Dominica’s capital, Roseau, is a great vantage point overlooking the eastern mountains and the western Caribbean Sea. The bustling city is also home to a botanical garden, small shops and several restaurants. From here, you can venture to other major cities like Portsmouth or immediately start exploring the more remote destinations of the island. Many travelers rent their own vehicles in order to easily get from one place to another and to be able to access even the most secluded areas.
This lovely village is located at the tip of the southwest corner of Dominica and embraces a curved bay that was once the crater of an ancient volcano. If you have your own scuba diving or snorkeling equipment, you can explore the remains of a 160-meter deep hole that stretches hundreds of meters and is lined with coral. On land, there are shacks where you can stay cheaply and getting here by car is easy. The main road leads to a hill where you can enjoy views of Roseau and Scott’s Head.
Address: Saint Mark Parish, Dominica
The palm-tree lined coast of Calibishie stretches from Pennville’s rugged mountain range through a quaint fishing village and the beaches of Marigot. It is known as one of the few places in the world where you can walk from a shore to a rainforest in less than an hour. Inland are freshwater rivers where you can enjoy bathing in secluded pools. The rainforest boasts lush vegetation and exotic birds which can be explored in a day.
Address: North coast of Dominica
Morne Trois Pitons National Park
This national park is also a UNESCO World Heritage site and is located in Dominica’s southern half, which is known for its 17,000 acres of volcanic and mountainous terrain. The majority of the park is covered in primordial rainforests—thick jungles that have towering gommier trees as well as cloud forests on Morne Trois Piton’s higher slopes, which include the second-tallest mountain on the island at 4,550 feet. There are several wilderness attractions including Boeri Lake, Middleham Falls, Boiling Lake, Emerald Pool, and Freshwater Lake. You can hike to these from the small hamlet of Laudat or from Roseau. To get to Morne Trois Pitons National Park, you can catch the limited, but regular bus from Roseau police station to Laudat, with services beginning at 6:30 a.m. You can also rent a taxi or drive yourself. Most guesthouses and hotels can provide guides if you'd rather not venture out on your own or want a more in depth history of the area.
Address: Saint George Parish, Dominica
One of the main attractions of the sprawling Morne Trois Pitons National Park is a basin of steaming, bubbling water known as Boiling Lake, the second hottest lake in the world. It is a seven-mile journey 2,500 feet above sea level, so be sure to go with a guide.
Address: Morne Trois Pitons National Park, Saint George Parish, Dominica
Known as "Stairway of the Snake’s Head" because Kalinago legend says that the path was left by a giant boa constrictor that came from the sea, L’Escalier Tête-chien is an uncanny rock formation that leads into the Atlantic Ocean. It is located in the southern part of the island which is reachable by driving to Sineku and then walking to the site.
Address: Sineku, South of Kalinago, Dominica
Soufriere Sulfur Springs
Sulfur Springs and its surrounding trails are a great place to explore and picnic. There is a manmade stone pool that is safe for bathing with washrooms and changing rooms available. To get here, take the first left after the village and follow the well-marked roads.
Address: Soufriere, Dominica
Carib Indian Territory
The only remaining community of the Caribs in the Caribbean, there is a village where you can watch craftsmen use traditional carving tools for building canoes. The long-pointed boats are icons in their own right and are painstakingly crafted from a single gommier tree trunk. The village of Kalinago Barana Aute is a good place to buy arts and crafts like hand-woven baskets, homemade cassava breads and locally-produced herbal medicines.
Address: Kalinago Barana Aute, Salybia, Dominica
Cabrits Historical and Marine Park
This is one of the most important historical attractions in Dominica on the Cabrits Peninsula. It is home to the ruins of the colonial forts George and Shirley, which have been around since the 18th century. Near the entrance is a small museum displaying a collection of artifacts discovered in the area. The surrounding jungle boasts hiking trails that are waiting to be explored and a marine reserve spanning 800 acres is also in the area.
Address: Saint John Parish, Dominica
Central Forest Reserve
The Central Forest Reserve can be visited by car or on foot while admiring the rivers, lakes and surrounding greenery. The Caribs used the wood of the abundant gommier trees here for crafts and building boats.
Address: Saint Paul Parish, Dominica