Caution November 18, 2023

Worldwide caution, update november 18, 2023, information for u.s. citizens in the middle east.

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Dominica Travel Advisory

Travel advisory july 17, 2023, dominica - level 1: exercise normal precautions.

Reissued with obsolete COVID-19 page links removed.

Exercise normal precautions in Dominica.

Read the country information page  for additional information on travel to Dominica.

If you decide to travel to Dominica:  

  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter .
  • Review the Country Security Report for Barbados, which covers Dominica.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist .
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.

Travel Advisory Levels

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Entry Requirements

A valid, up-to-date passport is required and must be presented to immigration and customs officials, along with your government-issued identification card (such as a driver's license). be sure to make copies of your passport and i.d., and keep them in a separate location in case your documents are lost or stolen..

Immigration officials require most visitors to the Commonwealth of Dominica to present a valid passport on arrival. All visitors need to show a return ticket. Canadian citizens can show documents certifying proof of citizenship that also bears a photograph, and French nationals can stay for up to two weeks by presenting a valid identification card.

  • Visitors arriving from countries that are members of the Commonwealth of Nations do not require a visa. However, to disembark as an in-transit passengers in Third countries, nationals of Nigeria and other exempt nationalities will often require proof of visas into Dominica.
  • Nationals of Haiti and the Dominican Republic require a visa to enter Dominica.
  • Visitors who will remain on Dominica for less than 24 hours (including cruise-ship passengers) do not require a visa to enter Dominica.
  • Any in-transit passenger or bona fide tourist who is in possession of a return ticket and satisfies the Immigration Officer that he/she does not intend to remain in the State for a period exceeding twenty-one days. Passengers on tourist vessels.

Visit the following link to find out whether you need a visa to enter Dominica .

Visitors wishing to enter the country with their pets must obtain an Import Permit. The Veterinary Office of the Ministry of Agriculture can assist with the requisite guidelines.

Please note that regulations may change, and visitors are advised to contact the Immigration Department at (767) 448-2222 for more information.

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COVID-19: travel health notice for all travellers

Dominica travel advice

Latest updates: Editorial change.

Last updated: October 26, 2023 04:55 ET

On this page

Safety and security, entry and exit requirements, laws and culture, natural disasters and climate, dominica - take normal security precautions.

Take normal security precautions in Dominica.

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Power outages

Nationwide power outages are occurring regularly. They occur numerous times a day and for multiple-hour stretches. They are expected to continue through 2023.

Power outages can affect the following services and businesses:

  • telecommunications and security systems
  • stores and food supply
  • hotels and other accommodations
  • banks and ATMs
  • gas stations
  • public lighting and traffic lights
  • heating and water supply

If you’re in Dominica:

  • verify the schedule of power cuts with local authorities
  • make sure your phone is always charged
  • keep supplies of food, water, and fuel on hand in case of lengthy disruptions
  • carry a flashlight

Get Prepared - basic emergency kit

Petty crime, such as pickpocketing, purse snatching and theft from vehicles, occurs.

Robberies and violent assaults have occurred near tourist facilities.

Crime typically increases during annual celebrations such as Carnival in February/March and the World Creole Music Festival in October.

  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash
  • Avoid wearing jewellery
  • Avoid unpatrolled beaches and unpopulated areas, especially after dark
  • Carry a photocopy of your passport’s identification page
  • Ensure that your belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times


Demonstrations may occur. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.

  • Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations

Mass gatherings (large-scale events)

Women's safety

Women travelling alone may be subject to some forms of harassment and verbal abuse. Incidents of sexual assault occur. Incidents of sexual assault occur.

Advice for women travellers

Water activities

Coastal waters can be dangerous. Riptides are common.

Not all beaches have lifeguards or warning flags.

  • Exercise caution when swimming
  • Don’t swim alone, after hours or outside marked areas
  • Consult residents and tour operators for information on possible hazards and safe swimming areas

Tour operators may not adhere to international standards.

If you participate in water sports, such as diving:

  • choose a well-established and reputable company that has insurance
  • ensure that your travel insurance covers the recreational activities you choose

If in doubt concerning the safety of the facilities or equipment, don’t use them.

Water safety abroad

If you intend to hike:

  • never do so alone and always hire an experienced guide from a reputable company
  • buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation
  • ensure that your physical condition is good enough to meet the challenges of your activity
  • ensure that you’re properly equipped
  • stay informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard
  • inform a family member or friend of your itinerary
  • obtain detailed information on hiking routes before setting out and do not venture off marked trails

Boiling Lake

Boiling Lake is located in Morne Trois Pitons National Park. It’s filled with bubbling water that’s heated by molten magma. Small steam explosions may occur, and the water can return to its original boiling state with little or no warning. Swimming in the lake is prohibited.

  • Visit only with an experienced guide
  • Stay a safe distance from the water’s edge

Office of Disaster Management – Government of Dominica

Road safety

Road conditions and road safety can vary greatly throughout the country.

Driving can be hazardous due to:

  • narrow, steep and winding roads
  • lack of guardrails, traffic signs, lane markings and hazard warnings
  • lack of lighting outside the capital city, Roseau

Road conditions can deteriorate significantly during and after heavy rains. The main road from Douglas-Charles Airport is prone to landslides and has several steep drops where land has collapsed.

Roadside assistance is not widely available.

  • Avoid driving at night
  • Bring a GPS with you
  • Ensure you have sufficient vehicle insurance coverage
  • If you plan to travel off-road, such as to Batibou Bay, rent a four-wheel-drive vehicle.
  • In the event of an accident, call the police and don’t move your vehicle.

Public transportation

Minibuses are available and safe.

Taxis are not metered. Standard fares exist for most destinations.

  • Use only licensed taxis
  • Agree on the fare with the driver before you depart

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

Information about foreign domestic airlines

Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.

We have obtained the information on this page from the Dominican authorities. It can, however, change at any time.

Verify this information with the  Foreign Representatives in Canada .

Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.

Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

Regular Canadian passport

Your passport must be valid for the expected duration of your stay in Dominica.

Passport for official travel

Different entry rules may apply.

Official travel

Passport with “X” gender identifier

While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Other travel documents

Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Useful links

  • Foreign Representatives in Canada
  • Canadian passports

Tourist visa: not required for stays of up to 6 months Business visa: not required Student visa: required

Other entry requirements

You must present proof of onward travel or a return ticket to enter Dominica.

Departure tax

You must pay a departure tax of 86 East Caribbean Dollars when leaving Dominica by ferry. 

Children and travel

Learn more about travelling with children .

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

Relevant Travel Health Notices

  • Global Measles Notice - 31 August, 2023
  • Zika virus: Advice for travellers - 31 August, 2023
  • COVID-19 and International Travel - 31 August, 2023

This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.

Routine vaccines

Be sure that your  routine vaccinations , as per your province or territory , are up-to-date before travelling, regardless of your destination.

Some of these vaccinations include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Pre-travel vaccines and medications

You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary. 

Yellow fever   is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

  • Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from or have transited through an airport of a country   where yellow fever occurs.


  • Vaccination is not recommended.
  • Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
  • Contact a designated  Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre  well in advance of your trip to arrange for vaccination.

About Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada * It is important to note that  country entry requirements  may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest  diplomatic or consular office  of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.

There is a risk of hepatitis A in this destination. It is a disease of the liver. People can get hepatitis A if they ingest contaminated food or water, eat foods prepared by an infectious person, or if they have close physical contact (such as oral-anal sex) with an infectious person, although casual contact among people does not spread the virus.

Practise  safe food and water precautions and wash your hands often. Vaccination is recommended for all travellers to areas where hepatitis A is present.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.

  Hepatitis B is a risk in every destination. It is a viral liver disease that is easily transmitted from one person to another through exposure to blood and body fluids containing the hepatitis B virus.  Travellers who may be exposed to blood or other bodily fluids (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) are at higher risk of getting hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all travellers. Prevent hepatitis B infection by practicing safe sex, only using new and sterile drug equipment, and only getting tattoos and piercings in settings that follow public health regulations and standards.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.

Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.

Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.

In this destination, rabies  may be present in some wildlife species, including bats. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal. 

If you are bitten or scratched by an animal while travelling, immediately wash the wound with soap and clean water and see a health care professional. 

Before travel, discuss rabies vaccination with a health care professional. It may be recommended for travellers who will be working directly with wildlife. 

Safe food and water precautions

Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.

  • Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
  • Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
  • Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs. 

Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.

Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.

The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.

Typhoid   is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.

Travellers visiting regions with a risk of typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation, should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.  

Insect bite prevention

Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:

  • Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
  • Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
  • Minimize exposure to insects
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed

To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.

Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.

There is a risk of chikungunya in this country.  The risk may vary between regions of a country.  Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.

Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.

  • In this country,   dengue  is a risk to travellers. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
  • Dengue can cause flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to severe dengue, which can be fatal.
  • The level of risk of dengue changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. The level of risk also varies between regions in a country and can depend on the elevation in the region.
  • Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites . There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue.

Zika virus   is a risk in this country.

Zika virus is primarily spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can also be sexually transmitted. Zika virus can cause   serious birth defects .

Pregnant women and women planning a pregnancy should   visit a health care professional   before travelling to discuss the potential risks of travelling to this country. Pregnant women may choose to avoid or postpone travel to this country.

Travel recommendations:

  • Prevent mosquito bites   at all times.
  • If you are pregnant, always use condoms correctly or avoid sexual contact with anyone who has travelled to this country for the duration of your pregnancy.
  • Women:   Wait 2 months after travel to this country or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer) before trying for a pregnancy. If your male partner travelled with you, wait 3 months after travel or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer).
  • Men:   Wait 3 months after travel to this country or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer) before trying for a pregnancy.

For more travel recommendations, see the travel health notice:  Zika virus: Advice for travellers

Animal precautions

Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may increase your chance of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.

Closely supervise children, as they are more likely to come in contact with animals.

Person-to-person infections

Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette , which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:

  •   washing your hands often
  • avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
  • avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness 

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) , HIV , and mpox are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners. Check with your local public health authority pre-travel to determine your eligibility for mpox vaccine.  

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)   is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). 

High risk activities include anything which puts you in contact with blood or body fluids, such as unprotected sex and exposure to unsterilized needles for medications or other substances (for example, steroids and drugs), tattooing, body-piercing or acupuncture.

Medical services and facilities

Medical care is limited in Dominica. There are hospitals and clinics located on the island, but Princess Margaret Hospital in Roseau is the only hospital equipped to handle general surgery and emergency operations.

There is limited ambulance service available.

Medical treatment can be costly, even for basic services. You may have to provide immediate cash payment for medical treatment.

Medical evacuation can be very expensive and you may need it in case of serious illness or injury.

Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.

Travel health and safety

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a   travel health kit , especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

You must abide by local laws.

Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad .

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences or heavy fines.

Useful link

  • Drugs, alcohol and travel

Camouflage clothing

It’s illegal for anyone, including children, to dress in army or camouflage clothing or to carry items made of camouflage material.


Customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning the import or export of certain items, including business equipment, food and beverages, and chemicals.

Traffic drives on the left.

To drive in Dominica, you must have a valid Canadian driver’s licence. You must also purchase a temporary Dominican driving permit, which is valid for 30 days. These are available at:

  • local airports
  • car rental firms
  • the Traffic and Licensing Department on High Street in Roseau
  • the Portsmouth Police Station

Penalties for drinking and driving are severe. The legal blood alcohol limit is 50 mg per 100 ml of blood, meaning that even one drink could place you above the legal limit. If the police suspect you of drinking and driving, they could confiscate your driver’s licence on the spot. If you’re convicted, you can expect heavy fines.

2SLGBTQI+ travellers

Dominican law prohibits sexual acts between individuals of the same sex.

2SLGBTQI+ travellers could also be discriminated against or detained based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or sex characteristics.

2SLGBTQI+ travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Dominica.

Travel and your sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Dominica.

If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Dominica, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements .

Travellers with dual citizenship

International Child Abduction

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. It does not apply between Canada and Dominica.

If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Dominica by an abducting parent:

  • act as quickly as you can
  • consult a lawyer in Canada and in Dominica to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
  • report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre.

If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.

Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.

  • International Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents
  • Travelling with children
  • Canadian embassies and consulates by destination
  • Emergency Watch and Response Centre

The currency in Dominica is the East Caribbean dollar (XCD). Many businesses also accept US dollars and euros.

Hurricane season

Hurricanes usually occur from mid-May to the end of November. During this period, even small tropical storms can quickly develop into major hurricanes.

These severe storms can put you at risk and hamper the provision of essential services.

If you decide to travel to a coastal area during the hurricane season:

  • know that you expose yourself to serious safety risks
  • be prepared to change your travel plans on short notice, including cutting short or cancelling your trip
  • stay informed of the latest regional weather forecasts
  • carry emergency contact information for your airline or tour operator
  • follow the advice and instructions of local authorities
  • Tornadoes, cyclones, hurricanes, typhoons and monsoons
  • Large-scale emergencies abroad
  • Active storm tracking and hurricane watches and warnings  - United States’ National Hurricane Center

Earthquakes and tsunamis

The eastern Caribbean, including Dominica, is located in an active seismic zone. Earthquakes and tsunamis can occur.

A tsunami can occur within minutes of a nearby earthquake. However, the risk of tsunami can remain for several hours following the first tremor. If you’re staying on the coast, familiarize yourself with the region’s evacuation plans in the event of a tsunami warning.

In the event of an earthquake:

  • monitor local media to stay informed of the evolving situation
  • follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Earthquakes - What to Do?
  • Latest earthquakes  - U.S. Geological Survey
  • Tsunami warning system  - U.S. National Weather Service

Local services

Dial 999 for emergency assistance.

Consular assistance

There’s no resident Canadian government office in Dominica. You can obtain consular assistance and further consular information from the High Commission of Canada in Barbados, in Bridgetown.

Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Sint Maarten.

For emergency consular assistance, call the High Commission of Canada in Barbados, in Bridgetown, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.

The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.

The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.

If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

Learn more about consular services .

Risk Levels

  take normal security precautions.

Take similar precautions to those you would take in Canada.

  Exercise a high degree of caution

There are certain safety and security concerns or the situation could change quickly. Be very cautious at all times, monitor local media and follow the instructions of local authorities.

IMPORTANT: The two levels below are official Government of Canada Travel Advisories and are issued when the safety and security of Canadians travelling or living in the country or region may be at risk.

  Avoid non-essential travel

Your safety and security could be at risk. You should think about your need to travel to this country, territory or region based on family or business requirements, knowledge of or familiarity with the region, and other factors. If you are already there, think about whether you really need to be there. If you do not need to be there, you should think about leaving.

  Avoid all travel

You should not travel to this country, territory or region. Your personal safety and security are at great risk. If you are already there, you should think about leaving if it is safe to do so.

Wanderlust Chloe

17 Things To Know Before Visiting Dominica: Travel Tips For A Hassle Free Holiday

Sunrise in Dominica, Caribbean

From when to visit and how much things cost, to a few island surprises, these Dominica travel tips will help you plan your trip to this special Caribbean island.

Dominica might be known universally as the nature island, but I’d describe it as the island of surprises. Surprising landscapes, surprising activities and… surprising prices! This is a Caribbean island, but not like the others you know.

White sandy beaches? Nope Luxury hotels? Not really…. Honeymoon destination? Nope – well, actually yes, but only if you’re an adventurous couple! Expensive prices? Nope

If you’re planning a trip, I’d recommend reading my guide to the best things to do in Dominica , which gives you the lowdown on the island’s attractions and beauty spots. But first, scroll on to read a few Dominica travel tips to make your first trip to the island totally hassle free!

Trekking to the Emerald Pool, Dominica

17 Things To Know Before Visiting Dominica

Don’t expect to laze on the beach… although you can .

While Dominica has plenty of lovely beaches, due to it’s volcanic origins, the majority of the island’s beaches have black, brown and silver sand. They’re still very pretty, with palm trees and clear, Caribbean waters, but perhaps a little different to the Caribbean postcard you have in your minds.

Instead, hike into the mountains, go whale watching , visit the island’s waterfalls, take a dip in the Emerald Pool and learn to cook Caribbean cuisine – the options are endless, so you’ll never be bored!

READ MORE: Top things to do in Dominica, Caribbean

View over Castle Bruce from Islet View, Dominica

Dominica is NOT the Dominican Republic. Not even close! 

I feel like an idiot for writing this, but when I told people I was visiting Dominica, they thought I meant the Dominican Republic… or that Dominica was the capital of the DR! Nope, they’re completely different islands, with different cultures, landscapes and reasons to visit. Make sure you book a flight to the right place!

Dominica is known as the nature island

As we landed in Dominica, I could see exactly why it’s known as the nature island! With lush rainforests, incredible volcanic landscapes and rugged bays, it looked wild – like a little Jurassic Park! There are nine volcanoes, 365 rivers, 18 named waterfalls and one boiling lake (the second largest in the world after Frying Pan Lake in New Zealand). If you love adventures, this is the island for you.

Lush views in Dominica

Dominica is one of the cheaper Caribbean islands

First up, I’ll admit I’ve always found the Caribbean an expensive part of the world to travel around, especially compared to regions like South East Asia and Eastern Europe. Despite having amazing ingredients on the doorstep, a lot of items still have to be imported. Plus, once you’re on the islands, you become a captured market. Particularly on smaller islands, there aren’t many tour companies, so the ones that exist set the price they want, and that’s what you pay.

That being said, I found Dominica to be cheaper than most Caribbean islands I’ve visited (Barbados, Antigua, St Kitts, Cuba, St Martin). Here’s a quick rundown of the prices…

How much do things cost in Dominica? 

Main course in a nice restaurant: $12 USD (33 ECD / £9.80) Whale watching tour: $69 USD (186 ECD / £55) Two tank scuba dive: $108 USD (293 ECD / £87) Half day island tour:  $45 USD (121 ECD / £36) Car rental (per day): $50 USD (135 ECD / £40) Taxi from Douglas-Charles Airport (Dominica Airport) to Roseau: $30 USD (81 ECD / £24) Room (sleeping 3) at Picard Beach Cottages: $103 USD (278 ECD / £83) Hostel dorm (at Fort Shirley): $15 (40 ECD / £12) 

Also, there’s a great value pass you can buy if you plan to visit multiple attractions in a week. About that…

Hi Rise Restaurant Receipt - Dominica

It’s CHEAP to visit Dominica’s attractions, yes really! 

Continuing the budget theme here (and a great Dominica travel tip for you!!) you can visit most of Dominica’s natural wonders for just $12 USD (33 ECD / £9.50). The special tourist site pass gives you entry to Trafalgar Falls, Cabrits National Park, Emerald Pool, Middleham Falls, Soufriere Sulphur Springs, Boiling Lake and Morne Trois Pitons Trail just to name a few!

Dominica National Park Site Pass

There’s now a luxury hotel in Dominica!

Dominica has never been associated with luxury holidays. Most people visit because they love the great outdoors. They want to go hiking, diving and explore the abundant nature of the island. Those travellers aren’t usually in need of a personal butler or swim up bar, and are happy in a more rustic hotel.

All that has now changed with the opening of Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski Dominica , just north of Portsmouth (which opened in 2019). I passed it one day, and saw the vast resort being constructed. It’s in a beautiful location, close to Cabrits National Park, in its own sheltered bay. Rumour has it, the presidential suite is around $15,000 a night – no doubt attracting a luxurious style of traveller to the island.

Just a few minutes away (and also under construction during my visit) was Cabrits Hotel Resort and Spa, which has been financed by the Kingdom of Morocco as a gift to Dominica. It’s in another lovely location, with a beautiful view over Portsmouth. 

Don’t believe what you read – Hurricane Maria hasn’t destroyed this beautiful island

Dominica hit the headlines after category 5 Hurricane Maria swept over the island in September 2017. It was regarded as the worst natural disaster on record for the islands in the region. I was actually supposed to visit in October 2017, but the trip was cancelled to allow the island time to recover. And you know what? It has. Lots of people told us that they learned lessons about construction in the aftermath of the hurricane. It was also an important time to look at the island’s economy and industries. With a combination of positivity and hard work, the island has bounced back.

During my visit in July 2019 some evidence remained, but all major attractions were open, cruise ship schedules were back to normal, and Dominica was definitely ready to welcome tourism again.

View over Roseau, Dominica

There are no direct flights from the UK or US to Dominica  

Don’t worry though – it’s a very simple journey! If you’re visiting from the UK, you’ll need to fly to Antigua (with Virgin or British Airways) and then catch a LIAT flight over to Dominica. The flight from Antigua to Dominica only takes 30 minutes, and on a clear day, the views are amazing. The quickest routes I found from London were around 12 hours (including the transfer). Plus, you don’t need a visa to visit!

Douglas–Charles Airport, Dominica

You’re guaranteed to see the Queen in Dominica… seriously!

Yes, you’ll spot a very young Queen Elizabeth II on the Eastern Caribbean Dollars – the main currency used on the island. 

The Eastern Caribbean Dollar is used in: Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

It’s worth downloading an app like XE Currency to convert currency on the go, but as a guide: 1 USD = 2.70 ECD = £0.80 While not exact, I spent the week dividing the ECD amount by 3 to work out the rough cost in £.

Eastern Caribbean Dollars

English is the principal language in Dominica

It’s the official language of the island, but you might hear a little Creole spoken too. 

Sadly, much of the indigenous Kalinago language has been lost, but there are efforts by the Kalinago people to preserve it, and you’ll occasionally hear ‘Mabrika!’ (welcome) when you meet someone. 

You could use Dominica as a base to explore the Windward and Leeward Islands in the West Indies

The ferry port in Roseau has regular ferries which connect Dominica with its neighbouring islands. You can reach Guadeloupe, Martinique and St. Lucia in just a few hours. There’s more info on the ferry website , including timetables and prices. Often it’s cheaper to travel by ferry than to fly, and by the time you’ve travelled to the airport, you might actually find it quicker going by boat.  

Peak cruise season in Dominica runs from October to May

The big cruise shops visit Dominica from the autumn to spring / summer, docking in Roseau. Carnival, Princess, Silversea, Celebrity, Cunard, Azamara and Royal Caribbean all sail there, spending one day on the island. If possible, I’d recommend visiting out of season, as I did. Rather than fighting the crowds at beauty spots like Trafalgar Falls and the Emerald Pool, you could have them all to yourself!

Visiting Trafalgar Falls, Dominica

Dominica has an incredible hiking trail going all the way across the island

The Waitukubuli National Trail is a 114-mile hiking trail which guides you through many of the island’s most impressive landscapes. If you were to hike the entire trail from Scotts Head in the south to Capuchin in the north you’d pass through Kalinago villages (where the indigenous people live), up volcanoes, past waterfalls, cross several rivers and more. It’s worth noting that a few parts of the trail are still closed after the effects of Hurricane Maria.

Emerald Pool, Dominica

Dominica is the whale watching capital of the Caribbean

If you’re visiting the island, you have to book a whale watching tour . Over 20 species have been spotted in the waters around the island, but the big draw is the pod of sperm whales. There are said to be around 300 in total, and Dominica is the only country in the world where they can be spotted all year round. 

READ MORE: Whale Watching In Dominica

The tail of a sperm whale before it dives down

Everybody knows everybody in Dominica

I’m writing this with a smile on my face, as some of my happiest memories from my time on the island are from spending time with the locals. We had some great drivers who took us to see some of the main attractions, and they seemed to know everyone!

They’d stop to say something out of the window, honk the car horn to get a friend’s attention and shake hands with people left, right and centre! It was lovely to see how close knit the island’s community is. As we headed up to a cookery class in the hills, we passed a car, and our driver mentioned the person driving was his old secondary school teacher!    

In general I found people to be friendly and welcoming. They were passionate about their home and keen to share their stories. This left me with a real feeling of warmth towards the island.

Dominica’s water is safe to drink

I always look up whether the water is safe to drink in advance and I’m SO relieved when it is. Dominica’s water is safe to drink, however some people don’t like the taste. Bottled water is available everywhere, and most restaurants will offer you the option of a proper bottle or a glass of water, which is usually filtered tap water.

Dominica is very different to Antigua

These two islands are just a 30 minute flight apart, but couldn’t be more different!

Antigua has 365 beaches (one for every day of the year) while Dominica has 365 rivers. Antigua is famed for its white sands, while Dominica’s beaches are silver and black. Antigua is relatively flat while Dominica is volcanic and mountainous. Antigua attracts families and couples wanting to relax, while Dominica attracts adventurers and nature lovers.

Rather than pick one or the other, I’d recommend a multi-stop holiday with four days in Antigua followed by four days in Dominica. You’ll get the best of both!

Trafalgar Falls, Dominica

I hope you’ve found my guide to Dominica travel tips helpful. If you have any questions, you can leave them in the comments below.

Don’t forget to check out my other Dominica travel blogs: Top Things To Do In Dominica Whale Watching In Dominica

I was invited to explore the island by Discover Dominica , but as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Enjoyed this post? Pin it for later…

Dominica Travel Tips - Read This Before Visiting

Chloe Gunning

With a passion for food, fun and adventure, Chloe is the content creator behind one of the UK's top travel blogs Wanderlust Chloe. From volcano boarding in Nicaragua, to sailing around Sicily and eating her way around Japan, her travels have taken her to some of the coolest spots on the planet. Named Travel Influencer of the Year in 2022, Chloe regularly works with a number of tourism boards, producing inspirational travel content across multiple platforms. Find out more about Chloe here.

2 thoughts on “17 Things To Know Before Visiting Dominica: Travel Tips For A Hassle Free Holiday”

hello! Thanks for the write up. Just started exploring hte idea of Dominica and knew nothing about it until now. Would love to be able to converse via email with you with questions i may have along the way.

Hi Collin – of course. Feel free to email me if you have any more Qs. I’d be happy to help!

Leave a comment Cancel reply

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I Traveled to Dominica During COVID-19 — Here’s What It Was Like

“The Nature Island” is taking safety seriously.

Editor's Note: Those who choose to travel are strongly encouraged to check local government restrictions, rules and safety measures related to COVID-19 and take personal comfort levels and health conditions into consideration before departure.

I've had my eye on Dominica for years. After living on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica and Belize, and traveling extensively through the islands, I've always wanted to visit. It's one of those destinations that rarely comes up in social circles or pops up on lists, which heightened its appeal. I find joy in uncovering beautiful places that few are flocking to. It tends to make the experience much more authentic and pushes you to journey deeper.

The unsung archipelago of Dominica is discreet by design, which I quickly learned when I visited the island back in February via its Safe in Nature program. The program requires travelers from "high risk countries," including the U.S., to stay at certified properties with extra health and safety protocols in place.

Those who know, know , and prefer to keep this Caribbean gem all to themselves. Those who've yet to encounter the country, beware. From the moment your jet begins to descend from the sky, endless green jungles ringed by tall, lush mountains linger in the distance, confirming you've arrived to "The Nature Island." Naturally, you exhale and long for what's to come — and what's to come is divine.

Getting there isn't easy but it's worth the trek

Dominica is situated in the Eastern Caribbean between Martinique and Guadeloupe, and under normal circumstances, island hopping via L'Express des Îles ferry services is encouraged across the island-chain (ferries are temporarily suspended due to COVID-19).

Unfortunately, there are no direct flights from the U.S. to Dominica, which is a minor setback for some but beneficial for those comfortable traveling right now as crowds are nonexistent. I departed from JFK on a 9 a.m. JetBlue flight, connected through San Juan, Puerto Rico, and as the sun was slowly fading west, I landed in Douglas-Charles Airport (DOM).

Double-masked and already in awe, I disembarked from my relatively empty flight and located my luggage on the tarmac. As the other passengers lined up to be escorted inside, I hung back and filled my lungs with fresh air. After nine hours of travel and years of postponement, I had to. I earned this moment.

COVID-19 protocols are next-level

From the United States, the island requires a negative PCR test 72 hours prior to travel plus the completion of a travel authorization form the day before departure ( similar to other Caribbean territories who are letting Americans in ). But what I appreciated particularly about Dominica's thorough process was the mandatory rapid testing that happens on site.

Before you're cleared to leave the airport, your finger is pricked and a blood sample is taken. The country tests for both the virus and antibodies and if either returns positive, you're transported to a certified government property to undergo mandatory quarantine. Admittedly, waiting feels impossible in the moment, but a sense of comfort is present in the process.

I felt safer in Dominica than I have in Brooklyn. Since the start of the pandemic, the island has had less than 200 confirmed COVID-19 cases and zero deaths. Obviously they're doing something right.

Eco-luxury accommodations are the way go

The drive from the airport to Soufrière, a fishing village on the island's southwest coast and my home base for seven days, is roughly an hour. Reserve a driver in advance through your hotel , after a full day of travel, you deserve to be chauffeured around.

After much deliberation about accommodations before my trip, I settled on Jungle Bay . The award-winning Eco-luxury resort is the national model for tourism in Dominica. Sam Rapahel, the property's developer and owner, purposefully built the 89-room resort — which features two infinity pools, multiple yoga studios, walking trails, and a banana farm — around preservation of the environment. But you don't have to be a wellness or nature aficionado to appreciate an immersive and rejuvenating experience there.

The spacious villas feature bamboo furnishings and hand-painted bedding by local artisans. Organic vegetables, seasonal fruit, and fresh fish are sourced daily and implemented into the restaurant's menu selections. The spa offers a variety of wellness treatments that blend ancient traditions with natural ingredients that, Dafrica, the spa's director, uses to customize products specifically for you. According to Rapahel, "tourism should be a tool to empower people and not simply a commodity for others to enjoy. It should benefit the natives and the environment, so there's a complete circle of life."

Safe In Nature activities

Dominica's Safe in Nature program offers a lengthy list of managed activities to explore during your time on the island. From the Galion Loop Hike, which ends with a dip in a natural hot spring, an afternoon snorkeling at Champagne Beach, or a scenic drive up north to Portsmouth to experience the Indian River Boat Tour, discover Dominica while it's still low-key.

Metanoya Z. Webb is a multi-hyphenate creative, former lifestyle director at Essence , and an avid traveling mom who has visited more than 50 countries. Find her on Instagram and on her website .

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Explore Dominica

From the bottom of Valley od Desolation

Plan Your Trip to Dominica: Best of Dominica Tourism

Essential dominica.

travel to dominica

Trending in the forums


Dominica Is Great For

Hiking tours.

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  • Sunset Bay Club's Lobster Palace
  • Le Petit Paradis
  • Islet View Restaurant and Bar
  • Rainbow Beach Bar Restaurant
  • Waitukubuli's Authentic Kitchen
  • Titou Gorge
  • Indian River
  • Screw's Sulphur Spa
  • Ti Kwen Glo Cho Hot Springs
  • Kalinago Territory
  • Pepper's Choice : Waterfalls, Sulphur Spa & Volcanic Black Sand Beach
  • PH Whale Watch & Dolphin Cruise in Dominica
  • Waitukubuli Dolphin and Whale Watch in Dominica
  • Boiling Lake Hike in Dominica
  • Champagne Reef, Bubble Beach and Scotts Head Snorkeling tour by boat in Dominica
  • I live here
  • On Business
  • On a Cruise

a virtual Dominica

Getting Here

All the ways to travel to Dominica

Getting to Dominica can take a little more effort than getting to your average destination, but it is well worth it! Here is the information you need to make planning your trip to Dominica a little easier.

Travel Requirements |  Airports  |  Ports  |  Airlines  |  Ferries |  Cruise Lines  |  Sailing  |  Travel Agents

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International Hubs

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Regional Hubs

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Island Air and Sea ports

Distances across the world from roseau, dominica (km), nairobi, kenya, beijing, china, sydney, australia, travel requirements.

Travelling to Dominica

What documents do you need to enter?

  • Valid Passport
  • Return Ticket
  • Local address where you will be staying
  • Visa information visit here

Plan on bringing pets? For more information  call the Ministry of Agriculture on 1  (767) 266-3271 or 1 (767) 266-3270.

How long can I stay?  This all depends on your country of origin. For more information visit the Government website here

Plan on getting married? If you have already made arrangements with a hotel, this should already be covered. But for more information go here

Departure Taxes  are as follows (updated May 2019):

  • Dominica Residents / CARICOM nationals:  EC$72.00 / US$26.00
  • Non-nationals / non-CARICOM Residents (e.g. US citizens):  EC$86.00 / US$31.00

For more information visit the Government website.

Visitors in 2014

  • North America 27.7% 27.7%
  • Caribbean 51.5% 51.5%
  • Europe 18% 18%

Stayover Visitors 2014

Cruise visitors 2014.

source: Invest Dominica  

Essential Tips

Tips & Important Info for your arrival in Dominica

Packing Tips

What should you bring with you?

Find a book about Dominica.

Douglas-Charles Airport (DOM), formerly Melville Hall

  • Douglas-Charles Airport is Dominica’s main airport for commercial flights
  • Has a 5,761 ft long runway
  • Located in the north-east
  • Approximately 38 miles / 60 minutes from Roseau
  • Douglas-Charles Airport Tel. 1 (767) 455-7107.


Canefield Airport

  • Mainly used for chartered and courier flights
  • Has a runway of 3,130 ft
  • Located on the west coast
  • Approximately 15 minutes / 3  miles from Roseau

travel to dominica

Looking over the community of Canefield and Canefield Airport

Flying Tip!

To get the best view of the island as you fly in to Dominica:

  • Flying north into Douglas-Charles (Melville Hall),  from for example  Barbados ,  sit on the left side of the aircraft; flying south, from for example  Antigua,  sit on the left  side of the aircraft, although either side can offer a great view at landing with the new flight patterns.
  • Flying north into Canefield Airport ( from Barbados) , sit on the right of the aircraft. Flying south ( from Antigua)  sit on the left .

This tip will give you superb views of the island!

Harbors & Ports of Entry

We have 3 Ports of entry with various berths:  Roseau (3) , Portsmouth (2) and Anse de Mai (1) .

Roseau Area

  • Roseau Cruise ship berth:  263 ft / 80 m berth located in Roseau along the Roseau Bayfront (Dame Eugenia Blvd.)
  • Roseau Ferry Terminal:  160 ft / 49 m berth located within walking distance of the Roseau Cruise Ship Berth along the Roseau Bayfront. Mainly used by Ferries and boats going on day cruises, whale watching trips and excursions.
  • Woodbridge Bay Deepwater Harbor:  800 ft / 244 m berth, the largest of the ports, it is located just outside of Roseau in Fond Cole.

Portsmouth Area

  • Cabrits Cruise ship berth:  300 ft / 91 m berth located at the base of Cabrits National Park in Prince Rupert’s Bay, Portsmouth.
  • Longhouse, Picard:  Jetty located in the industrial part of Picard along Prince Rupert’s Bay.
  • Anse de mai Port:  Small village Port with a small jetty used mainly by fishing boats traveling across the channel to Guadeloupe, the Saintes and Marigalante.
  • Marigot Fisheries

travel to dominica

There are three main berths on island – The Roseau Cruise ship Berth , Woodbridge Bay Deep Water Harbour  on the outskirts of Roseau and Cabrits Cruise ship berth in Portsmouth.

Find out more about  what to do in Dominica in a day, the  Cruise Ship Schedule  and other useful Cruise information –  here .

Sailing & Yachting

There are three main ports of entry into Dominica.

Roseau – the Capital located on the west coast (Caribbean sea)

Portsmouth – located on the Northwest coast (Caribbean sea)

Anse de Mai – Located on the Northeast coast (Atlantic Ocean)

All yachts and sailboats must check in at one of the points on arrival. For more information visit the Customs and Excise Division Website here  and Portsmouth Association of Yacht Security (PAYS) here , or for more information about Docking, Yacht clubs and general sailing to and around Dominica visit  Dominica Ports here .

Yoga in Dominica

Yoga in Dominica

December 29, 2016

Freediving in Dominica

Freediving in Dominica

November 28, 2016

Dominica in a Day

Dominica in a Day

December 1, 2015

Getting Married

Getting Married

October 2, 2015

Events & Festivals

Events & Festivals

August 25, 2015


May 5, 2015

Waitukubuli National Trail

Waitukubuli National Trail

March 24, 2015

Sea Turtle Watching

Sea Turtle Watching

February 11, 2015

Whale & Dolphin Watching

Whale & Dolphin Watching

February 10, 2015

Canyoning & Water Adventure

Canyoning & Water Adventure

Hot Pools, Spas & Springs

Hot Pools, Spas & Springs


Scuba Dive & Snorkel

Local travel agents & information, atlantique view resort & spa, bayport residence inn, big banana campground, caribbean sea view apartments.

Caribbean Sea View Apartments

Fort Shirley Venue and Rooms

Fort Shirley Venue and Rooms

Narakiels Inn

Narakiels Inn

Pointe Dubique Bed & Breakfast

Pointe Dubique Bed & Breakfast

3 Rivers Eco Lodge & Camp site

Barbwire bar & bungalows, birdwatchers rainforest cottage, brandy manor guest house and campground, brian’s apartment, calibishie gardens, camping zion view, castille paradise, chez la doudou guest house, classique international guest house, d smart farm, dominica’s sea view apartments, dominique’s hideaway, douglas guest house, fingers photo & videography, firefly cottage, freshwater lake kayaking, harmony gardens herbal farm, hibiscus house, hibiscus valley tours, hodge’s view cottage, island bay boutique hotel, jacko cottage, jireh celestial apartment, l&o guest house, le petit paradis, lima ridge cottages, ma bass central guest house, mamies sulphur spring and guest house, mango garden cottages, my local secret guesthouse, natty tropical valley cottages, natural vibes dominica, pepper’s studio apartments – self catered apartments, pineapple crossing guest house, rachelle’s retreat, rejens hotel, roxy’s mountain lodge, sandbar village room, sea world guest house, serenity lodges dominica, sisters sea lodge, st james guest house, st. aimie’s guesthouse apartments, the sacred place & wellness spa retreat, the secret garden, the tamarind tree hotel, tia’s bamboo cottages & hot springs, tipawadi guest house, veranda view guest house, wind blow estate, zen gardens riverfront cottages, zion valley bed and breakfast (moses james), for more travel and access information, contact:.

Dominica Air and Sea Port Authority

Customs and Excise Division

Portsmouth Association of Yacht Security

Getting to Dominica

Travel to dominica by plane.

There are no direct flights from North America or Europe so you have to switch planes on one of the other Caribbean islands. Airlines serving Dominica are Leeward Islands Air Transport (LIAT) and American Eagle.

Destinations are mostly within the Caribbean region, with hubs at Antigua and Barbados for example, although Dominica also has flights from the neighbouring islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique which is your best bet when flying from Europe.

Traveling to Dominica by Boat?

Dominica – Guadeloupe L’Express des Iles operates 3 weekly services between the islands of Dominica and Guadeloupe. They leave Roseau, the capital of Dominica on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 3pm (Sat. 1pm) and take about 2.5 hours. In the opposite direction, they leave the capital Point-a-Pitre in Guadeloupe at Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays at 8am (Sundays 10am) and take under 2 hours. Brudey Freres (french only) has services as well between the two islands on Mondays only (one in low season, two in high season).

Dominica – Martinique

L’Express des Iles has 3 weekly services between Dominica and Martinique at 10.15am Wednesdays and Fridays and 12.15pm on Sundays, travelling between the capitals Roseau and Fort-de-France. From Martinique they leave on Mondays at 1pm and Saturdays at 11.30 am. It takes about 1,5 hours in both directions. Brudey Freres (french only) has services as well between the two islands.

Dominica   Travel Guide

Courtesy of htomas/Getty Images

travel to dominica

9 Best Things To Do in Dominica

Updated February 12, 2021

Dominica is an eco-traveler's paradise, thanks a relatively unspoiled, lush landscape. But to the surprise of many first-time visitors, this island has relatively few beaches . Scuba diving and snorkeling are still popular activities off of the rocky

  • All Things To Do

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Trafalgar Falls Trafalgar Falls

Located on the west side of Morne Trois Pitons National Park (around 6 miles from Roseau), the jaw-dropping Trafalgar Falls are two of the most-visited sights on the island. In addition to being incredibly impressive, they're also easily accessible for the most amateur hikers and adventure seekers. The upper waterfall (colloquially referred to as "Father") cascades dramatically from the Trois Pitons River, across the Titou Gorge and empties into hot sulfur springs, while the lower waterfall ("Mother") flows gently from the river into a natural swimming pool.

The park has standard facilities, including bathrooms and a parking lot. Sometimes, young locals loiter around the park entrance or at the base of the falls, offering to assist you on your tour of the area. Keep in mind that taking them up on their offer will cost you more than the meager entrance fee to the park, and in the case of the Trafalgar Falls, is probably not necessary. The trek to the waterfalls is only a short walk. If you do decide to purchase a guided tour, be sure to remember to negotiate a fee for the tour before agreeing to one.

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Boiling Lake Boiling Lake

It sounds amazing, and it is. The Boiling Lake is a fumarole, or an opening in the Earth's crust that releases steam and gas, and it's flooded with hot bubbling water that rises into a cloud of vapor. The site is approximately 200 feet wide, it's located in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park, and it's a must-see attraction.

The downside is that this broiling body of water can only be reached after a fairly grueling, humid and muddy trek that will take anywhere from three to six hours to complete. And that's only one-way. Experts and recent travelers agree that you shouldn't attempt this trip by yourself. The most common starting point is in the town of Laudat, where it should be fairly easy to find a local guide (just ask around town) who knows the way and is willing to take you to the spot. Keep in mind that this is an intensive and lengthy hike, so you should expect to pay at least EC$135 (around $50) one-way, per person for the experience. That doesn't include the admission cost into the Morne Trois Pitons National Park.

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Papillote Tropical Gardens Papillote Tropical Gardens

If you traveled to Dominica in hopes of catching a glimpse of rare plants or wildlife, look no further than the Papillote Tropical Gardens. Spread across 14 acres, the gardens are located just before the trailhead to Trafalgar Falls , making them an easy stop on the way to or from this popular attraction.

After arriving, guests have the option of meandering the garden themselves or taking a guided tour. Past visitors insisted the best way to experience the gardens is by eating an outdoor lunch at the nearby restaurant before embarking on the guided tour. If you have extra time, take a dip in the hot pools that punctuate the property.

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Dominica Beaches Dominica Beaches free

Though Dominica is known as a hiker's paradise, it's also home to a handful of must-see beaches. While the coastline is often rocky, Dominica makes up for this by having unique black sand beaches.

Mero Beach is probably the island's most popular spot, thanks to its fine, black sand. Conveniently located near the capital of Roseau, Mero Beach draws both tourists and locals hoping to bask in the sun. If you visit, you'll want to bring sandals – recent tourists warned that the black sand makes the beach exceptionally hot. 

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Scuba Diving/Snorkeling Scuba Diving/Snorkeling

If Dominica calls out to eco-tourists around the world, then it practically screams for scuba divers and snorkeling enthusiasts. Volcanic activity, clear water and relatively few tourists make Dominica's coast particularly ideal for underwater expeditioners.

Champagne Reef, located on Dominica's southwestern coast, is the island's most popular spot for underwater exploration. Snorkelers and divers have reported seeing everything from seahorses to squid to dolphins at this particularly active spot. Even on a slow day, visitors can explore the old shipwreck, which is only 25 feet underwater. Past visitors claimed that it's best to explore the area early in the day and when cruise ships aren't docked to avoid potential crowds.

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Fort Shirley Fort Shirley

The Cabrits National Park shelters a few swamps, coral reefs and wetlands near the town of Portsmouth. The park is best known as the site of Fort Shirley though, an 18th-century stronghold with spectacular views down to the Prince Rupert Bay and the remains of a volcanic crater on Dominica's northwest coast. Fort Shirley also holds the distinction of being a UNESCO World Heritage site for its unique history, which includes a mutiny of African slave soldiers. Recent visitors said that Fort Shirley has signs explaining its history, but they still recommend talking with one of the on-site guides who are around the site (although they are sometimes difficult to find, according to visitors).

Most people who visit Dominica do so for the intensive adventure activities, but if you need a down day or have a history enthusiast in your group, consider taking a trip to the site. The park and namely, Fort Shirley, have been undergoing restorations for the past couple years. For a minimal cost of around EC$14 ($5) you can tour the improved grounds and enjoy the scenery. Keep in mind: Fort Shirley is 30 miles north of Roseau, so the taxi ride there can be a bit expensive.

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Emerald Pool Nature Trail Emerald Pool Nature Trail

According to recent visitors, the 15-minute long Emerald Pool Nature Trail in Morne Trois Pitons National Park is perfect for amateur hikers. The trail consists of a slightly rocky downhill trek to a clearing, waterfall and an extraordinarily chilly swimming area. Emerald Pool's easy access increases its popularity (the path is also somewhat narrow), so recent visitors suggest scheduling an early morning visit.

Visiting Emerald Pool costs around EC$14 (or approximately $5) per person. Travelers can also purchase a week pass to gain access to all of Dominica's national park sites for around EC$33 (about $12) per person. The trailhead is around 14 miles northwest of Roseau. The best way to access the trailhead is to hire a taxi, but the trail is short enough that hiring a guide is unnecessary, according to past visitors.

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Carib Cultural Village by the Sea (Kalinago Barana Aute) Carib Cultural Village by the Sea (Kalinago Barana Aute)

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Find cheap flights to Dominica from $304

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Top tips for finding cheap flights to dominica.

  • Looking for cheap airfare to Dominica? 25% of our users found tickets to Dominica for the following prices or less: From Miami $536 one-way - $642 round-trip
  • Book at least 1 week before departure in order to get a below-average price.
  • High season is considered to be January, November and December. The cheapest month to fly from the United States is October.
  • Enter your preferred departure airport and travel dates into the search form above to unlock the latest Dominica flight deals.
  • The most popular flight routes to Dominica include Miami, Bridgetown, Saint Lucia and Port-au-Prince. If you want to take advantage of direct flights, then Miami is your best bet. If you'd rather save on travel costs and make a stop in another location along the way, then perhaps Bridgetown or Saint Lucia would be better suited for your needs.
  • If you are looking to fly into North Dominica, the most common airport is the Douglas-Charles Airport (DOM). The airport has a great view of the city and is close to many attractions including the Botanical Gardens and St. Joseph's Cathedral.
  • If you are coming from the southeast of the US, you will most likely fly from one of two airports: Orlando International Airport or Tampa International Airport. Both airports offer one-stop flights to Dominica aboard JetBlue or American Airlines.
  • Getting to Dominica is as simple as hopping on a plane and flying to the island's capital, Roseau. You can fly direct from Houston with American Airlines including to transfers; one at Miami and another at San Juan then to Dominica.
  • If you are traveling from the northwest of the United States, one way to get to Dominica is by flying on United Airlines including transfers from the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
  • If you are traveling to Dominica, there are multiple airports in Dallas that offer flights to the island. The closest airport is Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). You can catch a one-stop flight from DFW to Dominica's Canefield Airport (DOM) with Delta or American Airlines.
  • If you're headed to Dominica to explore the Boiling Lake, you can fly from the JFK international airport to Pointe-à-Pitre International Airport (PGF) to get to your destination.

FAQs - booking Dominica flights

What are some of the child seat laws i need to know about if am renting a car in dominica.

When you're renting a car, you'll need to make sure that your kids are riding in the right type of seat. If your kid is under 6 years old, they should be riding in an infant seat facing forward. This is because they aren't yet tall enough to sit properly in a regular seat belt and could get hurt if they were to get thrown around while the car is moving. If your kid is between 6 and 12 years old, they should be riding in a booster seat. A booster seat helps raise the child up so that the seat belt can properly fit around them. Violation of these laws will result in a fine.

Where should I fly to in Dominica?

U.S. citizens must have a valid U.S. passport to enter Dominica, which is good for up to 6 months after arrival in the country. If you’re from Haiti you need a visa to enter the country. If you’re planning on staying in Dominica for 180 days, you don’t need a visa as long as you have a confirmed return ticket and proof of sufficient funds to cover your stay in the country. If you do not have one of these documents, you may be denied entry into Dominica at the airport or border crossing point.

Are there any airports in the United States that offer direct flights to Dominica?

There are no direct flights from the United States to Dominica. The only city that offers direct flights is Miami, with American Airlines flying from Miami International Airport (MIA). The flight takes 3 h and 25 min.

How do I travel to Portsmouth?

There are two airports that fly to Portsmouth: the Canefield Airport, located on the south end of the island, and the Melville Hall Airport, which is located on the north end of the island. Both airports are small and don't have many flights coming in or out each day. Most visitors will want to fly into Canefield Airport if they're going directly from another country to Portsmouth; however, if you're coming from another part of Dominica or St. Lucia, you may be able to fly into Melville Hall instead. If you choose to fly into Canefield Airport, there are several airlines that offer flights including Caribbean Airlines and Air Antilles.

If I want to visit the Morne Trois Pitons National Park in Dominica, how do I get there from the United States?

If you want to visit the Morne Trois Pitons National Park in Dominica, there are a few options for flights. If you want to fly nonstop, there are flights from New York City, Miami and Philadelphia that will get you there in about 6 hours. Or if you're looking to save some money on your ticket, you can fly into Antigua and then take a 1-hour flight to Dominica. The major airlines that offer service to Dominica include Air Canada, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, Spirit Airlines and United Airlines.

Which Dominican airport is closest to Berekua?

If you're looking for the closest Dominican airport to your destination, Melville Hall Airport (DOM) is the place to go. It's located just 20 miles from Berekua and can be reached by taxi or car in about half an hour. It offers commercial flights and connections to several destinations throughout the country.

How long is the flight to Dominica?

An average nonstop flight from the United States to Dominica takes 19h 13m, covering a distance of 2289 miles. The most popular route is New York - Roseau with an average flight time of 7h 55m.

What is the cheapest flight to Dominica?

The cheapest ticket to Dominica from the United States found in the last 72 hours was $536 one-way, and $483 round-trip. The most popular route is New York John F Kennedy Intl to Roseau Douglas–Charles and the cheapest round-trip airline ticket found on this route in the last 72 hours was $695.

Which airlines fly to Dominica?

American Airlines flies the most frequently from the United States to Dominica.

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KAYAK’s flight Price Forecast tool uses historical data to determine whether the price for a given destination and date is likely to change within 7 days, so travelers know whether to wait or book now.

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The 8 best things to do on Dominica

Nasha Smith

Oct 12, 2022 • 7 min read

CP7J5A A female walker negotiates the slippery rocky coastal section of Segment 13 of the Waitukubuli National Trail in Dominica

A walker negotiating a rocky coastal section of the Waitukubuli National Trail © Alamy Stock Photo

The Commonwealth of Dominica is a paradox. The island nation, which forms part of the Lesser Antilles in the Eastern Caribbean Sea, is an unhurried respite for those looking to disconnect from life's chaos.

But the mountainous terrain of deep gorges, riotous verdant foliage, endless trails and bountiful rivers also make it an adventurer's playground . 

Don't expect a large swath of sprawling luxury beach resorts and bone-white sand beaches. Dominica's secret sauce lies in its untouched, raw qualities, earning the island its moniker “the nature isle.” To help you plan your getaway, here's our guide to the best things to do in Dominica . 

Central America, Caribbean, Lesser Antilles, Dominica island, Salybia, Caribbean, Carib Territory, Kalinago Barana Aut? (the Caribbean village by the sea), a large village of Kalinagos Indians, dedicated to the development and sharing of their traditional

1. Immerse yourself in the Kalinago culture  

The Kalinagos are the descendants of the pre-Columbus indigenous people of the Lesser Antilles who lived solely on what nature provided. 

There are approximately 3000 Kalinagos who live on the 3,700 acres of communally held land reserved for the tribe on the eastern side of Dominica. The tribe is led by a six-member council and a chief. 

Immerse yourself in the enduring history, rituals and customs of the island's first inhabitants thanks to a collection of tours committed to creating authentic connections to the Kalinago culture. 

These tours also generate income for members of the community. The experiences range from half-day excursions to home stays with a family on the reserve in traditional housing or ajoupas  made from wood and leaves. 

Local Tip: Try the roasted crayfish with coconut milk served on a warmed balisier (heliconia) leaf and sip on ouicou juice extracted from grated cassava.

Dominica, Boiling Lake Hike

2. Visit Boiling Lake

Dominica's Boiling Lake is a well-trodden landmark but worth the fanfare. The journey to the flooded fumarole starts in Laudat, a small village tucked away in the island's interior. 

Depending on your hiking skill level, it will take about two to four fours before you ultimately descend upon the world's second-largest boiling lake (at 200ft wide). 

The trail is deceptively manageable, but a guide is highly advised to help navigate the occasionally rocky and muddy terrain and paper-thin ridge. 

The lake is a bubbling hot cauldron of slate grey liquid, shrouded in vapor. As is typical of any arduous, extended journey, you'll be pleased to know that the return trip seems much quicker. 

Planning Tip: Refill your water bottle at the Breakfast river, which is the only fresh water available after the hike begins. 

Caribbean, Dominica Island, hikers on segment 13 of the Waitukubuli National Trail in the north of the island between Pennville and Capuchin

3. Hike parts of the Waitukubuli National Trail

Did you really visit Dominica if you didn't hike a portion of the Waitukubuli National Trail (WNT)? The iconic trek is 114 miles, spanning the island's length from the northernmost Scott's Head and snaking through the dramatic mountainous landscape and dense rainforest to Cabrits National Park . 

WNT is the only long-distance hiking trail in the Caribbean . Each of the trail's 14 segments presents its unique challenges so if you're not up for the entire route, pick one or more sections to explore. 

The difficulty level of the trail's segments varies from easy, family-friendly fun to a more strenuous expedition. Hiking the trail is a serious time commitment — the entire route takes two weeks to complete.

But it's the ultimate scenic excursion, meandering through waterfalls, rivers, Kalinago villages, Maroon passages and multiple other historical and natural sites.

It’s always best to hire a guide or join a hiking group. 

Planning Tip: With 365 rivers woven throughout the island, running into one during a hike is inevitable. Proceed cautiously — you may encounter slippery rocks or flash flooding from heavy rainfall. 

Volcanic Air Bubbles at Champagne Beach, Caribbean Sea, Dominica

4. Dive into the effervescent Champagne Reef

Diving into Champagne Reef mirrors the sensation of swimming in an oversized glass of the bubbly drink thanks to the volcanic gas bubbling up from the seabed. The golden hue of the actual reef completes the illusion. 

Snorkeling enthusiasts will also be enamored with the burst of color reflecting from the horde of sea creatures — including trumpet fish, parrotfish, frogfish, octopus, rays, batfish, hawksbill turtles and seahorses.

The vibrance of the pink azure, red rope, yellow tube, and purple vase sponges adds to the kaleidoscopic effect. 

Planning Tip: Large pebbles dot the Champagne Reef beachfront, so don't expect to lay out on the sand. But do enjoy the local rums, Dominican cuisine and intel on the best snorkeling spots at Donny's Beach Bar . 

Sulphur Springs at Trafalgar Falls, Morne Trois Pitons national Park, Dominica, Caribbean.

5. Spend a day at Trafalgar Falls

Dominica's twin falls are a mere 20-minute drive from the capital Roseau , to the west of the Morne Trois Pitons National Park . 

A brief 10 to 15-minute walk through the rainforest leads to a viewing platform where you can embrace the majesty of the falls. Locally known as "Papa" (to the left) and "Mama" (to the right); each has its distinct features. 

Papa towers over the surroundings at 125ft while Mama is a diminutive 75ft but with a more forceful gush of water. Consider a dip in the warm pools at the base of the falls. 

A guide is necessary if you intend to hike the falls. Be extremely careful because slippery boulders can make for a treacherous and challenging climb. Head out as early as possible for optimal lighting.

Local Tip: Wildlife and rare plant lovers should consider a pit stop at Papillote Tropical Gardens, just before the trailhead. 

6. Lounge on Pointe Baptiste beach 

Much has been made of Dominica's tour de force of 365 rivers. But for an aquatic getaway, Pointe Baptiste beach is a worthy contender. Drive to the village of Calibishie on the island's northeast coast to this secluded haven that offers an opportunity to unwind in peace. 

The water is shallow, warm and tranquil, which makes it ideal for kids. However, couples still have enough privacy thanks to the surrounding stones and Red Rocks. This natural auburn rock formation hugs the northeastern coastline and overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. 

Local Tip: Explore the sweeter side of Dominica at the nearby Pointe Baptiste Estate Chocolate Factory . The small family operation takes visitors through a tour of the process that transforms cacao beans into flavorful chocolate bars. 

Emerald Pool

7. Experience the Emerald Pool  

Dominica is carpeted in shades of green, from the dense forests to the luminescent and appropriately named Emerald Pool . A gush of fresh water from a 40ft waterfall feeds the ethereal grotto. Its greenish tint reflects the foliage, vines and moss-covered rocks that envelop the area, allowing sunlight to filter through. 

The road to Emerald Pool starts in Pont Cassé, a small centrally located village and continues inside the Morne Trois Piton National Park. It's easily accessible. 

Hop a local minibus and let the driver know where you’re going. There's also plenty of parking if you decide to drive yourself.

Two viewing platforms provide a magical vantage point, but if you prefer to swim, bathrooms and changing rooms are also available at the visitors center. You might recognize the oasis as one of the stunning backdrops in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. 

The water is chilly, even on the hottest days. The water is also not very deep, so don't jump off the higher rocks or dive in.

Local Tip: Venture about 15 minutes away to nearby Castle Bruce and enjoy a sumptuous meal and drinks from the Islet View Restaurant & Bar overlooking the bay. 

8. Explore the streets of Roseau 

Roseau is a small, compact southwestern city surrounded by Morne Bruce, the Caribbean Sea, and the Roseau River. Get to know the quaint capital with a walking tour of the significant sites.

Start with the Old Market , which was once a bustling trading post in colonial times. Now it has been reimagined into a craft hub where vendors ply handmade soaps, oils, accessories and fragrant spices. The Dominica Museum shares the seafront, with historical and cultural artifacts curated by the island's foremost historian Lennox Honychurch. 

The once thriving Dominica Botanical Gardens suffered extensive damage at the hands of Hurricane David in 1979 but still boasts 40 acres featuring 50 types of plant life. Make the hike up Morne Bruce to soak in the stunning panoramic views of the city and cool down later at one of the local haunts with the hometown beer Kubuli. 

Planning Tip: Consider purchasing a budget-friendly special tourist site pass. A weeklong pass with multiple visits to all sites within the national park system and several other nature landmarks costs USD$12. 

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Best things to do in Dominica

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Destination Expert

Sunday July 3 2022, 07:47am

All too often confused with the Dominican Republic, and more noted for its mountains, rainforests and waterfalls than it is for luxury resorts, white sand beaches and turquoise seas, Dominica has always been an off-the-beaten path, hard-to-reach Caribbean island. Yet this “last bastion” status is what makes it ever more appealing in a world that feels so trampled over and discovered. For 5,000 years, Dominica’s rugged landscape and densely forested interior provided opportunity and sanctuary for the region’s indigenous Amerindian people, as they also did for the countless enslaved Africans who escaped colonial plantations on this and neighbouring islands. Now these wild places offer opportunities for intrepid travellers to explore unspoilt natural habitats and attractions that range from volcanic peak to abyssal ocean.

Main photo: Big waves in Dominica (Getty Images)

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Best things to do in Dominica

1. Hike to the Boiling Lake

Dominica ’s signature hiking adventure, the Boiling Lake Trail, tops the must-do lists of most outdoor lovers. This full-day, there-and-back hike is located in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park — a Unesco world heritage site — and takes in lush rainforest, a mountain top, and the otherworldly Valley of Desolation, an active volcanic caldera alive with steaming fumaroles, bubbling mud and hot water streams. Journey’s end is a large, flooded crater, superheated from below and in a constant state of vigorous rolling boil. Look out for the warm-water pools and cascades en route where a quick soak provides a helpful muscle massage on the return journey.

The twin Trafalgar Falls in Dominica

2. Admire the Trafalgar Falls

Best enjoyed when no cruise ships are in port, the easily accessible and photogenic Trafalgar Falls are one of Dominica’s most visited natural attractions. Framed by steep cliffs and forest, the twin waterfalls — known affectionately as “mother” and “father” — can be viewed from a platform at the end of a short and easy walk. The adventurous may choose to do some bouldering, scrambling up rocks and over cascades to reach the waterfall pools. The “father” has the best pool and is easier to reach. Just below it, hot springs join the main river to create a cascading hot and cold shower.

A traditional handicraft shop in the Kalinago Territory in Dominica

3. Explore the Kalinago Territory

Dominica’s Kalinago people (previously known as “Caribs”) were here when Columbus turned up in 1492. About 2,500 of their descendants live and work in the semi-autonomous Kalinago Territory on the island’s rugged east coast. A day trip through the territory is a chance to experience Kalinago culture and tradition — baskets are woven from river reeds, canoes are fashioned from the trunks of huge gommier trees and cassava bread is baked on open fires and hot plates. The Kalinago Barana Auté in the hamlet of Crayfish River is a demonstration village with thatched karbet and ajoupa structures as well as the charming Isulukati waterfall. Often sold by the roadside, kanki, a traditional dish made from sweetened and spiced cassava, cooked in a banana leaf, is something you should try.

The Waitukubuli National Trail - things to do in Dominica

4. Trek the Waitukubuli National Trail

The 14-segment, 200km Waitukubuli National Trail (WNT) is unique among the Caribbean islands. Beginning in the south at the Cachacrou isthmus and finishing in the north, at the Cabrits National Park, this extremely challenging trail meanders through rainforest, villages and farmlands; it climbs mountains, crosses rivers and meets waterfalls. WNT Segment 8 is considered by most to be Dominica’s toughest day-hike, traversing the island from east to west, passing through the remote primary rainforest of the Northern Forest Reserve. Pack a hammock; it’s quicker and easier than a tent, especially when darkness falls like a thick quilt and the night-time chorus of tree frogs and crickets begins.

Scuba diving in Dominica

5. Scuba dive in the Soufriere Scotts Head Marine Reserve

The mountains and forest of Dominica’s interior are mirrored in the abyssal drop-offs and animated coral reefs of Dominica’s coastal waters. Scuba diving is offered by a number of operators along the sheltered west coast, most of it from a boat, although none of the dive sites is far from shore. A combination of wall and pinnacle diving offers a chance to see a wide range of reef fish, turtles, hard and soft corals, and giant barrel sponges. So far, the cool, deep waters have protected Dominica’s coral reefs from the kind of bleaching episodes experienced elsewhere and the formations are as healthy as they are dramatic. Most divers head for the protected Soufriere Scotts Head Marine Reserve where sites such as Swiss Cheese and Cachacrou are a draw for photographers.

Relax in volcanically heated spa in Dominica

6. Relax in volcanically heated spa

At the head of the Roseau Valley, and just a short drive from the capital, is the sleepy hamlet of Wotten Waven. Entrepreneurial villagers have creatively fashioned attractive spas from the valley’s numerous hot springs, rivers and streams. Many are set in colourful gardens and have a number of pools, their temperatures cleverly regulated by combining hot and cold water through a network of pipes and bamboo channels. The pools are rich in sulphur and have the colour and aroma to match. A soak is best at night-time when you can enjoy the sounds of the forest, the clear, star-filled skies and perhaps a rum punch or two.

Cabrits National Park, Fort Shirley

7. Explore the Cabrits National Park

The twin-peaked Cabrits National Park occupies a scenic peninsula between two large bays in the northwest of Dominica. Anyone interested in history will enjoy the restored Fort Shirley and the vine-covered garrison ruins that emerge ethereally along a network of easy and interesting forest trails. These trails end at former battery locations where defensive canons still sit and where coastal and mountain views are sublime. Although it was never used in direct action in the territorial battles between Britain and France, the garrison was involved in a rebellion by the Black West India Regiment in 1802 and the Battle of the Saintes in 1782. Fort Shirley is a good spot for a family picnic; the Indian River and good beaches are also nearby.

Indian River in Dominica

8. Take a boat ride along the Indian River

For fans of the Pirates of the Caribbean films, a sedate boat ride along the Indian River is a must, for this is where the jungle hideaway of Tia Dalma (Calypso) can still be found. The mangrove-lined river is also a draw for bird watchers and nature lovers. Colourful wooden rowboats with knowledgeable guides carry up to eight passengers sedately along a one-mile stretch. Wildlife is in abundance — shoals of large mountain mullet, a variety of water birds, and Dominica’s native iguanas can all be seen here. Late afternoon is a nice time to go, especially if cruise ships are visiting. Try a dynamite punch at the Indian River Bar.

A sperm whale off the west coast of Dominica

9. Go looking for whales and dolphins

Dominica is noted for a sperm whale population that stays in the island’s deep coastal waters all year round so the chances of sighting them on a whale-watching trip are always high. Experienced crews know the drill and can usually track them down quickly. Most people are happy to see whales from a boat, although in-water snorkelling and photographic experiences are also possible — at a price and only under special licence. Half-day excursions often encounter large pods of bottlenose and spinner dolphins as well as other whale species such as humpbacks and false killers. Bring sunscreen.

Canyoning from Titou Gorge to Trafalgar Falls

10. Try canyoning

Countless rivers flow down from Dominica’s mountainous interior, many of them through deep, narrow canyons. One such canyon connects Titou Gorge to Trafalgar Falls and is where expert operators run canyoning trips. No experience is necessary, but you do have to be comfortable with heights and in water. Family groups are welcome. Rappelling gear is provided and demonstrated and fairly simple to operate. A bit of time on the practice wall engenders the confidence you need. The most popular canyoning route — deemed suitable for beginners — involves rappelling down numerous waterfalls and leaping into deep river pools before coming to an end in the exquisite Cathedral Canyon. Take surf shoes or a pair of old trainers.

11. Snorkel on Champagne Reef

Submerged active fumaroles emit curtains of bubbles on Champagne Reef, making it one of Dominica’s most popular snorkelling sites. The flat reef formation extends out from the shoreline and ends with a drop-off where it’s common to see hawksbill turtles swimming by. The fumaroles are in the shallows. Although the vents are hot, the bubbles quickly cool and fill your field of vision as you swim through. There’s lots of life on the reef — parrotfish, sergeant majors and blue tangs are abundant. There are lots of hard and soft corals, tube and barrel sponges, sea fans and whips. If you take a guided snorkelling tour, ask to see the hard-to-spot shipwreck remains.

Eat at Moses James's "Rastarant" in the Zion Valley

12. River hike to Victoria Falls

Dominica has lots of waterfall trails — Middleham Falls and Sari-Sari Falls should be on your hiking list — but Victoria Falls in the southeastern corner of the island is extra special. The trail head is in Zion Valley near the farming village of Delices and the beginning of a relatively short, although occasionally challenging upriver journey. Wade across the White River several times, swim through pools, and negotiate cascades and steep riverbank until you reach this magnificent waterfall. Afterwards, call in at Moses James’s Zion Valley “Rastarant” for some Rastafarian cuisine. In the late 1970s and 1980s, under Dominica’s notorious, although short-lived Dread Act, it was legal for the police to shoot and kill anyone wearing dreadlocks. Imagine that. Moses was shot four times and has some interesting stories to share.

The Valley of Desolation at Morne Trois Pitons National Park

13. Swim up the Titou Gorge

Meaning “small mouth” in Dominica’s second language, French Creole, or patois, Titou Gorge is a narrow river canyon on the margins of the Morne Trois Pitons National Park, near the village of Laudat. The gorge is a short, accessible section of a much longer river canyon that extends all the way to Trafalgar Falls at the head of the Roseau Valley. The water within is deep, clear and cold, and its walls, ground smooth by water over thousands of years, are dramatic and beautiful. A short, eerie swim through the gorge, illuminated only by shafts of sunlight from above, ends at one of its many waterfalls.

The Emerald Pool at the Morne Trois Pitons National Park

14. Bathe in the Emerald Pool

The Emerald Pool is one of Dominica’s most photographed and visited natural attractions. Located within the Morne Trois Pitons National Park in the heart of Dominica, this waterfall and pool are reached by a short and well-maintained forest track from an informative visitor centre. In an idyllic rainforest and river setting, and very accessible, the Emerald Pool can often get crowded, especially on cruise-ship days. Plan for a late afternoon visit when it’s usually much quieter. There are several other equally reachable waterfalls in the area — Soltoun, Spanny and Jacko, for example — so it’s a nice idea to visit them all on the same day.

15. Learn Creole cooking

Dominica’s Creole heritage was born out of colonialism and enslavement and combines traditions of South America, Africa and Europe. It manifests itself in traditional costume, language, music, dance and cuisine. Creole food can be enjoyed at establishments all around the island throughout the year and for those with a particular interest it’s also possible, as well as good fun, to sign up for an informal cooking class. Usually at the chef’s home, small groups learn about local ingredients and how to prepare popular Creole dishes such as callaloo, sancoche and crabback. After the hard work is done, sit out in the garden and enjoy what you cooked.

16. Walk around tropical gardens

In 1892, Joseph Jones began a lifelong work developing Roseau’s Botanic Gardens with the assistance of botanists from Kew Gardens in England. He created an attractive oasis of exotic trees and flowering shrubs with ornately decorated wrought-iron gates, ponds, a cricket ground and a small pavilion. Time and hurricanes have impacted the Botanic Gardens, but they are still a lovely and peaceful place to visit. A climb up the short but steep Jack’s Walk track leads to the top of Morne Bruce from where there are great views of the capital. A couple of private gardens are also worth visiting: Papillote Gardens in the shadow of Trafalgar Falls and Paradise Valley in the northern hamlet of Bornes.

17. Go fishing

If you fancy some fish for dinner, you could head for a waterside restaurant, buy it at the roadside — listen for the sound of someone blowing a conch shell — or try to catch it yourself. Inshore bottom fishing with a local fisherman is a lot more fun than it sounds. Expect to catch snapper, jacks and kingfish. Your hotel should be able to recommend a fisherman and organise an outing. Alternatively, strap yourself into a fighting chair and take a half-day sport fishing trip. Mahi mahi, dorado, marlin and tuna are all frequently caught in Dominica’s waters. Fishing trips are along the more sheltered west coast. If you are going with a local fisherman, be sure to cover up and take sunscreen because there will be no shade on the boat.

Children playing in the surf at Woodford Hill Bay

18. Explore the northern beaches

Although Dominica is known for its mountains, rainforest and waterfalls, it also has a number of fine beaches and picturesque coastal formations, many of which can be found in the north of the island. Woodford Hill — once thought to have been an anchorage for pirates and privateers — is a sweeping beach of fine white sand and shells, as is its neighbour, Turtle Beach. The legacy of Kalinago settlements and British plantations is evident in the names of other fine beaches at Batibou and Hampstead. The beach at Pointe Baptiste is also famed for its stunning red rock coastal formations, best visited around sunset when they are illuminated in oranges, ochres and yellows.

A jaco living in Dominica's forests

19. Seek out rare parrots

Two critically endangered Amazon parrots are found only in Dominica. They are the imperial parrot (known locally as the sisserou) and the red-necked species (known locally as the jaco). The jaco is widespread and frequently seen in rural areas, whereas the habitat of the more elusive sisserou is the elevated rainforest around Morne Diablotin, Dominica’s tallest mountain. A birdwatching walk along the easy and scenic Syndicate Nature Trail in the Morne Diablotin National Park is an opportunity to see parrots as well as other local and regional endemics such as hummingbirds, tremblers, warblers, falcons and finches. Ask your hotelier to contact Dr Birdy, Dominica’s go-to and in-demand birdwatching guide.

20. Go horse riding

Dominica’s vast network of trails is testament to how people used to travel before roads. Many would walk the long distances between villages; others would travel on horseback. Today, horse riding allows you to explore those same forest tracks and coastal margins. Two excellent stables operate in the north of Dominica. Each offers training and trekking and will adapt half or full-day outings to suit your ability and preference. Explore the woodlands and mangrove forests around Brandy and the Indian River, enjoying a picnic en route, or take a ride along sand and in surf at Purple Turtle Beach.

Carnival in Roseau, Dominica

21. ‘Free up’ at a festival

Dominicans like to party, or “free up”. Whether it’s at a river “lime” (picnic), “blocko” (impromptu street party), popular rum shop or full-on music festival, you can guarantee crowds of revellers. These events take place throughout the year, but Carnival (February/March), and World Creole Music Festival (October) are the most popular party times. The carnival spirit of rebellion and expression are evident at J’Ouvert (the traditional opening of carnival) costume parades, and calypso competitions. In October, Creole heritage is on display in the form of traditional dress, cuisine and music genres such as cadence, zouk and bouyon. Both are great times to visit.


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Home » Blog » Caribbean » Dominica » Dominica Travel Blog: What to do in Dominica

Dominica Travel Blog: What to do in Dominica

By Author Macca Sherifi

Posted on Last updated: January 3, 2023

Are you looking at what to do in Dominica? From swimming in Emerald Pool to whale watching, these are all the best things to do in Dominica!

what to do in dominica

Dominica is fast becoming my favourite country in the Caribbean. Unlike a lot of other islands around with beautiful pristine beaches and packed holiday resorts, Dominica is a million miles away from that.

It’s this wild, rugged island that looks straight out of Jurassic Park. Honestly, everywhere you look is just so lush and green. I guess that’s why it’s known as “the nature island of the Caribbean”.

Well, if you’re wondering what to do in Dominica then you’ve come to the right place.

In this post I’ll tell you all about the best things to do in Dominica, where to find them, how much they’ll cost and more. Basically, look at this as your ultimate travel guide to Dominica !

As a little taster, check out some of my favourite places to visit in Dominica in my video below. This should give you a real flavour of the island.

Adventure activities in Dominica

As you know I absolutely adore my adventure activities . Well there are more activities in Dominica than you’ll know what to do with.

While I was there I went canyoning and jumping into rock pools, hiking through the rainforest, scuba diving at Champagne Beach, whale watching out in the deep blue ocean, on a river safari on the hunt for pirates and a load of other things too.

I can honestly say if you like adventure then you will love it here.

things to do in dominica

What to do in Dominica: The Ultimate Dominica Travel Guide

As I’ve said, the island is just so raw and rugged.

There are 365 rivers here (one for each day of the year – there’s a little Dominica fact for you), 9 active volcanoes and too many waterfalls to count. This definitely isn’t your typical Caribbean beach holiday and I absolutely love it for that.

So, if you’re looking for an island full of surprises this is what to do in Dominica. I really hope you fall in love with the island as much as I did!

– What to do in Dominica-

Get your adrenaline fix canyoning with Extreme Dominica

adventure activities in dominica

My first activity in Dominica was canyoning with Extreme Dominica . For those of you who don’t know what canyoning is, this is when you abseil down the side of waterfalls and jump into rock pools. It sounds scary but I promise you it’s so much fun!

My day started getting kitted out with a wet suit, helmet and harness. Then I was quite literally shown the ropes on how to abseil. Again, it’s a lot easier than it looks.

From there it was a short 15-minute drive to the main spot where we started canyoning. I was a little nervous as first but our guides Benani and Benny were fantastic at helping us out and it wasn’t long before I was abseiling down these gorgeous waferfalls.

My favourite part of the tour was throwing myself off a 40-ft jump into a deep rock pool below; it was such an adrenaline rush (as you’ll see from my video).

In total our canyoning experience took around 2 hours but there are a number of different tours to choose from. I’d really recommend this activity for those looking for an adventure.

A 4-hour canyoning tour with Extreme Dominica costs £153 (US$190) and includes all equipment and hotel transfers too.

See sperm whales while going on a whale watching tour

whale watching in dominica

We also got to see loads of dolphins too!

One of the top things to do in Dominica is whale watching. Dominica is one of the best places in the world to see sperm whales, so a whale watching trip is very different here compared to a lot of other places around the world.

I am always slightly pessimistic when it comes to tours like this as I never think we’ll see anything. I guess that’s me being very British. Well this tour completely surpassed my expectations.

Not only did we see a few sperm whales in their natural environment (one family even with a small calf), we also saw a giant group of dolphins that were swimming alongside the boat too.

I had never seen whales in the wild before so this was a particularly special moment for me. To celebrate, on the way back to Roseau, the guys on the boat cracked out so rum punch to make it the perfect afternoon. Also, if you want to learn more about the wildlife in Dominica then I’d really recommend this trip.

A 3-hour whale watching Dominica tour costs £72 (US$90) and includes all professional guides, drinks on board (including rum punch!) and hotel pick-up/drop-off too.

Explore the underwater world diving in Dominica

diving in dominica

I always love diving in the Caribbean. In fact, the last time I was diving here was one of the most unusual dives I’ve ever done – diving to a submerged yellow submarine in Barbados. Well, the diving in Dominica lived up to the hype too!

One of the dive sites we visited with Dive Dominica was Champagne Reef. Unfortunately there wasn’t any champagne there, but instead I got to swim around streams of bubbles like I was in a champagne flute.

As Dominica is a very volcanic country, at Champagne Reef you get to see that with the gases escaping the earth’s crust. The bubbles were even warm to touch too – just another unusual dive site to add to the list!

A 2-tank dive with Dive Dominica costs US$108 and includes all transport and equipment too. Another dive company are Nature Island Dive if you’re looking for someone else to dive with.

If you’re thinking of diving in Dominica, check out this awesome post on Girls That Scuba that goes in everything you need to know!

Take a swim at the Emerald Pool

emerald pool dominica

Emerald Pool is a 40-foot waterfall located in the heart of Morne Trois Piton National Park. Being in the middle of the lush forest, the pool itself is a bright green colour surrounded by mossy rocks and hanging vines. However, when the sun shines on the water and filters through the trees, it’s transformed into this gorgeous emerald colour.

Nothing quite beats seeing the waterfalls for the first time. Once you come down the well-marked walkway towards the waterfalls, you eventually see the water cascading down over the rocks from behind the trees. It’s such a magical place.

Down at the pools themselves, there’s another viewing platform which is an amazing place for photos. Also, there are a few benches in the rest area to leave your bags.

If you’re looking for more information on the Emerald Pool then I’ve written a big blog post about it! Alternatively, you can buy your tickets beforehand here .

Drink some rum at Islet View Bush Bar

bush bar dominica

Drink some rum at Islet View bush bar

things to see in dominica

And this is the view you get with your rum

One of my favourite fun things to do in Dominica is visit a Bush Bar. This is a local bar where the serve up some weird and wonderful rums. Well, very close to Emerald Pool is one of the best bush bars around.

Just a short 15-minute drive from Emerald Pool is Castle Bruce on the east coast of the island. There you will find the bush bar Islet View .

The views from this place are absolutely magical. The east coast is on the Atlantic side of the island, so everything is a little more wild and rugged.

What I’d really recommend doing is get yourself to the bar, speak to the owner Freddie and try some of the different rums he has. I worked my way through a few and my favourite was a ginger rum with a little juice with it. The coconut rum was delicious too!

Wander around the capital of Roseau

roseau dominica things to do

Roseau is the colourful capital of Dominica located on the south-west of the island.  The population of Dominica is 74,000 people, and approximately 15,000 of them call Roseau home.

For tourists, Roseau isn’t much bigger than a cluster of streets but I really recommend setting aside a few hours to explore the place.

I was in Roseau on a Saturday so I went to the weekend market which really gave me an insight into the culture and what daily life is like there. Also, I found the largest avocados I’ve ever seen in my life – they were genuinely bigger than my head!

There are a fair few restaurants dotted around Roseau too. One of my favourites was Old Stone Grill & Bar with some fantastic Creole dishes.

You can take a tour of Roseau and learn all about the history of the town. On this tour you’ll also visit the Dominica Botanical Gardens and Trafalgar Falls, so it’s a great way of seeing lots of the island in a short amount of time.

Marvel at Trafalgar Falls

trafalgar falls dominica

When it comes to what to do in Dominica, make sure a visit to Trafalgar Falls is on the list. This is actually the most popular tourist attraction on the island. Once you get here you’ll see why; the falls are magnificent.

Trafalgar Falls are actually two waterfalls side by side. One is 85 metres – this is the papa – and the other one is 40 metres – this is the mama.

To get to the waterfalls it’s a short 10-minute walk from the visitors centre along the path until you get to a viewing platform. From here there is a rock path down to the water. You can swim here too but I preferred to take photos and take in the beautiful surroundings.

Go on cruise along Indian River

indian river boat

Our crew on our Indian River trip

One of the best Dominica tours you can do on the island is a little cruise along Indian River.

Located near Portsmouth (the 2 nd largest town on the island), you can hire a boat for a couple of hours to take you along Indian River. This is the best place to explore the mangroves on the island and go wildlife spotting. We saw a number of different birds and some huge mud crabs too.

However, this is a river cruise with a difference. After about 30 minutes cruising along the river we stopped off at a random Bush Bar for some more rum punch. This place is so cute and secluded it’s well worth doing the cruise just to visit this spot.

We also visited one of the film locations where they filmed a scene for Pirates of the Caribbean: A Dead Man’s Chest which was quite cool too.

Learn about the history of Dominica at Fort Shirley

fort shirley dominica

Another of my favourite activities to do in Dominica was learning all about the history of the island at Fort Shirley . This is located in Cabrits National Park north of Portsmouth. There I had a tour with Lennox Honeychurch (best name ever) and he taught me all about the history of the area.

The most important naval battle in the Caribbean – the battle of the Saints –  took place here on the April 12 th 1782. The battle was fought within sight of the ramparts in Prince Rupert Bay, so this is such an important site.

The fort was neglected and fell into disrepair, but historian and anthropologist Dr Honeychurch has spent years returning the fort to some of its former glory. Fort Shirley is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

If you’re interested in the history of Dominica and the Caribbean then this place is a must.

Kick back and relax at Wotten Waven Hot Springs

wotten waven hot springs

Kick back and relax at Wotten Waven Hot Spring

Being a volcanic island, it’s no surprise that there are a few different hot sulphur springs dotted around. One of the most popular places to visit these are at Wotten Waven. Here there are several places where you can relax and unwind in the hot springs for a few hours.

My advice would be to shop around though. There are a few different places to choose from and some are definitely nicer than others. I’d recommend finding one with a bar, pick up a couple of beers and take the afternoon off.

Tickets to the hot sulphur springs cost around EC$15 (US$5). Oh, and make sure you bring your swimming costume and a towel!

Cook up a feast with a Caribbean cooking class

cooking class dominica

While we were in Dominica, Chloe went off for a Caribbean cooking class to learn more about the Creole cuisine. That’s where she met Daria, one of the locals offering cooking classes in her home.

Chloe spent the morning cooking up a feast with locally sourced ingredients. They use a lot of plantain, taro, yam and other root vegetables in Dominica, so it’s easy to describe Creole cuisine as simple. However, I actually found the flavours quite complex at times with lots of zingy lime and parsley used. Also, it’s pretty spicy too which is why I loved it so much.

Anyway, if you’re interested in learning all about Caribbean food and Creole cuisine then take a class with Daria!

Immerse yourself in the culture of the Kalinago People

kalinago territory

Dominica still has a small group of indigenous people known as the Kalinago. This is one of the only islands in the Caribbean where the Kalinago culture is still celebrated so this is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about this part of the world.

You can head to the Kalinago Terittory and learn all about their way of life from dancing to weaving. This is a very popular place to visit for older cruise ship passengers looking to learn more about the island.

– Best Hotels in Dominica –

If you’re looking at where to stay in Dominica, there are plenty of top hotels to choose from. The majority of people stay in the capital of Roseau in the south of the island.

However, on my trip I split my time between here and Portsmouth, the 2 nd largest city in the north-west. Staying in these two places will give you a really good overview of what the island is all about.

Anyway, these are two of the most popular places to stay in Dominica. Pick one of these and you won’t be disappointed.

Fort Young Hotel, Roseau

fort young hotel dominica

Fort Young Hotel, Dominica

Set along the serene coastline of Dominica, Fort Young Hotel has some of the best views I’ve ever seen from a hotel. If you get a seaside view, every morning you’re greeted by the beautiful blue waters and lush green mountains off in the distance.

Fort Young Hotel has a number of amenities but my favourite spot was relaxing in the hot tub taking in the view. Also, for a 4* hotel, the restaurant was really reasonably priced too.

Fort Young Hotel also has a dive centre where you can do your PADI certificate, or you can relax and grab a rum punch in the bar.

I really enjoyed my time at Fort Young Hotel so would really recommend it here if you’re staying in the capital. For me, this is definitely one of the top Dominica hotels.

Picard Beach Cottages, Portsmouth

picard beach cottages dominica

Picard Beach Cottages, Dominica

The other place I stayed at was Picard Beach Cottages in Portsmouth. These were idyllic cottages set right on the beach. Every morning I awoke to the sound of waves lapping on the beach – sounds perfect, right?

Each cottage is kitted out with its own kitchen, little lounge/dining area and double bed. Also, there’s a little veranda out front which is the perfect place for watching sunset each night.

Next door to Picard Beach Cottages is a little restaurant or it’s a 10 to 15-minute walk into the restaurants in Portsmouth.

If you want to be away from it all and enjoy the Caribbean in style then this is the place to be.

dominica travel

Travel in Dominica is easy and so much fun!

How much does Dominica cost?

Good question! I actually found Dominica surprisingly inexpensive, especially when compared to other Caribbean islands around.

For lunch in a local restaurant you’re looking at between EC$35-60 (US$13-25). This is for either meat, fish or shrimp (that’s all they offer at local restaurants).

Dinners in the evening cost around the same price and often they have deals on cocktails or rum punch.

Bottled water and a local Kubuli beer and will cost EC$5 (US$2).

Depending on what activities you do, I would say you could get by on around EC$165 (US$60) per day. As I said, compared to other Caribbean islands this is surprisingly good.

restaurants in dominica

When is the best time to visit Dominica?

Essentially, there are two seasons in Dominica – cruise season and not cruise season.

The majority of cruise ships start arriving in September, but the season really picks up in October all the way through to May.

Most cruise ships will port at the capital of Roseau which is in the south-west of the island. A few smaller ships will port in Prince Rupert bay which is just north of Portsmouth in the north-west of the island.

where to go in dominica

That means May till September isn’t cruise season. However, it is “hurricane season”.

I say this with a huge emphasis because even though it’s hurricane season, IT DOESN’T MEAN THERE WILL BE A HURRICANE.

I feel like everyone is always scared to travel to places when they see words like hurricane and monsoon season, but the reality is it’s unlikely there will be a major hurricane while you’re there.

With Dominica, the last major hurricane they had was Hurricane Maria in 2017. Even though this was the worst hurricane they’ve had on record and it destroyed a lot of the island, the last major hurricane they had before this was Hurricane David in 1979.

That’s 28 years of no major hurricanes, so please don’t be put off when you see hurricane season.

I travelled here in mid-July, so the middle of the season, and the worst we got was a little bit of rain. Otherwise it was glorious sunshine for the whole week.

caribbean weather

I have glorious weather when I was there

Getting to Dominica

Getting to Dominica is easy but it can take a long time.

I flew direct from London Gatwick to Antigua in the Caribbean with Virgin Atlantic which took around 8 hours. (Note: British Airways also fly to Antigua too.)

From there, I flew from Antigua to Dominica with the local Caribbean airline Liat. It’s a really short 30/40 minute flight but the layover in Antigua can be a few hours.

That makes the total travel time from London to Dominica at around 12 hours.

flights to the caribbean

This was the view flying over Antigua

My trip to Dominica was in association with Discover Dominica for the #UnknownDominica campaign highlighting some of the best things to do on the island. As always, views are entirely my own and without bias.

What are some of your top things to do in Dominica? Let me know in the comments below!

Like my blog post? Then make sure you Pin it for the future!

The Ultimate Dominica Travel Guide

About the Author

Macca Sherifi

Macca Sherifi is the founder of the multiple award-winning blogs An Adventurous World and the Great British Bucket List. Every month he inspires over 200,000 avid readers to travel the world.

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latitude Adjustment

Tuesday 30th of May 2023

Macca Sherifi

Sunday 30th of April 2023

Ah awesome, I hope you have an amazing time there!

Wednesday 6th of October 2021

Great! Can you pl comment if there are ways to get around the island on a bicycle. How is the traffic and road conditions. Thanks upfront

Hi Shawn! I would say you can get around sections of the island by bike, but it is a very big island and it's very mountainous in places. I'm not too sure what kind of ride you're looking for, but it's definite doable and it would be an incredible adventure!

Leticia Alleyne

Thursday 22nd of October 2020

This was such a comprehensive review of the island of Dominica. I am actually planning a trip to Dominica and this information has been super helpful. I actually found it difficult to find reviews on the island itself from seasoned travelers. I can't wait to see the beautiful waterfalls. I have heard so much about the nature island as I live in Barbados.

Monday 4th of January 2021

Thank you, I really appreciate that! Dominica is such a beautiful country to visit. I really hope you make it out there this year and experience it for yourself.


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Citizen Liaison Volunteers (CLVs) are a vital bridge between the Embassy and U.S. citizens, especially in the event of an emergency. We are looking for volunteers to serve as CLVs in various regions of the Dominican Republic.

Child and Family Issues

General information on intercountry adoption can be found on the State Department Adoption Page and specific information related to adoptions in the Dominican Republic can be found here.

If you have a child outside the United States the child may have acquired U.S. citizenship at birth if the requirements under the Immigration and Nationality Act have been met as of the time of your child’s birth. To determine whether your child acquired U.S. citizenship at birth and to document that, you can apply for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) for your child. You may also choose to just apply for a U.S. passport for your child, although one benefit of a CRBA is that, unlike the U.S. passport, it does not expire and may be used as proof of acquisition of U.S. citizenship at birth. A full validity, unexpired U.S. passport is also proof of U.S. citizenship.

U.S. Diplomatic and Consular Officers DO NOT have the legal authority to perform marriages. Marriages CANNOT be performed within the Embassy or within a U.S. Consular Office in the Dominican Republic.

U.S. Citizens who wish to obtain a Divorce in the Dominican Republic should consult with a local attorney for advice and legal representation. Before seeking a divorce in the Dominican Republic, U.S. citizens should be aware of possible legal restrictions by their U.S. state of residence on divorces obtained abroad.

Child Support Issues

The issue of child support enforcement is a high priority to the United States.

Citizenship Services

Information about Adult Citizenship

How to Amend/Replace a CRBA

Renunciation of Citizenship and Nationality

More Information about Reporting a Birth Abroad

Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA)

A Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) is a formal document certifying the acquisition of United States citizenship at birth for a person born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent or parents who meet the requirements for transmitting citizenship under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). United States non-citizen nationals are also eligible for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, using the non-citizen option. CRBA applications must be made before the child’s 18th birthday. We recommend that parents apply for the CRBA as soon as possible after the child’s birth.

Eligibility Criteria & How to Apply

You can now apply for a CRBA electronically at Embassy Santo Domingo! To apply, your child must have been born in the Dominican Republic and you must travel to Santo Domingo for the in-person interview. To be eligible to apply for a CRBA online, you MUST answer all the following criteria with YES: Was the child born in Dominican Republic? Is the child under the age of 18? Was at least one parent a U.S. citizen or U.S. non-citizen national when the child was born? Can you use an internationally accepted credit/debit card or a direct payment method from a U.S. dollar denominated bank account (also known as “ACH”) to pay online for your Consular Report of Birth Abroad application? Are you a biological parent of a child born abroad who is applying for that child?

Do you qualify to transmit citizenship?

Children born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent(s) may have a claim to U.S. citizenship. The following is a brief description of the various circumstances under which a child born abroad may acquire U.S. citizenship. For further information please select the description below that best fits your family circumstances.

If Only One Parent Can Attend

Learn more about applying for a CRBA in the Dominican Republic if only one parent can attend.

Processing Times & Return of Documents

A consular officer will review your documents and interview you to determine whether your child qualifies for a Report of Birth. If you are properly prepared and your child qualifies, the officer may be able to approve the Report of Birth and passport application the same day. You will be asked to pay a fee at the Domex office on our premises for the delivery of the Report of Birth and passport. These are usually prepared and sent to you within one month of your interview. The Domex fees are as follows: U.S. $12.00 for the city of Santo Domingo & U.S. $16.00 for other places in the Dominican Republic


American spaces.

American Spaces include American Centers, American Corners, and Binational Centers.


Study in the U.S.A.

Learn about unique U.S. higher education opportunities.

statue of liberty

If you receive Social Security benefits you may need to complete a Foreign Enforcement Questionnaire (FEQ) 

Ask the consul, demonstration alert – u.s. embassy santo domingo, dominican republic (november 9, 2023).

Please call: (809) 567-7775

Outside of Office Hours, contact: (809) 567-7775

Outside of Dominican Republic: (809) 567-7775

US News & World Report - Travel

US News & World Report - Travel

The 6 Best Cheap Caribbean All-Inclusive Resorts for 2024

Posted: November 15, 2023 | Last updated: November 15, 2023

All-inclusive resorts are a much-loved option for low-stress Caribbean vacations. With accommodations, food and some activities all rolled into one price, these resorts can take away much of the hassle of planning a relaxing trip someplace warm and tropical. As vacation prices continue to rise, it's getting harder to lock down a cheap all-inclusive stay – but it's certainly not impossible. Beachy hot spots like Curaçao or St. Lucia may be out of budget, but destinations like Mexico and the Dominican Republic don't need to break the bank (just don't expect five-star luxury at these prices).

We've compiled a list of affordable all-inclusive resorts where two guests can stay in one room for approximately $225 or less per night. These prices may not be offered year-round, especially during the peak season for sun destinations of December to April. However, if you book well in advance, the cheaper rates should be offered across a broader range of dates. The prices here do not include flights, although the resorts below may offer packages that include them.

Whether you're looking for a romantic couples trip or just some quality time with the family, these resorts can deliver without breaking the bank.

Category Navigation Box Enhancement : Table of Contents - Travel - The Best Cheap Caribbean All-Inclusive Resorts for 2024

Occidental Costa Cancún: Cancún, Mexico

Sitting at the north end of Cancún's ultra-popular Hotel Zone overlooking the Caribbean Sea is this 358-room property, where a room for two with a king bed starts at $210. The best prices are in the off-season or at the tail-end of the peak season, but some more popular dates go for as low as $240. The Occidental Costa Cancún is a great place for water sports, with kayaking, windsurfing, sailing and snorkeling all on the menu.

Past guests have noted that it's a particularly family-friendly resort and not an adult party spot. Fittingly, kids of all ages are looked after with child care, two water parks (though one has an entry fee) and an alcohol-free nightclub for teens. It's also easy to get out and explore, with buses to downtown Cancún for shopping as well as easy booking of excursions to Mayan pyramids (not part of the all-inclusive). Dining choices range from buffets to upscale Mexican and Italian food, with service offered all throughout the day.

Read: The Top Cancun All-Inclusive Family Resorts

Iberostar Dominicana: Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Situated in the Dominican Republic's resort hot spot of Punta Cana and billed as a five-star property, Iberostar Dominicana is surprisingly affordable. Rooms for two go for as little as $200 per night, although prices jump in the busiest time of the year from January to March. Even at the cheapest rates, you'll get free Wi-Fi and a private balcony. You can lounge by lagoon-style pools or on palapa-shaded beach chairs. Vacationers can take advantage of 18 holes of golf on-site, a spa and a coral lab that teaches about local ecosystems.

Recent guests have gushed about the entertainment program at Iberostar, a draw for anyone into music or dancing. Some also noted that the resort is great at catering to any dietary restrictions. Plus, Iberostar has introduced sustainability initiatives such as eliminating single-use plastics, committing to responsible fishing and pledging to make its resorts waste-free by 2025.

Read: Sustainable Travel: Ways to Be an Eco-Conscious Traveler

BlueBay Villas Doradas: Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

Located just east of the beach town of Puerto Plata , this adults-only all-inclusive resort is a cheap option for a romantic escape without the kids. With advance booking, couples can stay at BlueBay Villas Doradas for as low as $200 per night for two guests. The bright, air-conditioned standard rooms measure a respectable 260 square feet. Beyond those four walls, you can hit the sands of Playa Dorada or lounge by the three outdoor pools.

The four restaurants run the gamut from Chinese cuisine to seafood. Active travelers at this resort may enjoy water sports, tennis, the on-site fitness center or nearby golf courses. Take note that extra fees are a little more prominent here: While it's standard for all-inclusives not to cover activities like diving and spa services, BlueBay Villas Doradas also charges for Wi-FI in the lower-tier rooms. That said, past travelers still praise the resort for its large beach, with plenty of chairs available there and at the pool; the service is also a strength, according to guests.

El Cozumeleño Beach Resort: San Miguel de Cozumel, Mexico

For a budget-friendly way to enjoy the white sands of Cozumel – an island in the Caribbean Sea just off the coast of Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula – El Cozumeleño balances affordability and quality. Choose between rooms facing the garden or sea; all of them have terraces or balconies. Per-night costs for an all-inclusive stay for two go as low as $220 or even less at some points if you book sufficiently in advance.

Out in the resort, the all-inclusive rates cover free scuba diving lessons and snorkeling, as well as sports like tennis, kayaking, cycling and more. For those looking to just chill out, there are five outdoor pools, one indoor pool and a swim-up bar, as well as hot tubs and beach access. Dining options range from the upscale Veranda restaurant to beachy snack bars to room service. Music and theater lounges provide nightly entertainment. Recent guests describe El Cozumeleño as a great place to relax that's not too crowded, as it doesn't tend to cater to a party crowd.

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Bahia Principe Grand El Portillo: Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic

This grand resort near the fishing village of Las Terrenas is packed with activities. Enjoy a free scuba diving lesson in the pool, tennis facilities, kayak rentals, kids and teen clubs, and a children's water park. The price for all these amenities can drop even as low as $160 per couple per night in the least busy months, with some affordable dates in the shoulder seasons (early December and April) to boot. The colorful rooms feature king beds and hydromassage bathtubs to help you relax after a long day.

Previous travelers raved about the gorgeous palm-fringed beach with coral and clear waters, also mentioning a mix of crowded and quieter swimming pools on the resort premises. You'll find a broad range of food on offer in the restaurants at Bahia Principe Grand El Portillo, with French, Mediterranean, Italian and Brazilian cuisines represented. There's also an array of pool and beach bars, plus a sports bar for those who can't miss a game.

Caribe Deluxe Princess: Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

This resort about 15 miles outside of Punta Cana boasts funky rooms with modern tropical decor, balconies, king or queen beds, and free minibars. The options for drinking and dining at Caribe Deluxe Princess include seven restaurants with cuisine ranging from Tex-Mex to Dominican to teppanyaki – plus another two upscale restaurants that aren't covered by the all-inclusive rates. The resort has nine all-inclusive bars as well, including options at the beach, pool and rooftop.

Past visitors have admired the stunning tropical grounds of the resort and its beach. Kids and teens have their own activities; adults will be occupied by nonmotorized water sports, a sports area with archery and more, and evening entertainment. Prices at this resort can go as low as $225 or less per night for two, primarily in the shoulder and off-peak seasons. Stays in the middle of the busy season are notably more expensive.

Why Trust U.S. News Travel

Timothy Forster has traveled across five continents and lived on three, so he has experience booking and staying in all kinds of accommodations from hostels and campsites to chic hotels and vacation rentals. Forster used his extensive traveling background along with research expertise to curate this article.

You might also be interested in:

  • The Top Affordable All-Inclusive Resorts
  • The Top All-Inclusive Resorts Where Kids Stay Free
  • The Trick to Finding Cheap Flights
  • The Cheapest Travel Insurance Companies

Copyright 2023 U.S. News & World Report

Sunny tropical beach with beach chairs, umbrellas and a kayak.

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