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Dominica

Best Dominica Beaches Near the Cruise Port

The best Dominica beaches near the cruise port require some form of transportation to reach them. There are no beaches within walking distance of the port.

The island, covering an area of 285 square miles, is home to a small variety of beaches. The sand is not typical of islands in the region. Visitors to Dominica will not find white, pristine beaches, but rather black and yellow volcanic sand.

Dominica is not an ideal location for sunbathing, as the beaches are mostly rugged and rocky. But the coast’s unusual shape makes it beautiful to look at in its own right.

Cruise lines and shore excursion operators offer few trips exclusively to beaches. Instead, they package beaches with other stops. Dominica is better known for its ecotourism attractions including waterfall hikes.

Mero Beach

Mero Beach Dominica
Mero Beach. Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license

Mero Beach, 12 miles north of the Roseau cruise port, is popular with tourists and locals alike. It is one of the beaches that shore excursion operators are most likely to visit.

Cruise lines and shore excursion operators usually offer Mero as a shore excursion in combination with other stops. For example, Princess Cruises included Mero with stops at a waterfall and the Emerald Pool. The price was $69 per person.

Otherwise, cruise visitors can take a taxi. Various sources reported that taxis may cost about $25 per person round trip.

Mero, a volcanic gray-black sand beach, is named after the town of Mero, but it actually lies in the neighboring town of St. Joseph. It’s about a 30 minute drive north of the cruise port.

Mero has restrooms and concession stands. Public showers are also available.

It is a good option for families with young children, as the water is more calm here than in other parts of the island.

Anyone who wants a package tour that includes Mero and visits to other attractions on the island will pay anywhere from $69 to $150 per person depending on any extra stops and amenities.

Woodford Hill Beach

Woodford Hill Beach
Woodford Hill Beach; © Discover Dominica Authority

Woodford Hill beach is on the northwestern coast of Dominica. The sand on this beach is honey colored, unlike the black and brown sanded beaches in other parts of the island.

This beach has a secluded feel, and little in the way of amenities. There are no public restrooms on this beach, but a concession stand offers food to hungry sunbathers. The beach is 34 miles or an hour and 15 minutes north of the cruise docks.

Purple Beach

Purple Turtle Beach
Purple Turtle Beach; © Discover Dominica Authority

Purple Beach, also referred to as Purple Turtle Beach, is on the northwestern shore of the island, just over a half mile from Portsmouth.

The beach is 29 miles or an hour north of the port. The entire trip goes along the coastline, so Purple Beach is a possibility for anyone with a rental car who wants to explore the island.

This beach has gray sand and active underwater life. A coral reef lines the shore, and tourists can enjoy snorkeling at this location.

This beach has a concession stand and several nearby restaurants. Purple beach does not have a public restroom.

Champagne Beach

Mero Beach Dominica Map

The rocky Champagne Beach offers a chance for snorkeling and scuba diving.

Located just four miles south of Rosseau in the southwest portion of the island, Champagne beach is fairly easy to access.

Champagne Beach is called a bubbling beach because of the small gas bubbles continually rising in the water from the volcanic floor. The movement of the water heightens underwater activity and gives snorkelers the opportunity to see a wide variety of underwater creatures.

A whale watching area is also on the beach.

Champagne Beach does not have access to public restrooms. An on-site snack bar serves refreshments.

Hampstead Beach

Hampstead Beach Dominica
Hampstead Beach; © Discover Dominica Authority

Hampstead Beach is on the northeast coast of Dominca. The sand is both gold and black.

Hampstead Beach stretches across three bays. Be prepared to walk, as the beach is a bit of a hike from the road. Visitors often take a 4x4 to the beach to avoid the long walk.

Hampstead beach does not have refreshments on site, but several restaurants are nearby.

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. He is the author of four books about cruising in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexican Riviera.
September 21, 2023

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