A variety of plants, animals and bird species call Dominica home, including iguanas, sea turtles, the endangered crapaud frog, 320 species of reef fish, the endemic Imperial parrot and sperm whales. In addition, more than 1,000 species of flowering plants can be found on the island, including 74 species of orchid and 200 ferns. Sixty per cent of the island is covered in forest.
Dominica’s extensive natural park system includes three national parks, two forest reserves and the Syndicate Parrot Reserve. The Morne Trois Pitons National Park has been recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The island is also home to the world’s second-largest hot spring, cascading waterfalls, breathtaking beaches ranging from sugar-white to black volcanic sand and 365 rivers, one for each day of the year.
The perfect haven for birds is the perfect place for birders. One of the first things you’ll see in Dominica is a colourful Sisserou parrot right on the Dominica flag. This is the only place in the world where Sisserou and Jaco parrots are found. The Sisserou Parrot, also known as the Imperial Amazon is found only in Dominica, specifically on the slopes of Morne Diablotin National Park which was established primarily to protect its prime habitat, and in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park. The Jaco Parrot, also known as the Red-Necked Amazon gets its common name from the red feathers found on its lower throat.
Birding can be enjoyed throughout the year, however, the peak in breeding for most species is between March and August. Visiting at different times of the year will allow the birder to see a range of species because the main migration periods are from September to November (southbound) migration and February to March (northbound). The ideal time of day for birding is the first three hours after dawn and the last two or three hours before dusk. Thanks to a healthy underwater ecosystem, the waters off Dominica are a bountiful, rich food chain.
And just 15 minutes off the coast lie deep drop-offs. That means big fishing. Marlin, sailfish, yellowfin skipjack, tarpon, wahoo, dorado, mackerel—these waters are a sports fisherman's dream. Imagine, just minutes after boarding a charter, you could be pulling in the biggest fish of your life.
Fishing cruises usually last around four hours with departures in the early mornings and afternoons and are equipped to create an amazing experience for all ages and all experience levels, from the novice to the seasoned angler. You might even get the royal escort from the resident pod of sperm whales.
Don't know what to do with your catch when you're back at the dock? Local restaurants do! Just bring in your fish and the chefs will turn your fresh catch into a culinary masterpiece.
Other popular activities include ATV tours, rafting, hiking, diving, canyoning and horseback riding.