Located in the azure Caribbean Sea just northwest of another Caribbean island hotspot, Martinique, Dominica, is a relatively unspoiled tropical hideaway in the Lesser Antilles. Spanning 750-square miles and boasting a diverse population with a distinct culture, this special island offers striking black-sand beaches, 40-odd dive sites, and miles of hiking trails snaking through mountains densely carpeted by exotic tropical foliage. Christopher Columbus, in fact, named the island, drawing inspiration from the day of the week on which he happened upon the island — Sunday, or "Dominica" in Latin.
Your adventure in Dominica begins when you fly into the capital of Roseau and stay in one of the top Dominica hotels. Most cheap hotel deals in Dominica can be found in this colorful city of under 20,000 that sometimes serves as a stop for cruise ships making their way up to more populous ports. This city is more than a stop on a cruise itinerary, however; as the island's most prominent port, it exports fresh vegetables, oranges, cocoa, bay oil, and Dominica's top export; bananas. The city's rich past as a French settlement is evident in its mixed architecture of French Style colonial structures and modern buildings, and some of the best hotels in Dominica use these intricate architectural stylings to accent their rooms. Roseau's old fortifications and English architecture in parts are a testament to periods in the late 18th and 19th centuries in which the British briefly gained control of the island.
Find a number of natural attractions just outside of the city, such the the Morne Trois Pitons National Park, which features the world-famous Boiling Lake, a flooded fumarole 200-feet across and more then 195-feet deep containing bubbling gray water veiled in vapor. The site has lured daredevils from around the world who attempt to traverse the lake suspended on ropes.
Many charming Dominica hotel packages involve making reservations in Portsmouth, a town of about 3,000 denizens situated on the northwest coast. Prices and room rates may be more reasonable here than in Roseau, and the range of accommodations, from humble guesthouses to oceanside resorts, makes Dominica hotel deals relatively easy to come by if you book well in advance. Securing a cheap Dominica hotel deal may leave cash left over for dining at an al fresco establishment like the Champs Restaurant. Guests and locals alike relish the restaurant's Live Jazz Lunch, which occurs one Sunday a month, and the menu's creative, modern fare.
Syndicate Falls is a nearby hike easy enough for the casual hiker, and Rainforest Riding provides customizable horseback tours through the rainforest. If you are lucky, you might even see the national bird, the Sisserou Parrot. Don't forget to look for a discount on entertainment and attractions from the Discover Dominica Authority before you book your reservations with Expedia.