Exploring Dominica: The Nature Isle of the Caribbean


Dominica, a breathtaking island nation situated between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, finds itself uniquely positioned about halfway between Puerto Rico and Trinidad and Tobago. With its 751 square kilometers, all land, this island is a gem of natural beauty boasting 148 kilometers of stunning coastline. Unlike many other Caribbean islands, Dominica lacks land boundaries and bordering countries, highlighting its secluded and unspoiled character.

Geography and Climate

The topography of Dominica is primarily characterized by rugged mountains of volcanic origin, painting a landscape that is both dramatic and lush. The island’s highest point, Morne Diablotins, reaches an impressive elevation of 1,447 meters, making it a paradise for hikers and nature enthusiasts alike. Dominica’s climate is quintessentially tropical, moderated by the northeast trade winds. Despite its beauty, the island’s weather system brings heavy rainfall, contributing to its dense tropical forests and vibrant ecosystems.

Natural Resources and Land Use

Rich in natural resources, Dominica boasts timber, hydropower, and arable land among its most valuable assets. Approximately 34.70% of the land is dedicated to agriculture, with 59.20% covered in forest. This abundant natural wealth supports a variety of agricultural activities and industries critical to the island’s economy and way of life. However, specific data on the extent of irrigated land remains unavailable, reflecting challenges in comprehensive environmental data collection and analysis for the region.

Population and Urbanization

As of July 2020, Dominica’s estimated population was 74,243, with a significant majority residing along the coast. About a third of these inhabitants live in or around Roseau, the capital, in the parish of St. George. The volcanic interior, meanwhile, is sparsely populated due to its rugged terrain. Urbanization is progressing steadily, with an estimated 71.10% of Dominicans living in urban areas by 2020. Despite this shift, the country maintains a balanced interaction between its urban centers and the surrounding natural environment.

Society and Culture

Dominica’s citizens, known as Dominicans, predominantly speak English, reflecting the island’s history as a former British colony. The country’s cultural expressions are deeply intertwined with its natural surroundings, from cuisine that emphasizes local fruits and root crops to music and art inspired by its scenic beauty and historical experiences.

Economy and Livelihoods

Agriculture plays a central role in Dominica’s economy, with bananas, citrus, mangos, root crops, coconuts, and cocoa being chief among the island’s agricultural products. Beyond farming, industries such as soap making, coconut oil production, tourism, copra, furniture manufacturing, and cement block production form the backbone of the Dominican economy. Interestingly, the export partners’ list reveals a diverse economic interaction with countries such as Saudi Arabia, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Guyana, highlighting the island’s strategic economic relationships within and beyond the Caribbean region.

Infrastructure and Development

Dominica has achieved significant milestones in infrastructure and modernization, notably achieving total population electrification by 2016. The import and export activities encompass an array of products, from bananas and soap to manufactured goods and machinery, indicating a robust engagement in international trade. With a GDP per capita of $11,000 in 2017, Dominica is on a path of gradual economic development, balancing its ecological treasures with the necessities of modern living.


Dominica stands out in the Caribbean not just for its pristine natural beauty but also for its resilient and vibrant community. Despite its geographical vulnerabilities and the challenges of tropical weather, Dominica’s commitment to preserving its unique landscapes while embracing sustainable development serves as a model for island nations worldwide. As this remarkable island continues to navigate the complexities of the 21st century, its blend of natural splendor, cultural richness, and determined progress promises a bright future for its people and the preservation of their cherished “Nature Isle.”

Country data

Country Code DO
Region Central America
Surface 751 sq km
Land Surface 751 sq km
Water Surface n/a sq km
Agricultural Surface 34.70%
Forest Surface 59.20%
Lowest Elevation Point n/a
Highest Elevation Point Morne Diablotins 1,447 m
GDP / capita $11,000 (2017 est.)