Active Travels: Dominica
Let’s face it, the Caribbean pales in comparison to the South Pacific. James Michener was correct when he called Bora Bora the most beautiful island in the world. I would also add the Marquesas’ Fatu Hiva and its exquisitely beautiful Bay of Virgins to the list. Volcanic islands and their dramatic ridges covered with lush foliage rise dramatically from the popsicle-blue waters of the Pacific. You can skip through the papaya fields and pick the fruit. And the people, like the Fijians are the friendliest in the world, with a genuine curiosity, not staring at you as if you were a dollar sign. Dominica is one of the few islands in the Caribbean that comes even close to this ideal. Waterfalls are around every bend (and there are a lot of bends on these winding roads). It’s perfectly suited for the active lifestyle—hikers can climb to a lake that bubbles with hot volcanic water and rafters can glide down a mountainous stream in nature’s best version of a lazy river. Ripe passionfruit and guava fall from the trees, and the locals are laid back, not in your face trying to make a buck. Grab one on the 35 bungalows at Jungle Bay, built from reclaimed cedar wood and volcanic stone, and propped on stilts like treehouses in the jungle. Then get ready for a slew of naturalist-led hikes into the greenery, yoga classes, sea kayaking, signature coconut oil massages, or simply reading by the pool.
Steve Jermanok has been a columnist for National Geographic Adventure, adventure travel expert at Budget Travel, and regular contributor on outdoor recreation for Outside, Men’s Journal, Health, and Sierra. He has written more than 1,000 articles on the outdoors. He’s also authored or co-authored 11 books, including Outside Magazine’s Adventure Guide to New England and Men’s Journal’s The Great Life. His latest book is Go Now! Put Your Life on Pause and See the World. He’s currently an adventure travel expert at Away.com and blogs daily at Active Travels.