Dominica travel blog. On September 18th 2017, Hurricane Maria devastated Dominica.
Lives were lost, lush forests were damaged, housing and infrastructure was almost completely destroyed.
And while there is still a lot of work to be done, after two years of cleanup and rebuilding, the signs of recovery are positive.
A lot of Caribbean destinations blur together in one long sand filled beach.
Dominica feels different.
This colourful and welcoming island has its own unique personality. And for such a small island, it has a tremendous amount of natural wonders.
From the martian like landscape of the Red Rocks, to black sand beaches and lush valleys. The island has too many sights for just your standard week long package holiday.
The Nature Island
In 2013, Dominica opened the epic Waitukubuli National Trail. At 185 km long is the longest hiking trail in the Caribbean.
The trail starts in the southern fishing village of Scotts Heads.
And cuts through the Morne Trois Pitons National Park, which include sights such as Trafalgar Falls, Sulphur Hot Springs, the Titou Gorge and the Emerald Pool.
Most sights including Middleham Falls (above) are light hikes accessible on short day trips.
The Boiling Lake (the 2nd largest in the world) is more strenuous, but a real highlight of the natural world.
The Waitukubuli Trail ends at Cabrits National Park on the northern tip of the island near the town of Portsmouth.
From Portsmouth you can take a canoe along the Indian River to explore the remains of a film set used in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.
Further downstream you can enjoy a drink at the Ticking Croc Cavern, a chilled riverside bar only accessible by canoe.
Before the hurricane, the Dominica Brewery produced the popular Kubuli beer with mineral water from Loubière Springs.
Now it sits heavily damaged and abandoned with no current plans to revitalize the site.
Prime Minister Skerrit called the island a “frontline of climate change.”
Their plan is to not simply recover and rebuild, but to become completely self-sufficient as the world’s first climate resilient nation. They want to grow beyond what was destroyed and become a truly unique “nature isle.”
Their main goal is to hurricane proof the island through infrastructure and by diversifying the economy.
They also want to become a natural paradise by banning single use plastics and styrofoam containers, while supplying each house with jute and cotton bags.
For more information on how Dominica plans to become the world’s first climate resilient nation, check out National Geographic’s excellent article.
The coastal capital of Roseau still has a lot of cleanup to do.
I love a good abandoned building.
Older hotels are left crumbling and structures such as the library and Saint George Anglican Church are in limbo.
The priority has been on rebuilding housing units.
One surprising sight were new community housing developments that were being built inland. The style of housing reminded me more of suburban North America rather than a Caribbean Island.
Shop smart. Shop S-Mart.
This is the greatest picture I’ve taken.
Anywhere in the world.
Dominica Travel Blog – Information
Visas: visas not required for most travellers, but as usual check in advance.
Airport: One of the most chilled airports I’ve ever been to. I tried to rent a car, but they had none left, so the lady working took me out for a local lunch to apologize.
Money: Eastern Caribbean Dollar had no ATM at the airport when I visited, but most cash machines in the Roseau worked.
Electrical Outlets: Random outlets (EU or UK usually).
Food: Amazing. Creole food, fresh fish, stewed meats, plantains, yams, dumplings, etc. Yum. Lots of great roadside stalls serving up fresh food, currys, rotis, etc. For home cooked rasta/ital food, check out the Starline Ital Kitchen in Roseau.
Useful Tips: Take advantage of potential stopover flights. I was able to stop into Barbados and Antigua on the way there and back.