Dominica Journals

Dominica--The Most Beautiful Windward Island

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A November 2004 trip to Dominica by madaunt

Roseau, Dominica Photo, Dominica, Caribbean More Photos
Quote: Dominica offers the most varied scenery and natural landscape of any tropical island I have ever visited. Dominica is beautiful year-round for hiking, diving, swimming, bird-watching, and sightseeing in historical and natural sites. With beaches, jungles, and arid areas, plus the Caribe Indian territory, there is much to explore.

Dominica--The Most Beautiful Windward Island

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Overview

Roseau, Dominica Photo, Dominica, Caribbean
Quote:
Before dawn, we arrived in the old colonial town of Roseau on the Caribbean island of Dominica. Just 49km (29 miles) long and only 25km (16 miles) wide, verdant Dominica (pronounced Domi-NEE-cah) is the Windward Island north of Martinique and south of Guadeloupe. Watching this beautiful place wake to a new day was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. The island has a rich heritage that blends English and French history with the culture of the native Caribe Indians, as well as the exotic music, dance, food, and splendour of the African and West Indian people. Everywhere you look is a postcard paradise of natural beauty and historical culture. And the people always seem to be truly friendly...Read More

Diving/swimming, hiking/walking & bird-watching

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Attraction | "Diving/swimming, hiking/walking & bird-watching"

Jungle trail  Photo, Dominica, Caribbean
Quote:
Diving and Swimming Dominica offers excellent opportunities for diving. On our first trip to this island, we found a dive shop located right next to the cruise ship docks. The staff was friendly, the off-season prices were reasonable (US$60 for a dive for two), and the diving was great. Later, we went swimming and snorkelling right off the small pier near the cruise ship docks. The water is clear and warm, and the fish are colourful. For current dive info, up-to-date rates, and spectacular underwater pictures of what you can expect when you dive in Dominica, visit the Dive Dominica website . Hiking and Walking Hiking and w...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 25, 2005

Dominica Botanical Gardens

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Attraction | "Amateur Guide Made Botanical Gardens Even Better"

Dominica Botanical Gardens Photo, Roseau, Dominica
Quote:
On a day trip in Roseau, we decided to walk to the Botanical Gardens. These gardens are among the largest and most beautiful in the Caribbean. After an hour of stumbling along cracked slabs of pavement and tripping over cobblestones, we still had not found the gardens. By then it was high noon and we were in narrow lane that seemed to lead straight up into the sky. Our map identified this alley as a much grander-sounding avenue. Lazy laughter drifted out of open doorways. Beer fumes hung in the air. We seemed to be in the wrong part of town. We were lost, hot, sweaty, and frustrated. There were some tipsy men in the alley who wanted to help us, but they could not understand our questions or r...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 25, 2005

Dominica Botanical Gardens

Roseau, Dominica

Touring by coach, minivan, and taxi

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Attraction

Quote:
There are basically three types of tours available on Dominica: guided coach tours, minivan tours, and self-guided taxi tours. The coach tours are the most deluxe, with excellent guides, air-conditioning, and onboard washrooms, and usually include snacks and entertainment. The drawbacks to the coach tours are expense—they can cost up to $100 per person for as little as 3 hours—and traffic jams! Because the tours most often start and finish near the cruise ship docks and the coaches are huge vehicles that must negotiate the narrow winding streets of downtown Roseau, passengers can sit and stare out the windows for 30 minutes or more while going and coming from the dock area. If you don’t mind just s...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 25, 2005

Quote:
While a little short on high-end shopping and luxury accommodations, Dominica has many small hotels and quaint "guesthouses." Most of these places are located in or near Roseau. We found that the Visit Dominica website was great for hotel info, and Dominica accommodation covers just about everything available. Because this is such a small island, I strongly recommend that you have your accommodations booked before you arrive.

Communicate--or Not!

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Story/Tip

Quote:
School kids, most tour guides, and younger people on Dominica speak English with a delightful lilt and occasional French pronunciation of some words. We could talk easily with them, and there was no trouble understanding what was being said. However, your best bet for communicating with older folks is to speak slowly and, if necessary, write down what you want to say. We thought we understood one local grandmother when we asked for directions to the Queen Mary Street entrance to the Botanical Gardens. She readily offered to take us to the street, and we cheerfully tagged along behind her and then found she had taken us to her church, which was adjacent to the gardens. Because she was so happy to have ...Read More