After months of hard lockdown, who isn’t dreaming of a sunny vacation away from it all? If you’re looking for an island escape or are toying with the idea of citizenship in another country that offers unrivalled mountain vistas, rivers, lakes, jungle, waterfalls, beaches and wildlife, then consider Dominica as your next destination. This under-the-radar island in the Caribbean is a real gem and is not called “The Nature Isle” for nothing with a plethora day tripping expeditions on offer. of If you love adventure, you will adore Dominica.
Depending on where you stay on the island, there is a myriad of things to do, from snorkelling, hiking, indulging in the local cuisine and sunning yourself on one of the glorious black-sand beaches. But if you venture slightly further afoot from the capital Roseau, you are presented with some of the best day-tripping experiences in the Caribbean. From hiking stunning waterfalls in national parks, whale watching and volcano snorkelling, these are the best day trips in Dominica.
Fort Shirley Ruins – 1 hour Drive From Roseau
Set in Cabrits National Park on the iconic mountainous peninsula near Portsmouth, Fort Shirley was used during international conflicts between Britain and France in the 18th and 19th centuries. It boasts incredible views and several hiking trails. It was abandoned long ago and reclaimed by the jungle, but it’s been restored to its former glory, with the best thing being the view from the gun deck. On the edge of the hillside, you’ll find a row of big old cannons pointed out towards the ocean, and from that vantage point, you can see the deep blue waters of Prince Rupert Bay and the rolling, green velvety mountains towering above.
Boiling Lake – 1 hour Drive From Roseau
Based in Morne Trois Pitons National Park, Boiling Lake is what is known as a flooded fumarole and is the second-largest of its kind in the world. Found in the area known as the Valley of Desolation, this bubbling cauldron of greyish blue water is a dizzying 200 feet wide, with its depth unknown. Swirling clouds of vapour envelope this mystifying steaming hole in the earth’s crust that is superheated from the molten magma below. The splendour of Boiling Lake is surpassed only by the breath-taking views that surround it. Its flanked by clear views of the ocean, the neighbouring island of Martinique, and rugged terrain shaped by erosive and volcanic forces of nature over 200 million years in the making. Hiking to this, the world’s second-largest boiling lake, is one of the best experiences in Dominica.
Purple Turtle Beach – 1 hour Drive From Roseau
Purple Turtle Beach is located in the North of Dominica near Portsmouth, one of the largest cities on the island. This beach is a favourite in Dominica with its fluffy fine sand, warm, shallow sparkling water and almost no wind or waves.
Purple Turtle Beach is the ideal spot for mooring a boat and soaking up the sun. The beach offers something for everyone from partygoers and beach revellers to sport and adrenalin seekers.
Freshwater Lake – 25 Minutes Drive From Roseau
Find your centre at this glorious lake in the crisp mountain tops of Laudat village, located in Morne Trois Pitons National Park. Known for some of the highest rainfall in Dominica, it’s just about the wettest place on the island and is often shrouded in clouds and battered by strong easterly winds. Unsurprisingly, the vegetation is relatively low-growing, consisting of ferns, mosses and mountain palms. While this may sound like anything but paradisiacal, one can take a slow paddle or boat ride past tiny islands or take a 360-degree hike around the chilly lake and enjoy unparalleled views of all four coasts. With its lush-green misty ambience, this is a moody experience not to be missed.
Ti Kwen Glo Sho – 20 Minute Drive From Roseau
Sit amongst green forest cover and exotic flowers while the fresh mountain breeze washes over you and experience the healing properties of Ti Kwen’s Glo Cho. Dominica is a volcanic island that has birthed a wealth of wonders, and Ti Kwen is one of them. Plunge into the therapeutic thermal waters of these hot springs enclosed in towering cliffs, and take in the breath-taking surroundings of these stone pools.
Volcano snorkelling at Champagne Reef – 20 Minutes Drive From Roseau
A spectacular multi-coloured seascape on one of Dominica’s most famous pieces of coastline, Champagne Reef got its name from the bubbling waters rising from thermal springs on the ocean floor. Known for its incredible variety of rainbow coloured sea life, Champagne Reef attracts diving and snorkelling enthusiasts from all over the world who come to experience the reefs dazzling explosion of colour, encased in plunging cliffs, towering volcanic formations and all-round awe-inspiring vistas.
Also Read: Ten Reasons to choose St Kitts and Nevis
Indian River – 1 Hour Drive from Roseau
While Dominica is known for its diverse landscape, the views along the Indian River are some of the most scenic on the entire island. As one of 365 rivers on the island, Indian River attributes its name to the fact that the Kalinago (Carib Indian) people lived along its banks and used it as a means of transport. With canopies of trees forming magical reflections over the water, this picturesque escape is a must-see. And if you’re so inclined, a surprise awaits in the form of a bush bar where you can enjoy some local rum punch, before venturing back along the waters.
Emerald Pool – 40 Minutes Drive from Roseau
You’re never far from a waterfall in Dominica, but there’s a reason this one is extra special! Following a short hike, you’ll be entranced by incredible views of a 40-foot waterfall cascading into an emerald green pool. The colours are boosted by the tropical surroundings, with shards of sunlight piercing through the trees, further illuminating the pool. After a humid walk down, you’ll be dying to dive in, and after a swim and a laze in the sun, you won’t want to leave!
Feature Image Credit: Karibi