Dominica Journals

Dominica's Boiling Lake & Falls

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A February 2003 trip to Dominica by nmagann

Roseau City Photo, Dominica, Caribbean More Photos
Quote: Home of World Heritage Morne Trois Pitons National Park, Dominica is the "Caribbean’s Nature Island," offering hiking, scuba, kayaking, hot springs, and rappelling and trekking the thin crust of the earth. Scuba-diving with bubbling springs below and hiking to boiling lakes is not your everyday vacation.

Dominica's Boiling Lake & Falls

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Overview

Roseau City Photo, Dominica, Caribbean
Quote:
How can one Caribbean island have 4 mountains over 4000 feet, hundreds of waterfalls and rivers, volcanic fumaroles, and rainforests and yet retain being an unknown treasure to tourists? To hike the rugged terrain of Valley of Desolation knowing a thin crust separates me from the hot vents below and up to the rim of boiling cauldron serves to remind me how insignificant I am in the scheme of things. I not only made it to Boiling Lake, but also did alone, albeit unintentionally.Quick Tips: Agree on prices before you hire taxis or guide and make sure you are negotiating in the same currency because US dollars are readily accepted. Make sure you take some type of backpack with you and carry wate...Read More

Middleham Falls & Ti Tou Gorge

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Attraction | "Middleham Falls & Ti Tou Gorge"

Middleham Falls & Ti Tou Gorge Photo, Roseau, Dominica
Quote:
A drive through Roseau to the Botanical Gardens and on through Roseau Valley, with photo stops along the way precede the hike. The hike itself begins near Laudat walking through a rainforest complete with orchids, bromeliads and heliconias. The idea of a rainforest on a Caribbean Island is an interesting concept in itself. Whether it is raining or not, much of the trail is covered with wet leaves. There is one spiral staircase of sorts that winds around the trunk of a large tree. Another area requires scaling the side of the mountain using the roots to maintain a foothold. Walking through this scenery for perhaps and hour and a half you arrive at Middleham Falls, Dominica’s highest waterfall, whe...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 3, 2003

Middleham Falls & Ti Tou Gorge
Middleham Falls
Roseau, Dominica

Boiling Lake-The Rainforest

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Attraction

Heleconia Photo, Dominica, Caribbean
Quote:
Boiling Lake is advertised as a 6-mile, 6-7 hr advanced hike for those in good physical condition. I walk 4 miles daily and take a circuit training class twice a week. I have no bad joints or suffer from any old injuries. In spite of that, it seems the odds were stacked against me. Most hikers seemed to be in their 20’s while I’m quite beyond 30. Furthermore, after the 1st hour I found myself to be guideless, left to fend for myself. Granted only a few times did I stop to consider where the trail was heading but occasionally a helping hand would have been appreciated. The hike began just outside of Laudat near Ti Tou Gorge early in the morning with a backpack full of water and snac...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 3, 2003

Boiling Lake-The Apex, The Lake

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Attraction

White Ginger Photo, Dominica, Caribbean
Quote:
Perhaps half an hour later the lush greenery of Hot Water Springs gave way to a narrow trail through low brush, focusing on the steam rising off in the distance, Boiling Lake, purported to be the 2nd largest of its kind in the world, came into view. Inside a crater, this large lake measuring 200 feet in diameter boiled vigorously because it was heated by the magma deep below the surface. Considering the lake is at least 200 feet deep, I cannot fathom how far down it is to the magma. Although two small waterfalls feed this lake, it is the volcanic activity below the lake that heats the water. The water is a translucent white with large bubbles rising to the top in t...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 3, 2003

Boiling Lake-Valley of Desolation

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Attraction

Morne Nichols Photo, Dominica, Caribbean
Quote:
The only part worse than the climb up the side Morne Nichols was going down the other side. In addition to grasping at grass and vines to pull myself up the muddy trail, I was trying to somehow wedge my foot in slippery mud to avoid sliding down the side of the mountain. This area took me the longest to navigate and was the only time it crossed my mind that maybe I just wasn’t in condition for this. Fortunately after what seemed an eternity a guide and a dozen students came up from behind and helped direct me. Soon I was through the worst. The trail continues on with much the same but to a lesser degree until I reach what looks like the aftermath of an avalanche. Compared to the mud,...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 3, 2003

Champagne Diving

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Attraction

Champagne Diving Photo, Roseau, Dominica
Quote:
Champagne dive site is probably the most well-known and thus visited site in Dominica, in part because of its easy accessibility, but primarily due to its uniqueness. Not that the name only doesn’t entice. Located off Point Guignard the boat trip from Fort Young Hotel was less than half an hour. Moored within sight of shore, we jump into the calm waters descending to a depth of 70’ among coral fingers and a small wall with plenty of elephant ear sponges and soldier fish darting in and out of the sea feathers. Heading toward shore an abundance of huge sand dollars dot the sandy bottom. A couple of eels and a sea turtle acknowledge our presence along with puffer fish, blue tangs and others. ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 1, 2003

Champagne Diving
Champagne Pool
Roseau, Dominica

South of Roseau Photo, Dominica, Caribbean
Quote:
The following bit of information is posted for visitors: 1 May '01 Illegal to Hassle Visitors in Dominica Dominica, known as the 'Nature Island' of the Caribbean, has introduced a law aimed at 'curbing the harassment of visitors, and to make the island more visitor friendly'. The government has made it a crime to 'molest, trouble, threaten, worry, accost, jeer, insult, persistently beg or follow about any person in a public place', after countless complaints from cruise ship visitors to the island. Anyone caught 'harassing' anyone else will be subject to a fine of up to US$370 or imprisonment of up to six months. Dominica has an unemployment rate of around 35 percent among its population of 70...Read More

Geography, Flora, and Fauna

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Story/Tip

Red Banded Shrimp Photo, Dominica, Caribbean
Quote:
General: Dominica, not to be confused with the Dominican Republic, is an independent state within the British Commonwealth, 16 miles wide by 29 miles long. There are three main cities: Marigot in the NE where the main airport is located, Portsmouth in the NW, and Roseau in the SW close to the secondary airport. The main cities, as well as the others, are all located near the shore as the terrain inland is quite rugged with 4 mountains over 4000 feet, boiling sulfur lakes and 12 waterfalls. After all, Dominica sits on a volcanic arc of the Lesser Antilles. Geography: The Island has the dubious distinction of being one of the wettest in the Caribbean. Rainforests steep terrain, narrow rivers, volc...Read More