Fun things to do in Dominica

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    Drive from Portsmouth to Pagua Bay

    by bsfreeloader Written Mar 7, 2008

    The drive from Portsmouth to Pagua Bay along Dominica’s north coast is perhaps the best drive on the entire island. Snaking through the mountainous jungle, the drive takes in many of Dominica’s varying landscapes including, a drive through volcano, stunning ocean vistas, and lush, green hills and valleys.

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    Cabrits National Park

    by bsfreeloader Written Mar 7, 2008

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    Located on a small peninsula north of Portsmouth, Cabrits National Park is a good place to spend a morning or afternoon. For most visitors, the highlight of a visit will be Fort Shirley, a refurbished 18th century British garrison overlooking Prince Rupert Bay and Portsmouth. For the more adventurous, there are several reasonably short trails through dry scrub that lead to various stone ruins. The dry scrub forest is home to numerous species of birds, and hermit crabs and lizards are frequently encountered on the trails.

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    Northern Forest Reserve

    by bsfreeloader Written Mar 7, 2008

    The Northern Forest Reserve covers 22,000 acres of the north-central section of the island. Largely inaccessible, the reserve features Dominica’s highest mountain, Morne Diablotins, and is the last stronghold for both of Dominica’s endangered parrots. There is a short trail – the Syndicate Trail – that leads to an opening in a ravine where both parrots are known to roost. In addition to this spot, which is particularly good for the more difficult to find Imperial Parrot (locally called Sisserou), it is worth watching for the birds in the trees and flying around the fruit farms along the road leading to the visitor center. Along the same road you can find the trailhead for the Morne Diablotins Trail, an imposing climb best attempted with guide. Even if you strike out on the parrots, the area is worth visiting to see the Dominican rainforest at its best.

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    Birding

    by bsfreeloader Written Mar 7, 2008

    As home to two endangered endemic parrots, seventeen Caribbean endemics, and nine species nearly endemic to the Caribbean, Dominica offers perhaps the best birding of any island in the Eastern Caribbean. The two endemic parrots (Red-necked Parrot or Jaco and Imperial Parrot or Sisserou) are understandably the most highly sought species. Both of these birds, plus several of the other Caribbean endemics – including Lesser Antillean Swift, Purple-throated Carib, Green-throated Carib, Blue-headed Hummingbird, Antillean Crested Hummingbird, Lesser Antillean Flycatcher, Lesser Antillean Pewee, Brown Trembler, Scaly-breasted Thrasher, Forest Thrush, Rufous-throated Solitaire, Plumbeous Warbler, and Lesser Antillean Bullfinch – can be found in the Northern Forest Reserve and the surrounding fruit farms. Even though this is one of the better Eastern Caribbean islands for birding, it will be a challenge to see more than 50 species even on an extended visit.

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    Boiling Lake Hike

    by bsfreeloader Written Mar 5, 2008

    Beginning at Titou Gorge and ending at Boiling Lake, the twelve-mile (roundtrip) Boiling Lake hike is nothing short of a beast. Generally considered to be Dominica’s preeminent hike, the trek winds up and down narrow mountain ridges, crosses cold and warm water streams, and passes through a combination of landscapes ranging from lush rainforest to a seemingly barren wasteland of crusted lava, steaming sulfur vents, and inviting hot springs (aptly named the Valley of Desolation). At the end lies the world’s second largest boiling lake, a rather unimpressive crater full of steaming and bubbling boiling gray water. Interestingly, the lake instantly dried up on the exact day the devastating tsunami hit Southeast Asia in 2004, a mystery scientists are still attempting to unravel. Expect the hike, which requires a guide ($40 is the going rate), to take the better part of a day and to include a mixed bag with regard to the weather. Nearly every step is either up or down, with the former being murder on the quads and lungs and the latter being murder on the knees, but it is well worth doing if you have the time and inclination.

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    Waterfalls

    by grandmaR Updated Oct 18, 2007

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    I had originally picked to do the four hour bus trip with a walk to the Emerald Pool, but a flyer came out which said that Accessible Dominica which had an optional and shorter walk to a pool at Jaco Falls was available, so I switched. I understand that the authorities in Dominica want to restrict the access to the Emerald Pool in order to keep it from being spoiled by tourism.

    On the tour we took, the roads were very steep and twisty, and the bus often sounded as if it was laboring. Eventually got to the waterfall, which was very pretty (and very photogenic) but not spectacularly tall.

    There were concrete steps (photo 3) down to the level of the stream, and a boardwalk (photo 4) to walk along the side of the stream.

    One of the men was going to swim in the pool, but he said it was only about 18 inches deep - not even enough to float in. They had fruit and drinks for us there and also woven grass baskets and the like for sale.

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    Botanical Garden

    by grandmaR Written Oct 11, 2007

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    The Gardens were started by the Crown in 1889 on land which was formerly a sugar cane plantation. The planting of the Gardens began in 1890. The 40 acre gardens are the largest tract of semi-open land in Roseau. It is the setting for cricket matches, national parades and cultural celebrations, religious open air ceremonies and recreational activities. Space was also given to a school

    There are two distinct sections: an ornamental section and an economic section. The latter was devoted to research and the propagation of plants of economic importance. The ornamental section was once exquisitely landscaped with ponds, ornate iron gates, a fountain, and up to 500 species of exotic and indigenous trees and shrubs to enhance the beauty of and interest in the site. Subsequently, between 80 and 100 different types of palms were also planted. Hurricane David did a lot of damage to the trees in the garden, but there are still plants of interest. On the first tour we went through the botanical garden and the guide explained about the trees and plants there (which were numbered and she had a list of what they were).which are numbered so that they can be identified. The van driver on the second trip also drove through the gardens.

    The Gardens is open every day from 6 am - 7 pm.

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    Aerial Tram

    by grandmaR Updated Oct 11, 2007

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    The base station is at an altitude of approx. 2,000 feet

    The tram car held 8 people (4 seats with two people) plus a guide sitting in the back. They went up to the top of the mountain on the lower track and came back down on the upper track. First, we had someone take a car around the whole system to be sure it was all working. It was kind of wet, and before we got in, two people wiped down and squeeged the water off the seats.

    There was a plastic cover over the tram, and I observed that there was less water on the back seats, so that's where I aimed for. We didn't bother to get rain ponchos from the store, and of course an umbrella would be useless. I had a digital camera, and also a film camera in case it really started to rain.

    Our guide (who was named Nigel) that rode with us told us many interesting facts about the plants and flowers we were seeing and also identified the bird calls and told us interesting things about the tram and the island. The trunks of Gomier and Chataignier trees are host to a miriad of vines, ferns, anthuriums, bromeliads and other non-vascular epiphytes. The forest floor below is decorated with heliconias, sedges, orchids and a wide variety of ferns, including several species of tree fern. As we approached the top, it started to rain a good bit and I put away the digital camera.

    We could have gotten off at the top and walked down and across a suspension bridge and get back on the tram at a lower stop. But since it was raining harder, we decided not to do that. The upper track is 150 feet higher, and we could see across the canopy to Morne Micotrin (4,006ft.), Morne Anglais (3,683ft.) and the Caribbean Sea. The entire ride lasts for approx. 70 minutes

    Price: per person........................ US$55.00
    per child up to age 12 years..... US$30.00
    children under age 2 years.................. Free

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    Stroll around the shops and market stalls

    by crazyman2 Written Sep 25, 2007

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    Just wander, browse around the stalls (and barter!) turn a few corners to get away from the main streets, shop in the commercial shops ---lots of jewellers and trinket sellers.

    Beware: Saturday is early closing ---and so if you are coming off a cruise ship then do check the shopping hours carefully.

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  • Wireless and internet connection

    by BROOKS Written Aug 8, 2007

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    Dominica is extremely fortunate to have not just reliable telcommunications infrastructure, but also one that has blossomed due to a recent liberalisation of a long-standing monopoly.

    Telecoms services are provided by Cable & Wireless, Marpin Telecommunications, Orange and AT&T/Cingular/Digicel. Internet access ranges from dial-up to always-on DSL, cable modems and dedicated lines such as 256kb up to T1.

    Wireless
    Wireless access to the Net is offered by many hotels - view our Accommodation Listings.

    There are also a growing number of wi-fi hot-spots around the island. Melville Hall Airport is one example.


    Cyber-cafes

    In Roseau:
    CornerhouseCafe (King Geroge V St.) 449-9000
    Cyberland (Woodstone SHopping Mall) 440-2605
    Business Training Center (Great George St.) 448-0248

    In Portsmouth:
    Cyberland 445-4454
    Alpha-2-Omega 445-3370
    Building Service Centre 445-4303
    (Also in Picard 445-6448)

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    Snorkling at Champagne Beach

    by mytapsy Written Jul 4, 2007

    Its in the southeast, direction Soufriere- Scotts Head.

    Take the new boardwalk to the end of the beach, be carefull of the stones.
    There is a rubber mat here to help to go into the water.
    The beach is famous for the volcanic underwater hot spring. You actually swim through the tiny bubbles. Enjoy the ocean, some coral and the fishes too.

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    more waterfalls

    by mytapsy Written Jun 28, 2007

    Sari- Sari- Waterfalls

    Near the village of La Plaine you’ll find this waterfalls. But there are no signs to find the way. So you have to take a guide or you ask for the way, maybe you get an answer :)
    The 1-2 hour hike takes you through the forest and through the river. You also need shoes to go to the river.
    To swim near the falls you have to climb through 3 big stones or find your own way, certainly not suited for everybody. But you can still enjoy a view from a small platform and a swim further down the river, no need to go all the way.

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    Hike

    by mytapsy Written Jun 28, 2007

    Boiling- Lake

    Make this 5- 6- 7- 8 hours hike!
    It starts in the village Laudat ( don’t forget to buy an entry-ticket for the park).
    After the first easier part of the hike you need power! The way winds up to the summit ( have a short break and enjoy the overview) and then down into the Valley of Desolation ( sulphur springs and boiling water) Keep going, after 20 min you’ll reach the Boiling lake.
    When we visited the lake it was still boiling J
    Take a refreshing bath in the Titou Gorge after the hike. It works just fine!

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    VICTORIA FALLS

    by iamcan Written Jun 6, 2007

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    Chances are you will meet Moses (dubbed "keeper of the falls" on one web site) or one his family members at the start of this trail. A welcoming host and a pleasure to meet! Ask if they will cook for you and at the end of your hike you can try some authentic Ital food. Victoria Falls is on private property and you will be asked to pay a small parking/user fee.

    It is possible to do this hike on your own. Just stay with the river and don't take any paths that lead away from it. You will be required to do several river crossings. At one point you will see a dry (stone) riverbed to the right. Take this instead of the river as it leads back to the water and is a easier path. Stay to the left on your final approach where you will have to do tricky boulder climbing before reaching the falls. I did find it difficult choosing a path over and around the large slippery boulders and gladly joined a french couple and their guide who happened along. The falls are a lovely sight and a nice spot for a swim.

    As always, a guide will make this hike a more enjoyable and safer experience. You can hire one at the start of the trail. Victoria Falls rates high among all the hikes I took in Dominica.

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    Middleham Falls Cruise Excursion

    by iamcan Updated May 18, 2007

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    My wife & I first came to Dominica on a cruise ship in 2000. We chose Middleham Falls as our shore excursion. A combination of this hike, the islands natural beauty, our tour guide's (Peter Green) genuine friendliness, and the sense that a stay on the island could be an adventure and not just another beach holiday instilled in me a desire to return. Several trails lead to the falls. I believe the one we took started in the village of Cochran. Once on the trail it began to rain off & on, very appropriate, as it is a rain forest. In places gnarled roots cover the trail. A tree spontaneously fell & loudly crashed to the forest floor. I wonder if we weren't there would it have made a noise?! ;-). A cleared opening in the forest provided a great viewing spot of the tall slim falls. Soaking in the pool below was like being in a storm as the heavy spray of the thundering water pelts your body and face. The guide climbed part way up the falls and jumped into the pool. To finish off the trek our tour group stopped at a hotel and sat on the terrace over looking a valley and enjoyed cool refreshments.

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Dominica Things to Do

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