Caribbean vacations
Cruise and Beach Destinations
in the Caribbean, Mexico & Beyond

Dominica Travel Information

Trafalgar Falls Dominica
Trafalgar Falls, Dominica. © Discover Dominica Authority
A cruise visit to Dominica (pronounced Dom-in-ee-ka) leaves the impression that the island is just getting started with tourism.

Visitors walking off the ship in the cruise port at the nation's capital, Roseau, are greeted with one of the smallest cruise ship shopping districts among the eastern Caribbean islands.

On the day we visited, the shopping district was about one block deep and several blocks long.

No one we saw ventured beyond the shopping area. We decided to explore and walked from the port to the other side of the city, about one mile long.

Roseau was packed with people walking, talking and waving at each other. It was an interesting experience in observing the culture, but there were no apparent opportunities for sightseers.

Dominica is about halfway between Puerto Rico and Trinidad & Tobago. It is commonly a stop on southern Caribbean cruises.

Dominica is much more a destination for cruises rather than than a longer stopover visit for multiple nights. The island is ranked 19th in total visits, 25th in stopovers and 13th in cruise visits.

Dominica Attractions

Dominica is promoting itself as an ecotourism vacation and with good reason. It is one of the better hiking experiences in the Caribbean because of rain forests, mountains and waterfalls.

Waterfalls include Trafalgar Falls, Emerald Pool, Victoria Falls, Sari Sari Falls, Middleham Falls.

Another interesting hike is a three-hour one to Boiling Lake, the world's largest boiling lake formed by heated gases that escape from molten lava underneath the lake.

Getting Around

Dominica MapTaxis are available at the airports and in Roseau, and can be arranged all over the island. They are easily identified by the letters, H, HA or HB preceding the registration numbers on the number plates. There are standard fees from the city to both airports.

Douglas-Charles Airport is the main facility for air travel. Taxes are available both there and in Roseau. Visitors can identify taxies by the letters H, HA or HB before the registration numbers on the license plates. Taxis have standard fees from the city to the airports and vice versa. The fare from Douglas-Charles Airport to Roseau is about $26 U.S.

Car rental agencies are available in both the city and airports, but visitors must buy a driver’s license for $12 U.S

Bus service consists mainly of private minibus companies. Bus fares are standardized like taxi fares based on the route.

Tourism / When to Go

U.S. and Canadian stopover tourists require passports and return tickets on arrival at the island. Cruise visitors need their ship IDs when leaving and returning to the ship.

The most popular months are July and October; the least popular are September followed by a near tie among January, March and June.

March is actually one of the best months to visit for weather. October is one of the worst months.

Dominica Weather

Average daytime temperature is about 81 degrees Fahrenheit and ranges from 82 degrees in January to about 87 in the summer months.

The climate is tropical and moderated by northeast trade winds. The island has some of the heaviest rainfall in the Caribbean.

Annual rainfall is about 70 inches on the coast and much higher in the interior, which makes the island high in lush tropical rain forest.

The highest amount of rainfall is in September through November when the island averages about 12 inches each month. It also averages about 10 inches in May and December. The lightest rainfall usually takes place from January through April, which is the peak season for cruise visitors.

Currency / Tipping

Currency is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar, but we easily made purchases with U.S. currency. Major credit cards are widely accepted.

Tipping should follow the Caribbean standard of 10-15 percent for less developed islands.

Stopover visitors will pay a $55 departure tax (Eastern Caribbean Dollars or about $21 U.S. dollars) when leaving the island.

Culture / Geography

The economy is driven by agriculture. Tourism is growing, but short-term cruise visits drive less money into the economy than long-term stopovers. The official language is English.

The terrain is lush with volcanic mountains including Morne Diablotins at about one mile high. Total size is about 469 square miles.

Sources / More information

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas.

 > Category: Travel Tips   

October 12, 2015

More Tips