Dominica is a mere 29 miles long x 16 miles wide, though it feels much larger. The currency is the East Caribbean Dollar and English is the official language. Driving is on the left and the cost of petrol is much cheaper than in Europe or the UK. The time in Dominica is 1 hour ahead of USA eastern time (4 hours behind GMT). Car hire can easily be arranged and the island-wide minibus passenger services are cheap to use and frequent along the west coast between the capital Roseau in the south and Portsmouth in the north, though less frequent on other routes. Local sightseeing tours are also available, though these are geared more for cruise ship visitors, who's time on the island is very limited. For those visiting for 2 to 3 weeks, we recommend a visit with stays in more than just one location.
Most of the country's tiny population of around 70,000 farms bananas, citrus and other tropical fruit on the picturesque mountain slopes. Crime is scarce and should not inhibit ones sense of freedom and total enjoyment. Dominica is the only Caribbean island to have a surviving population of Carib Indians. After the Arawaks, these migrants from South America dominated the region for a long period, before being decimated by the colonizing forces of Europe. In the north east of the island, the Carib Territory is an area where their culture is preserved and protected. A traditional Carib Village has been recreated for the visitor and throughout this region, local handicrafts such as carving and basket weaving may be purchased from roadside kiosks.
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Information on Climate / Weather
Average Temp (C)
Hours of Sunshine
Information on Driving
Driving is on the left. The speed limit in Roseau and villages is 20 mph. while there is no speed limit outside residential areas , unless otherwise stated.
Information on Currency
East Caribbean dollar (EC$) GB£1.00 = EC$4.75
Information on Health
Health facilities, hygiene and disease risk vary worldwide. Please contact your general practioner or travel clinic for more information
Information on Time
Information on Tipping
Most restaurants and hotels include a 10% service charge. Further tipping for special services is by choice.
Information on Water
Tap water is safe for drinking.
Information on Transport
Taxi services are widely available on the island however the use of licensed taxis only is highly recommended .Route taxis and fixed-fare buses operate across the island from point to point, mostly to and from the capital Roseau.
Information on Things to do
Scuba & Snorkelling d- Scuba Diving and Snorkelling - Dominica is rated among the top 5 dive destinations in the whole of the Caribbean and number 8 in the World. Diving opportunities off the 29 miles of sheltered west coast are exceptional and not to be missed if you are divers. There are several dive centres scattered along this stretch - from north to south: Cabrits Dive Centre, close to Picard Beach Cottages, Anse-A-Liane Lodge, near to Colihaut, the East Carib Dive Club at Salisbury beach, Dive Castaways at Mero, Dive Dominica and the Anchorage Hotel, side by side at Castle Comfort just south of Roseau, and Nature Island Dive at Soufriere. The marine reserve at Scotts Head/Soufriere Bay is a sumerged volcano, renown for its 'champagne' bubbles and great diversity. Douglas Bay, north of the Cabritts peninsular is also a designated marine reserve. On the Atlantic side, the north facing stretch of coastline from Blenheim to Woodford Hill has many attractive inlets and coves which are sheltered from the strong currents and breakers of the Atlantic and where snorkelling is also possible.
Carib - The Carib Territory in the east is home to the only surviving population of Carib Indians in the whole of the Caribbean chain of islands, originally descended from South America. They inhabited most islands of the region for a long period of time but most were wiped out during the time of European colonisation. Handicrafts such as basket weaving and carving can be purchased from roadside kiosks and a traditional Carib Village is open to visitors. A series of small waterfalls leading to the sea at the mouth of the Crayfish River is very picturesque.
Bird Watching Field trip with Forester and bird expert. Favourite locations are Colihaut Heights and the Syndicate Forest on the western slopes of Morne Diablotin, were our two native parrot species are most commonly observed from lookout points along the rim of the Picard River gorge, along with other endemics such as Grey Kingbird, Mangrove Cuckoo, Blue-hooded Euphonia and four varieties of Hummingbird, and from where a short hike will bring you to the river pool below Milton Falls on the Dublanc River, a tranquil spot to enjoy a traditionally prepared picnic lunch and take a refreshing bathe in the river. An all day outing may also include a visit to Cabritts or boatride up the Indian River.
Whale watching-Whale and dolphin watching from Dominica - afternoon boat excursions from Dive Dominica and the Anchorage Hotel are twice weekly - 2.00pm till dusk, all year round. Along with the many species of whale which frequent our waters (located by sonar detector lowered from the boat) can be seen dolphins and frigatebirds, along with flying fish jumping alongside and in front of the boat.
Hiking- Hike to the (world's second largest) Boiling Lake, situated in our World Heritage Site, the Morne Trois Pitons National Park. An all day guided hike through forested highlands, via Titou Gorge, Breakfast River, Panorama viewpoint and theValley of Desolation, where steam is emitted and boiling water trickles from fumaroles and small wells into a grey water stream. The outflow of water from the lake itself flows eatward down the White River, which meets the Atlantic near the village of Delices. This is the only hike in Dominica on which you MUST be accompanied by a qualified guide. Other hikes in Morne Trois Pitons National Park include the impressive 300ft Middleham Falls, which takes approx. 1 hour to reach from either Providence (near to Laudat), beyond Cochrane via Tou Santi (stinking hole), or from Sylvania.
Eating Out - Eating local food Fresh fish may be obtained locally from many of the coastal villages. A conche being blown can usually be heard throughout the vicinity, indicating when fish are available for sale from the local fishermen. Red Snapper, Balou, Dorade and Tuna are commonly available. Crabs, crayfish and shrimps can be found in the rivers and streams. Fresh fruit and vegetables are of amazing quality and succulence; bananas, limes, grapefruit, oranges, pawpaw, mangoes, avocado pears, starfruit (carambola), water melon, pineapple, guava, passion fruit, coconuts, soursop, sugar apples, custard apples, golden apples (pome-cite), easter apples, mammee apples - often referred to as apricot, local cherries, tamarind, yellow goosberries, cocoa etc. Vegetables include green bananas, plantains, cristophene, green pawpaw, pumpkin, bredfruit, breadnuts, cucumber, spinach, zucchini, celery and very full flavoured tomatoes. Root vegetables include beetroot, dasheen, tania, yam and several variety of sweet potato. The main outlet is Roseau's market place, located at the Riverside, close to the Bayfront. Dasheen and Tania bear large 'elephant ear' leaves - from the young tender shoots is made thick, green Calaloo soup, a local delicacy. Floral Gardens Hotel, in the north east, grow sufficient Hibiscus to make a refreshing and delicately flavoured cold drink from the red flower petals, served daily in their riverside restaurant.
Information on Banks
Bank hours are from 8 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. from Monday to Thursday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday. Credit cards are widely accepted, with Visa, MasterCard, and American Express being the most popular.
Information on Electricity
The voltage is 220/240 volts and 50 Hz.- the same as the UK with British power sockets. However, some hotels also offer 110/115 volts and two-pin power sockets, for which an adapter may be provided.
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