Distinctly Dominica

Setting the record straight about Dominica, the Caribbean’s untrammeled ‘Nature Island’

By: By Mark Rogers

Dominica waterfall // (c) 2010

Dominica waterfall // (c) 2010

According to a National Geographic survey, 11 percent of Americans can’t find the U.S.on a world map. Given this dismaying statistic, perhaps it’s understandable that travelers often lump Dominica with the Dominican Republic. In reality these two Caribbean destinations couldn’t be more different; while the Dominican Republic is a powerhouse of packaged vacations and all-inclusive resorts, Dominica (pronounced Dom-in-eek-a) is known for its untrammeled nature and eco-focused travel. In fact, Dominica’s nickname is the Nature Island.

National Geographic’s Center for Sustainable Destinations ranked Dominica as the top sustainable island in the Caribbean. Natural wonders on the island include volcanic mountains just shy of 5,000 feet, oceanic rainforests, waterfalls, coral reefs and more than 365 rivers — all this in an island measuring 291 square miles.

Even as we enter Dominica’s high season, plenty of island hoteliers are dangling attractive value-added packages.

Castle Comfort Lodge, for one, is offering a Reef and Rainforest Adventure Package through Oct. 31. The package includes seven nights’ accommodations, daily breakfast, roundtrip airport transfers, complimentary use of sea kayaks, an afternoon whale and dolphin excursion, three days of two-tank boat dives, three days of morning tours or hikes and unlimited shore dives off the dock. Rates begin at $975 per person, based on double occupancy.

Guests who book seven nights at the boutique eco-hotel, Calibishie Cove, receive one private dinner for two served on the guestroom balcony overlooking Calibishie Cove. They also receive a complimentary kayak tour of the Hodges River and Treasure Island. The package is available through May 31, with weekly rates beginning at $940 per person, based on double occupancy. Agents should refer to promo code: 101ADHS when booking the reservation.

In celebration of its 10th anniversary, Calibishie Lodges is offering 10 percent off on all reservations throughout the rest of the year. Guests also receive a free bottle of wine when they add the meal plan to their reservation, as well as one free excursion when booking five nights or more. Rates begin at $114 per night, per lodge, based on double occupancy. Agents should use promo code: Anniversary Promotion.

Fort Young Hotel’s Pure Bliss honeymoon package includes accommodations for seven nights in a seaview room; roundtrip airport transfers; a complimentary bottle of wine; a full breakfast; one horseback ride; trips to Titou Gorge, Emerald Pool and Trafalgar Falls; a whale and dolphin safari; and an intimate, three-hour sunset boat trip that includes a picnic and a candlelit dinner. The package is valid through May 31, with rates beginning at $3,528 per person, based on double occupancy.

Castle Comfort Lodge

Calibishie Cove

Calibishie Lodges

Fort Young Hotel