DominicaDominica – Caribbean Islands
Wallet friendly: Learn about turtlesWatching leatherbacks turtles in Dominica
If the ‘swaying palms and turquoise water’ holiday isn’t your bag then try the island of Dominica. It’s brilliant for wildlife lovers, especially those keen on turtles – on the island’s shores you can see three types of globally endangered sea turtles as they nest on the beaches. Leatherbacks come ashore to lay their eggs between March and August, while hawksbills and green turtles will head for the sand between May and October.
The nesting females are protected by law and closely monitored by the Dominica Sea Turtle Conservation Organisation. For US$10pp, trained guides can tell you more and take you to an active nesting site. Set the alarm clock for early. Elsewhere, the island is full of adventurous hiking trails – all for the price of… absolutely nothing (Dominica is home to the Caribbean’s first long-distance hiking trail, the Waitukubuli National Trail, which covers 115 miles of the island. So take some decent footwear with you.).
DETAILS: Picard Beach Cottages are airy wooden structures right on the sand, with nightly rates from £102, picardbeachcottages.dm; Virgin Atlantic offers return flights from £527, for info see virgin-atlantic.com
Splash the cash: Swim with sperm whales
For a safari with a difference, head to Dominica for one hell of a close encounter. Natural World Safaris has launched a seven-day swimming with sperm whales trip that’s led by world-renowned photographer and videographer Patrick Dykstra. You’ll spend four days in the water swimming with the 20m-long creatures, while dolphin sightings are likely, too. When you’re not in the sea snapping some of your greatest holiday selfies, you’ll have a chance to visit the island’s hot springs and also make the most of the refreshingly un-touristy beaches and rugged landscape.
DETAILS: Natural World Safaris offers the week-long trip and accommodation from £5,175 excluding flights, naturalworldsafaris.com