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"Life's an Adventure"
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Photo: Tanzania

This month's reader photos have it all—inspiring locales, great composition, and travel tips to take you there.
Reader Photo Album


Photo Gallery:
Patagonia's Cerro Torre
Photo: Cerro Torre

See photos of Patagonia's otherworldly Cerro Torre from the climb that bagged one of alpine climbing's greatest prizes.
Cerro Torre photos


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Sleek shoes and running clothes that will get your heart racing.
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Paddling Croatia Photos and Video

Digital Cameras Review

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Video: Climbing Icebergs 

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Robert Young Pelton's Travel Tips



The Caribbean's Wild Side: Dominica
The sports you love, set in the destinations you crave. Here are nine tropical escapes that scream action.  Text by Tom Clynes  

THE BAHAMAS  | PANAMA  |  DOMINICA  |  HONDURAS  |  ST. LUCIA  
ST. VINCENT  |  SABA  |  DOMINICAN REPUBLIC  |  GRENADA

DOMINICA
Cool Off in Freshwater

A few years ago, in the village of Wotten Waven in Dominica's humid Roseau Valley, I made friends with a man nicknamed "Mellow," who told me his secret for keeping cool: a waterfall hidden in the hills above his house. Armed with nothing more than curiosity and a compass, I followed a faint trail up a ridge. Eventually, sweat-soaked and huffing, I clambered into a misty clearing, where a plume of water tumbled from an 80-foot (24-meter) cliff. I stood in awe for a minute, then let out a whoop and dove into a pool below the falls. I stayed there for more than an hour, frolicking like a river otter, before hiking back down to the village. There I again ran into a grinning Mellow.

"Isn't that the best place to check your vibe, mon?" he asked.

Falling water may elicit calm in the locals, but for visitors, exploring the island's freshwater playgrounds gets the blood pumping. Dominica, it is said, has a river for every day of the year, and since the central Caribbean isle is only 15 miles (24 kilometers) wide, the streams are invariably fast and steep, and lead to hundreds of falls. Try those in Morne Trois Pitons National Park. Approach from the eastern coastal village of La Plaine and hike 45 minutes to the 150-foot (46-meter) Sari Sari Falls. You'll feel the spray from a hundred yards (90 meters) away. Continuing on, just before the village of Laudat, there's a turnoff to Middleham Falls. The hundred-foot (30-meter) cascades splash over boulders and vegetation into an ice-cold dipping pool.

Dominica's beaches are beautiful, but undercurrents can be strong. Stick to freshwater pursuits and hook up with the Indian River guides on Dominica's north side for a rowboat ride. The route is lined with dramatic Pterocarpus officinalis, or bwa mang trees, with gnarled roots spreading up to 20 feet (6 meters) off the banks of the Indian River. Jungle tours are entertaining and many end at riverside bars. You can spend the night at Beau Rive, near the windward coast village of Castle Bruce. Though the B&B's decor is eclectically modern, the rooms are thankfully free of life's modern trappings—no TVs, telephones, or air-conditioning.
 
WHAT TO DO
Hiking
Ken's Hinterland Adventure Tours guides hikes with waterfall-hopping itineraries, as well as cross-island treks ($140; www.kenshinterlandtours.com).
River Boating
Stop by the visitors center in Portsmouth to arrange a tour with an Indian River guide ($15, river boat tour only; $15 extra to add a swampland walk).
 
WHERE TO STAY
Set on a hillside, the modern Beau Rive ($90; www.beaurive.com) sits above the boulder-strewn Richmond River. The lodging's decor is stylish and the food is delicious (vegetables are picked fresh from the owner's private gardens).
 
GETTING AROUND
The easiest way to travel is by taxi ($10 per half-hour) or rental car ($45 a day; Best Deal Car Rental; +1 767 449 9204). Take note that gasoline can cost
double U.S. prices.

THE BAHAMAS  | PANAMA  |  DOMINICA  |  HONDURAS  |  ST. LUCIA  
ST. VINCENT  |  SABA  |  DOMINICAN REPUBLIC  |  GRENADA

Photo: March Cover


Pick up the March 2006 issue for more secrets of the Southwest, nine Caribbean adventures, the best gear for runners, and our World Class outfitter trips.

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