Dominica, an Anglophone island between the French islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique, may well be the most unspoiled of the larger Caribbean islands. With few hotels and no mass tourism to speak of, Dominica is called "the nature island” for good reason. One of the most dramatic natural wonders in the West Indies sits at the bottom third of the isle. The Boiling Lake is a flooded fumarole (volcanic fissure) whose water emits sulfurous vapors as it bubbles and boils at around 92 degrees Celsius (nearly 200 degrees Fahrenheit). Surrounding the lake is the lush rain forest of Morne Trois Pitons National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This vital habitat is teeming with birds, tiny tree frogs and vibrant bromeliads.
Getting around mountainous Dominica means negotiating winding, twisty roads. The offshore waters are known for some fine diving and whale-watching. With little room to grow, the small capital of Roseau never exploded in size; it still retains many of its colorful colonial-era wooden houses. Street vendors sell everything from fresh fruits and barbecued meats to medicinal herbs and elixirs.