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We're Andre & Lisa, adventurers and experienced budget travelers.

We have over two decades of travel experience and since 2018 have led a full-time nomadic lifestyle.

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DOMINICA TRAVEL GUIDE

Often called "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. Dominica is a mountainous Caribbean island nation with natural hot springs and tropical rain-forests. Morne Trois Pitons National Park is home to the volcanically heated, steam-covered Boiling Lake. The park also encompasses sulphur vents, the 65m-tall Trafalgar Falls and narrow Titou Gorge.

COUNTRY PAGE
  • Capital: Roseau
  • Currency: East Caribbean dollar (XCD)
  • Area: 754km²
  • Population: 71 625 (2018)
  • Language: English (official), French patois

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POSTS ON DOMINICA

SEASONS AT A GLANCE

Most destinations have different times of the year when they’re more or less popular with tourists. 

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Peak Season

Shoulder Season

Off Peak Season

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Climate Chart with avergae monthly temperatues and rainfall

BEST TIME TO VISIT DOMINICA

Dominica experiences the year‐round warm, humid conditions associated with a maritime tropical climate. Mean temperature is around 26°C, dropping only to 24–25°C in the cooler months of December to February. During the warmest period of the year, a maximum of 33°C may be observed along the coast, compared to 27°C in the mountains. The wet season occurs from June to October, during which the island receives around 250–400 mm of rainfall per month. El Niño episodes bring warmer and drier than average conditions between June and August and La Niña episodes bring colder and wetter conditions at this time.

 

The best time to visit the Caribbean is generally considered to be December to April, when it’s slightly cooler (particularly in the northern Caribbean), drier and less humid, and tourists flock to escape the northern winter. May to November can be soggy, with hurricanes possible from July to October – though these are rare in the far south.

 

  • High Season (Dec–Apr) - People fleeing the northern hemisphere winter arrive in droves and prices peak. This is the Caribbean's driest time and can be cool the northern islands.

  • Shoulder (May–Jun & Nov) - The weather is good, rains are moderate throughout. Reduced visitor numbers and the best mix of affordable rates and good weather. makes this an ideal time to visit the Caribbean.

  • Low Season (Jul–Oct) - Hurricane season; the odds of being caught are small, but tropical storms are like abound. During this time room prices can be half or less than in high season and you will find eastern Caribbean’s beaches good for surfing.

BEST TIME FOR:

The best time to visit the stunning beaches of Dominica is during the dry season from February to April. Despite the odd rain downpour, and a few hurricanes and tropical storms between August and October, the weather is warm all year round.

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DOMINICA TRAVEL COSTS

The Caribbean is not cheap, but there are ways to get the most bang for your buck with a little forward planning and some savvy choices

 

  • Budget less than US$150 Room away from the beach: under US$100, Meal at a locally popular restaurant: US$10, Ride local buses: US$3
  • Midrange US$150–300 Double room in the action: US$200, Visit parks and beaches that are free, rent bikes or snorkel for US$10 per day Rental car for exploring: US$40 to US$60 a day.
  • Top end over US$300 - Beautiful rooms at the best resorts in high season: US$400 and over, Activities in beautiful places: US$100 and up, World-renowned meals: US$100 per person and more.

 

Here are some of the best ways to save money:

  • Travel in groups Bring your friends and other couples along with you and rent a villa.
  • Book far in advance For high season deals.
  • Book at the last minute For incredible deals as hotels dump empty rooms.
  • Follow the divers They demand great value near beautiful waters.
  • Ride buses and ferries You meet folks and may have an adventure.
  • Live like a local Save money while having a more authentic visit.
  • Travel in low season Prices can drop 40% or more.

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TRAVEL TIPS FOR DOMINICA

GETTING AROUND

Practically speaking the best way to get around Dominica is by taxi or car since the top activities are fairly spread out. Those who opt not to travel by automobile will end up confined on the southwest coast in Roseau. Rental cars and taxi services are available in downtown Roseau and at the island's two airports. If you choose to rent a car, be sure to get one with four-wheel drive, as the roads get quite bumpy.

 

Buses to the Roseau Valley make the trip from the Valley Rd stop in Roseau to Wotten Waven in about 20 minutes and to Trafalgar in about 30 minutes (check with the driver to make sure you’re on the right bus). Buses to Laudat (40 minutes) leave from the Valley Rd bus stop in Roseau. Fares range between EC$2 (less than $1) and EC$11 (or around $4), but the expensive taxis are significantly more reliable. You can easily spot a bus by the letter "H" on the license plate. Buses will stop anywhere on the main street as long as you can flag it down. A taxi ride from Roseau to Laudat costs around EC$80.


REGIONS & HIGHLIGHTS OF DOMINICA

In many ways, Dominica is the ‘non-Caribbean’ Caribbean island. Beaches are few, as are resorts; instead this volcanic island is blanketed by untamed rainforest that begs exploration. Much of volcanic Dominica is blanketed by untamed rainforest that’s a verdant backdrop to experiences such as an intense trek to a bubbling lake, soothing your muscles in hot sulphur springs, getting pummelled by a waterfall, snorkelling in a glass of ‘champagne,’ swimming up a narrow gorge – the list goes on.

 

  • Hike to the gurgling Boiling Lake.
  • Rappel down rainforest waterfalls in Morne Trois Pitons National Park.
  • Swim, snorkel or dive amid crystal bubbles at Champagne Reef.

 

Roseau (rose-oh) is Dominica’s compact, noisy, chaotic but vibrant capital, situated on the coast and the Roseau River. Reggae music blares through the narrow streets while people zip around in the daytime, but at night the city all but empties. Roseau’s streets are lined with historic stone-and-wood buildings in states ranging from ramshackle to elegant.

 

East of Roseau, the Roseau Valley is a ribbon of rural villages giving access to some of Dominica’s most dramatic terrain and top wilderness sites. Must-see sites include the stunning Trafalgar Falls for a deserving cooldown and Wotten Waven for a dip in it's sulphur springs.

 

Download map waypoints for Dominica here: KML / GPX

WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN DOMINICA

More location and points of interest are available in the above map

 

Morne Trois Pitons National Park stretches across 17,000 acres of Dominica’s mountainous volcanic interior and is home to a stunning pastiche of lakes, fumaroles, volcanoes, hot springs and dense tropical forest. Hikes start in the mountain village of Laudat (elevation 1970ft). If you're up for the challenge hike the 6-hour round trip to Boiling Lake, the world’s second-largest actively boiling lake. Near the trailhead you can have a swim in the crystal-clear Titou Gorge water hole.

 

The coastal road south of Roseau takes you down to Mediterranean-flavored Soufriere Bay, dead-ending at Scotts Head in about 30 minutes.

Along the way, Champagne Reef is one of Dominica’s most unusual underwater playgrounds. Volcanic bubbles emerge from vents beneath the sea floor, making it feel like you’re swimming in a giant glass of champagne. Best of all, you can snorkel right off the rocky beach.

 

At the heart of the bay, which is the rim of a sunken volcanic crater, Soufriere is a sleepy fishing village whose undisputed ‘hot spot’ is the Soufriere Sulphur Springs (site fee US$5). It’s the source of a steaming hot stream in the hills above town whose water is captured in a series of stone pools. Scotts Head has a gem of a setting along its gently curving shoreline. Activity centres on the waterfront where old men hang out on the porches of pastel-painted houses.

 

The drive along the west coast takes you past Canefield Airport and through several villages and on to Portsmouth. Grayish-black Mero Beach is about half-way up the coast and is the west coast’s most popular sandy beach. It’s accessed via a narrow one-way road off the main highway. A string of bars serve drinks and meals and rent beach chairs.

WHAT TO EAT IN DOMINICA

Local specialities:

  • Fresh fruit - Dominica grows all sorts of fruit, including bananas, coconuts, papayas, guavas and pineapples, and mangoes so plentiful they litter the roadside in places.

  • Sea moss - Nonalcoholic beverage made from seaweed mixed with sugar and spices and sometimes with evaporated milk. It’s sold in supermarkets and cafes.


As far as restaurants go, your best bet is Roseau, where you can find affordable Caribbean cuisine, as well as some standard European fare. Many of the best spots to grab a bite are hole-in-the-wall eateries scattered throughout Roseau. The downtown market sells freshly caught seafood, including conch, a type of snail that is a favourite Dominican dish. Other specialties include tee-tee-ree (small fish cakes) and crab backs as well as pumpkin soup, fried plantains and goat water, a rich stew made from goat meat.


These dishes can be found across the Caribbean:

  • Callaloo - A creamy thick soup or stew blending a variety of vegetables (eg spinach, kale, onions, carrots, eggplant, garlic, okra) with coconut milk and sometimes crab or ham. The base can be spinach-like.

  • Roti - Fiery chutney sets off the curried chicken, beef, conch or vegetable fillings in these burrito-like flat-bread wraps.

  • Conch - Look for farm-raised versions as conch in the wild are endangered. This large pink mollusk is cooked with onion and spices in a stew, fried up as fritters, or sliced raw and served with a lime marinade.

 

Take time to meet the locals by doing what they do – you’ll enjoy a more affordable and authentic experience.

  • Eat at lunch wagons or stalls. The local fare is cheap and often incredibly good.

  • Drop by a local bar – often the de facto community center. Besides a drink, you’ll get all sorts of useful – or wonderfully frivolous – advice.

  • Look for community fish fries or barbecues in the Eastern Caribbean.

LGBTQ IN DOMINICA

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WHERE TO STAY IN DOMINICA

When visiting Dominica for the first time, you'll find yourself immersed in lush rainforests, pristine beaches, and vibrant cultural experiences. Choosing where to stay depends on your preferences, whether it's exploring nature, indulging in relaxation, or experiencing local culture. Here are some recommendations for areas to stay, along with accommodation options for each category: budget, mid-range, and luxury.


Where to stay in Roseau:

Roseau, the capital city of Dominica, serves as a convenient base for exploring the island's natural wonders, historical sites, and cultural attractions.

  • Budget: Fort Young Hotel - Located on the waterfront in Roseau, this budget-friendly hotel offers comfortable rooms, a swimming pool, and easy access to the city's attractions and amenities. Guests can enjoy spacious rooms with views of the Caribbean Sea, an on-site restaurant, swimming pool, and easy access to nearby attractions.

  • Mid-range: Garraway Hotel - Situated in the heart of Roseau, this mid-range hotel provides spacious accommodations, a restaurant serving local cuisine, and a central location near the Botanical Gardens and Old Market Square.

  • Luxury: Secret Bay - For a luxurious retreat, consider staying at Secret Bay, an eco-luxury resort offering secluded villas with private plunge pools, gourmet dining experiences, and personalized service amidst lush tropical surroundings.

Tips: To find the best value accommodation in Roseau, consider visiting during the offseason (June to November) when prices are lower, and there are fewer tourists. Additionally, booking accommodation directly with hotels or resorts and exploring package deals or promotions can result in better rates.


Where to stay in Portsmouth:

Portsmouth is located on the northern coast of Dominica and offers easy access to attractions such as Indian River, Cabrits National Park, and the Waitukubuli National Trail.

  • Budget: The Champs Hotel - A budget-friendly option situated in Portsmouth, offering simple yet comfortable accommodations, a restaurant serving local dishes, and proximity to attractions like Fort Shirley and Toucari Bay.

  • Mid-range: Picard Beach Cottages - Located near Ross University in Picard, this mid-range accommodation offers beachfront cottages, a swimming pool, and a relaxed atmosphere ideal for exploring nearby attractions.

  • Luxury: Fort Young Hotel - While primarily located in Roseau, Fort Young Hotel offers luxurious waterfront suites in Portsmouth, providing stunning views, upscale amenities, and easy access to diving and snorkeling excursions.

Tips: Accommodation options in Portsmouth tend to be more limited compared to Roseau, so it's advisable to book in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons. Additionally, consider exploring nearby attractions such as Prince Rupert Bay and Cabrits National Park during your stay.


Where to stay in Soufrière:

Soufrière is known for its natural beauty, including the iconic Boiling Lake, Trafalgar Falls, and the Morne Trois Pitons National Park, making it an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.

  • Budget: 3 Rivers Eco Lodge - Offering budget-friendly eco-friendly accommodations in the heart of the rainforest, this lodge provides rustic cabins, organic meals, and guided tours to nearby attractions such as the Emerald Pool.

  • Mid-range: Rosalie Bay Resort - Situated on the east coast near Soufrière, this mid-range resort offers comfortable rooms, a black sand beach, and eco-friendly amenities, including sea turtle conservation efforts.

  • Luxury: Jungle Bay Resort & Spa - For a luxurious retreat, stay at Jungle Bay Resort & Spa, offering upscale villas nestled in the rainforest, wellness experiences, and adventure tours to explore Dominica's natural wonders.

Tips: Soufrière offers a range of eco-friendly and nature-oriented accommodations, so it's advisable to book accommodations that align with your interests and preferences. Additionally, visiting during the offseason or shoulder seasons can result in better rates and fewer crowds.


For hassle-free bookings, use platforms like Booking.com for competitive rates or Holiday Swap for unique homes worldwide. Ensure to book in advance, especially during peak seasons, and align your preferences with nearby activities such as surfing, snorkeling, or cultural exploration.

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Find a cheap flight by using Skyscanner or Momondo. These are our favorite flight search engines. They index other travel websites and airlines across the globe to easily find you the best deal.

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Booking.com is our number one resource for researching and booking accommodation. In addition to Booking.com, we have found Agoda.com to consistently returns the cheapest rates in Southeast Asia. For longer stays, find unique homes worldwide on Holiday Swap, the most affordable travel platform that allows you to book homes anytime, anywhere in only a few clicks.

TRANSPORT

DiscoverCars.com is a leader in online car rental bookings; we compare car rental deals from many companies so that you can choose which is best for your trip. 12Go connects the world door-to-door, from transfers to flights, under the same user-friendly ticket.

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