Not to be confused with the far larger Dominican Republic, the Commonwealth of Dominica is an island of approximately 750² km that is part of the Windward Islands in the Lesser Antilles archipelago. The island is located near Guadeloupe to the northwest and Martinique to the south-southeast. The island was originally inhabited by the Kalinago and later colonised by Europeans. It gained independence from Britain in 1978 and has a population of approximately 75,000. The size of the country is about 750 km2, and it’s about 47 km long by 26 km wide.
NOTED GEOGRAPHY: It’s the youngest island in the Lesser Antilles, and still being formed by geothermal-volcanic activity, as evidenced by the world’s second-largest hot spring, called Boiling Lake. The island has lush mountainous rainforests (highest point is Morne Diablotins, at 1,447 m), and it is the home of many rare plants, animals, and bird species.
NOTED NATURE: The ecosystem on Dominica is exceptionally varied and vibrant. The national animal is the Sisserou Parrot, found only here, but the variety of birds, reptiles, insects and more is almost unrivalled elsewhere in the Caribbean. The island has several protected areas, including Cabrits National Park, as well as 365 rivers.
NOTED CULTURE: Tourism is the key to the island’s fortunes. Called the Nature Isle for its vibrant flora and fauna, it attracts many, especially for diving in the surrounding seas, and hiking in the mountains.