An Eastern Caribbean island the size of Manhattan, Dominica’s volcanic peaks are veiled by pristine cloud forests and sweep down to bright, warm seas with healthy reefs: one of the world's best whale watching destinations. This forbidding geography slowed the roll of French and British colonizers, allowing the indigenous Kalinago people and escaped slaves (maroons) to set the pace. The result: a welcoming Caribbean Creole culture that hasn't succumbed to mass tourism yet. Go soon, while the spectacular trails, dive sites, and waterfall grottos of Dominica ("Dom-in-EEK-a") remain uncrowded!