Gay Nagle Myers
Gay Nagle Myers

InsightDominica, known as the Nature Island of the Caribbean, expanded its offerings and attractions in 2011 with the opening of the Waitukubuli National Trail, the first cross-island walking trail of its kind in the Caribbean, according to Ian Douglas, minister of tourism.

The trail comprises 14 distinct but continuous segments totaling 115 miles from north to south, passing through mountainous landscapes, rain forests and communities and near rivers and waterfalls.

Hikers can cover the entire length of the trail in two weeks or can choose individual trail segments, according to Douglas.

The trail, which takes its name from the Carib Indian's name for Dominica, was developed through a government initiative in partnership with the Regional Council of Martinique and funded by the European Union.

Waitukubuli National TrailIn addition to the trail, Dominica debuted the Rain Forest Aerial Tram this past fall and the Gorge Zip Challenge, which features the highest and longest zipline on the island.

The aerial tram is a low-speed, 90-minute canopy tour of Dominica's Morne Trois Piton National Park and its treasure trove of flora and fauna, including more than 170 species of birds. During the tour, guests have the option of exiting the gondola and completing a portion of the tour on foot, across an 84-foot suspension bridge.

The six-platform zipline course offers three lines that glide over the rain forest canopy, including an 810-foot cable suspended 350 feet above Breakfast River Gorge, with its plants and waterfalls.

The course also includes a 40-foot rappel to the ground.

“The [new attractions] will strengthen Dominica’s position as a destination not only for nature but also for excitement,” Douglas said.

Douglas outlined additional new visitor activities, including a city tour of the capital of Roseau in a train-like vehicle that stops at the Botanic Gardens and the riverfront.

The first 40-room phase of the Atlantique View Resort & Spa opened this past fall as part of the Ascend Collection from Choice Hotels.

The property is in Anse De Mai in the northeastern part of Dominica, about 20 minutes from Melville Hall Airport.
The airport completed work on its runway extension, new terminal building and night landing facilities in 2010.

Dominica’s hotel room inventory stands at 700-plus rooms with another 114 expected to come on line in the next year.

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