One of the Caribbean’s wildest islands invests even more in eco-tourism and design to withstand climate events since Hurricane Maria in 2017.

By Tracey Minkin
October 22, 2018
Michal Gutowski Photography/Getty Images

Beloved for its volcanoes, hot springs, rain forests, and low-key vibe, Dominica was the first Caribbean island in Maria’s path. The category 5 hurricane made landfall on September 18 with winds of 165 miles per hour (and higher gusts), ravaging the lush landscape—reducing most of its buildings to rubble, leveling its vegetation, and taking 31 lives. But with inspiring grit and ambition, Dominica has come back not only to reopen hotels and restore eco-tourism areas, such as Trafalgar Falls, Indian River, the Botanic Gardens, and the Syndicate Nature Trail, but also to rebuild with the goal of being “climate-resilient.”

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One of the island’s most luxurious and distinctive resorts, intimate Secret Bay reopens in November 2018 with updated villas and a new restaurant, spa, and wellness pavilion. The resort also offers a post-hurricane Nurture the Nature Island voluntourism package, which includes working with local naturalists and fishermen to learn about and help restore habitat while staying in a luxury villa. Rates for Secret Bay start at $705. Nurture the Nature Island packages start at $535 per night (one night complimentary in appreciation of your service and two if your stay is seven nights or more, some blackout dates apply).

In the capital city of Roseau, the refurbished Fort Young Hotel continues to add new guest rooms, and is an ideal base camp for exploring Dominica’s natural sites. Rates start at $182.

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Resilient Dominica (RezDM) helms a variety of local programs, including one that provides food for primary-school lunches but
also stockpiles reserves in case of a natural disaster.