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Best Hiking in Dominica: 4 Basic Choices for Visitors

Boiling Lake Dominica
The hike to the Boiling Lake is popular and difficult. © Dominica Tourism Authority

The most popular Dominica hiking excursions include Trafalgar Falls, Emerald Pool, Boiling Lake and Waitukubuli National Trail.

Cruise visitors to Dominica will find that hiking to waterfalls is one of the island’s most popular attractions.

The island receives some of the highest rainfall in the Caribbean and also has a mountainous interior thanks to volcanoes, so waterfalls are plentiful.

For anyone staying overnight or longer, Dominica is unique among Caribbean destinations for creating the first long-distance hiking trail in the region at 115 miles long.

The Dominica tourism agency lists hikes based on easy, intermediate or advanced.

1) Easy Hikes in Dominica: Trafalgar and Emerald Pool

Emerald Pool Hiking Location

One of the easiest and most popular hikes is Trafalgar Falls, which is located by the village of Trafalgar to the northeast of Roseau and near Morne Trois Pitons National Park.

The 0.2-mile hike goes to a pair of waterfalls side by side, one of which is 125 feet tall and the other is 75 feet tall.

Just beyond Trafalgar and past Laudat is Titou Gorge, which has a 0.5-mile hike. Visitors can swim through a series of natural rooms and ponds from the base of the waterfall. It also has a hot spring just outside the entrance of the gorge.

Emerald Pool is a popular hiking destination. It is the most accessible waterfall in Morne Trois Pitons park, which is located by the Roseau-Castle Bruce Road. (Castle Bruce is a village on the eastern coast of the island.)

The 0.7-mile hike will take visitors to a 40-foot waterfall with a crystal clear pool at the base that looks green through the filter of trees, hence the name Emerald Pool, according to the Discover Dominica Authority.

A typical shore excursion that includes both Trafalgar Falls and Emerald Pool will cost about $100 per person. The average duration is about four hours.

2) Intermediate Hikes

Middleham Falls, located near Laudet, is a 3.6-mile hike that goes to a narrow stream that pours over a notch in a cliff and falls about 200 feet. Visitors can reach it from the Providence picnic shelter by the Roseau-Laudat road.

Hikers will begin at 1,600 feet above sea level, climb to 2,200 feet and hike down to the falls. Swimming at the base is an option. Another highlight is the “Stinking Hole,” which is a cave named after the smell of droppings from thousands of bats that live there.

One of the more challenging “intermediate” hikes is the trail up Morne Anglais, which is 4,000 feet tall and one of the tallest mountains in the southern part of the island.

The hike begins at the village of Giraudel and goes 1,789 feet to the summit for extensive views of the island. The Dominica government recommends using a guide because parts of the trail are not well defined.

3) Advanced Hikes: Boiling Lake

The Boiling Lake is one of the most popular hiking destinations on Dominica.

The six- to eight-hour, eight-mile round trip to Boiling Lake in Morne Trois Pitons National Park is one of the most popular and difficult hikes on the island.

The Boiling Lake, about 200 feet across, is actually a flooded volcano steam vent and the largest of its kind in the world, according to the Discover Dominica Authority. The government again recommends using a guide.

A typical shore excursion costs about $135 per person for the all-day journey.

4) Waitukubuli National Trail

Waitukubuli National Trail is 115 miles long and snakes from the southern tip of the island to the northern tip.

Among other highlights, the trail passes through the Carib Territory and the Morne Trois Pitons National Park.

The 3,700-acre Carib Territory was established for the indigenous Carib Indians, or the Kalinago, who first settled on Dominica before the arrival of the Europeans.

Morne Trois Pitons park is a UNESCO natural World Heritage Site. It has a 4,403-foot-high volcano, 50 steam vents, hot springs, the Boiling Lake and four other volcanoes, according to UNESCO.

The Dominica Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry advises visitors to register with them at the trail office in Roseau before hiking and take a certified tour guide. All visitors are required to buy a trail pass.

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.
November 17, 2021

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