A visit to Dominica (pronounced Do-min-ee-kah) promises to be unlike any other stop on your itinerary. Prepare to slow down, take in the scenery, breathe fresh air like you haven’t breathed in years, sample fruit right from the trees and experience nature in a way you can only do so in a few places on earth. This “Nature Island” is 29 by 16 miles of rainforest, dense lush vegetation, waterfalls, freshwater pools and bubbling hot springs from the active underwater volcanoes surrounding the island. Once off the ship, head inland or out to the water to experience the best of what this island has to offer. Dominica was actually selected as the backdrop for Pirates of the Caribbean movies 1 and 2.
The island has a lot to offer, not just in what it does have – but also in what it doesn’t. There are no chain hotels, big-box mega-stores, or chain restaurants. If you are looking for shopping, once off the ship at Roseau Cruise Ship Berth, shops are literally just steps away from shops, restaurants and transportation. In downtown Roseau, look for the local fruit and vegetable market that many say is the best in the Caribbean, as well as local arts and crafts stalls. A bit further from the pier but still within walking distance is the Dominican Botanical Gardens where you can catch a glimpse of the rare Sisserou parrot without going all the way to the park to see it.
WEATHER: Weather on the island is a moderate 77 degrees year-round, although it’s cooler in the mountains, humid in the rainforest and warmer on the coast.
GETTING AROUND; Taxis line up at the cruise port piers. Jeeps can be rent rented from a handful of local operators. Be sure to give yourself extra time for driving. Even distances that look very close on the map can take a long time-one lane roads often passes for a two-lane highway.
HIKING: Hiking is the number one activity on this gorgeous island. Go for a hike through rainforests and valleys that end om sparkling freshwater pools. Don’t worry if you’re not up for hiking. You can experience all the rainforest has to offer by coasting above the treetops in your own tram.
CURRENCY: The local currency is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar, but U.S. dollars are widely accepted by most tour operators, restaurants and vendors.
LANGUAGE: The language of Dominica is English, however, many of the locals also speak “Key-wol” Creole.
LUNCHING: Casual lunching in Roseau has several excellent restaurants offering local Creole cuisine.
You will be you’ll be awed by the utter majesty of the unspoiled nature rising up around you like a cathedral. Enjoy this unspoiled paradise.