Dominica – The Coolest Island You’ve Never Heard Of

A friend and I recently decided we wanted to go on a trip to somewhere in Central America for an adventure filled vacation of rain forests and hiking. We wanted somewhere that wasn’t too far of a flight that we could travel to for a 5 day vacation, we wanted to make it a long weekend so we only had to take off 3 days of work. We researched the countries in Central America but were having a hard time finding one that was exactly what we wanted.

Then my mom suggested Dominica. Dominica is NOT Dominican Republic, though they have similar names. In fact, Dominica is basically the opposite of Dominican Republic. While Dominican Republic is a very touristy island with big beaches lines with resorts, Dominica has no resorts or big beaches. Instead it is a natural paradise of rain forest and is relatively quiet with a lack of heavy tourism.

Dominica remains an unspoiled paradise for divers, hikers, and naturalists. This island is the largest of the Windward Islands and features dramatic volcanic landscapes with the highest mountains in the Eastern Caribbean, lush rainforests, waterfalls, lakes, gorges, rivers, and steamy hot springs. The rugged coastline shelters rustic coastal villages and rocky, black-sand beaches, many of which are good snorkeling or diving spots.

Here are all of the cool things you can do in Dominica. 

  • Emerald Pool Nature Trail – Emerald Pool is a cool jungle pool that’s one of the most popular spots things to do in Dominica. Located in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park. This is a short hike that won’t take more than 30 minutes but will take you through a lush island jungle. The beautiful pool will reward you with a chance to cool off, visitors are allowed to swim in this heavenly pool and swim right up to the waterfall. On your way back there are two view points where you can see the Atlantic Coast and Morne Laurent

  • Dive Scott’s Head Pinnacle – This is the most famous scuba diving location on the island. It is a 35 foot deep dive that show cases bright colorful coral with many fish, and includes a swim-though called “Soldierfish Cave”, though not actually a cave. After this dives will come up on a 120 foot volcanic wall drop-off into the deep. Divers can peer over into this drop off to get a view of some deep sea creatures such as lobsters.

  • Natural Boiling Lake  – A volcanic opening  in  the Morne Trois Pitons National Park that releases hot steam is covered by a pool of water. The hot steam rising from the earth entirier causes this pool of water to become a hot boiling lake that has hot steam pouring from it’s surface. Most visitors begin their hike from Laudat, where you can pay a guide to lead you to the lake.  It is a long and muddy hike that can take anywhere between 3-6 hours one-way depending on your pace.

  • Titou Gorge – Titou Gorge is a series of interconnected pools that allows visitors to swim though them beneath high cliffs within the rainforest. There is also a hot spring at the end that visitors can relax in after swimming through the waterfalls and pools.

 

  • Trafalgar Falls – This is one of the most visited places in Domica. Located on the west side of the Morne Trois Pitons National Park these very accessabile waterfalls create a impressive view for visitors.

  • Snorkeling Champagne Reef – This is a very popular activity on the island that doesn’t require visitors to have a diving certification. This snorkel spot can be accessed directly off the shoreline. What draws visitors to this location is the bubbling vents that come up from the bottom of the ocean to create a “Champagne” effect, which is how it gets it’s name. The warm gas causing these bubbles keeps the water temperature high, though snorkelers will still be able to see a variety of fish and sea creatures.

Some other tips for traveling to Dominica

  • Flights to Dominica are EXPENSIVE (~$1000 typically) so keep an eye on flight prices to see if you can get a more reasonable deal
  • Try to avoid cruise boat drop offs. Dominica is a small island that has difficulty accommodating massive amounts of people. It will be too crowded if you are trying to do some of the popular hikes and excursions if a cruise boat drops off on the same day

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Dominica is from October to January, when the hotel rates are lower and the humidity is less stifling. Temperatures see little variance, with yearly averages residing around 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.  Dominica’s rainy season occurs between June and November, and the island is susceptible to hurricanes and tropical storms this time of year. Most travelers vacation in Dominica during the winter and spring months February to May  when the weather is warm and dry. Crowds aren’t too terrible this time of year, but the room rates are high.(Source: USTravelNews)

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