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 located in the Lesser Antilles section of the Caribbean. 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.
Dominica is also known for its hot springs, rivers, gorges, lakes waterfalls, and rainforest – which covers about two-thirds of the island.
Table of Contents
- How to get to Dominica Island
- When to visit Dominica Island
- Fun & Best Things to do in Dominica
- 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
- Where to stay in Dominica Island
- Budget Friendly Hotels:
- Mid Range Hotels
- Luxury Hotels
- Final Thoughts
- Most significant landmark – Old Market Square
- Best park – Morne Trois Pitons national Park
- Best free activity – Swimming at Mero Beach
- Best activity for kids – Picnic at Devil’s Bridge
- Best activity for adults – Scuba diving at Champagne Reef
- Best food – Callaloo
- Best nightlife – Warners Bar
- Best all-round accommodation – Secret Bay Resort
How to get to Dominica Island
Dominica is a small island in the Caribbean Sea that is 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 by boat.
The nearest airport is located in Martinique, which is 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 of the ferries only operate on certain days of the week, so it is important to check schedules in advance. Regardless of how you choose to travel, Dominica is an unforgettable destination that should not be missed.
When to visit Dominica Island
Dominica is a tropical island, so the best time to visit is during the dry season from January to April. However, keep in mind that prices will be higher and crowds will be larger 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.
There is no shortage of attractions in Dominica. Here are just a few of the many activities and attractions that visitors can enjoy:
Fun & Best Things to do in Dominica
1. Hike the Morne Trois Pitons National Park
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 and is full of lush rainforests, waterfalls, and rivers. The hike to the summit of Morne Trois Pitons is strenuous but well worth it for the stunning views.
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 many highlights of the park 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, and there are trails suitable for all fitness levels.
Whether you’re looking for a challenging hike or a leisurely walk through some of Dominica’s most beautiful scenery, a visit to the Morne Trois Pitons National Park should be high on your list.
2. Visit the Indian River
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 most pristine and unspoiled rivers in all of the Caribbean. 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 its way through lush rainforest and mangroves, providing an ideal habitat for a variety of 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 levels of experience, from beginners to experienced divers. Some of the best dive sites include Champagne Reef, Scott’s Head, and Soufriere Bay.
Scuba diving is a popular activity in Dominica, and there are dive sites suitable for all levels of experience. The island’s clear waters and abundant marine life make it a great place to explore beneath the waves.
Some of the best dive sites include Champagne Reef, Scott’s Head, and Soufriere Bay. Champagne Reef is home to a variety of 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
The Emerald Pool is one of the most popular tourist attractions on Dominica Island. 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 a moderate level of difficulty. When you reach the pool, you can take a dip or relax on the rocks and enjoy the scenery.
If you’re lucky, you might even spot a turtle swimming in the water. Just be sure to take caution, as the rocks can be slippery.
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5. Visit the Boiling Lake
The Boiling Lake is one of Dominica’s most popular tourist attractions. The lake is located in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Boiling Lake gets its name from the fact that 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 take a dip in the boiling waters, but it is important to be careful as the water can reach temperatures of up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
Whether you’re looking for a unique sightseeing experience or a chance to soak in some natural hot springs, The Boiling Lake is definitely worth a visit.
6. Take a hike through the rainforest
One of the best things to do in Dominica is to take a hike through the rainforest. With its lush vegetation and abundance of wildlife, the rainforest is a truly magical place. There are several hiking trails to choose from, ranging from easy to difficult.
Some of the most popular trails include the Syndicate Nature Trail, which leads to The Boiling Lake, and the Morne Anglais trail, which offers stunning views of both the rainforest and the coast.
Hiking is a great way to explore Dominica’s natural beauty, and it’s also a great workout. So whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or an adventure, be sure to add a hike through the rainforest to your list of things to do in Dominica.
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 a variety of whales, including humpback whales, sperm whales, and pilot whales. Whale watching tours depart from various locations around the island, and they typically last 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.
Whether you’re an experienced whale watcher or you’ve never seen a whale before, going on a whale watching tour is an experience you won’t soon forget.
8. Relax on the beach
No trip to Dominica would be complete without spending some time relaxing on the beach. With its sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, Dominica is a beach lover’s paradise. Some of the most popular beaches in Dominica include Champagne Beach, which is known for its sparkling waters, and Sandy Point Beach, which is 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. So whether you’re looking to relax or have some fun, be sure to add a visit to the beach to your list of things to do in Dominica.
9. Take a scenic drive
One of the best ways to explore Dominica is by taking a scenic drive. The island has a variety of 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 to choose from, but one of the most popular is the Atlantic Coast Drive. This drive takes you along the northern coast of the island, and it offers stunning views of both 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 it’s definitely worth it for the incredible views.
So whether you’re an experienced driver or you’re just looking to take in the sights, be sure to add a scenic drive to your list of things to do in Dominica.
10. Visit the capital City of Roseau
No trip to Dominica would be complete without a visit to the capital city of Roseau. This vibrant city is home to a variety 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, which is a historic hotel that sits on the waterfront.
If you’re looking for something to do in the evening, be sure to check out some of Roseau’s nightlife. The city has a variety of different bars and clubs, where you can enjoy live music and dancing.
So whether you’re looking to learn about Dominica’s history or just have some fun, be sure to add a visit to Roseau to your list of things to do in Dominica.
11. Go Birdwatching
Dominica is also a great place for birdwatching. The island is home to a variety of different species of birds, including the endangered imperial parrot.
There are several different places to go birdwatching on the island, but one of the best is the Morne Diablotin National Park. This park is home to a variety of different bird species, and it 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.
So whether you’re an experienced birder or you’re just looking to see some new and interesting birds, be
12. See the Trafalgar Falls
No trip to Dominica would be complete without seeing the Trafalgar Falls. These twin waterfalls are some of the most popular attractions on the island, and they’re definitely worth a visit.
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. This hike is a bit more strenuous, but it’s definitely worth it for the stunning views.
So whether you’re looking for a relaxing experience or an adrenaline-pumping adventure, be sure to add a visit to Trafalgar Falls to your list of things to do in Dominica.
13. Explore the Cabrits National Park
The Cabrits National Park is another great place to explore in Dominica. This park is home to a variety of different attractions, including the Fort Shirley historical site, the Cabrits Dive Centre, and the Caroni Bird Sanctuary.
There are also a variety of different hiking trails in the park, which range from easy to challenging.
So whether you’re looking for an easy hike or an adrenaline-pumping adventure, you’ll definitely find it in the Cabrits National Park.
14. Visit Fort Young Hotel & Museum
The Fort Young Hotel & Museum on Dominica Island offers travelers an opportunity 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 part in guided tours of the fort and its grounds. The hotel also offers a variety of accommodation options, from rooms with ocean views to self-catering apartments.
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing vacation or an educational experience, the Fort Young Hotel & Museum is a great choice for travelers to Dominica Island.
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15. Kayak down the Roseau River
The Roseau River is one of the most popular kayaking destinations on Dominica Island. The river winds its way through the jungle, and the kayak trip takes about two hours. Along the way, travelers can see a variety of 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 of 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 it 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.
16. Visit Portsmouth
One of the most popular attractions in Portsmouth is the Fort Shirley historical site. The fort was built by the British 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 is also home to a few beaches, including Champagne Beach, which is known for its sparkling water.
Whether you’re looking to explore Dominica’s history or simply 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 stunning views of the jungle below.
The tour includes 10 different ziplines, as well as a suspension bridge and rappelling platform. The Canopy Zipline Tour is located in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park, which is also home to a variety of hiking trails and waterfalls.
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
Secret Bay is a secluded beach located on the northern coast of Dominica Island. 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 a variety of different shells on the beach, as well as 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
The Dominica Botanic Garden is one of the oldest and most biodiverse gardens in the Caribbean. It was established in 1825 by British physician and botanist John Crowder, who was curious about the plants of the region.
Today, the garden covers more than 30 acres and contains more than 5,000 species of plants. Visitors can stroll along winding paths and take in the sights and smells of tropical flowers, fruits, and trees.
The Dominica Botanical Gardens are also home to a number of endangered species, including the red-necked parrot and the blue-tailed skink. With its rich history and abundant wildlife, the Dominica Botanic Garden is a must-see for any traveler to the island.
20. Titou Gorge
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 there are several tour companies that offer guided tours of the area.
Whether you’re looking to take a dip in the refreshing water or simply enjoy a scenic hike, Titou Gorge is sure to impress.
Where to stay in Dominica Island
Dominica Island is home to a variety of different hotels and resorts, some of which offer stunning views of the Caribbean Sea.
Budget Friendly Hotels:
Portsmouth Beach Hotel
LaPlaine Road, Rosalie, Dominica
Portsmouth Beach Hotel is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the island. The hotel is located right on the beach and offers stunning views of the Caribbean Sea. Guests can enjoy a variety of activities such as swimming, sunbathing, snorkeling, and windsurfing. The hotel also offers a variety of on-site amenities such as a restaurant, bar, pool, and spa.
Mid Range Hotels
Rosalie Bay Resort
LaPlaine Road, Rosalie, Dominica
Rosalie Bay Resort is one of the best places to stay on Dominica Island. It’s a beautiful resort with amazing views, and it’s perfect for nature lovers. There are plenty of things to do at Rosalie Bay Resort, including hiking, swimming, and kayaking. The resort also offers yoga classes and meditation sessions, which are a great way to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of Dominica Island.
The Tamarind Tree Hotel
Edward Oliver Leblanc Hwy, Macoucherie, Dominica
The Tamarind Tree Hotel is a luxurious resort on the island of Dominica. It features stunning ocean views, elegant accommodations, and first-class amenities. Guests can enjoy a variety of activities such as swimming, snorkeling, fishing, and hiking. The hotel also offers a variety of relaxing treatments at its spa, including massages, facials, and pedicures.
Fort Young Hotel
Victoria Street, Roseau, Dominica
Fort Young Hotel is located on the hill in the capital city of Roseau and offers some of the best views of the island. The hotel has a pool, restaurants, and bars on-site, as well as a casino and gym. There is also a shuttle service that will take guests anywhere they want to go on the island.
Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski
Bellhall Road, Douglas Bay Cabrits National Park, Portsmouth, Dominica
If you’re looking for an exotic and luxurious escape, look no further than the Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski in Dominica. This resort offers some of the best amenities in the area, including a spa, several restaurants, and gorgeous views of the Caribbean Sea. If you’re looking to get away from it all, this is the perfect place to do it.
There are many rentals on Dominica Island, especially in Roseau. Different rentals offer different amenities and comfort. To find rentals for your stay on Dominica Island, you can use Airbnb or Vrbo to check and pick a rental within your budget. Rentals range from $150 and $60 per night.
If you are looking for a place to stay that is next to the beach, then you have a great number of places to pick from. From luxury private villas to beach cottages, there’s everything for everyone.
Dominica Island is a great place to visit if you’re looking for an adventure. From zip-lining through the rainforest canopy to swimming in natural pools, there are plenty of activities to keep travelers busy. If you’re looking to relax, Secret Bay is the perfect spot to unwind on the beach. Dominica Botanic Gardens is also worth a visit if you want to learn more about the island’s rich history and biodiversity.
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