Dominica Travel Guide
Also known as the ‘Nature Island’, Dominica attracts visitors to its pristine tropical rain forests and numerous waterfalls and rivers. One of the lesser visited and undeveloped islands in the Eastern Caribbean, this tiny country is still relatively untouched by the tourism industry and shouldn’t be mistaken for the Dominican Republic.
Travelers will be stunned by the scenic 5,000-feet high volcanic mountains and eerie underwater volcanic craters. Dominica is also one of the top places for diving and a unique site for whale, dolphin and giant sea turtle watching.
When to Go
Hot mon! Dominica has a tropical climate; the best period to travel here is in the dry season between February and May, with temperatures in the 87°F to 91°F range at this time.
The wet season strikes from August to October with extremely heavy rainfalls. During August and September you’ll need travel insurance for sure, as destructive hurricanes blow into the region.
Getting There & Away
Dominica’s two airports, Melville and Canefield, do not receive long-haul flights therefore you are required to fly via one of the nearby islands. Fast 300-seat catamarans ferry passengers from Martinique and Guadeloupe. Taxis are found all over the island. Private vans are used as public transportation system throughout the day.
Health & Safety
Tap water is highly chlorinated, but drinkable. The waters of the rivers are refreshing and safe to drink, but a stronger stomach is needed if you try the local hot pepper sauce. Safety is not a big concern yet it’s wise to stay alert at night. Should you want to stay out of trouble, abstain from wearing camouflage clothing, which is regarded as a severely offensive!
Food & Hospitality
Dominica offers a variety of accommodations from beachfront villas to mountain top cottages or riverside lodges. The fresh and healthy Creole-style cuisine uses yam, fig, plantain, goat, mountain chicken, fish and crabs; forget about Mc Donald’s! The people are very open-minded, but not hesitant to make a dollar.
- Five days trekking in the rainforest.
- Two days diving and whale-watching.
- Two days at one of the various festivals
morne-trois-pitons-national-park: contains the majority of the island’s famous above-water sights including the Emerald Pool. Great for hiking, burning your butt in sever hot water springs and trekking to the ‘lord of the rings’ like boiling lake.
emerald-pool: featured in a number of movies, this spectacular grotto is just a short walk from the rainforest. Swimmers are warned: it’s pretty cool in the pool. Don’t get caught skinny dipping though!
trafalgar-falls: a favourite with the tourists, these amazing twin waterfalls can be watched from a special viewing platform; the more courageous might like to go swimming in the refreshing waters, while you can also visit the nearby hot springs.
ti-tou-gorge: a unique stop at the delightful, small waterfall at the beginning of your hike to the Boiling Lake, located deep in this water-filled gorge.
boiling-lake: it takes a tough three to four-hour hike to get to Dominica’s most popular attraction; the lake is a cauldron of bubbling water enclosed in vapor. Lean to close to the edge and you’ll end up in the world’s largest kettle and not live to describe how it feels!
londonderry-beach: a rugged long black-sand beach on the Atlantic, great for beach-combing, and not to be confused with a rather infamous place in Northern Ireland.
glassy-trail: from Boetica to the coast, this easy 60-minute trail offers some outstanding observation points.
champagne: is a large region where thousands of bubbles come from beneath the water due to volcanic activity.
Diving: in Dominica’s diverse and unique underwater terrain is appropriate for all skill levels. The island is one of the top five destinations in the world for underwater sports.
Whale-watching: in the ‘Whale Watching Capital’ is an unforgettable experience which should not be missed.
Sea turtle-watching: under the stars, when the 1,000-pound creatures approach the untouched beaches to lay their eggs; you might be lucky and witness dozens of little hatchlings rushing to the Atlantic Ocean (late March to October).
Hiking: through pristine tropical rainforests on thrilling tracks and trails will take you to captivating sceneries.
Festivals: are numerous in Dominica, above all the colorful and lively carnival in February, or Independence Day in November.