Dominica’s most famous hike is that to the Boiling lake – one of only two that exist in the world. The hike is long and arduous but takes you through some of the most surreal landscapes like the Valley of Desolation – shown left – where steam rises from the ground through yellow sulphur vents and some of the most breathtaking views you are likely to see on any Caribbean island. The hike is typical of many of those in Dominica with abundant and varied bird life, flora and fauna – some of which is endemic to Dominica. You may even catch a glimpse of the elusive Manicou (possum) or shy Agouti (small goat-sized mammal). River bathing and wading is extremely refreshing – the water is clear, clean, cool and inviting. Try a dip in the pools at Titou Gorge. Going for a boat cruise allows you to see the majesty of Dominica’s scenery as peaks rise steeply from the water to nearly 5000 feet (1800 metres). You can also go on an aerial tram ride through the rainforest canopy, mountain bike tours, ATV tours, horeseback riding and turtle-watching.
For those of you interested in Dominica’s human history there are remnants of forts at The Cabrits up north and Scott’s Head in the south and many English and French place names throughout Dominica – a testament to the intense fighting that took place here over two centuries ago. There is also an excellent museum in Roseau (right) that documents Dominica’s Pre-Columbian history and The Old Mill and Cultural Centre (below) at Canefield, built in 1774. This historic sugar mill also housed the famous Rose’s Lime Juice plant and is also is a centre for the Arts.
Dominica has plenty to see and can best be enjoyed by combining your sight-seeing escapades with a combination of both vehicle and on foot. It is most rewarding when you get stuck right in! More details on sighhtseeing are given on the next page with a summary of the main places of interest with important facts on accessibiity and what you can expect to see.
|Pirates of the Caribbean
Dominica’s natural beauty proved absolutely irresistible to Hollywood. So much so that they filmed both Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man’s Chest and Pirates 3: At World’s End in Dominica. The cast, headed by Johnny Depp as the lovable rogue Captain Jack Sparrow, explored much of the island both in and out of character and you can do the same too. Some of the set locations are listed on our Dominica Tour.
WHALE WATCHING: There is a resident group of whales for which Dominica is home. These are joined by migratory whales between November and March providing excellent sightseeing opportunities. Excursions on comfortable boats are easily arranged and a list of tour operators is available from the Tourist Board (see bottom).
HIKING: Arguably the best way to experience Dominica is on your own two feet. There are trails to suit all levels of experience. Tours are easily arranged. Guides are strongly recommended for the more strenuous hikes as their experience is invaluable and they prevent you from getting lost – easily done in any rainforest. There are some basic guidelines that you need to be aware of so that you (and others after you) get the most out of the hike:
GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR HIKE: Wear robust hiking boots and pack a waterproof to keep you dry. Take something to eat and plenty to drink. Please leave things as they are. Do resist the temptation to remove flora, fauna etc. Bring a plastic bag for your litter. Dispose of it on return to your hotel.
Dominica’s countryside can be a wonderful experience. Here is a sugegsted list of possible tours that you can organise yourself or seek out a guide for:
|Place of Interest||Summary|
|Boeri Lake||In Morne Trois Pitons National Park. 45 minute hike required. Great views of Atlantic Coast.|
|Boiling Lake||In Morne Trois Pitons National Park. 3 hour hike. Guide and proper gear recommended.|
|Brandy Falls||Morne Diablotin National Park in the NW. Short hike required.|
|The Cabrits||Ruins of Fort Shirley north of Portsmouth. Great photo opportunity. Accessible by car.|
|Carib Territory||Last outpost of the Carib Indians in the region. East coast of Dominica and accessible by car.|
|Emerald Pool||Short stroll from the car. Central region of the island. Great for a swim.|
|Hampstead||A beautiful secluded bay on Dominica’s north-east coast.You can reach it by car.|
|High Meadow||High above the beautiful Scott’s Head/Soufriere Bay, this location was for the famous Cannibal Village scene. You’ll need to hike to this one!|
|Freshwater Lake||In Morne Trois Pitons National Park. Accessible by car. Air is fresh. Very peaceful.|
|In the North west of the island. Good photo opportunities from river boats.|
|L’Escalier Tête Chien||On the east cost in Carib Territory, a short walk from Sineku. Good photos. Atlantic shore.|
|Middleham Falls||In Morne Trois Pitons National Park. Beautiful trails lead to equally beautiful waterfall. 45 minutes hiking each way.|
|Museum & Old Market Plaza||Historic centre point of Roseau. Comprehensive introduction to Dominica.|
|Northern Forest Reserve||Hikes of varying length and difficulty. Birdwatching.|
|Point Michel||A few minutes south of the capital Roseau , the view of the Caribbean Sea, espcially in the early morning with a flat calm, is great for lowering the blood pressure!|
|Sari-Sari Falls||East coast above Bout Sable Bay. 1 mile hike required over tricky terrain. Very good photo opportunity.|
|Scotts Head||Southern tip of the island. Ruins of Fort Cashacrou. Great photo opportunities. Accessible by car. Snorkelling and diving in Soufriere bay.|
|Soufriere Sulphur Springs||Walk in volcano. Fascinating geothermal activity. Accessible by car.|
|Syndicate Waterfalls||On one of the Northern Forest Reserve Trails near the Hauttean Ridge. The whole hike takes around 4 hours.|
|Titou Gorge||In Morne Trois Pitons National Park. Beautiful inland river gorge. Short stroll from the car. Good for strong swimmers.|
|Trafalgar Falls||Good photo opportunities. Short stroll from the car.|
|Valley of Desolation||On the hike to the Boiling Lake. Geothermal activity. Photos look unreal. Guide and proper gear recommended.|
|Victoria Falls||Magnificent waterfall. Hiking required. Well worth it.|
|Vielle Case||Rugged North East Coast with a view over Autrou (“Daredevil Landing”).|
|Whale Watching||Usually done off the West Coast. Species are seasonal.|
|Wotten Waven Sulphur Springs||Geothermal activity with bubbling pools of water and mud. Acessible by car.|
|Pirates of the Caribbean Film Site Locations|
If you would like a complete list of tour companies you should contact:
Discover Dominica Authority
Roseau, Commonwealth of Dominica
Phone: (767) 448-2045
Fax: (767) 448-5840