Dominica is an island in the Caribbean, its capital is Rossio, and it is located on an area of 754 km². It is bordered on the East by the Atlantic Ocean, on the West by the Caribbean Sea, on the North and Northwest by Guadeloupe, and on the Southeast, it is bordered by Martinique.
Dominica is characterised by the softness of its sand, its rugged terrain, and its mountains surrounded by lush rainforests formed by volcanic activity. Hence, it contains many volcanic slopes that created a chain of hills in the centre of the island, and the highest point on the island is 1447 metres, which is Mourne Diablotins.
Dominica is classified into ten dioceses, including the Diocese of Sand Andrew and the Diocese of Saint David. The country is a republic, and it elects its parliament comprising 30 members.
The History of Dominica
The island was named Dominica when Christopher Columbus discovered it on a Sunday, or Dominica in Latin, on 3 November 1493. Decades later, France abandoned Dominica in the United Kingdom in 1763. In 1838, this country became the first British colony in the Caribbean.
In 1896, the United Kingdom imposed its control over Dominica again and turned it into a crown colony; it became a province of the West Indies Federation between 1958 and 1962 and then gained its independence in 1978.
Transportation in Dominica
Dominica has a variety of local transportation, which enables you to move between its cities easily, and these means of transportation are:
- Taxi: You can take a cab in Dominica if you want to take a sightseeing tour around the island, and it is costly, but you can negotiate with the drivers.
- Minibuses: It is cheaper to get around Dominica using minibuses which can be found everywhere on the main streets.
- Cars: It is the most efficient way to get around Dominica, but we advise experienced and confident drivers, as the roads are very rough, and they need to know their way and drive carefully through mountains and potholed streets.
Weather in Dominica
It has a tropical climate and is surrounded by the world’s warmest sea, the Caribbean Sea; there are two seasons, the dry and rainy seasons.
The rainy season runs from April to November and then begins the most extensive rainfall, it rains more frequently from May to September. During the summer, ocean water temperatures exceed 30 degrees. The temperature varies throughout the year, as in January, the temperature reaches 27 degrees Celcius, while in August, it can get to 32 degrees Celcius.
The Best Time to Visit Dominica
The best time to visit Dominica is between October and January, when hotel rates are lower and rainfall peaks waning, making it an ideal time to stroll and go to the beaches. Also, visiting the country between February and April is always lovely when the sky is sunny, and the atmosphere is ideal for tourism.
The Best Tourist Cities in Dominica
Dominica is full of many beautiful cities that you would love to visit. Here are some of the most famous cities in Dominica.
Roseau is one of the most magnificent cities in Dominica, with its many enchanting landscapes and a colourful mixture of western Indian huts, bustling market stalls, and modern buildings. In the city, you can walk along the seacoast; it has a cruise ship dock and an old market filled with fresh tropical fruits.
Also, you can visit Dominica Museum and Dominica Botanical Gardens and explore the stunning architecture of 19th-century St. Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral.
Marigot Village is the largest village in Saint Andrew Parish in Northeastern Dominica, and there are many important areas to visit in Marigot Village, including Melville Hall Airport, River Melville Hall, and Wesley on NA Island. Also, Mourne Diabloten National Park is located in the Northern Mountain ranges of Dominica.
The village of Soufriere enjoys a wonderful geographical position, as it is located in the Soufriere Valley in the southwestern corner of Dominica; it is also a sunny village which makes it ideal for leisure and picnics and is close to the Dominica Marine Reserves.
Portsmouth’s village is one of Dominica’s most important and beautiful tourist cities. It is located Northwest of Dominica on the Indian coast in Saint John Parish.
The village allows you to enjoy leisure experiences. The most common is relaxing on the sandy beaches; the village is also ideal for swimming, fishing, diving, and snorkelling to explore the abundant coral reefs.
The village of La Plaine is located in the Saint Patrick area; when you visit the place, you can enjoy exploring wildlife, and impressive monuments, watching volcanoes, hiking and visiting historical sites, and also you can attend festivals, climbing, visiting cathedrals, swimming, and going to museums and art galleries.
Things to do in Dominica
Tourism plays a vital role in the economy of Dominica, where there are many historical, archaeological, and tourist places, in addition to many resorts, hotels, gardens, and parks, and it attracts many tourists from all over the world.
You can visit and tour Dominica, explore its attractions, visit its famous markets, and buy everything you need. You can also go to cafes and restaurants scattered there, taste the most delicious local cuisine, and do not forget to pick up as many souvenirs as possible.
Cabrits National Park
Cabrits National Park is located Northwest of Dominica, specifically outside Portsmouth; it maintains lush rainforest, swampland, black-sand beaches, and thriving coral reefs that offer mind-blowing snorkelling and diving opportunities.
When you visit the park, you will find a lovely historical site of Fort Shirley; it is an 18th-century British plastron that gives you a magnificent view of Prince Rupert Bay. If you want to know more about the history of Dominica, pay a visit to the museum located there.
It is also famous for being home to stunning natural areas, including gardens of tropical forests and stretches of wetlands. The park offers its visitors many hiking trails and nature excursions.
Mourne Trois Pitons National Park
Mourne Trois Pitons National Park is well-known as a UNESCO World Heritage Site on 17000 acres and is famous for its stunning natural beauty and amazing biodiversity.
The park is home to mountainous areas, and waterfalls such as Victoria Waterfall, Trafalgar Falls, Emerald Pool, and Middleham Falls, hot springs, freshwater lakes, dense forests, and among the most popular natural features in the park is the famous Mourne Trois Pitons volcanic mountain, which exceeds 1,300 metres in height. It is the highest and most famous of the park’s mountains.
There is also Titou Gorge, where you can swim in a green pool through the narrow canyon to a beautiful waterfall, and for your information, Pirates of the Caribbean movies were filmed there.
The Boiling Lake is considered one of the most famous lakes in Mourne Trois Pitons National Park, it needs a three-hour hike through the forest, and it is a bubbling pool with grey-green water.
It is the world’s second-largest earth crack allowing hot gases to vent from the below-molten lava, and the lake’s temperature ranges between 82 and 92 degrees.
Trafalgar Falls are located 20 minutes outside Roseau, where it is a twin fall, and Father Fall, at 85 metres, is on the left and Mother Fall, at 40 metres, is on the right. While you visit the falls, you will find a visitor centre featuring local flora and birds, bathrooms, changing rooms, souvenirs, and a snack bar. There is also a platform where you can take beautiful pictures at Mother Fall.
The Dominica Museum
The Dominica Museum is located in the old part of the capital city, Roseau; it is considered the national museum of Dominica and consists of two storeys. When you visit the museum, you will find photos, portraits, furniture, birds and fish specimens, and indigenous artefacts, and also, there are old musical instruments and other displayed items that are related to the island’s culture, history, geology, and much more.
Dominica Botanical Gardens
The Dominica Botanical Gardens are considered the most significant green space in Roseau; it is located on 40 acres and is home to 50 different species of plants, trees, and the island’s national birds.
It is a perfect place for local celebrations and parades and offers recreational opportunities for citizens and visitors, although tropical storms repeatedly batter it.
The Emerald Pool is located inside the Mourne Trois Piton National Park, it is a journey of a 30-minute hike through the rainforest, and on your way, you can find the waterfall grotto along the road to Castle Bruce.
When you reach the pool, you will find that the bottom is very rocky and strewn with boulders, so try to wear water shoes. There is a cave and walkway behind the waterfall for those who prefer not to get in the pool.
Champagne Reef is considered the number one diving and snorkelling site in Dominica. Snorkelers will love seeing thousands of warm bubbles emitted from geothermal springs that vent gases through the water.
You will also see hawksbill turtles, lobsters, sponges, parrot fish, and more. Diving responsibly and protecting the marine environment is a top priority at Champagne Reef.
It is an adventure you wouldn’t want to miss when visiting Dominica. To start this trip, you will go to the village of Wotton Waven, and a skilled and knowledgeable guide should accompany you.
The tour to the summit can take about 3 to 4 hours; on your way, you will find Creole restaurant, Café Mon Plezi, and the French restaurant, La Petite Paradise, that will offer you a welcome meal after a long hike.
Waitukubuli National Trail
Waitukubuli National Trail is located at the end of the first long-distance trail in the Caribbean; you will be able to experience Dominica’s heritage and culture and the island’s rugged interior; the trail is divided into 14 sections.
There is a lot to visit, such as organic farms, Sulphur spas, waterfalls, homestays, and Kalinago indigenous culture. Also, if you’re a fan of aquatic sports, you can go kayaking or diving.
Soufriere Sulphur Springs
The place is considered a geologic area located east of Soufriere Village; Sulphur Springs was known to be the meeting place for the Kalinagos people from the Caribbean islands.
It is one of the most amazing places in Dominica, where you can relax and rejuvenate in naturally heated mineral pools. Glo Gayak stream is considered healing water; residents often drink small amounts as a cleansing method. The Glo Cho are diverted into four artificial pools, and their temperatures are higher in the rainy season and lower in the dry season.
To start your journey to Freshwater Lake, you start at the village of Laudat and hike for twelve hours into Mourne Trois Pitons National Park, or you can use a car or taxi. A great trail surrounds the lake; you will love walking on the trail and enjoying a set of tropical flora like heliconias, orchids, bromeliads, and much more. While at the lake, you can rent a Kayak and explore the place.
Bois Cotlette Estate
It is known as Dominica’s oldest estate, a French colonial Maison and organic farming estate offering Heritage and Chocolate tours for tourists. The volcanic soil produces cocoa, coffee, and sugar cane.
It is located on 53 acres, where food, water, and power are produced and completely restored. The tour also includes visiting Dominica’s only windmill and an herb garden where medicinal and cooking herbs are planted.
The Kalinago Territory includes eight villages spread across 3700 acres; it is located from the Northern village of Bataca to its Southern counterpart of Sineku. There are several small villages, such as Salybia and Concord.
While visiting the territory, you will find several roadsides selling handcrafted gifts, including traditional aroma basket products. Also, you will find the traditional cultural song, dance performances, and traditional boatbuilding on display in Salybia with the master boatbuilder, Emmanuel Napoleon Sanford.
The Old Mill Cultural Centre
The Old Mill Cultural Centre was founded in 1985 as a centre for art lessons and to learn more about Dominica’s culture, architectural, and environmental heritage. There is a gallery that displays the artistic works of local artists, posters of sugar cane and coffee processing, artefacts, and information about Dominica’s Kalinago people.
Also, it offers a space for performance artists and community gatherings celebrating Dominica’s cultural heritage.
Beaches in Dominica
Dominica is full of many magnificent beaches that tourists come from all over the world just to enjoy. The beautiful water and sand are ideal for relaxing and having a great time. Here are some of the beaches located there.
- Champagne Beach: One of the most famous beaches in the country that provides access to Champagne Reef: one of Dominica’s famous tourist attractions.
- Mero Beach: It is a 25-minute drive from the capital, Roseau, it is a place where you will find many cruise ships, and there are bamboo cottages along the shoreline where you can rent umbrellas and sun loungers and purchase drinks and snacks.
- Batibou Beach: it is located on the north coast of Dominica; there, you will find thick coconut palm forests fringe the sand, and there is a 5-dollar fee to access this beach.