The Ultimate Travel Guide to Dominica

Icon Share


Advisor - Simon Morris
Curated By

Simon Morris

  • International Travel

  • Active Travel

  • Adventure Travel

  • Luxury Travel

  • Nature Escapes

  • Off-the-Beaten-Path Travel

  • Island-Life

  • High-End

  • Outdoors

woman standing next to tree with waterfall in background during daytime
Curator’s statement

The Caribbean's "Nature Island" of Dominica (not to be confused with the Dominican Republic) is truly one of the world's hidden gems, so much so that our family relocated here from NYC after a two month visit! With its lush rainforest mountains, crowd-free black sand beaches and a waterfall for every day of the year, it's a nature-lovers paradise and a rare oasis of undeveloped, unspoilt beauty. If finding off-the-beaten-path sights and having waterfalls, sulphur springs and beaches all to yourself appeals to you, then this could be the island for you!

The Fora Difference

Book with Simon to access exclusive perks and experiences on your trip.

[object Object]
Killer perks

Free upgrades, spa credits and more—we got you

[object Object]
Personalized recs

Customized travel planning for your style

[object Object]
Insider knowledge

Expert advice from people who’ve actually been there

Where to stay in Dominica

Things to do in Dominica

body of water next to green mountain during daytime

Emerald Pool, Jacko & Spanny Falls: In the island’s mountainous heart lies the lovely Emerald Pool—a pristine, jungle-fringed swimmable river pool with a waterfall flowing into it. You reach it down a wide and well-kept trail, and the loop on the way out affords great views over the mountains back to the Atlantic Ocean.

Close to Emerald Pool there’s two great easily accessible waterfalls. Jacko Falls is just a two minute walk down wooden steps. Spanny Falls is a ten minute walk down an easy trail. You can swim in the pools under both of these falls!

Trafalgar Falls & Wotten Waven Sulphur Springs: Trafalgar Falls is an impressive twin falls surrounded by dramatic cliffs at the top of the Trafalgar Valley. It’s an easy five minute walk along a wide trail to the viewing platform. These falls are easy to combine with a visit to one of nearby Wotten Waven’s famous hot sulphur spring baths. There are quite a few to choose from - our favorites are Ti Gwen Glo Cho (a number of pools of different temperatures set in beautiful tropical gardens with lovely pathways) & Screw’s Sulphur Spa (cool carvings in the rocks around the pools, access to the river where you can cover your body in sulphur paste).

Titou Gorge: This incredible flooded gorge in the same Trafalgar Valley (as seen in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest) can be experienced with guided canyoning tours, that is good for six year olds and up.

Champagne Beach Snorkeling: South of the capital Roseau, the water off this beach is famous for the magical Champagne-like bubbles that float up from the sea bed! You can rent snorkeling gear here and even take a snorkeling tour with PH Whale Watch who are based on the beach, or just bring your own gear.

Whale Watching: Dominica’s Caribbean coast is famous for its sperm whale population, and there are two types of whale watching boat trips to choose from, that both leave from the Roseau area. October and November are the best months to see the whales, but there’s still a chance to see them year-round, and always a good chance to see pods of dolphins. And the boat trips are almost worth it just to see Dominica’s dramatic mountain contours from the sea!

Indian River Boat Ride: Used as the iconic location of Calypso’s lair in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, this atmospheric river is lined with spectacular buttressed Bwa Mang trees, their roots reaching down into the water as huge land crabs, iguanas and herons roam the banks. Your river guide will row you up the river whilst narrating its history, and show you an old set piece from the Pirates movie.

Chaudiere Pool: A lovely hike through rainforest leads you to this natural bathing pool, famous for its depth & rocky ledge to jump in from! Spot Jaco parrots (found nowhere else on the planet apart from in Dominica!) & kingfishers in this pristine jungle sanctuary.

Red Rocks: Explore these otherworldly red rocks with their caves & secret passages, and breathtaking vistas of volcanic peak Morne Aux Diables & Guadeloupe on the horizon.

Pointe Baptiste beach & Chocolate Factory: A hidden gem, this curve of white sand shaded by palms & a dramatic red cliff, has stunning views to the Red Rocks, the peak of Morne Aux Diables & the French islands of Guadeloupe & Marie-Galante on the horizon. And the chocolate factory tour is also great to visit: get a tour & chocolate tasting session before buying your own bars to take home!

Batibou Beach: Possibly Dominica’s most picturesque beach, this stunning sweep of palm-fringed, gently sloping sand is perfect for swimming. Sit at one of the wooden tables and benches provided on the beach, string up your own hammock from the palm trees, don’t forget your cooler and settle in for the day!

Kalinago Territory: The Kalinago Territory is the home of the last remaining tribe of pre-Columbian Carib Indians going back to about 3000 B.C. Visit the cultural center at Kalinago Barana Aute where peaceful paths guide you through a replica of a traditional village, as well as to a beautiful waterfall crashing to the ocean below.

Victoria Falls: Victoria Falls is a dramatic falls that you reach by walking partly up the White River, a striking milky-colored river that flows from the Boiling Lake itself!

Boiling Lake hike: This is an epic six hour round-trip hike that has challenging terrain but the rewards are experiencing the otherworldly Valley of Desolation and the world’s second largest boiling volcanic lake!

Turtle Watching at Rosalie Bay: Between March & December at the black sand beach of Rosalie Bay, there’s chances to see three species of turtle (Hawksbill, Green & Leatherback). There’s a lovely nature trail down to the stunning black sand beach, where one of the turtle conservationists is on duty. Depending on the season, either go at night to try and see a mother turtle laying her eggs, or visit during the day for a scheduled nest evacuation & watch the magical sight of baby turtles crawling down the beach into the sea!

Places to eat & drink in Dominica

tables and chairs next to palm trees during sunset

Lacou, Roseau: Run by a pair of Montreal chefs and situated in a beautifully restored historic courtyard, this hip spot has an incredible menu of local foods with an international flair and some of the best cocktails on the island!

Keepin' It Real, Toucari: This beautifully designed wooden restaurant sits right on the sand in the pretty bay of Toucari, with epic sunset views: not to mention the delicious local seafood dishes it is famous for - run by a fisherman.

Zeb Zepi's, Pond Casse: A French twist on Dominican food in this high end spot up in the rainforest, where most ingredients are harvested from right there from the nutrient-rich soil and well-watered rainforest.

Coral Reef, Calibishie: This charming spot sits right on the bay in the lovely fishing village of Calibishie, and serves classic Dominica favorites as well as a great rum punch with local fresh juices!

Chez Wen, Scott's Head: The views from the deck onto the dramatic peninsular of Scott's Head are breathtaking, while you wait for your freshly-caught fish to be prepared.

Infinity, Picard: With a touch of European flair from its Dutch-Dominican chef, this restaurant sits above a lovely river and is a very peaceful spot.

Need to Know

Recommended reading to enrich your experience:

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys: Growing up in Dominica, Rhys' classic is inspired by the Nature Island.

Autobiography of my Mother by Jamaica Kincaid: A powerful & stirring story of one woman's life on Dominica.

Black & White Sands by Elma Napier: This mesmerizing memoir from the 1930s tells the story of a British woman who left her high society life to move to Dominica.

The Orchid House by Phyllis Shand Allfrey: A beautifully written 1950s novel about three sisters who return to Dominica to find their family living in dire straits.