Dominica is not your typical Caribbean destination. What do you see when you imagine the Caribbean? Probably cruise-ships, mile-long beaches and luxury hotels. The island of Dominica, however, defies these clichés. Unlike many other islands in the region, it is low-key, and is not dotted with beaches or flashy resorts, thereby, no mass tourism. But that’s what makes it a great destination to explore. Allow us to explain!
Dominica’s charm lies in its rainforest-shrouded volcanoes, scenic hiking trails that lead to beautiful waterfalls, hot springs, and colorful markets. Capital Roseau is located on the southwest coast of the island and can be explored on foot. To uncover the history of the city, explore its French Quarter, which is full of historic buildings and the cobblestone Old Market – which was once a slave trading site. Roseau’s other attractions include the Botanical Garden, Dominica Museum – where you can learn more about the country’s history and Roseau Cathedral. From Roseau, you can easily visit the most notable highlight of Dominica – Morne Trois Pitons National Park. This UNESCO world heritage site is home to the world’s second-largest hot spring – the Boiling Lake and hiking to the hot spring is a popular activity. The national park also has two striking waterfalls – Trafalgar and Middleham, both of which feature scenic hiking trails. Roseau also makes a great jumping off point for the coastal village of Scotts Head. Its namesake Marine Reserve is a great diving and snorkelling site.
Dominica’s second-largest town Portsmouth, is the gateway to Cabrits National Park, which is home to Fort Shirley, an 18th-century British military post with amazing views. Apart from that, when you are in the town, you can experience a scenic boat ride through the mangroves of the Indian River.
The mountains in Dominica drop straight down to the sea and so it lacks beaches, but you can still find a few decent beaches near the village of Calibishie, in the island’s north. Palm-fringed Batibou Beach is one of them. Located on the east coast, is Dominica’s main airport near the village of Marigot. Kalinago Barana Aute, close to Marigot, is a great place to learn the history and culture of Dominica’s indigenous Kalinago people.
Many people visit Dominica seeking solitude and they don’t get disappointed (if they successfully avoid the cruise ship passengers). If you are exploring the Caribbean region and need a break from beach parties, a visit to Dominica is probably the best way to unwind yourself. After all, it is called the “nature island” for a reason!
Morne Trois Pitons National Park is home to the world’s second-largest hot spring – the Boiling Lake.