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Visitor Map

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Dominica, a lush green mountainous island located midway down the chain of Caribbean Islands east and south of Puerto Rico. Dubbed the Nature Island of the Caribbean, Dominica is said to have 365 rivers and streams, the world's largest Boiling Lake (disputed - may be the second largest) and 9 live volcanoes on 289 square miles.

The earliest known settlers of Dominica were the Arawaks, who were here already at the beginning of the Christian era. On Sunday, November 3, 1493, Columbus sighted land on his second voyage and named it Dominica. However, because of the violent nature of the Caribs who inhabited the island at the time and lack of suitable anchorage, Dominica remained free of European colonists for some time. The first French missionary visited Dominica in 1642 and French influence gradually gained a foothold.

By 1727, about 30 French families had settled on the island, and French influence continued to grow with the introduction of African slaves. In 1761 during the Seven Years War, the British seized Dominica and in 1770, made it a separate colony. During the American War of Independence, the British forces were weakened in the Caribbean, and the French seized the opportunity to re-take Dominica in 1778. A few years later in 1782 the British fleet under the command of Admiral Rodney, defeated the French and returned Dominica to the British. In 1967 Dominica became a self-governing state and in 1978 it became independent.