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Caribbean - Dominica

The island sits midway along the Eastern Caribbean archipelago, just a few miles from Martinique to the south and Guadeloupe to the north. Known as 'The Nature Island,' Dominica's tropical rainforests cover two thirds of the island, and are home to 1,200 plant species. Rivers, lakes, streams, and waterfalls abound, fed by the island's high annual rainfall. Its volcanic physique points to extensive geothermal activity 'even underwater.' Geologically speaking, Dominica is one of the youngest islands in the Caribbean chain. It is a spry 26 million years old, still actively evolving with continuous geothermal activity.

National Geographic Traveler Magazine calls it the 'most unspoiled island in the Caribbean'

User Reviews

User profile for Dave D
Dave D.
"Dominica was another stop on our Caribbean cruise. Here's an excerpt from my blog post about our day in Dominica:

The bus departed from the pier at 10:30am and we were en route to our first stop up in the mountains for a hike to a waterfall. As we drove through town, it looked really poor - more than the other places we've visited. During our history lesson of Dominica we learned that the island is 99% volcanic rock and 1% limestone, that there are 17 dormant volcanoes and 365 rivers - one river for every day of the year, and during leap years they find another river, was the joke.

The bus stopped after the 45-minute drive through the mountains, and we were at the entry point of the rain forest for the walk to Spanny's Waterfall. A few people stopped to use the facilities but the rest of the group began their walk through the rain forest - great tour guide, just leaving us to navigate on our own. The walk was roughly 20-minutes and was a pretty substantial hike through the mud. We saw a lot of interesting and colourful plants along the way, but surprisingly no bugs. The waterfall was absolutely beautiful. Could have spent a lot more time there.

Back on the bus, we made our way down the mountain and to Mero Beach, which is a black sand beach. The drive down the mountain was a little easier to handle than the drive up. Baron sure did like to grind the gears, and take the turns pretty fast. The beach was pretty interesting, seeing that I've never been to a black sand beach before. The water looked really murky, but was surprisingly clear - the black sand makes the water clarity deceiving. Because we were with the tour group, we didn't have to pay for the chairs/umbrella, and we were given a free drink at the bar."

User profile for Brion H
Brion H.
"The people were very friendly, and the lack of commercialization was more enjoyable than I expected. Would definitely come back again."

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Courtesy of Scott's head Dominica - Courtesy of Dominica Boiling Lake - Courtesy of Victoria Falls - Courtesy of Dominica - Courtesy of

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Champagne Reef - Courtesy of Nature/Parks/Beaches Champagne Reef

Waterfall and waves crashing on rocky beach - Courtesy of Nature/Parks/Beaches Zom Zom Trail

Courtesy of Nature/Parks/Beaches Emerald Pool

Wind turbine overlooking Atlantic Ocean in Dominica near Rosalie Bay and Rosalie Nature Resort - Courtesy of Historic Sites Rosalie Bay Wind Turbine

Glasse tide pool and waterfall on hiking trail in Dominica - Courtesy of Nature/Parks/Beaches Glasse Hiking Trail

Large falls in eastern Dominica - Courtesy of Nature/Parks/Beaches Sari Sari Falls

Morne Trois Pitons National Park - Image coming soon! Nature/Parks/Beaches Morne Trois Pitons National Park

Trafalgar Father and Mother waterfalls near Morne Trois Pitons National Park - Courtesy of Nature/Parks/Beaches Trafalgar Falls

Who said the Caribbean is just for beach bums ... walking in Dominica. Photograph: 4Corners/Devaux Danielle/Devaux Danielle/SIME-4Corners Images - Courtesy of Nature/Parks/Beaches Waitukubuli National Trail

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Travel Information  Travel Information

Immigration officials require most Dominica visitors to present a valid passport on arrival. All need to show a return ticket and some need to have a visa. Canadian citizens can show documents certifying proof of citizenship that also bears a photograph, and French nationals can stay for up to two weeks by presenting a valid identification card. Visitors coming from a specified list of countries, who intend to stay for 21 days or less, do not require a visa.

Dominica is served by two airports: Melville Hall (DOM) and Canefield (DCF) Airport. Most visitors to Dominica will arrive through Melville Hall as it is the larger of the two airports and accommodates commercial airlines. Melville Hall, located in the northeastern side of the island, one hour and 20 minutes from the city, features a longer runway and updated terminal.

International flights from US and Europe are connected to the island through hubs in Antigua, Barbados, St. Maarten, Guadeloupe and Martinique. Leeward Island Air Transport (LIAT) usually completes the Dominican leg of these flights and BVI Airways provides service from St. Maarten. LIAT and American Eagle also provide connecting flights to the island out of Puerto Rico. There are various scheduled charter services serving Dominica, so check in often to see what other flights have been added to service Dominica. A new airline HummingBird Air was setup in 2014 with flights from St. Croix, St. Lucia and St. Thomas into Canefield.

Taxis are available at the airports and in Roseau, and can be arranged all over the island. There are a number of car rental agencies on the island offering vehicles for rent. But before you get on the road, you will need to obtain a driver's license, which costs $30 (US$12). You must be between 25 and 65 years old, with two years of driving experience to qualify for a driver's permit. Traffic uses the left side of the road, most of which are well maintained. Dominica has a reliable public transportation system consisting primarily of private minibus operators.

Most tourism related business, such as hotels, restaurants, tour operators, and car rental agencies accept Master Card, Visa and American Express credit cards, including traveler's cheques.

In Dominica the roads are narrow, windy and quite steep in some places. Roads can be simultaneously steep, narrow, and winding. Some roads may be lined with steep embankments, and many are without guard rails, so please exercise with caution. Driving is on the left hand side. Use the horn frequently when going around tight turns, to warn traffic and pedestrians ahead. Remember to bring proper child safety restraint devices if you are traveling with small children. Tourists who wish to drive in Dominica must have a valid's driver's license and must obtain a local permit from either of the airports, car rental companies, or from the Traffic Division office on High Street in Roseau. The permit, valid for one month, cost US$12 or EC$30. If you fly into Melville Airport, you can obtain your permit form from the rental car company, then you will need to go back to the Immigration office (back through customs during non-arrival times) to pay for and obtain the permit.

The official currency of Dominica is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar, however the US dollar is equally accepted (1 US dollars = 2.6 EC dollars). Credit Cards and Traveller's Checks are accepted in major town centres such as Portsmouth and Roseau and at most attractions. We recommend carrying Eastern Caribbean dollars or US dollars in small bills while traveling around the island.

find flights to Dominica [DOM]Find flights into DOM

More Information

History: Dominica's first inhabitants, the Ortoroids, arrived from South America around 3100 B.C., and lasted on the island until around 400 B.C. Next came the Arawaks, who settled in about 400 A.D. By 1400, the Kalinago or "Caribs," moved aggressively up the Caribbean from South America, eliminating the Arawak from the region, including Dominica. When Columbus ushered in the era of colonization to Dominica in 1493, the same fate that befell the Arawaks would threaten the Caribs.

Ignoring the Kalinago name of "Waitukubuli," Columbus renamed the island Dominica as he first made landfall on a Sunday. The Caribs successfully resisted efforts of Spanish colonization, but the British and French followed from the 1600s on, battling each other, and the Caribs, to claim the Island. Through the many battles and ravaged by disease, the Caribs gradually lost control of the island, fleeing back to South America. The emancipation of African slaves occurred throughout the British Empire in 1834, and, in 1838, Dominica became the first British Caribbean colony to have a legislature controlled by a black majority.

On November 3rd 1978, the island was finally granted its independence from Britain. The new era of freedom and independence brought increased challenges, and economic and political struggles. By the mid-1980s though, Dominica had settled down as a stable and peaceful country. The success of the banana trade, the island's major export, brought economic buoyancy to the island. By 1992 however, Dominica saw sharp declines in banana exports with the loss of its preferential access on the UK market.

English-Speaking?: YES

Weather: The dry season is January to April, and the rainy season is July to October. Overall, Dominica has a tropical wet climate with characteristically warm temperatures and heavy rainfall. Excessive heat and humidity are tempered somewhat by a steady flow of the northeast trade winds, which periodically develop into hurricanes. The steep interior slopes also alter temperatures and winds. Temperature ranges are slight. Average daytime temperatures generally vary from 26 degrees C (78.8 degrees F) in January to 32 degrees C (89.6 degrees F) in June.

Customs/VISA: Dominica is home to a wide range of people. Music and dance are important facets of Dominica's culture. The annual independence celebrations show an outburst of traditional song and dance preceded since 1997 by weeks of Creole expressions such as "Creole in the Park" and the "World Creole Music Festival". Dominica gained prominence on the international music stage when in 1973, Gordon Henderson founded the group Exile One and an original musical genre which he coined "Cadence-lypso" which paved the way for modern Creole music.

The 11th annual World Creole Music Festival was the first activity held there since its completion on October 27, 2007, part of the island's celebration of independence from Great Britain on November 3. A year-long reunion celebration began in January 2008 marking 30 years of independence. Dominica is often seen as a society that is migrating from collectivism to that of individualism. The economy is a developing one that previously depended on agriculture. Signs of collectivism are evident in the small towns and villages which are spread across the island.

Currency: East Caribbean dollar and US dollar

Famous People: Heavyweight boxing champion Frank Bruno and novelist Jean Rhys.

Immunization: None required.

Tours Tours

Kubuli Brewery Tour

Jungle Bay Guided Tours

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Dining  Restaurants and Dining

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Accommodations  Hotel and Accommodations

Exterior view of cabanas - Courtesy of Pagua Bay House  

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Pointe Baptiste beach red rocks - Courtesy of Red Rock Haven

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Random User Comments

Brion H. wrote about Dominica:

"The people were very friendly, and the lack of commercialization was more enjoyable than I expected. Would definitely come back again.


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Brion H. 62 
Vera H. 12 
Diane D. 10 
Kay J. 10 
Angelica Louise A. 4 

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