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Dominica: The ‘Nature Island’ of the Caribbean

There’s a flotilla of lounge chairs docked by the infinity pool and along a white sand beach. The menu at the sprawling hotel’s swim-up bar includes frosty local favorites all day long. You have an all-inclusive choice of food and activities, as long as you stay on the manicured resort grounds. All you have to do is laze in the sun, dip your toes in the bathtub-warm water and discover the wealth of shopping experiences at hotel boutiques—when you’re not golfing.

Is that your Caribbean vacation dream, or is it a sanitized travel nightmare?

If parking your action by the pool all day has you fidgety in 15 minutes, don’t chalk it up to your inability to chill out. Maybe you need to join the outdoorsy set and consider visiting Dominica, the Caribbean island for those who don’t think they like Caribbean islands.

Dominica is an ideal place to both relax and get active. Called the ‘Nature Island’ due to its volcanic peaks, lush rainforest, clear waterfalls, abundance of rivers (and even boiling waters), it’s frequented by people who want to do more than lounge around all day.

The island has the Caribbean’s first long-distance walking trail, the Waitukubuli National Trail, which covers 115 miles of shockingly beautiful terrain. The trail crosses through the Carib (Kalinago) Territory, and the Morne Trois Pitons National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that includes the world’s second largest boiling lake.

The trail is marked in segments for those who don’t want to hike its entire length. During Hike Fest, held annually in May, groups of both islanders and visitors get together on weekends to hike different segments.

The journey to Dominica’s Boiling Lake is a six-hour round trip over challenging terrain, and one of the island’s most demanding trails. The trail meanders through rainforest and rises gradually from 1690 feet to 2260 feet…

Read more: Jill Robinson, Lonely Planet

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