Dominica is the place to go if you’re searching for a pristine Caribbean island dedicated to genuine ecotourism. There are no resort chains on the island, and it isn’t known for its nightlife, but if a tranquil and gorgeous natural island scenery is important to you, and your must-do list includes lots of daring eco-friendly exploration, then this island in the Lesser Antilles archipelago welcomes you. The Emerald Pool, a natural pool and waterfall wrapped in rainforest canopy, is accessible through a short, simple trip, while a more strenuous guided hike rewards trekkers with pools at the bottom of the jaw-dropping Trafalgar Falls; both are located in Morne Trois Pitons National Park. This is only the beginning of a list of 10 Best Things to Do in Dominica for eco-tourists.
1: Emerald Pool
The lovely Emerald Pool may be found in Morne Trois Piton National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The waterfall grotto is a 30-minute stroll through the jungle that can be located along the way to Castle Bruce. Water shoes and careful walking are recommended because the pool’s bottom is highly rough and covered with stones. Swim or stroll out to the waterfall and stand beneath it. If you don’t want to get in the pool, there is a cave and path behind the waterfall. Jacquot parrots can also be seen (and heard) from this location.
2: Champagne Reef
Dominica has received multiple top snorkeling and diving awards from Scuba Diving Magazine and Caribbean Travel & Life Magazine over the years. Thousands of warm bubbles released from geothermal springs leak gases through the water at Champagne Reef, the island’s top diving and snorkelling destination will astonish snorkelers, providing the illusion of swimming through champagne. Hawksbill turtles, crabs, sponges, parrot fish, and a variety of other reef creatures can be found by snorkelers and divers. Divers can choose from one- and two-tank certified dives lead by PADI Dive Masters, as well as night dives. Champagne Reef places a premium on diving responsibly and conserving the marine environment. Also read Best Things to Do in Las Vegas.
3: Cabrits National Park
The entire peninsula north of Portsmouth is covered by Cabrits National Park, which includes Dominica’s largest marsh, peninsula coastal areas, and coral reefs. The site of 18th-century Fort Shirley, where 600 British troops were originally kept, is the park’s showpiece. The original officer’s quarters were refurbished and utilized as an event venue today. Weddings, concerts, and the annual Dominica Jazz ‘n’ Creole Festival are among the events held here. Visitors can take short, easy excursions through the surrounding forest to explore other areas of the fort’s remains and enjoy spectacular views of Prince Rupert Bay from the event centre.
4: Boiling Lake
Only explorers ready to traverse the muddy trails and test their physical and mental agility will want to make the trip up Boiling Lake Trail in Morne Trois Pitons National Park to Boiling Lake, and even then only with a competent guide. With its difficult terrain and steep inclines, the 8-mile trek takes about 3 hours one trip. The Valley of Desolation, at the trail’s end, offers a stunning view. A fumarole, or steam vent, in the Earth’s crust created the lake, which is a bluish-grey seething boil. The lake’s dreamy mood is created by rising water vapours. Also read Best Things to Do in Curacao.
5: Freshwater Lake
Freshwater Lake is a half-day journey from the town of Laudat towards Morne Trois Pitons National Park. It is also accessible by vehicle or cab and is next to a parking lot. In around 30 minutes, visitors can stroll around the lake on a picturesque trail. Ferns, mountain palms, and a variety of tropical flora such as heliconias, orchids, and bromeliads add a splash of colour to the lush foliage, making for a pleasant stroll. Because it is located in a valley, it receives a lot of rain, therefore tourists may expect to see a foggy cloud forest with a few sunny days. For those who aren’t terrified of the mythological lake monster, kayaks can be rented at a nearby visitor center.
6: Dominica Botanical Gardens
Roseau Botanical Gardens, or “the Gardens” as they’re known locally, cover 40 acres and are Roseau’s largest green space. The gardens are home to 50 different indigenous flora, as well as a few imported trees and the sisserou parrot, the island’s official bird. Visitors can expect to see two sections: an aesthetic portion with precise landscaping and a more practical section dedicated to the propagation of economically significant species. Despite being pummelling by tropical storms and hurricanes on numerous occasions, they continue to provide an idyllic location for local festivities and parades, as well as recreational activities for residents and visitors. Also read Best Things to Do in Rotterdam.
7: Morne Diablotin National Park
The Syndicate Nature Trail, Dominica’s most popular hiking trail, may be found in the northern mountain ranges of Morne Diablotin National Park. The park was established to conserve the habitat of the island’s two indigenous parrots, including Dominica’s national bird, the sisserou. Despite the fact that the park is named after the black-capped petrel, also known as the diablotin (because to its sinister-sounding call), it is doubtful that visitors will see one. On mountain cliff faces, rare sightings may occur. Because of the variety of bird species – 18 in total – Morne Diablotin is a natural bird watching site. A difficult trail leads to the summit of Morne Diablotin, but it is reserved for the most daring adventurers.
8: Sari-Sari Waterfall
The climb to the Sari-Sari Waterfall is not as strenuous as it is frightening. Trekkers must complete at least half of the hike through the river itself, navigating stones and rocks, waterfalls, and pools, after an easy hike to the water. It is definitely good to hire a guide because the hike is perilous and unexpected, following the friendly cairns built by past hikers to show the way. Hiking during or after a heavy downpour enhances the river’s unpredictability owing to frequent and deadly flash flooding, which has resulted in fatalities in the past. The waterfall is beautiful and well worth the effort, however there isn’t a pool at the foot of the waterfall; there isn’t one. Also read Best Things to Do in Solvang.
9: Morne Watt
The climb to the peak of Morne Watt provides a worthy island perspective for the athletic and ambitious tourist. The settlement of Wotton Waven is the starting point for summit hikes. It can be difficult to distinguish because it is rarely used, and it should only be performed with the assistance of a competent and educated guide. The three- to four-hour one-way walk up the island’s third highest mountain is tough. Hikers can eat at Café Mon Plezi, a Creole restaurant, or La Petite Paradise, a French restaurant, before or after a lengthy hike. Hikers will enjoy the Valley of Desolation, which is only a quarter mile away and gives a breathtaking view.
10: Trafalgar Falls
Trafalgar Falls are Dominica’s famed twin falls, located 20 minutes outside Roseau. Father Fall, at 85 metres, is on the left, and Mother Fall, at 40 metres, is on the right. There is a visitor centre with facilities, changing rooms, souvenirs, and a snack bar, as well as a nature display room with local flora and birds. A short walk from the centre leads to an observation platform where guests can take photos. Adventurers can continue on with a guide through the rainforest to Mother Fall, where they can make their way to the pool by scrambling over slippery, wet stones. Guides can also take guests to Father Fall, albeit it is more difficult.