Dominica is largely covered by rainforest and is home to the world's second-largest boiling lake. Dominica also has many waterfalls, springs and rivers. Some plants and animals thought to be extinct on surrounding islands can still be found in Dominica's forests. The volcanic nature of the island and the lack of sandy beaches have made Dominica a popular scuba diving spot. Dominica is home to several protected areas, including Cabrits National Park. The local people like to say that Dominica has 365 rivers.
It is said that when his royal sponsors asked Christopher Columbus to describe this island in the "New World," he crumpled a piece of parchment roughly and threw it on the table. This, Columbus explained, is what Dominica looks like—completely covered with mountains with nary a flat spot.
Morne Trois Pitons National Park is a tropical forest blended with scenic volcanic features. It was recognized as a World Heritage Site on Tuesday, April 4, 1995. Currently it is the only such site in the Caribbean.
The Commonwealth of Dominica is engaged in a long-running dispute with Venezuela over Venezuela's territorial claims to the sea surrounding Isla Aves (Bird Island), a tiny islet located 70 miles (110 km) west of the island of Dominica.
The only two major cities are Roseau and Portsmouth. Unlike many other Caribbean islands, Dominica's tourism is underdeveloped. It does not have any world-famous chains of hotels. Dominica has a few famous tourist spots, such as the Indian River in Portsmouth, Emerald Pool, Trafalgar Falls, Scotts Head (where the Atlantic Ocean meets with the Caribbean Sea), and the world's second largest Boiling Lake which is inside of Morne Trois Pitons National Park - Dominica's World Heritage site. This island country also has many excellent diving spots due to its steep drop-offs, healthy marine environment and reefs.
In 2004, because of its unchanged natural beauty, Dominica was chosen to be one of the major filming locations for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and its follow-up, At World's End. Hampstead Beach, Indian River, Londonderry River, Soufriere and Vieille Case, which is situated on the island’s northern tip, were among the places which were selected for filming.