A Caribbean Rain Forest, Luxury Hotels, and a Rich Culture Make The Island The Caribbean's 'Nature Island'
Dominica's lush landscapes are unmatched in the Caribbean when it comes to untouched beauty.
Due to its commitment to preserving its largely unspoiled, natural outdoor experiences, Dominica is accurately nicknamed the Nature Island among Caribbean islands. Dominica is different from many neighboring islands in the region where you might be tempted to lay out at the beach with a cocktail in hand, but a full itinerary may not include a beach day.
A key reason for visiting this tropical paradise is the lush greenery (two-thirds of the island is covered in rain forest), which has a wide array of vegetation covering all sides, as well as volcanoes, black sand, hot springs, and waterfalls.
For city dwellers looking for a getaway that swaps skyscrapers for scenic mountain views, or traffic jams for miles of hiking trails, Dominica is the ideal destination. Find out how to plan your perfect trip to this natural island.
How to get to Dominica
From Miami International Airport (MIA), American Airlines operates multiple direct flights weekly to Dominica, making it easier than ever for Americans to travel there. If you want to visit Dominica from another Caribbean island, you can fly from Barbados, Tortola, or St. Lucia with InterCaribbean Airways, Barbados and Antigua with Liat, and Trinidad and Barbados with Caribbean Airlines.
Dominica's Best Time To Visit
In its music, food, fashion, and art, Dominica's rich, Creole culture is perfectly exemplified — a combination of West African roots, indigenous Kalinago heritage, and French and British influences. Carnival in February (usually two days before Ash Wednesday) and World Creole Music Festival in October are the best times to see and experience this colorful display. You are most likely to see whales between November and March if whale watching is on your bucket list.
Dominica's Best Things to Do
A trip to one of the countless hiking trails on this island is the best way to see its beauty. Although the trek to Syndicate Falls is relatively straightforward due to its minimal elevation gain, it does involve some mud (especially when it rains in the rain forest) as well as hopping rocks across two rivers. In addition to being an impressive waterfall, Syndicate Falls features a refreshing water base that's ideal for cooling off after a long day.
In more ways than one, Scotts Head is accessed by walking (or driving) up a steep, paved incline. It is a massive peninsula off the southern end of the island, connected to the mainland by a narrow, rocky strip along one side of the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. There is a breathtaking view from the top.
Inspiring and relaxing, a ride up the Indian River is an excellent experience. The palm tree-fringed water stream is dotted with countless flowers and plants cascading down its sides within three minutes of your guide pushing off the dock in a colorful wooden rowboat.
The unparalleled nature experiences don't stop at the shores. Popular diving sites include Champagne Beach and Scotts Head, where you can snorkel, scuba dive, and free dive.
Wotten Waven is an open-air thermal spa, surrounded by verdant forest, with heated sulfur pools, mud pools, sulfur baths, waterfalls, and more. This is the perfect place to relax after a hectic day on the island.
Dominica's Best Places to Stay
Splitting up your stay on Dominica between the north and south sides will allow you to experience regional excursions and a variety of lodging options that will enhance your overall experience.
Start your trip in the north at the InterContinental Dominica Cabrits Resort & Spa, slated to open in spring 2023. In addition to several outdoor pools and a spa, this chic property will also offer beach access and a refined design that complements the serene setting of Cabrits National Park.
Visit Jungle Bay, a luxury hotel designed sustainably with villas outfitted with immaculately handcrafted wooden and woven furniture and decor. The property is known as the Edible Resort, so take part in the Garden Tour where the head of landscaping leads a discovery walk to see over 75 varieties of local plants and trees on the property, offering many fresh fruits and spices on the way as well.
You'll learn traditional, local remedies and make your own herbal tea blend using herbs and flowers grown on site during the Herbal Experience.
Dominica's Best Restaurants and Bars
There are as many cultural influences on Dominica's cuisine as there are flavors. There is a beachside restaurant called Keepin' It Real that serves local food. Whether you want grilled lobster topped with peppers and onions or the local catch of the day, we've got it all. You'll get it with péze (smashed green plantains), rice, beans, baked macaroni pie, and salad.
A quaint resort and bed-and-breakfast nestled in the mountains of Wotten Waven, Le Petit Paradise is a family-owned business. When planning to visit, call in advance to inquire about what's currently on the menu.
In Roseau, where locals simply call it "town," you'll find countless culinary options. Try Old Stone Grill and Bar for traditional dishes, or check out any of the street vendors selling fresh fruit juices and bites.