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Before we get started, don’t be confused; these are the best things to do on Dominica Island, NOT the Dominican Republic.
This is an unspoiled tropical island in the Caribbean’s Lesser Antilles section. And although you might happily spend a week just lazing in the sunshine, you’d be missing out.
There’s a lot more to Dominica than warm weather and palm trees. Dominica is a mountainous island nation in the Caribbean Islands. It is the youngest island in the Lesser Antilles and still has volcanic activity.
The island is home to many different species of animals, including the endangered leatherback turtle. It is also known for its hot springs, rivers, gorges, lakes, waterfalls, and rainforests, covering about two-thirds of the island.
- Things to Do in Dominica & Places to Visit
- 1. Hike the Morne Trois Pitons National Park
- 2. Visit the Indian River
- 3. Go scuba diving
- 4. Visit the Emerald Pool
- 5. Visit the Boiling Lake
- 6. Take a hike through the rainforest
- 7. Go whale watching
- 8. Relax on the beach
- 9. Take a scenic drive
- 10. Visit the capital City of Roseau
- 11. Go Birdwatching
- 12. See the Trafalgar Falls
- 13. Explore the Cabrits National Park
- 14. Visit Fort Young Hotel & Museum
- 15. Kayak down the Roseau River
- 16. Visit Portsmouth
- 17. Zipline through the rainforest canopy
- 18. Relax at Secret Bay
- 19. Dominica Botanic Gardens
- 20. Titou Gorge
- How to Get to Dominica Island
- Best Time to Visit Dominica Island
- Map of Dominica
- Most significant landmark – Old Market Square
- Best park – Morne Trois Pitons national Park
- Free activity – Swimming at Mero Beach
- Activity for kids – Picnic at Devil’s Bridge
- Activity for adults – Scuba diving at Champagne Reef
- Best food – Callaloo
- Best nightlife – Warners Bar
- Place to stay – Secret Bay Resort
Things to Do in Dominica & Places to Visit
1. Hike the Morne Trois Pitons National Park
Address: 48 Cork St, Roseau, Dominica
If you’re looking for an adventure, hike the Morne Trois Pitons National Park. This 17,000-acre park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site full of lush rainforests, waterfalls, and rivers. The hike to the summit of Morne Trois Pitons is strenuous but well worth it for the gorgeous vistas.
The Morne Trois Pitons National Park is a must-see for any nature lover visiting the Caribbean island of Dominica. The park covers nearly one-fifth of the island and is home to an incredible diversity of plant and animal life.
Among the park’s many highlights are the Boiling Lake, a natural hot spring that is said to be the second-largest in the world, and the Valley of Desolation, an otherworldly landscape of volcanic craters and fumaroles. Hiking is the best way to explore the park; trails suit all fitness levels.
2. Visit the Indian River
Address: Indian River, Portsmouth, Dominica
One of the best things to do in Dominica is to take a boat ride up the Indian River. This river is one of the Caribbean Islands’ most pristine and unspoiled rivers. The tour takes you through mangrove forests, where you might see turtles, crabs, and iguanas.
The Indian River is one of Dominica’s most popular tourist attractions. Located in the north of the island, the river winds through lush rainforest and mangroves, providing an ideal habitat for plant and animal life.
Visitors can take a boat tour up the river to see some of Dominica’s wildlife, including turtles, crabs, and iguanas. The Indian River is also one of the best places on the island to spot the rare red-necked parrot.
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3. Go scuba diving
With its clear waters and abundant marine life, Dominica is a great place to go scuba diving. There are dive sites suitable for all experience levels, from beginners to experienced divers. The best dive sites include Champagne Reef, Scott’s Head, and Soufriere Bay.
Scuba diving is popular in Dominica, and dive sites are suitable for all experience levels. The island’s clear waters and abundant marine life make it a great place to explore beneath the waves.
Champagne Reef is home to colorful fish and corals, while Scott’s Head offers divers the chance to swim through caves and tunnels. Soufriere Bay is one of Dominica’s most popular dive sites, and it is known for its dramatic underwater cliffs and drop-offs.
See Related: Best White Water Rafting in the World
4. Visit the Emerald Pool
Address: Emerald Pool Trail, Dominica
The Emerald Pool is one of Dominica Island’s most popular tourist attractions. The pool is located in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park, and it gets its name from the emerald green color of the water. The water is crystal clear, and it’s surrounded by lush vegetation.
There are several ways to get to the pool, but the most popular is to hike through the rainforest. The hike takes about 45 minutes, and it’s moderate difficulty. When you reach the pool, you can dip or relax on the rocks and enjoy the scenery.
You might even spot a turtle swimming in the water if you’re lucky. Just be sure to take caution, as the rocks can be slippery.
See Related: Best Tourist Destinations in the World
5. Visit the Boiling Lake
The Boiling Lake is one of Dominica’s most popular tourist attractions. The lake is in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Boiling Lake gets its name because it is constantly bubbling and steaming due to the geothermal activity beneath it.
The lake is approximately two miles long, and it takes around two hours to hike to the lake from the nearest parking lot. Visitors can also dip in the boiling waters, but it is important to be careful as the water can reach temperatures up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
6. Take a hike through the rainforest
One of the best things to do in Dominica is to hike through the rainforest. With its lush vegetation and abundant wildlife, the rainforest is truly magical. There are several hiking trails, ranging from easy to difficult.
Some of the most popular trails include the Syndicate Nature Trail, which leads to Boiling Lake, and the Morne Anglais trail, which offers stunning rainforest and coast views. Hiking is a great way to explore Dominica’s natural beauty and a great workout.
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7. Go whale watching
One of the best things to do in Dominica is to go whale watching. The island is located in the Atlantic Ocean, which is home to different types of whales, including humpback whales, sperm whales, and pilot whales.
Whale-watching tours depart from numerous locations around the island, typically lasting for two to three hours. During the tour, you’ll have the chance to see these majestic creatures up close and personal. You might even get the opportunity to see a whale breaching or tail slapping.
See Related: Best Whale Watching Destinations
8. Relax on the beach
No trip to Dominica would be complete without relaxing on the beach. Dominica is a beach lover’s paradise with its sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. Some of the most popular beaches in Dominica include Champagne Beach, known for its sparkling waters, and Sandy Point Beach, a great place to relax and soak up the sun.
If you’re looking for a more adventurous beach experience, you can try your hand at windsurfing or kitesurfing. Dominica’s trade winds make it a great place to learn how to windsurf or kitesurf.
9. Take a scenic drive
One of the best ways to explore Dominica is by taking a scenic drive. The island has different landscapes, from lush rainforests to rugged mountains. And with its winding roads and dramatic cliffs, Dominica is definitely a driver’s paradise.
There are several scenic drives, but one of the most popular is the Atlantic Coast Drive. This drive takes you along the island’s northern coast, offering stunning views of the coast and the rainforest.
Another popular scenic drive is the Cross Island Drive, which takes you through the middle of the island. This drive is a bit more challenging but deserves your time for the incredible views.
10. Visit the capital City of Roseau
No trip to Dominica would be complete without a visit to the capital city of Roseau. This capital city is home to an assortment of different attractions, including museums, historical sites, and restaurants.
Some of the most popular attractions in Roseau include the Dominica Museum, which offers an insightful look into the island’s history, and the Fort Young Hotel, a historic hotel on the waterfront. The city has several bars and clubs to enjoy live music and dancing.
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11. Go Birdwatching
Dominica is also a great place for birdwatching. The island is home to various species of birds, including the endangered imperial parrot.
There are several places to go birdwatching on the island, but one of the best is the Morne Diablotin National Park. This park is home to other bird species and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
Another great place for birdwatching is the Syndicate Nature Trail. This trail winds its way through the rainforest, and it’s a great place to see some of Dominica’s rare birds.
12. See the Trafalgar Falls
Address: Paillotte Road, Dominica
No trip to Dominica would be complete without seeing Trafalgar Falls. These twin waterfalls are some of the most popular attractions on the island. The best way to see Trafalgar Falls is by taking a guided tour.
These tours typically last about an hour, and they include a short hike to the falls as well as a swim in the pool at the base of the falls. If you’re looking for a more challenging hike, you can also hike to the top of the falls.
13. Explore the Cabrits National Park
Address: HGPG+G8F, Portsmouth, Dominica
The Cabrits National Park is another great place to explore in Dominica. This park is home to an assortment of different attractions, including the Fort Shirley historical site, the Cabrits Dive Centre, and the Caroni Bird Sanctuary. There are also other hiking trails in the park, which range from easy to challenging.
14. Visit Fort Young Hotel & Museum
Address: Victoria Street, Roseau, Dominica
The Fort Young Hotel & Museum on Dominica Island allows travelers to learn about the island’s history and culture while enjoying the beautiful surroundings. The hotel is situated on the site of a former British fort, and the museum houses a collection of artifacts from the island’s colonial past.
Visitors can also take guided tours of the fort and its grounds. The hotel also offers rooms with ocean views and self-catering apartments. The Fort Young Hotel & Museum is an excellent choice for travelers to Dominica Island looking for a relaxing vacation.
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15. Kayak down the Roseau River
The Roseau River is one of Dominica Island’s most popular kayaking destinations. The river winds through the jungle, and the kayak trip takes about two hours. Travelers can also spot iconic Caribbean flora and fauna, including monkeys, sloths, and turtles.
The trip ends at a waterfall, where kayakers can cool off with a swim. Despite its popularity, the Roseau River is relatively unknown outside Dominica Island. That’s because it’s located in a remote corner of the Caribbean, and getting it is not easy.
An experienced guide is not necessary but is recommended for first-time kayakers. With its beautiful scenery and variety of wildlife, the Roseau River is a must-see for any traveler to Dominica Island. Check prices on Viator for a private kayaking tour and book in advance to secure your journey.
16. Visit Portsmouth
One of the most popular attractions in Portsmouth is the Fort Shirley historical site. The British built the fort in the 18th century, and it played an important role in the island’s history.
Today, the fort is a popular tourist destination, and visitors can tour the grounds and learn about its history. Portsmouth also has a few beaches, including Champagne Beach, known for its sparkling water.
If you’re looking to explore Dominica’s history or want to relax on the beach, Portsmouth is a great choice for travelers to Dominica Island.
17. Zipline through the rainforest canopy
For an adventurous trip, look no further than the Canopy Zipline Tour on Dominica Island. This tour takes travelers on a zipline through the rainforest canopy, providing them with striking scenes of the jungle below.
With its breathtaking scenery and adrenaline-pumping activities, the Canopy Zipline Tour is a must-do for any traveler to Dominica Island.
18. Relax at Secret Bay
Address: GGWG+6X5, Ross Blvd, Portsmouth, Dominica
Secret Bay is a secluded beach on Dominica Island’s northern coast. The beach is only accessible by boat, which adds to its sense of mystery.
The water at Secret Bay is crystal clear, and the sand is white and powdery. Visitors can find shells on the beach and a few small caves.
With its tranquil atmosphere and natural beauty, Secret Bay is the perfect place to relax and unwind. Despite its name, the beach is becoming increasingly popular, so it’s best to visit early in the day to avoid the crowds.
19. Dominica Botanic Gardens
Address: 8J29+F6W, Bath Rd, Roseau, Dominica
The Dominica Botanic Garden is one of the Caribbean’s oldest and most biodiverse gardens. It was established in 1825 by British physician and botanist John Crowder, who was curious about the region’s plants.
Today, the garden covers more than 30 acres and contains more than 5,000 species of plants. Visitors can stroll along winding paths and enjoy the sights and smells of tropical flowers, fruits, and trees.
The botanical gardens are also home to multiple endangered species, including the red-necked parrot and the blue-tailed skink. With its rich history and abundant wildlife, the Dominica Botanic Garden is an essential visit for any traveler to the island.
20. Titou Gorge
Address: 8MHG+M8J, Laudat, Dominica
Titou Gorge is a popular tourist destination located on the Caribbean island of Dominica. The gorge features a series of waterfalls and natural pools that are perfect for swimming and relaxing.
Visitors can also hike to the top of the waterfall for an outstanding view of the surrounding jungle. Titou Gorge is accessible by car, and multiple tour companies offer guided tours of the area.
How to Get to Dominica Island
Dominica is a small island in the Caribbean Sea known for its dramatic landscape and unspoiled natural beauty. While it can be challenging to get to Dominica, the effort is well worth it. There are two main ways to get to the island: by plane or boat.
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The nearest airport is in Martinique, about a 45-minute flight from Dominica. Alternatively, there are several ferry services that operate between Dominica and nearby islands, such as Guadeloupe and Antigua.
Travelers should note that some ferries only operate on certain days of the week, so it is important to check schedules in advance. Regardless of how you travel, Dominica is an unforgettable destination that should not be missed.
Best Time to Visit Dominica Island
Dominica is part of the Caribbean Islands featuring a tropical climate, so the best time to visit is during the dry season, from January to April. Remember that prices and crowds will be higher during this time.
The wet season runs from May to December, and while there are some advantages – such as lower prices and smaller crowds – this is also the hurricane season. Travelers should take care of visiting Dominica during this time and consider purchasing travel insurance.
Map of Dominica
Here is a map of the island to help you get oriented with the location and the major cities in Dominica.
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Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers experience a fully immersive cultural experience as he did initially living in Italy. He’s a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wanderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). After visiting 12 countries and 13 national parks in a year, he was devoted to creating and telling stories like he’d heard.
Plus, after spending more time on airplanes and packing, he’s learned some incredible travel hacks over time as he earned over 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points in under a year, helping him maximize experiences as much as possible to discover the true meaning of travel.
He loves listening to local stories from around the world and sharing his experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time.