Hatton Bay, Marigot
Between the villages of and Sineku, Castle Bruce
Prince Rupert Bay, Portsmouth
Syers Estrate Saint Joseph, Saint Joseph
Should not be confused with the Caribbean nation of the Dominican Republic.
Dominica is a Caribbean island country between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, about one-half of the way from Puerto Rico to Trinidad and Tobago. It is often known as "The Nature Island of the Caribbean" due to its spectacular, lush, and varied flora and fauna, which are protected by an extensive natural park system. The most mountainous island of the Lesser Antilles, its volcanic peaks are cones of lava craters and include Boiling Lake, the second-largest thermally active lake in the world.
Tropical; moderated by northeast trade winds; heavy rainfall. Flash floods are a constant threat; destructive hurricanes can be expected during the late summer months.
Rugged mountains of volcanic origin.highest point Morne Diablotin 1,447 m
Dominica was the last of the Caribbean islands to be colonized by Europeans, due chiefly to the fierce resistance of the native Caribs. France ceded possession to Great Britain in 1763, which made the island a colony in 1805. In 1980, two years after independence, Dominica's fortunes improved when a corrupt and tyrannical administration was replaced by that of Mary Eugenia Charles, the first female prime minister in the Caribbean, who remained in office for 15 years. Some 3,000 Carib Indians still living on Dominica are the only pre-Columbian population remaining in the eastern Caribbean.
Administrative divisions. 10 parishes: Saint Andrew, Saint David, Saint George, Saint John, Saint Joseph, Saint Luke, Saint Mark, Saint Patrick, Saint Paul, Saint Peter
Visitors from the United States, Canada, Singapore and European Union nations are granted automatic visas on entry for up to 21 days (with extensions available). Other nations should check with Dominica immigration before traveling.
There are two airports in Dominica, Melville Hall (DOM) and Canefield (DCF). Most commercial flights land at Melville Hall. However, the airport cannot accommodate jet aircraft. The island can be accessed through San Juan, Antigua, Barbados, St. Maarten, Martinique, Guadeloupe and other Caribbean hubs. 
Cruise ships increasingly visit. A large pier serves many directly in front of the downtown area. If already occupied, ships dock at the industrial port about 1.5 miles away.
As far as freedom of movement and exploration a car can be invaluable. Though small the island's tightly turning mountain roads make for relatively long journeys and a hair-raising experience. Driving is on the left hand side of the road and there are various car rental agencies at both airports.
Other travel options include bus or taxi. If you are on a low budget and have plenty of time then hitch-hiking or the bus will be fine (except on Sundays), although sitting in a bumpy bus for long trips on winding mountain roads is not the most comfortable thing to do. Taxi is more comfortable than the buses and may not be expensive, particularly if the fare is shared with 2 or more travellers. Whether you use the bus or taxi, make sure that you clearly agree to the destination and price before you start the trip.
Languages : English (official), French patois
This lush Caribbean island is called "the nature island" for a reason. Its beautiful, tropical natural riches are by far its main attraction. Where other Caribbean destinations pride themselves most on their white, palm lined beaches, Dominica shows another side of the region. Head to the mountain village of Laudat for a hike through the Unesco listed Morne Trois Pitons National Park. It encompasses some of the island's finest mountainous terrain in a 17,000 acres protected area. A proper hike will reward you with gorgeous misty lakes, waterfalls, rivers, hotsprings and fumerols in a setting of volcanoes and thick jungle. Enjoy the sight and take a swim at the Emerald Pool or explore the Titou Gorge.
From the gorge, true hikers should set out for the challenging six hour hike to the Boiling lake, the second-largest of its kind in the world and an amazing sight. If you're not up for a long hike, consider the Rain Forest Aerial Tram , which takes you on canopy tour in a gondola before and -with a quick and easy trail - brings you to a bridge from where you'll see no less than five waterfalls.
The capital of Roseau is a pleasant place to explore, with many restaurants, small shops and wonderful views of the mountains (to the east) and the Caribbean Sea (to the west). The town hums with the sounds of vehicles, Caribbean accents, and minor commerce (e.g. sidewalk BBQs, vendors selling clothing in street stalls). Head to the Botanic Gardens to get away from the hussle or sip a coffee in a gallery.
An old British Fort is located on the north-west coast at Portsmouth. A small fee may be charged. Expect to spend 1-2 hours at the site. A guided tour through the recreated village of Kalinago Barana Autê in the Carib Territory gives an interesting insight in traditional Kalinago culture.
Scotts Head is a small isthmus on the southern tip of the island. It is also the name of the small community located there. It takes about one hour to drive from Roseau each way. Scotts Head is a great place to hike up the steep outcrop, which offers a wonderful view of the south-west coast of Dominica and the Caribbean Sea (and even the island of Martinique to the south).
Snorkeling is particularly good at Champagne, south of Roseau, and at Scott's Head. Scuba Diving, waterskiing, jet skiing, kayaking or other water sports are also possibilities. Note that kayaking or canoeing provide an alternative to the ocean and lets you experience the rivers and inland bodies of water throughout Dominica.
Whale watching, dolphin watching, or boat tours can be arranged from Roseau.
Dominica's waters are also home to three species of marine turtles (Leatherback, Hawksbill, and Green turtle), and these gentle giants can be seen coming in to nest on shore during the months of April to October. Protected viewing sites are set up throughout the island, such as at Mangrove Bay on the Woodford Hill beach in the north east, or on the beaches of Portsmouth in the north west.
Hiking trip, biking, ATV tours, or zip lining are popular in forest areas. Hiking is one of the best ways to see Dominica and there are many wonderful hikes around the island of easy to challenging.
Dominica rock climbing and canyoning is an encouraging and motivating experience. It tests strength and agility while experiencing some of the most breathtaking views of Dominica.
Dominica is known for their many island events and festivals. The Caribbean Islands love food, music, and celebration. Whether it’s a cultural gathering or a music festival Dominica offers it.
Many of Dominica’s resorts offer spa vacation services on the premise for a convenient way to get rejuvenated for the next day of activities.
The currency of the country is the East Caribbean dollar, denoted by the symbol: "$" or "EC$" (ISO currency code: XCD), which is also used by seven other island nations in the Caribbean. The EC dollar is subdivided into 100 cents. It is pegged to the United States dollar at an exchange rate of US$1 = EC$2.70.
Coins circulate in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10 and 25 cents and 1 dollar. Banknotes circulate in denominations of 10, 20, 50, and 100 dollars.
The best local handicrafts are Carib made baskets. The earth tone colors come from burying the fibers in the ground for different lengths of time. U.S. citizens (likely others) need to ensure that the materials from which they are made allow them to be taken back home.
Dominica is also well known for its music, so be sure to buy some local music while you are on the island. Genres range from jazz, reggae-dancehall, calypso & soca, to Cadence-lypso and Bouyon and which are popular Dominican genres. Visit during the last weekend in October and be treated to the World Creole Music Festival  or if you can't make it, ask for the best local artistes, and be aware of pirated copies!
Many kiosks and vendors line the shore at the main cruise ship dock. One excellent leather store faces the dock on the other side of the road. Just a short block inland lies a packed, open-air market with perhaps the island's best selection of souvenirs.
Look out for cacao sticks to make cocoa tea as a nice souvenir to take back home.
Freshly squeezed grapefruit is ubiquitous and is perfect with every meal. Coconut water is cheap and readily available by the side of the road. Another local specialty is sorrel. This red refreshing drink is brewed from the flowers of an hibiscus species common also in Jamaica. The popular locally brewed beer is Kubuli. Ask your hotel to set up a tour of the brewery.
There are many vendors of fruit juice in Roseau. Almost without exception this is non-pasteurized fruit juice with water and sugar added. The added water is usually chlorinated tap water. A juice vendor known as Pal sells his juice by the area where one can find a bus to Portsmouth. Pal is one of the most enthusiastic and knowledgeable fruit vendors on the island. He sometimes has juice from rare fruits.
Quenchi is a local soft drink which comes in many different flavors. It can be found in every village (with diet varieties at the IGA in Roseau).
Sorrel, known as the Christmas drink for its red colour (and because it only flowers around Christmas) is made from boiled flowers. It tastes heavenly.
Avocado pear juice can be purchased in some small cafes and is certainly worth a try. Other flavours include soursop, passionfruit, grapefruit, orange, lime, beetroot.
The coffee is usually not very good, as most locals seem to prefer tea and juice, with the occasional exception. There are also a few coffee shops around the major towns.
Many accommodations on the island are outside of the towns. For in-city accommodations, see the respective city articles.
All work permits are valid for one-year duration and can be renewed. An application involves the submission of two completed copies of the relevant form together with the following supporting documents;
Work Exchange at Nature Island Eco-village Tourist permits do not permit work for money, however, work trade is not forbidden.
Take usual precautions when travelling around Dominica. Although rare, petty crimes are most likely to happen around Roseau. Elsewhere the island is extremely safe.
Tap water is safe to drink, but since it is sometimes drawn straight from Dominica's many rivers, it has a tendency to turn brown after heavy rainfall. It's better to drink the bottled water available almost anywhere.
Basic healthcare is available at Princess Margaret Hospital in Roseau.
North Americans moving to Dominica often experience boils for the first time and fingernail and toenail fungi. Stomach problems are rare among travellers.
Towns are sprayed with insecticides periodically to control the mosquitoes responsible for spreading Dengue fever. However, the spraying may not be done at the scheduled time and pesticides may drift into your home if the windows are open.
In the high lands and uninhabited central regions water is gathered at roadside springs. Sometimes the bus will stop and passengers will fill their water bottles. Locals prefer the taste of this water to bottled water.
Public water is bacterially safe to drink due to heavy chlorination and has the expected chlorine flavor.
LGBT travelers should be aware that "buggery" (sodomy) is illegal in Dominica, as indicated by the arrest of two gay Americans who were seen having sex on the balcony of their cruise ship while it was docked. The two men did not serve jail time, but paid a $900 fine.
Area code is 767, on the North American exchange.
Digicel  is a local cellular company which provides prepaid plans for those visiting for short periods. Cable & Wireless and Orange also provide cell service.
Bradt's Dominica is the only standalone guide available to this Caribbean nature island, a place of unbridled, off-the-beaten-path adventure and discovery. Author Paul Crask has lived on Dominica for over ten years and his guide, considered by many to be a traveller's bible to the island, is rich in detail, both in terms of background and practical information for explorers, eco-tourists and culture vultures, making it the most respected, in-depth and comprehensive guide available. No other book has such personal, on-the-ground information as this.For this new third edition there are detailed descriptions of even more hikes and natural attractions, including the iconic Boiling Lake; more selective and in-depth accommodation and dining listings; plus extensive guide and tour operator listings. The guide also includes the 14-segment, 200km Wai'tukubuli National Trail, the only one of its kind in the eastern Caribbean. Tiny but perfectly formed Dominica is one of the most naturally dramatic islands of the Lesser Antilles. This beautiful island with its verdant mountains, lush valleys and dense tropical rainforests is still off the mass-tourism trail. However, cruise ships, hikers, scuba divers and nature lovers are starting to discover this gorgeous 'Nature Island of the Caribbean'.
It's hard to find a nation that dances to a friendlier, more laid-back tempo than Dominica. The island rises majestically out of a turquoise-blue sea and provides a visually stunning backdrop to an easy-going way of life. Anna, who served as a Peace Corps volunteer on Dominica, and Zak, a long-time resident on the island, use their island-wide network of experts and friends to provide local, insider knowledge into this unique Caribbean island. With candid reviews of restaurants and hotels plus itineraries and advice for any traveler, this guide won't leave you wondering what to do next. Take advantage of the practical tips for traveling on a budget and off the beaten tourist path with all of the maps you'll need for hiking, driving, or exploring on foot or by bus. Included in this book is a first-of-its-kind comprehensive hiking guide featuring the newly developed Waitukubuli National Trail. With first-hand knowledge, cultural insights, and personal recommendations, this book is your key to the real Dominica. - Included: Sixty page, comprehensive Hiking Guide covering 18 hikes and the Waitukubuli National Trail! - Hike through protected rainforest and down into the Valley of Desolation to visit the world's second largest boiling lake. - Dive beneath waterfalls set deep within the rainforest and hike over and around volcanoes blanketed in jungle vegetation. - Discover the best spots to share a rum punch and gain some local insight from those who know the country best, Dominicans themselves. - Spend the night on the Waitukubuli National Trail or treat yourself to a stay at a world-class eco-resort. - Swim, snorkel or dive with sea turtles and prolific marine life off some of the most pristine reefs in the Caribbean.
Lush, tropical landscapes define this area of the Caribbean. From the low-key and traditional Dominica to the spectacular mountains of St Lucia, there is much to explore. This Footprint Handbook provides invaluable information on transport, accommodation, eating and entertainment to ensure that your trip includes the best of these accessible and rewarding Caribbean destinations.Essentials section with useful advice on getting to and around St Lucia & Dominica.Comprehensive, up-to-date listings of where to eat, sleep and relax.Includes information on tour operators and activities, from diving in turquoise waters to admiring the French colonial architecture.Detailed maps for St Lucia & Dominica.Slim enough to fit in your pocket.With detailed information on all the main sights, plus many lesser-known attractions, Footprint's St Lucia & Dominica Handbook provides concise and comprehensive coverage of one of the Caribbean's most undiscovered regions.
Tiny but perfectly-formed Dominica is one of the most naturally dramatic islands of the Lesser Antilles. This beautiful island with its verdant mountains, lush valleys and dense tropical rainforests is still off the mass-tourism trail. However, cruise ships, hikers, scuba divers and nature-lovers are starting to discover this gorgeous 'Nature Island of the Caribbean'. This second edition offers practical information on the growing health and wellness holidays, weddings and yachting parties as well as extended coverage of the rich cultural heritage. There is a new chapter on the highly popular Waitukubuli National Trail.The author is resident in the country so has detailed insider knowledge.
This first and only complete road map with a place index of Dominica ( Scale : 1 : 40000 ) renders all the island's known roads and streets with their names, pinpoints diving sites off the island, and provides insets and street indexes for the major urban areas: Roseau capital; Mero / St. Joseph; Wallhouse / Loubière; Lagon / Portsmouth / Glanvillia. *** The map is sold folded, measuring 6" x 8" ( 15 cm x 20 cm ), and is designed for easy opening and refolding. Its full unfolded format is 29 1/4" x 48 1/2" ( 74 cm x 123 cm ).
"The History of the Island of Dominica" from Thomas Atwood. British banker, economist, political campaigner and Member of Parliament (1783 – 1856).
From mountainous hikes and rainforest waterfalls, to pristine secluded beaches, Dominica is a nature lover's paradise. At every turn, you are greeted by a gentle freshwater river. With any hike through the lush rainforest, you are certain to encounter a magnificent, scenic, waterfall. All along the coastline, you can find beautiful, private beaches. Explore one of the remaining few Caribbean islands that has been left unspoiled and untouched through time. *Buy direct from the publisher and save close to 40%! (http://www.authorhouse.com/Bookstore/ItemDetail.aspx?bookid=55914)
The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The purpose of this Travel Advice is to provide up-to-date information to enable you to make well-informed decisions.
Robberies and violent assaults have occurred near tourist facilities. Ensure that your personal belongings, passports and other travel documents are secure at all times. Avoid unpatrolled beaches and unpopulated areas, especially after dark. Check with local authorities to determine which beaches are safe.
Do not carry large amounts of cash or wear jewellery.
Petty crime increases during annual celebrations such as the Carnival in February and the Creole Music Festival in October.
Traffic drives on the left. Roadside assistance is not widely available. Roads are narrow and steep with few guardrails. A lack of traffic signs, lane markings and warnings poses hazards. Roads outside the capital are unlit. Night driving should be undertaken with care. Road maps are essential. Car rentals are available. Purchase sufficient car insurance.
Consult our Transportation Safety page in order to verify if national airlines meet safety standards.
You should use a guide for mountain expeditions.
Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread by contaminated food or water. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or through personal contact with unwashed hands. Get the flu shot.
Measles occurs worldwide but is a common disease in developing countries, particularly in parts of Africa and Asia. Measles is a highly contagious disease. Be sure your vaccination against measles is up-to-date regardless of the travel destination.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives, or with weakened immune systems. Travellers visiting regions with typhoid risk, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should consider getting vaccinated.
Yellow fever is a disease caused by the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
|* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.|
|Country Entry Requirement*|
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in the Caribbean, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in the Caribbean. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is no risk of malaria in this country.
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Some infections found in some areas in the Caribbean, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome).
Practise safe sex while travelling, and don’t share needles, razors, or other objects which could transmit infection.
Remember that HIV can also be spread through the use of unsterile medical equipment during medical and dental procedures, tattooing, body piercing or acupuncture. Diseases can also be spread though blood transfusions and organ transplantation if the blood or organs are not screened for HIV or other blood-borne pathogens.
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
You are subject to local laws. Consult our Arrest and Detention page for more information.
Possession of illegal drugs, including marijuana, may lead to large fines or imprisonment.
It is an offence for anyone, including children, to dress in army or camouflage clothing or to carry items made of camouflage material.
Customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning the import or export of items such as business equipment, food and beverages, paints, varnishes and chemicals.
You may obtain a temporary driver's license from the police in Dominica.
The currency is the Eastern Caribbean dollar (XCD). U.S. dollars are widely accepted.
The hurricane season extends from June to the end of November. The National Hurricane Center provides additional information on weather conditions. Stay informed of regional weather forecasts, and follow the advice and instructions of local authorities.
The water level in Dominica's Boiling Lake has fluctuated in the recent past, and toxic fumes could be spewed out, making it dangerous for visitors to approach.
Dominica is located in an active seismic zone.