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Dominica

Green, mountainous and unspoiled, Dominica is an intriguing alternative to the more-developed islands of the Caribbean. Sparsely populated and 30 miles long by 15 miles wide, the island is volcanic and does not have the white beaches found elsewhere in the region. But that has ... Green, mountainous and unspoiled, Dominica is an intriguing alternative to the more-developed islands of the Caribbean. Sparsely populated and 30 miles long by 15 miles wide, the island is volcanic and does not have the white beaches found elsewhere in the region. But that has spared it the heedless development that has marred some of its neighbors. Almost one-third of the island has been set aside as nature reserves. Instead of sandy beaches, it features impressive peaks, some 5,000 feet high; a dozen spectacular waterfalls; and dense tropical rainforests that allow more than 1,000 species of plants and 172 species of birds to flourish. Because of the challenging terrain, roads mostly follow the coast. With three national parks, 300 miles of hiking trails and world-class diving and snorkeling, the island offers innumerable activities and excursions.

The weather is sunny and warm with year-round trade winds and little temperature variation. Driest months are December to June.
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Destination Information


CURRENCY

East Caribbean dollar (XCD). Set rate valued at XCD2.7 = US$1.00 as of June 2019. Note: Our suggested hotels quote rates in US$. 

WHEN TO VISIT

The weather is sunny and warm with year-round trade winds and little temperature variation. Driest months are December to June. 

U.S. EMBASSY

None. U.S. Embassy is located in Barbados, Tel. (246) 227-4000. 

DIRECT DIAL CODES

To phone hotels in Dominica, dial 1 + 767 (Dominica code) + local numbers.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

Passport. Visit travel.state.gov, and for travelers’ health information, cdc.gov.

EDITOR TIPS

Awe-Inspiring Waterfalls

Thanks to its rugged volcanic terrain and ample inland rainfall (about 40 inches a year), more than a dozen significant waterfalls lace Dominica’s hillsides. Many are located in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park in the southeast of the island, a UNESCO World Heritage site. While many energetic hikers opt for the 75-minute trek through the rainforest to the impressive Middleham Falls, we chose what I thought was more interesting in some ways — Trafalgar Falls. This double cascade comprises two separate waterfalls, the “Father,” at 125 feet, and the “Mother,” at 75 feet. The falls are easily reached from a park visitor center, from which it is about a 15-minute walk on well-maintained trails to a viewing platform. 

Dominica’s Best Rum

Dominica produces a rum of note. The Macoucherie distillery, located north of Mero on the centuries-old Shillingford Estate, is the only one on the island that uses local cane as the base for its products. I found the regular bottling — what is locally called a “red” rum — to be too rough on my palate. I tend to eschew spiced rums, but to my surprise, I found the spiced iteration to be just the thing in a planter’s punch. Tours must be booked in advance. 

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