Hailing from Massachusetts, Susan Copelas has been a pioneer in women’s diving, youth outreach and environment protection throughout her 35 years of diving. And, by founding her own independent scuba instruction business, she has introduced and educated over 1,200 of tomorrow’s leaders in the sport of scuba diving. This past November, Susan led a group […]Read more
When it comes to witnessing the transformative, natural depths of Dominica, canyoning reigns supreme. Amongst the Nature Island’s most popular sports, canyoning allows you to descend into the island’s canyons, discover the lush rainforest and waterfalls within and, above all, walk away with the most memorable and exhilarating life experience. We chose to sat down with canyoning guide Jeffrey of Extreme Dominica to get an inside look into the incredible sport and why Dominica is amongst the best places in the world to do it.
Tell us about how you got into canyoning.
I have been a tour guide for the past 22 years and wanted to add another exciting adventure into my life. After much thought and exploration, I decided to go beyond Titou Gorge to find what was there; and, to my surprise, I found several waterfalls and pools, and said this is exactly what I’m looking for—a majestic canyon to offer visitors and locals.
What about Dominica makes canyoning so special for you?
Dominica is very mountainous and the deep canyon valleys have channeled the crystal clear water for thousands of years, carving through ignimbrite rocks to create this spectacular site.
How did you begin introducing tourists to the sport?
I began working for Extreme Dominica in 2007, when it was founded, but I had already been exploring the canyons since 2004. Extreme Dominica finally made the sport a reality for tourists and financed it all.
What about canyoning made you want to introduce it to tourists?
Canyoning is different from any other tour as you can only access hidden waterfalls and pools by way of our specialize equipment. The sites have been designed by natural forces and are constantly changing, so canyoning is the only way to view them.
What are the greatest challenges of canyoning? And the greatest rewards?
The greatest challenge is the rain, as I can’t go canyoning myself or take other people with me. But, the greatest reward is meeting people of different nationalities; it’s an amazing experience beyond compare. Throughout the years, many tourists have returned to canyon and we’ve always kept in contact.
We understand you have a 12 year old son who loves canyoning, too. Do you often recommend the sport to kids? What ages?
I strongly recommend canyoning for children six years and older. The youngest I had was three years old, but was carried by his father.
What should one expect from their canyoning experience?
Rejuvenation, excitement, love and a sort of baptism of nature and peace. And let’s not forget the Cocoa tea and fruits at the end of the canyon tour!
What’s your favorite site in Dominica?
My favorite site is the boiling lake because it has several varying and incredible features: rainforest, elfin forest, rivers, hot bubbling mud pools, valley of desolation and so much more.