As you can see from this picture, the Old Market is just that - old. When the cruise ships are in port the cobblestone covered area is awash with tents and booths and the ebb and flow of people. Unfortunately, the cobblestone pavement is very uneven. If you have trouble walking or getting around be sure that you are cautious when navigating this area. It would be very easy to obtain a nasty sprain or spill in this lively area.
As you can see the roads are very narrow, this is the main road between two of the major cities, Marigot (where the international airport is) and Roseau (the capitol). In Dominica they drive on the wrong side of the road (my reasoning, in many places they drive on the right side, so if you do not drive on the right side, you drive on the wrong side). You will find many of the sections of road empty, but if you pass someone be sure to honk your horn and wave hello, the people are very friendly here.
If you hire out a car in dominica, be very very very carefull of the bends and turns. I don't know if the roads have improved since, but they didn't really have any signs warning you of bends or sharp turns. The locals tend to speed round the cornors. It can be quite dangerous. At the time there was only one traffic light in Dominica, don't know if there is any more.
At night there is no street lights so you have to be extremely carefull.
Be careful when crossing the road by foot or by automobile in Dominica. It's the British driving system which is on the left-hand side. There is no such thing as posted speed limits and very few stop signs on the whole island. I'm from Chicago and driving can be grueling here. I would never drive here for safety's sake. It's kind of like learning how to drive all over again!!!
Other than that situation, I wouldn't actually say there are too many dangers other than dealing with customs at Melville Hall Airport. Be able to open your luggage for customs officials promptly. Unlock them and hold your place in line. You must allow them to look through everything without argument. Dominica has had some issues with drug smuggling from Cuba. Unfortunately, they thought I was Cuban for a fleeting moment. The last time I arrived they looked through every single bag when in previous years they just wanted them unlocked.
The water is safe but I understand the Caribbean in general has had a problem at one point with Ciguatera. This is a toxin from certain fish and the ailments can show up years later. There are no known poisonous snakes or large predators. The few outbreaks of Hepatitis occurred in more rural areas with very little or no contact with civilization.
- I was warned by locals not to park below coconut trees. :-) . Thanks !
- Severe rain can increase the risk of falling rocks.
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