Goes Ashore in the Caribbean
to see & things to do
largest of the windward islands of the Caribbean, Dominica is also
one of the most unspoiled. The
very real pleasures here are simple:
swimming, hiking, biking, bird watching, diving, and taking
in the spectacle of the tropical rainforest and waterfalls.
Aside from its natural beauty, Dominica is an interesting
blend of British, French and West Indian cultures and is called home
by the largest Carib Indian community in the eastern Caribbean.
Cruise Ship Berth is located on the bay front of the capital city
Roseau, within close proximity of the Roseau Museum and its
interesting displays on the island’s discovery, slave trade, and
Creole and Carib Indian culture. Before
leaving the area, the Botanical Gardens are a fascinating stop with
the 'crushed bus' standing in mute testimony to the force of
Hurricane David in1979 and the unyielding power of Mother
Nature—the tree is still alive and growing on top of the bus.
Watch for the 'bamboo house' and a small aviary nearby that
houses some of Dominica's rare parrots.
From a path near the east gate, a climb to the vantage point
of Morne Bruce provides a splendid view of Roseau and beyond.
service around the island is inexpensive, but roads are generally
good and rental cars are available for independent exploration.
Of the numerous National parks or reserves on the island, the
17,000 acre Morne Trois Pitons National Park contains many of
Dominica's famous sights, including several crater lakes,
waterfalls, and the lovely Emerald Pool, at the base of a 50-foot
cascading fall. Most
of the park consists of primordial rainforest, from thick jungle
vegetation and trees to the stunted cloud forest cover on the upper
slopes of Morne Trois Pitons that rise 4550 feet from the valley
of Dominica’s second largest town, Portsmouth, and the partially
restored Fort Shirley, the Northern Forest Reserve is another fine
example of oceanic rainforest and is the home of Dominica's national
bird, the rare Sisserou Parrot.
Some of the finest
handicrafts in the Caribbean are found in Roseau’s Old Market
stalls and handicrafts shops. Dominica
produces high-quality baskets utilizing native fibers and
traditional Carib designs, as well as woven placemats, hats,
pocketbooks, and Creole dolls. Other
locally made items to be on the look out for include floor mats of
verti-vert (a straw-like native grass), pottery, and coconut oil
soap. Cafe Dominique is the
island's answer to Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee and Dominican rum
is highly regarded. One rum
variety is steeped with Bois Bandée, a reputedly aphrodisiacal tree
Because most of the
island’s sand is black, Dominica doesn't have the sparkling
palm-fringed beaches usually associated with the Caribbean.
The best beaches are in the northwestern Portsmouth area.
Champagne, a sub-aquatic hot spring off Pointe Guignard where
bubbles rise from underwater vents, is a haven of calm waters
suitable for swimming, snorkeling, and less experienced divers.
of Dominica’s appeal lies underwater where the scenery is exciting
and varied. Dominica is a
superb diving spot with sheer drop-offs, volcanic arches, pinnacles
and caves. Many of the top dive sites are off the southwestern coast
in the Soufrière Bay area, where stingray, snapper, barracuda,
parrotfish, huge tube sponge, and soft coral are abundant along the
walls and caves. Castaways
Reef, Grande Savane, Rodney's Rock, Toucari Bay, and the wrecks of a
barge and tug off Canefield are all good dive sites along the
Fodor's Caribbean Ports of Call 2013 is all you need
to plan your days ashore, PLUS a cruise primer section and cruise
line profiles by Cruise Diva, Linda Coffman
Back to Caribbean
Ports of Call