DOMINICA carries, perhaps, the most apt nickname of all the sandy shores that comprise the West Indies β€” The Nature Island. With amazing waterfalls, diving, hiking, mountain biking, and even whale watching the island probably has more to offer per each of its 290 square miles than any other island. Dominica’s interior is rife with towering peaks reaching as high as 4,747 feet (1,447 meters), rewarding intrepid hikers with views that are nothing short of jaw-dropping. One of the region’s newest and most amazing hiking adventures, the Waitukubuli National Trail, winds its way through this region. A trans-island route running the entire south-north length of the island, the trail covers a total of 115 miles (184 km) in 14 segments. It takes between 10 and 14 days to complete the whole thing, necessitating some serious refreshment once completed. Dominica obliges, of course, with spectacular waterfalls, like the Trafalgar Falls just outside the capital city of Roseau, which offers a cold bath that’s refreshing to say the least. Dominica’s mountainous terrain continues beyond the coast as divers can visit an underwater volcanic crater. The area around Soufriere, at the southern tip of the island, is considered the best for diving and is now protected so the many reefs and walls are kept in excellent condition. Just to the north, the aptly named Champagne snorkeling and dive site offers one of the region’s most thrilling and unique undersea adventures. Volcanic activity here causes thousands of bubbles to emerge from beneath rocks just a few yards offshore, giving the impression of swimming in a glass of champagne. Bottoms up!

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