like to take part in yoga classes or residential courses in other holistic pursuits that take place at selected hotels and guesthouses. Classes take place in purpose-built studios or terraces, surrounded by the forest or overlooking the ocean.

4. Expand Your Mind

A holiday in Dominica offers not only the chance to experience a new country, but also to learn about the culture and history of the people who shaped the whole of the Caribbean region over hundreds of years. Dominica is the only island with an indigenous population of Carib Indians, known as the Kalinago. Many Kalinago live in a government-designated Carib Territory in the northeast of the island, where traditional crafts such as basket weaving are still prevalent.

The island offers a number of community-based tourism activities that will teach visitors about past and present life in Dominica, including a visit to Touna Village in the Carib Territory and a community gardening and cookery tour.

5. Embrace New Challenges

Holidays often bring with them the confidence to try something new, or push personal boundaries. The opportunities for this in Dominica are numerous. Abandon traditional comfort zones by trying a new activity – perhaps scuba diving, horseback riding, rappelling down a waterfall, or swinging through the jungle canopy on zip lines and rope bridges. Challenges could even be as simple as trying fresh seafood for the first time; facing a fear of flying with a scenic flight over the island in a small plane; or learning not to flinch at the creatures and insects that WILL be seen in the jungle.

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Dominica dive fest 2009

Grab Your Gear and Go Diving – Dominica’s Dive Fest July 10-19

Dominica has unveiled a series of unbeatable packages/specials for families, divers and single travelers visiting “the Nature Island,” during Dominica’s 16th Annual Dive Fest.

Taking place July 10-19, this island wide event will encourage visitors to dive down and discover the beautiful landscapes and colorful marine life in the waters surrounding the island. Among packages and deals to travelers are:

Fort Young Hotel – Celebrate Dominica’s Dive Fest with the “Dive Fest 2009 Package” offered July 10-19. The package includes 7 nights’ hotel accommodations, full breakfast daily, 5 days of 2 tank boat dives, tanks, weights and belts, roundtrip airport transfers, marine park fees and all taxes and service charges. Rates start as low as $970 per diver. For more information visit, email [email protected] or call 1-800-581-2034.

Anchorage Hotel & Dive Center
– Save money with Anchorage Hotel’s “Dive Fest Special”. The package includes a welcome drink upon arrival, 7 nights’ accommodations, roundtrip airport transfers, 7 continental breakfasts, 5 days of diving, marine park fees and unlimited shore diving on Anchorage Reef. Rates begin at $855 per person, based on double occupancy. For further information visit, email [email protected] or call 767-448-2638.

Calibishie Cove – Calibishie Cove Resort will be offering their guests 10% off both room rates and dive packages purchased with Cabrits Dive Center, when booking accommodations at the property during Dive Fest. Room rates begin at $125 per night, based on double occupancy. For more information visit, email [email protected] or call 813-417-8448.

Caribbean Sea View Holiday Apartments – Caribbean Sea View Holiday Apartments will be offering a 20% discount to all guests who stay at the property during Dive Fest. Rates begin at $50 per night/per person, based on double occupancy. For additional information visit, email [email protected] or call 767-449-7572.

Sunset Bay Club & SeaSide Dive Resort
– Sunset Bay Club is offering one free night with their “Book for 7 pay for 6 Nights” offer. The package includes breakfast daily and 5 morning double tank dives per diver. Rates begin at $740 per person and are valid from July 1-31, 2009. For more information visit, email [email protected] or call 767-446-6522.

The Tamarind Tree – Save money with The Tamarind Tree’s “All Inclusive Dive Packages” special. The package includes 7 nights’ accommodations, all meals, selected drinks, airport transfers, two complimentary dive fest activities of your choice; shore diving in the afternoon and 5 days/10 boat dives (includes boat, tank, weights and guide.) This package is valid from July 9-20, 2009. Rates begin at $1,139 per person, based on double occupancy. For more information visit, email [email protected] or call 767-449-7395.

Budget Rent a Car – Budget Rent a Car is pleased to offer 20% off any vehicle rental to all guests during Dominica’s Dive Fest. For more information email [email protected]

The Sponsors of this year’s event include, but are not limited to; Dominica Watersports Association, Sealife Camera, Oceanic, Henderson Wetsuits and Dive Training Magazine.

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