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Introduction to Dominica
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Getting to Dominica
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Introduction to
                              Dominica page

DiveDominica boats
Boiling Lake

Valley of Desolaion
Middleham Falls
Dragon's Mouth
Sisserou parrot
Indian River
Soufriere hot spring
Trafalgar Falls
Scotts Head
marine reserve
Sari Sari Falls
Victoria Falls
South'n Daggertail
Emerald Pool
Twin Falls, Belles
Morne Trois Pitons
pelicans at Hodges
Hampstead River
New Lake
Layou River
moth caterpillar
large moth
land crab
Roeau market

Cabrits peninsular from Picard

whale watching  :  hike to Boiling Lake or Middleham Falls  :  Freshwater + Boeri Lakes
bird tour with expert Forester  :  Cabrits  :  Indian River  :  botany tour with expert Forester
Soufriere hot springs + champaigne  :  Trafalgar Falls  :  scuba diving + snorkelling
Carib Territory  :  climb our highest mountains  :  north east coast  :  Miracle Lake
Wotton Waven mineral spas  :  Layou River  :  wild life  :  local food

1. Whale and dolphin watching from Dominica - afternoon boat excursions from Dive Dominica and the Anchorage Hotel are twice weekly - 2.00pm till dusk, all year round. Along with the many species of whale which frequent our waters (located by sonar detector lowered from the boat)  can be seen dolphins and frigatebirds, along with flying fish jumping alongside and in front of the boat. Follow this link for further details.

2. Hike to the (world's second largest) Boiling Lake, situated in our WorldHeritage Site, the Morne Trois Pitons National Park. An all day guided hike through forested highlands, via Titou Gorge, Breakfast River, Panorama viewpoint and theValley of Desolation, where steam is emitted and boiling water trickles from fumaroles and small wells into a grey water stream. The outflow of water from the lake itself flows eatward down the White River, which meets the Atlantic near the village of Delices. This is the only hike in Dominica on which you MUST be accompanied by a qualified guide.  See Boiling Lake for further details.

You will pass Titou Gorge as you set of on your hike to the Boiling Lake - a perfect place to cool off with a dip at the end of your hike or after visiting the nearby Rainforest Aerial Tram.
Boeri Lake 
Titou Gorge                               Laudat              Freshwater Lake 

3. Other hikes in Morne Trois Pitons National Park include the impressive 300ft Middleham Falls, which takes approx. 1 hour to reach from either Providence (near to Laudat), beyond Cochrane via Tou Santi (stinking hole), or from Sylvania.

Middleham Falls

From the elevated village of Laudat, the visitor centre at Feshwater Lake is about a 10 minute drive, from where a new trail encircles the lake and just beyond it a 45 minute hiking trail continues on to Boeri Lake. These may also be reached via a hiking trail from the village of Grand Fond, accessed from the east coast at Rosalie.

Freshwater Lake

Should you attempt any of less well used trails - around the peaks of Morne Trois Pitons, the summits of Morne Micotrin (4,006ft.) or Morne Watt (4,017ft.), you are also advised to take along a qualified guide, as it is easy to loose the trail in places . Most hikes commence from or near to the village of Laudat, at a cool 2,000ft in the northern heights above the Roseau Valley. 

In the southern heights is the village of Woten Waven, from where there are short trails to hot springs, geysers and fumaroles such as the Dragon's Mouth. You may soak in one of several warm mineral pool spa's - TiKwenGlocho, Screws & at Rainforest ShanGri-la.

 warm sulphur pools

4. Field trip with Forester and bird expert. Favourite locations are Colihaut Heights and the Syndicate Forest on the western slopes of Morne Diablotin, were our two native parrot species are most commonly observed from lookout points along the rim of the Picard River gorge, along with other endemics such as Grey Kingbird, Mangrove Cuckoo, Blue-hooded Euphonia and four varieties of Hummingbird, and from where a short hike will bring you to the river pool below Milton Falls on the Dublanc River, a tranquil spot to enjoy a traditionally prepared picnic lunch and take a refreshing bathe in the river. An all day outing may also include a visit to Cabritts or boatride up the Indian River. See Birdwatching in Dominica for further details.

Milton Falls 

5. Cabrits National Park. Just north of Portsmouth is a twin peaked peninsular with well tended nature trails through 'dry forest' to both summits, where old cannons remain and from where panoramic views can be enjoyed. Near to the park entrance and visitor centre are the well preserved remains of Fort Shirley. Parts of this are currently undergoing restoration under the supervision of island historian, Lennox Honychurch.

6. The Indian River meanders slowy though mangrove trees and marsh plains to its mouth on the south side of Portsmouth from where, for a small charge, a guide will row you up the river as far as navigable to a bush bar in the forest, where you may disembark for refreshments before returning.  Your guide will describe the unique vegetation to be seen along this tranquil stretch of river and you will be unlucky not to spot the giant Ringed Kingfisher.

7. Botany field trip with Forester and flora expert. Dominica's flora is very diverse, with numerous varieties of colourful heliconia, orchids, bromeliads, anthurium, creepers, ferns and  mosses. Commonly seen are beautiful pink anthuriums growing under the forest canopy, deep red ginger lilies and tree ferns. The wealth of indigenous primordial rainforest cloaking much of the island is also very diverse and interesting.

8. Soufriere's 'Champagne' & forest hot springs. Soufriere is at the south of the island, on the north side of Scotts Head Bay, a marine reserve. In the sea immediately in front of a historic old church on the shore, and in several other nearby locations, streams of tiny bubbles rise from the sea bed, betraying undersea hot springs referred to locally as 'champagne'.  Following the unpaved road inland from Soufriere for about 1 1/2 miles brings you to a hot springs bathing pool in the shade of the forest canopy. From there, a nature trail ascends to several sulphur deposits - large, pale, cone shaped mounds with steam seeping from the odd crevice.
forest  mineral 
pool, Soufriere

9. The twin Trafalgar Falls are only a 20 minute forest walk from the village of Trafalgar, at the head of the Roseau Valley - a generous and well tended trail leads through mature forest to a timber viewing platform. For the young and fit, a narrow and rocky trail continues up to the pool at the base of each of the falls, where a wind of fine spray rapidly cools you down. Papillote's 4 acres of forest gardens and restaurant overlooking the Roseau Valley is an ideal spot to take lunch.

Trafalgar Falls right 

10. Scuba Diving and Snorkelling - Dominica is rated among the top 5 dive destinations in the whole of the Caribbean and number 8 in the World. Diving opportunities off the 29 miles of sheltered west coast are exceptional and not to be missed if you are divers. There are several dive centres scattered along this stretch - from north to south: Cabrits Dive Centre, close to Picard Beach Cottages, Anse-A-Liane Lodge, near to Colihaut, the East Carib Dive Club at Salisbury beach, Dive Castaways at Mero, Dive Dominica and the Anchorage Hotel, side by side at Castle Comfort just south of Roseau, and Nature Island Dive at Soufriere. The marine reserve at Scotts Head/Soufriere Bay is a sumerged volcano, renown for its 'champagne' bubbles and great diversity. Douglas Bay, north of the Cabritts peninsular is also a designated marine reserve. On the Atlantic side, the north facing stretch of coastline from Blenheim to Woodford Hill has many attractive inlets and coves which are sheltered from the strong currents and breakers of the Atlantic and where snorkelling is also possible. Visit our scuba page for further information.

some of the many fish commonly seen in Dominican waters

  blackbar soldierfish : harlequin bass : longsnout butterflyfish : spotted drum : moray eel

11. The South East Coast has some breathtaking scenery. The road from Pond Casse in the island's centre first reaches the South Eeast coast at the picturesque mouth of the Rosalie River. A further 20 min. drive south brings you to the Sari-Sari River, below the bridge is a long deep river pool ideal for bathing and a great picnic spot. Turn left and drive through the village of Laplaine and you will come to a hiking trail along the river to Sari-Sari Falls. Driving south for a further 20 min. brings you to the village of Delices, where the White River flowing from the Boiling Lake nears the sea. A 45 min. hike will bring you to the Victoria Falls. Downstream from the windy pool below are several smaller pools, large and deep enough to enjoy a swim in the opaque, turquoise water which has by then lost much of its heat, but is nonetheless a very pleasant temperature. Along this whole stretch of coast, the palm, banana and forest clad slopes rise steeply and dramatically to some towering summits.

Rosalie River mouth 
12. The Carib Territory in the east is home to the only surviving population of Carib Indians in the whole of the Caribbean chain of islands, originally descended from South America. They inhabited most islands of the region for a long period of time but most were wiped out during the time of European colonisation. Handicrafts such as basket weaving and carving can be purchased from roadside kiosks and a traditional Carib Village is open to visitors where a veriety ot typical Carib construction can be observed and local food sampled. A series of small waterfalls leading to the sea at the mouth of the Crayfish River is very picturesque.
coconut bread                   Carib construction                        Crayfish River

13. the popular Emerald Pool and also the little known Twin Falls are in the forested highland in the centre of the island. Not far from the juntion leading to Castle Bruce in the east is a visitor centre by the road, from where a fairly short, gentle and well tended trail leads through the forest to the Emerald Pool below a small waterfall in the shade of the forest canopy - a beautiful spot if you are alone, but to be avoided on cruise ship days!  Along the Imperial Road leading north-east from Pond Casse in the direction of Marigot is a small local bar, painted light blue and named Spanny's Disco. After first requesting permission at the bar, follow the path which leads from the main road accross agricultural land to the edge of the forest, from where a trail leads down the valley side to a pool at the base of the first falls. After crossing the river, the trail rises sharply over a small ridge to a second falls of similar proportions. A idyllic spot - both pools are suitable for a refreshing bathe.

14. climb our highst mountain peaks - Morne Trois Pitons (4,672ft) and Morne Diablotin (4,747ft) but only if you are fit and active and enjoy obstascle courses. These trails are seldom used and are not well maintained - watch out for Razorgrass, which is a sedge with a triangular stem and can climb and grow very long - the dark green slender blades have a surface which sticks like velcro to your skin and scratches if you pull away! The trail leading to the summit of Morne Trois Pitons starts at the Rosalie Road, close to the Pond Casse roundabout in the centre of the island. The Morne Diablotin trail commences close to Syndicate Forest, accessed via road from the west coast highway, just north of Dublanc, where the junction is signposted to Morne Diablotin. Allow a minimum of 3 hours each way for either hike and remember it is usually dark by about 7.00pm.

15. The north facing north-east coast has many attractive and secluded beaches, often sheltered from the Atlantic by rocks and islets - Hodges Bay, Grand Babtiste Bay and Calibishie are favourites. Calibishi is a small and very pleasant village with a handful of shops, bars and restaurants. From the ridgetop road through and beyond the village of Bense, a trail leads down to the Hampstead River. After crossing the first part of the river, follow the second to where a deep diving pool can be found below a small waterfall.

16. New Lake, Carholm In November 1997, Dominica experienced several weeks of prolonged heavy rain which precipitated a massive landslide in the interior. This formed three dams blocking a northern tributary of the Layou River. The lower dam burst after about a week of continued heavy rain, the second burst a few days later. These flooded the Layou River, depositing huge amounts of tarish and sand, temporarily raising the level of the river bed by up to 30 feet in places. The rear dam did not burst and has consolidated, leaving a new lake with a much largerv surface area than either the Freshwater or Boeri Lakes and reaching a maximum depth of 140 feet. This lake may be viewed from the end of the road at the edge of the escarpment left by the landslide, reached via a feeder road just east of the Layou River Hotel. Though officially named the Mathia Dam, the local landowner has christened this area 'Miracle Valley'. The rear shore of the lake by be reached via a hiking trail from the Cuba Road which loops up into the hills from Mero to Salisbury on the mid west coast.

17. The Layou River is the island's longest, originating on the south-east slopes of Morne Diablotin, flowing first in a south easterly direction then, from the village of Belles, westwards to flow ultimately into the Caribbean Sea.  Approx. 3 miles from its estuary on the mid-west coast, by the first road bridge, a short trail leads to a shaded beach on its south bank, where a long stretch of river is slow and deep enough to enjoy a swim and where, on the far bank, a small pool has been built around a hotspring. Another great picnic spot.
  Layou River. central Dominica 

18. Wild Life The Agouti is a tailless forest rodent with dark fur and pink ears, not unlike a tallish guineapig. The Manicou is a species of opossum - it has a tail, lives mostly in the trees and is largely nocturnal. These are believed to have been introduced by the early Amerindian settlers from the Orinoco delta region of South America, as a source of food. Wild boar were also introduced into the forests for hunting, but are seldom seen. The only indigenous mammal to Dominica is the bat, of which there are several varieties, commonly seen in numbers at dusk - favourite food, mosquitos. Mountain Chicken or Crapaud is a very large smooth skinned frog native to Dominica and Monserrat - colour varies from brown to grey, depending on local habitat. The male is identified by a short black thumb claw, which aids holding on whilst mating. It used to be abundant also in the neighbouring French islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe but, regarded as a delicacy, it has in recent years been hunted to extinction. There are also three varieties of tiny tree frog. 
mountain chicken/ crapaud                  tree frog                                                                                              iguana
Vivid green Iguanas are prevalent in coastal areas, spending most of their time in trees, where they often go unnoticed due to their excellent camouflage. The predominant old males turn grey and black and grow a frill under their chin. Most commonly seen throughout the island are tree lizards, local name zandoli. They have the ability to lighten or darken their colour (though not rapidly) to suit their surroundings. The males are territorial and swing out a bright orange neck fan to intimidate rivals. The nocturnal gecko is also commonly seen, often around patio lights, which attract a good meal of insects. Ground lizards, local name abalo, can grow almost as large as iguanas. They are carnivors and scavengers, common but shy, and can run exceedingly fast. Males are tinged with blue, whilst females are brown with two yellow stripes down their back.

grass snake                   boa                                   skink                                   zandoli                 gecko

As well as the tiny legged skink, there are several varieties of grass snake and the larger boa, which usually keeps well hidden in the forest and scrubland - none are poisonous. Soon to come - flora and fauna pages.

19. Eating local food Fresh fish may be obtained locally from many of the coastal villages. A conche being blown can usually be heard throughout the vicinity, indicating when fish are available for sale from the local fishermen. Red Snapper, Balou, Dorade and Tuna are commonly available. Crabs, crayfish and shrimps can be found in the rivers and streams. Fresh fruit and vegetables are of amazing quality and succulence; bananas, limes, grapefruit, oranges, pawpaw, mangoes, avocado pears, starfruit (carambola), water melon, pineapple, guava, passion fruit, coconuts, soursop, sugar apples, custard apples, golden apples (pome-cite), easter apples, mammee apples - often referred to as apricot, local cherries, tamarind, yellow goosberries, cocoa etc. Vegetables include green bananas, plantains, cristophene, green pawpaw, pumpkin, bredfruit, breadnuts, cucumber, spinach, zucchini, celery and very full flavoured tomatoes.  Root vegetables include beetroot, dasheen, tania, yam and several variety of sweet potato. The main outlet is Roseau's market place, located at the Riverside, close to the Bayfront. Dasheen and Tania bear large 'elephant ear' leaves - from the young tender shoots is made thick, green Calaloo soup, a local delicacy. Floral Gardens Hotel, in the  north east, grow sufficient Hibiscus to make a refreshing and delicately flavoured cold drink from the red flower petals, served daily in their riverside restaurant.

20. Activities For the hyperactive, bicycles and kayaks can be hired by the hour, dayor half day at Scotts Head and Soufriere. Snorkelling gear may also be hired.
Sports fishing - charter a boat (half day US$350, full day US$600)

Dominica and
                  our Global Environment


Where to stay in Dominica - island-wide accommodation

Private Villas and Apartments

around Roseau
Roseau Valley & Laudat
mid to north
West Coast
north facing 
North East Coast
East Coast

Examples of private, furnished accommodation available for short term holiday rental
-Coffee River Cottages, NE Dominica - US$100 per night for 2 persons--Hodges View Cottage, currently unavailable--North East - Sunrise Gardens, Calibishie, from US$80 per night--La Tye Cottage, Woodford Hill, near Calibishie, NE Dominica - from US$60.00 per night--North West - 2 bed cottage with sea view - available again from 1st June 2015-
-Salisbury, mid west coast, 2 bed apartment from US$60.00 per night--3 bedroomed villa from US$65 per night--mid west coast, 3 bed oceanfront villa near dive centre from US$75 per night--Mero, mid west coast 3 bed apartment from US$75 per night--Mero, mid west coast 2 bed accommodation for max 5 persons €65 per night-
1 + 2 bed apartments, mid west coast, from US$80 per night--cottage annex on private estate, mid west coast - US$70 per night--Tranquility in style - in the cool, forested mountains.--South West - 4 bed villa from US$160 per night--South West 4 bed villa from US$160 per night-
Martin's Suite, Morne Daniel US$105.00 per night--Springdale Apartments, Morne Daniel from US$80.00 per night--3 bed villa, Canefield East, from US$70 per night--2 bed apartment, Roseau Valley, from US$50 per night--1 bed country eco cottage only US$120 per night-
East Coast Region - 2 bed cottage from US$60 per night--Sisserou Lodge - in the hills behind Roseau US$175 per night--Comfort House, near 3 dive centres, SW Dominica - from US$85 per night--Angie's Hideaway near 3 dive centres, SW Dominica, from US$80.00 per night--South West, 2 bed villa near 3 dive centres from US$70.00 per night-
Soufriere Bay - waterfront cottage - from US$60 per night--Garvin's Apartment - 1 bed apartment, Scotts Head, US$50 single, US$60 double--Scotts Head - 1 bed apartment from US$50 per night--Scotts Head - bedsit US$55, 2 bed apartment US$80 per night--2 bed apartment, Scotts Head, from US$70.00 per night-
most of the above offer attractive discounts for extended stays. Click on image for rates, details

to book or for further information
contact us by email or tel: (767) 449 6233
Nature Island Destinations Ltd.
P.O. Box 1639,      Roseau,
Commonwealth of Dominica,
West Indies
Jacquot Parrot

All accommodation rates quoted by Nature Island Destinations are in US$ 
and include 5% Gov't tax and any service charge (typically 10%).

We accept payment by credit card

Other pages available on this website

Home  :   Introduction to Dominica  :  Getting to Dominica  :  Scuba + whale-watch  :  What to do + see  :  Birdwatching + Botany
Morne Trois Pitons National Park  :  Rainforest Aerial Tram  :  Nature Island Destinations Guestbook  :  Carnival  :  Pirates2 filmed here


Related Links
properties for sale in
                    Dominica - prices + digital photos displayedCabrits Dive Centre,
                    Picard Beach, Portsmouth

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