Dominica Island - it's one of the most natural, the most rugged, and the least touristy places I’ve gotten to travel to. From what I’ve been experiencing, a lot of people have never even heard of this island, but it's an entire country, so I added Dominique to my birthday bucket list when I found out that they had resident sperm whales that live around the island year round! Going swimming with these majestic creatures was probably the highlight of my trip, however, I can’t get over the travels on actual land.
The waterfall hikes around the island had me constantly feeling like the main character in a movie, plus there are nine active volcanoes on the island that really bump up the stakes in my head of what I consider “maximum adventure”! So that led us to one of the most famous hikes in the world: Dominica Island’s Boiling Lake. There are only about two boiling lakes in the world: Frying Pan Lake in New Zealand (which I've actually hiked to!) and then right here in Dominica is second largest – around 250 feet across – basically a giant, fluctuating volcanic fissure with literal boiling water! The whole atmosphere looked like the clouds were hanging all over the mountains, adding to this incredibly surrealness, but the cloud was just steam coming up from this volcano!
The Boiling Lake hike itself is really gnarly - it's about 7 1/2 hours of going up and down to the tops of a mountain peak and then to the bottom of a valley and repeat! Can’t forget that the whole place is a jungle and that for some of that hike, you would have to make your own path and scramble up logs and rocks with your full hands and knees just to get up the side of the mountain and back down! It's muddy and slippery, and then you’re in the valley called the Valley of Desolation (very cool name, let’s be real here)! Here, there are a ton of areas that you couldn’t step onto because they're boiling hot or there's a volcanic fissure. A lot of the rivers and streams in the area are also boiling, so when you're crossing over a stream and stepping on the rocks…you cannot slip off because you'd land in boiling water!
So crazy and so treacherous at certain points, and I can’t even believe I got to experience something so raw and monumental as this island. But of course, reaching that crazy-amazing peak, it’s 360 degree views of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean at the same time from up there!
Absolutely time to add Dominica Island to your bucket list!