Dominica named top dive destination

The island of Dominica was officially recognized as one of the top dive destinations in the Caribbean when readers of Scuba Diving magazine voted Dominica the #2 destination overall in the Caribbean/Atlantic category in the 2007 Reader’s Choice Awards, up from #3 for the previous two years.

In addition to earning the #2 overall destination in its category, the island earned an additional 4 awards for a total of 5 awards this year.  Dominica was also selected as the #1 destination for Top Marine Life and Top Small Animal Encounters and #3 for Healthiest Marine Environment and Top Destinations for Underwater Photography in the Caribbean/Atlantic category.

The Reader’s Choice Awards are based on input by more than 4,500 Scuba Diving magazine subscribers and web users who rated their dive experiences on a scale of one to five. The final ranking was a result of the number of ‘fours’ and ‘fives’ received by each destination. A complete list of 2007 Awards recipients is featured in the January/February 2007 issue of Scuba Diving magazine.

In Dominica, underwater tunnels with schooling fish lead to vertical walls and lava pinnacles. One of the most vibrant underwater eco-systems in the Caribbean, Dominica offers recreational scuba divers aquarium-clear water with visibility that can reach 100 feet.

Dominica’s marine world is a ‘dream world’ for an underwater photographer: sponges, seahorses, frogfish, crinoids…the list is as varied as the scenery is impressive. A Dominican underwater adventure is for the person who loves macro photography, calm water, great vistas, healthy reefs and short rides to dive sites. In addition to being considered one of the top dive destinations in the world, Dominica has a reputation as the best place to see whales and dolphins in the Caribbean. One can see some of the largest mammals in the ocean on a sperm whale-watching expedition along the west coast of the island.

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Snorklers discover the wonders of ‘Champagne Reef,’ Dominica’s sub-aquatic sulphur spring that offers a first-hand look at Dominica’s untamed volcanic activity. In less than 15 feet of water, hot water and bubbles filter out of vents, attracting a variety of marine life and creating a visually interesting environment. Parrotfish, octopus, squid and other intriguing underwater creatures glide through the bubbles of this natural phenomenon. Barrel and vase sponges, as well as brain and finger coral populate the reef. Champagne Reef provides a perfect example of the wide variety of underwater life that Dominica has to offer. And, it’s close to shore.

Known as “The Nature Island” and located between the French islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique in the Eastern Caribbean, the independent nation of Dominica (pronounced “Dom-in-eek-a”) is the largest and most mountainous of the Windward Islands, encompassing an area of nearly 290 square miles.  Of volcanic origins with mountains reaching heights of nearly 5,000 feet, rainforests that are considered among the last true oceanic rainforests in the world, more than 365 rivers, waterfalls, boiling lakes and pristine coral reefs, Dominica’s natural diversity is truly unique. Dominica is also home to the last remaining settlement of the Indigenous Peoples of the Caribbean - The Carib Indians. A place where man and nature live in harmony, adventurers and nature lovers alike will revel in the Island’s eco-tourism options which include scuba diving, snorkeling, mountain biking, kayaking, horseback riding, nature tours, hiking/trekking, whale, dolphin and bird watching, sailing and fishing.

Dominica continues to be recognized for its attributes and sustainable tourism efforts, including being the first country in the world to receive Benchmarking designation from the prestigious eco-tourism organization Green Globe 21 and ranking as the only Caribbean destination in the top five happiest countries on earth in the Happy Planet Index (compiled by Britain’s New Economics Foundation).

Beginning January 23, 2007, the U.S. State Department and the Department Homeland Security will require that all U.S. citizens and foreign nationals carry a passport or other accepted secure documents to enter or re-enter the U.S. through airports from the Caribbean, including Dominica.  Please visit the U.S. State Department website at http://travel.state.gov for more information and downloadable passport application forms.
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