Portsmouth, Dominica

Photo: Secret Bay
Photo: Secret Bay

Wish you had a treehouse? Where you could escape from the world, hide out, and pretend not to have any responsibilities. Like the one you had growing up. Only better. This one would have modern amenities and delicious food. And a view beyond your backyard.

Your wish can be granted in Dominica. The Nature Isle of the Caribbean is full of mountains, rain forests, and rare plants and animals. In the northwest corner, Secret Bay is perched on a cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Tibay Beach and Secret Beach are on either side of the cliff. The Cario River and mangrove forests flow down to Tibay from Morne Diablotins, the highest point on the island.

Photo: Secret Bay
Photo: Secret Bay

Filled with Dominican Red Cedar furniture, Secret Bay’s Zabuco Villa has 180-degree views, a plunge pool, and a hammock bed. Amid the trees. A cool sea breeze blows through the villa as you eat a Creole-Dominican breakfast and drink fresh mango juice in the morning. Strike yoga poses on the meditation deck. Watch butterflies flutter through the Wild Orchid Garden. Take a cooking class, and learn how to make yam pie and passion fruit mousse. Swim into a sea cave. Kayak to Prince Rupert Bay’s white-sand beach and search for the bar among the Bwa Mang trees on the Indian River. Relax on Secret Beach’s soft sand. Drink a fresh-fruit smoothie at the Source Shack on Tibay Beach. Scan the water for sperm whales before taking a long nap in your hammock.

When you wake up, bike into town. Portsmouth, the island’s second largest town, is only a few miles north. Stop at the Farmer’s Market for bananas and coconut water. Or the Tomato Cafe for tempura shrimp and Kubuli Beer. Cadence music plays in the background. Hike out to Cabrits National Park and Fort Shirley, an old British garrison. Try to spot Sisserou Parrots along the Syndicate Nature Trail.

And when the light rain comes, return to your treehouse. You can even build a blanket fort if it starts to thunder.

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