Known as ‘Nature Island’, Dominica is dominated by a lush volcanic landscape. Its sheer cliffs are covered in tropical forest, with over 365 rivers snaking across the surface, forming a network of waterfalls, swimming pools and hot springs. This is the island to escape it all with a yacht charter, and really get back to nature.
Not many beaches are found, as the island’s peaks plunge directly into the sea. However, the same steep peaks have stopped the typical Caribbean resorts from arriving on Dominica’s pristine shores. Instead, find a thoroughly unspoiled island with a heavy focus on preservation and eco-tourism – it is said to be the only Caribbean island that Columbus would recognize today. Dominica’s unique geology makes it ideal for exploring by superyacht, as you can dive directly from your deck into the island’s sparkling waters, and enjoy the on board luxuries no matter where you are anchored.
Part of the island is a UNESCO World Heritage site and it boasts three national parks which extend from virgin forests to offshore coral reefs. There are over 40 dive sites not far from the coast, including the bubbling geothermal waters of Champagne reef and the impressive coral-covered Soufriere pinnacle, which rise 160ft up from the seabed. A marvel above and below the water.
Key Cruising Areas: All of the island’s lush coastline can be leisurely explored by superyacht, or it can be incorporated into a larger journey through the Windward Islands.
Don’t Miss: The boiling lake, the second largest geothermal pool in the world. Bubbling away in the heart of Morne Trois Pitons National Park, water temperatures in this wondrous lake measure upwards of 82 degrees Celsius. Fortunately, more temperate waters are also found throughout the island, from popular ‘healing’ pools at Wotten Waven, to the warm waters at Trafalgar Waterfall and Soufiere Sulphur Springs.
Best Spots for Wining and Dining: The décor of Islet View Restaurant and Bar may be rustic, but the views it has over Castle Bruce Bay are not. This is the place to drink rum on the island, with over 50 varieties, including their highly recommended bush rum. To eat, the rich soil of the island is perfect for growing a range of exotic produce, and many of the restaurants work with the farm to fork philosophy. Pagua Bay and Riverside café are two such restaurant, but for the best lobster on Dominica head to Poz at Calabishi Gardens.
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Local Culture: Visit the Kalinago Territory on the east of the island to meet the friendly Kalinago people, descendants of the island’s original inhabitants. They represent the last remaining tribe of the Carib Indians, and have a culture deeply connected to the nature of the island. Climb to the peak of Kabet with a Kalinago guide, learn to basket weave or canoe build, or simply enjoy the songs and dances of their rich history.
Best Beach: The best way to enjoy the clear waters off Dominica is from the beach club of your superyacht. Of the handful of beaches on the island IYC recommends the sands at Point Baptiste. Here, enjoy the Escape resort beach bar, coral reefs and stunning views of the surrounding red rock cliffs.
IYC recommends: Anchor at Prince Rupert Bay before a local guide takes you on a hand oared boat up one of the island’s most beautiful rivers – Indian River. Enjoy the beauty of the Bwa Mang trees, plenty of bird life and the serenity of gliding along these still waters. After this, head to Champagne Reef, where a thermal spring on the ocean floor creates champagne-like bubbles in the water. Explore the underwater cliffs and volcanic rocks which are positively bursting with colourful marine life.
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