ABOUT Dominica, officially the Commonwealth of Dominica, is an island nation in the Lesser Antilles region of the Caribbean Sea, south-southeast of Guadeloupe and northwest of Martinique. One of the top ten dive destinations in the world, Dominica’s diverse dive sites await you. From the calmer tropical fish-filled waters, to spectacular drops and a submerged volcanic crater. The opportunities for underwater discovery and photography are unparalleled. 300 miles of trails on Dominica are a true nature lover’s dream. Breathtaking vistas, waterfalls, rushing streams, and volcanic wonders await hikers of every skill level. Whether you’re looking for the best diving in the Caribbean, a hiking trip through the rain forest, or simply to soak up the sun and breathe in the fresh rainforest air, Dominica welcomes you! The Nature Island has everything from extreme sports to eco tours, from spas to whale watching – plus the Morne Trois Pitons National Park – the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Caribbean. It is often known as "The Nature Island of the Caribbean" due to its spectacular, lush, and varied flora and fauna, which are protected by an extensive natural park system. The most mountainous island of the Lesser Antilles, its volcanic peaks are cones of lava craters and include Boiling Lake, the second-largest thermally active lake in the world. 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. It 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.
CLIMATE The climate of Dominica is mildly tropical; in the winter months the temperature averages 25° C; in the summer, 28° C. The spring months are the driest; the heaviest rains fall during late summer. The average yearly rainfall ranges from about 75 in on the drier Caribbean coast to 200 in in mountainous inland areas. Destructive hurricanes coming in from the Atlantic Ocean can be expected during the late summer months. December through to May is generally thought the best months to visit.
BEWARE The vast majority of visits are trouble free. However, there have been incidents of violent crime including murder. These tend to occur within the local community but can sometimes affect tourists. You should maintain at least the same level of security awareness as you would in the UK and make sure your living accommodation is secure. This also applies if you are staying on a yacht. Avoid walking alone in isolated areas, including beaches after dark. Do not carry large amounts of cash or jewellery. If possible, leave valuables and travel documents in safety deposit boxes and hotel safes. There are severe penalties for all drug offences. Pack all luggage yourself and do not carry anything through Customs for anyone else. It is an offence for anyone, including children, to dress in camouflage clothing.