Things to do in Dominica
Dominica is known for its lush rainforest, towering mountains, gushing rivers and waterfalls, with 300 miles of nature trails to explore! If you are looking for a hearty hike, a day of adventurous diving, then relaxing (and recovering) on a veranda, Dominica is the Caribbean destination for you.
Best things to do and see
SHOPPING AND DINING
The Old Market Plaza in Roseau is of historical significance as a former slave-trading market. The site now serves as a vegetable market on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday mornings and has three craft shops specializing in Caribbean products.
For a special treat visit Palisades Restaurant. Located in Fort Young Hotel the restaurant has panoramic views of the Caribbean coastline. The menu includes dishes made from fresh, locally sourced ingredients such as Lion Fish Bon Femme, Fort Nut soup blended with carrot, ginger and callaloo coconut and Char Grilled Lobster with lemon butter and seasonal greens.
For a drink or snack try Ruins Rock Cafe in Roseau which some say has the best rum on the island.
CULTURE AND HISTORY
Visit Penrice Falls near Pont Cassé, swim in the Layou River nearby or walk to Jacko Flats where a group of escaped slaves called “maroons” used to live. There are steps carved out of the cliffs of the Layou River gorge up to the plateau where the maroons camped.
Visit the villages of Soufrière and Scotts Head for their picturesque setting and mountain backdrop.
At the Carib Cultural Village on the Atlantic coast you can watch traditional crafts such as canoe building, calabash decorating, cassava processing and weaving.
WATER AND SPORTS
The island offers more than 300 miles of trails for the keen hiker. Hire a guide to trek the 6 miles up to the Boiling Lake, the largest of its kind in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park. Finish off your hike with a swim in the Titou Gorge.
Bikes can be hired at Nature Island Dive in Soufrière and although some roads are steep, few are busy or have fast traffic outside Roseau.
Dominica is known for its pristine diving sites. It has many wall dives, reefs and even under-sea springs – all with good visibility. Toucari Bay and Douglas Bay are part of a marine park, also popular are Pointe Gugnard, Soufrière Bay and Scott’s Head. Snorkelling is great fun at Champagne as you can swim and snorkel through bubbles caused by the underwater hot springs.
NATURE AND WILDLIFE
Soufrière Bay is one of the best places to see numerous types of whales and dolphins such as sperm whales, pilot whales, spinner, bottlenose and spotted dolphins.
Drive through the mountains from Portsmouth to the northern tip of the island to Cape Melville and stop off at the sulphur springs and on to Penville to make it a circular trip. There of plenty of hiking trails and sandy beaches to explore in this area.
Take a river boat trip up the Indian River from just south of Portsmouth to see the migrating birds who stay in this marsh area in winter.
Hiking in Dominica
Dominica is a hiker’s paradise as it offers more than 300 miles of trails.
Hire a guide to trek the 6 miles up to the Boiling Lake, the largest of its Kind in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park.
You will trek through rainforest, dip into hot springs, marvel at the waterfalls and step delicately around bubbling mud pools and you can finish off your hike with a swim in the Titou Gorge.
Events and holidays
1 January – New Year holiday
2 January – Merchants Day
February/March – Carnival is on the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday
Easter – Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Monday.
First Monday in May – Whit Monday
June/July – Fete Marin in Portsmouth, Soufriere and Colihaut and Anse de Mai.
July – Divefest
October – World Creole Music Festival
Last Friday in October – Creole Day, women wear the national dress.
3-4 November – Independence Day
25-26 Dec – Christmas Holidays
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