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all about Dominica

Reasons to visit Dominica

Boutique and unique. Two words that aptly describe the entire island. Dominica (pronounced Domineeca) is known as the Nature Island of the Windward Islands. You wouldn’t fly to Dominica if you wanted ordinary. Rustically comfortable – typically known as the most unspoiled island in the eastern Caribbean, especially caters to hiking and diving enthusiasts, eco tour or health and wellness travellers.

Search our interactive Google map so see all the famous places on this natural paradise teeming with amazing wildlife and sealife. Consider it one of the Caribbean’s best kept secrets and not to be confused with the Dominican Republic.

We love Dominica for

  • Birdwatching
  • Coastal walks
  • Deep sea fishing
  • Diving
  • Gardens
  • Horseriding
  • Sandy Beaches
  • Watersports
  • Whalewatching

When to go to Dominica

The high season runs from mid December to mid April when hotel prices will rise and you will need to book up to a year in advance to get the best deals.

We recommend that you try travelling to Dominica at other times if you are not bound by school holidays, where you will find some great hotel and airfare deals. Check out our latest deals to Dominica with flights via Barbados with Virgin Atlantic.

Weather in Dominica

The rainy season runs from July to November although you can still find rain at other times. The mountains have about four times the amount of rain as the coast. The average temperature year round is 27C.

Planning your holiday

Family reunions and holidays to Dominica

When considering a trip to Dominica, many travellers choose the island for its good marine park system and the ability to see whales and dolphins most of the year.

We recommend that you find the time to hire a car as it takes a lot of time to negotiate the local transport and it’s hard to get back to Roseau in one day without one.

Places to stay in Dominica

Many of the hotels in Dominica are small friendly guesthouses, affordable apartments and hotels. We recommend that anyone renting a private villa should ensure there is adequate 24 hour security on the site. We have a range of specially selected hotels in Dominica for our customers so do let us know how we can help.

Dominica for weddings, anniversaries and special occasions

If you are looking for help organising a trip to Dominica for a group, whether that’s for a special family occasion such as an anniversary or wedding just get in touch. We have organised many types of trips, including music tours for some of the most well known bands in the Caribbean.

Dominica for family holidays

Dominica has a lot to offer kids and whether that is taking a whale tour or watching the dolphins.

Dominica for couples

The island is often seen as a romantic getaway for couples that enjoy nature who are celebrating their honeymoon or anniversary.

Beach Holidays in Dominica

There is plenty of choice when it comes to sandy beaches and good places for snorkelling or water sports in Dominica.

Cultural and Adventure Holidays in Dominica

There is a wealth of French history on the island.

Getting to Dominica

There are no direct flights to Dominica so you need to travel via Barbados or Antigua from Gatwick, Heathrow and Manchester with Virgin Atlantic or British Airways. You need to book at least a year in advance to travel during the Christmas period. We will sort out the best airline connection for you to the island using LIAT, American Eagle, BVI Airways or Air Sunshine.

Getting around

We recommend hiring a car in Dominica. Allow plenty of time to get around the island, as the roads are narrow and slow. Car rental makes it easier to see the main sights and please call us on +44 (0)208 682 7222 if you need to hire a car.

Things to do and see in Dominica

Hiking

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.

Whale Spotting

This is one of the best places to see many types of whales and dolphins such as sperm whales, pilot whales, spinner, bottlenose and spotted dolphins around Soufrière Bay.

Boat Trip

Take a river boat trip up the Indian River from just south or Portsmouth to see the migrating birds who stay in this marsh area in winter.

Diving

Dominica is seen as the place for pristine diving and it has many wall dives, reefs and even springs under the sea with good visibility. Toucari Bay and Douglas Bay are part of a marine park but the most popular spots are Pointe Gugnard , Soufrière Bay and Scott’s Head.

Snorkelling

Snorkelling is good at Champagne where you can swim and snorkel through bubbles caused by the underwater hot springs.

Cycling

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.

Water Sports

Take a kayak or windsurfer out on Freshwater Lake or take a guided boat tour. You can also kayak or river tube down the Layou River.

Picturesque Villages

Visit the villages of Soufrière and Scotts Head for their picturesque setting and mountain backdrop.

Fort Shirley

Visit Fort Shirley on the Cabrits which has a visitor centre and a good map of the area and history of the landing of Columbus in 1504.

Carib Cultural Village

Visit the Carib Cultural Village on the Atlantic coast where you can watch traditional crafts such as canoe building, calabash decorating, cassava processing and weaving. The Caribbean coast is much safer than the Atlantic coast for swimming which is rather dangerous due to strong currents.

Mountain Drive

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.

Dominica Highlights

Visit Penrice Falls near Pont Cassé or 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.

Events & 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
 

Useful Dominica travel information

The island is 39 miles long and 16 miles wide.

Language - Whilst English is the official language you will find Creole spoken widely across the island.

Currency - The East Caribbean dollar is the official currency.

Emergencies - Dial 999 for emergencies

Local Customs - It is customary to dress smart casual when dining out at restaurants and to only wear swimwear and beachwear on the beach.

Tipping - Restaurant and hotel staff expect 10-15% of the bill and a small amount if the service is already included.

Voltage - This is 220 /240 volts.

Time Difference - GMT -4 hours (Atlantic Standard Time)

Country dialing code is +767

Departure tax - See our flight pages for details of the departure tax payable.

Security in Dominica - Many visitors travel to the island each year and do not have any incidents however we recommend that you take care at night and exercise caution at all times in the main town of Roseau.  Take advice from the locals as to any city areas you should avoid at all times and do not leave your belongings unattended on the beach. Use your hotel safe or security boxes to store your valuables. Avoid driving at night outside towns and at carnival avoid the Grand Bay area where some party goers can be armed, however theft is normally not violent on the island.

Useful Links

Office for the High Commission for the Commonwealth of Dominica in the UK
1 Collingham Gardens, Earls Court, London SW5 0HW, UK
Tel: +44 (020) 7370 5194.
www.dominicahighcommission.co.uk

Dominica Tourist Office in the UK
Contact Person: Tom Panagos
Phone: 020 7928 1600 
Fax: 020 7928 1700 
Freephone in UK: 0800 012 1467
www.dominica.dm

Insider tips

Whale Watching

Dominica

Dominica is the only country in the world where the Sperm Whale resides all year long and is one of the best places to see many types of whales and dolphins such as sperm whales, pilot whales, spinner, bottlenose and spotted dolphins around Soufrière Bay.

Just a short boat ride brings you into contact with these large toothed animals in the calm turquoise Caribbean Sea.

“You all are doing an excellent job. My booking was made through you all and I was impress with all aspects of it . I will definitely recommend friends and family. Irene. Last contacted us May 14.”

Irene Stephenson - Read more