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Morne Trois Pitons National Park

Morne Trois Pitons National Park, Dominica
Named after its highest mountain, this 17,000-acre park was established as a national park in July 1975 and named a World Heritage Site in 1997. Its Valley of Desolation is a region of boiling mud ponds and small geysers, its Boiling Lake is the world’s second-largest fumarole, and its Emerald Pool is a waterfall grotto that lures locals and visitors alike.

Dr Birdy
The world-renowned ornithologist Bertrand Jno Baptiste—better known as "Dr Birdy"—leads rain forest rambles, ranging from three hours (US$120) to intensive all-day hikes (US$220). His enthusiasm captivates even those not into bird-watching, as he shows off broad-winged hawks, plumbeous warblers, rufous-throated solitaires, red-legged thrushes, and rare blue-headed hummingbirds. Visitors also stand a good chance of seeing Dominica's two endemic parrot species: the red-necked Amazon ("jaco") and the imperial Amazon ("sisserou," which stars on the country's flag). Book directly via (767) 245-4768 or drbirdy2@cwdom.dm.

Boiling Lake
In the heart of Morne Trois Pitons National Park bubbles this deep, flooded fumarole—the second-largest of its kind in the world. The hike to this dramatic blue-grey cauldron traverses steep, rain-forested river valleys and skirts around mudpots veiled in steam: The 8.1-mile (13km) roundtrip is best navigated with a local guide. Heed trail closures and NEVER swim in the lake. The temperature occasionally drops, but scalding water and harmful gases could erupt at any time with no warning.