Dominica — Overview
For the adventurous or nature enthusiast, Dominica is a wonderland of unspoiled outdoor attractions. Thick tropical rainforests, pristine lakes and mysterious volcanic peaks are among the main draws of this secluded Caribbean island. Despite its rugged charm and largely undeveloped tourism industry, Dominica is a paradise waiting to be discovered.
Home to many trekking and hiking opportunities, visitors often go on scenic drives to take advantage of the excellent bird-watching venues. The sprawling Morne Trois Pitons National Park is one of the best starting points for discovering the lovely Trafalgar Falls and the Boiling Lake. After that, you can venture beyond the forest to find sandy beaches perfect for snorkeling, kayaking and diving. If it is pristine water you seek, head to Champagne Beach, where you can relax and explore Dominica’s thriving marine life.
Dominica may be one of the poorest countries in the region, but you'd never know because the locals are so hospitable, welcoming and friendly, making you feel right at home. Sampling the local cuisine means sinking your teeth into freshly-prepared Creole, American and Continental dishes that are delicious and reasonably priced. Rum, beer and locally-produced spirits are cheap and abundant. Californian and French wines are also readily available for a casual night out.
The laid-back lifestyle on the island is conductive to relaxation, unwinding and enjoying being one with nature. Dominica does not have the nightlife you would find in a big, cosmopolitan resorts, and traveling by road may present some challenges, as the streets are bumpy, poorly maintained and undeveloped. Yet for the adventurous traveler, this is all part of the island’s allusive appeal.
The fastest way to get to Dominica is to fly. There are two airports on the island, with most commercial flights served by Melville Hall. You can also take a ferry from Guadeloupe or Martinique, or hop on a cruise that will dock near downtown Roseau. Twenty-one day visas are automatically granted to US, EU, Singapore, and Canadian nationals so travel is hassle-free. Dominica remains a hidden gem because of the lack of direct flights from major capitals like London, but tourism continues to thrive thanks to the island’s relaxing vibe.
- Try extreme sports like canyoning from the waterfalls or rock climbing to test your agility and strength while taking in beautiful views of the island
- Join a wine and cheese cruise during sunset over the Indian River
- Go diving or snorkeling from Champagne Beach, Scott’s Head or Roseau’s southern end
- Challenge your balance with kayaking, jet-skiing or waterskiing
- Sign up for an ATV tour through the thick forests
- Find a hiking path that matches your desired skill level
- Experience a local festival to get the feel for the island’s culture through celebration, music and food
- Groove to the local bouyon and cadence-lypso styles of music