Dominica is justifiably called the Nature Island because of its soaring cliffs and lush vegetation. With a local population of under 75,000, this is your dream escape to be far from the maddening crowds. It was one of the last islands in the Caribbean to open up to tourism and has managed to follow an ecotourism model which encourages sustainable development.

Where to stay

The ideal base to start your adventures is at Fort Young Hotel and Dive Resort. It is situated in the capital, Roseau which makes a convenient base to explore the rest of the island. There are no chain hotels or large-scale resorts on the island, just hotels like Fort Young which oozes character in abundance. The hotel is on the site of a military fort dating back to the 17th century and was subsequently used as a police station. They are currently undergoing extension works to add 60 rooms in the autumn. They will also be displaying many of the original features of the building including a centuries-old bread oven and historic walls.

The rooms are extremely spacious and incredibly affordable from $190 per night and $255 per night if you opt for all-inclusive. If you are looking for a regal experience, upgrade yourself to one of their oceanfront suites. The names of these suites are named after prominent Dominican historical figures. They are larger than most people’s flats with a heavenly King bed, living room, dining room, kitchenette, and two bathrooms, which feature a whirlpool tub and shower. The best part is the expansive balcony for you to gaze into the tempting Caribbean Sea.

Dining out

Looking for dining options in Roseau can be a tricky affair. Some restaurants don’t open for lunch. Some don’t cater for dietary requirements such as vegetarian food. The best restaurant we discovered is The Palisades Restaurant at the hotel. You can enjoy al fresco dining at the only seaside restaurant in Roseau. The restaurant has a winning formula of offering local flavours with the likes of jerk pork served with provision pie along with comforting classics like luxuriously creamy shrimp a la king pasta. Their attentive staff do consider requests. With pleasure, they can offer more vegetarian options or lactose-free options, if you feel choices are lacking on the menu.


Visiting Dominica is often about revitalising and recharging oneself. Their Zemi Spa is just the space to achieve these goals. You’ll get to enjoy signature treatments with the mesmerising sound of the Caribbean waves in the background. They only use locally sourced ingredients and will cater the experience to your personal needs.


The island is one of the top 10 diving destinations in the world. And the hotel must be at the heart of the operations, considering the non-stop flow of divers streaming in and out of the harbour which you can observe from The Palisades Restaurant. They have an equipment shop along with expert guides, so can cater from beginner level to advanced. Champagne Reef, with bubbles appearing through the sand due to underwater hot springs, is a must-visit for any diver.

The resort offers an “all-inclusive island-included” experience. It truly takes out the hassle from tourists having to arrange their excursions. Top of the list should be a visit to Titou Gorge. It will be a scenic swim through emerald waters to a waterfall surrounded by cliff walls. The entrancing light that filters through the gorge creates an ethereal atmosphere and it is no surprise, many Hollywood films have been shot at the gorge including Pirates of the Caribbean.

It is often combined with a trip to Trafalgar Falls. Set amongst the verdant mountainside are twin majestic waterfalls. One offers a cold-water pool whilst the other offers hot-spring water. The scenery looks like a film set from Avatar except the wildlife you will see will be adorable land crabs rather than Jurassic-type beasts. And close to this popular site is the River Rock Cafe, which reputedly serves the finest rum punch on the island (and probably the strongest).

Finally, a visit to Dominica isn’t complete without checking out the world-famous thermal springs. Ti Gwen Glo Sho is one I would recommend for the tranquillity and variety it offers. There are 2 separate hot springs with varying degrees of heat. The sulphur water is therapeutic as well as soothing. It’s nestled amongst various exotic flowers and rainforest cover and you are more than likely to encounter the endangered Lesser Antillean iguana.

If you want an off-the-beaten-track experience in the Caribbean, make sure you consider Dominica for your next holiday.


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