Dominica travel advice

Culture tips

Vivianne McGrath from our leading nature vacations specialist in Dominica, MotMot Travel:
“Do go into the communities and interact with the people, who are among the friendliest and kindest to be found anywhere. Self-driving is a great idea, to truly discover what the island has to offer. In the coming months and after the devastation of tropical storms, island people have been working together to restore communities and to help one another. The experience of visitors may be enhanced by incorporating a level of volunteerism in to their trips, in order to contribute to Dominica’s recovery. “
Jem Winston, from our partners Three Rivers Ecolodge & Rosalie Forest Eco Lodge, gives good Dominica travel advice:

Transport tips

“There are no buses on Sundays and public vacations, and very few on a Saturday afternoon. Hitchhiking works really well, and it is still safe for everyone and you will reach your destination. If you decide to rent a vehicle take a 4x4 jeep”.

Packing tips

“Always bring a flashlight, light raincoat, insect repellent, some good hiking shoes (something good and comfortable – not brand new. And also, bring good hand luggage. Whatever airline or ferry you use, your bags will often arrive a day or two after you do!”

Way of life tips

“Please don’t then arrive and expect everything to be as at home. It is not. Your favourite brand may not be available, you may get a power cut for a few hours, perish the thought, and the internet might go off for an hour or two! Don’t get frustrated. Take the time to enjoy the full beauty of Dominica, and don’t stress out everyone around you on something that just needs a little patience.”
Michael Eugene, from our partner Jungle Trekking adventures and safaris, shares his Dominica travel advice:

Climate tips

“Pack a light sweater or shawl – it could get chilly at night. Hat and sun screen help to protect from the sun.”

Trekking tips

“Where possible, use the services of a guide – they add to the level of enjoyment and share interesting local stories. We are very friendly in Dominica and are eager to share in a conversation.”

Health & safety in Dominica

HEALTH

Visit your GP or travel clinic 6-8 weeks before traveling to Dominica to ensure you are up to date with all necessary vaccinations. Malaria is not present, although there are a number of less serious but still unpleasant mosquito borne diseases in Dominica, such as dengue and the Chikungunya virus. Bring a good insect repellent and wear long sleeves and trousers when possible. The island’s main hospital in Roseau is well equipped but more serious injuries or illnesses will need to be treated elsewhere, so be sure you have comprehensive travel insurance which covers emergency evacuation and repatriation. For emergency medical assistance, call 999. An easy one for Brits to remember.

SAFETY

Keep safe on Dominica’s hiking trails. These are not just a walk in the park, with many challenging expeditions. The Waitukibuli National Trail website clearly maps out which sections are easy, moderate or challenging. Using a local expert guide for the harder treks is highly recommended. They have good safety tips on their website, including a facility to register your presence on the trail if you are heading off on a hike. Download this and give it to your accommodation provider, nearest police station and/or Waitukubuli National Trail Management Unit (TMU). Otherwise, wear sensible gear, bring plenty of water, snacks, suncream, insect repellent, a compass, OS Maps, an emergency kit and a mobile phone. Note when hiking the Waitukubuli National Trail, there is no mobile phone signal on segments 8 and 9, but you can hire shortwave radio equipment before you set out on these segments. And always keep to the well-marked trail. Beware of the poisonous Manchineel tree in the Cabrits National Park, around Fort Shirley. Its sap, leaves and berries are highly toxic – even through the skin. Never shelter under one during a rainstorm – even the rain dripping off the plant will cause blisters. Never attempt to wade across rivers when they are in full flood, a sign of which is discoloured water. Bring water shoes to cross rivers, not only to keep hiking boots dry, but to stop slipping on rocks and hurting toes. The hurricane season officially runs from June until November. Dominica was hit by tropical storm Erika in 2015 and hurricane Maria in 2017. Always keep an eye on weather warnings and pay attention to advice in your accommodation about what to do if a storm occurs. Fortunately, most buildings here have been constructed with storms in mind. Mudslides can occur, with electricity, transport and freshwater supplies severely affected. Crime levels are low in Dominica. However, you can minimise your chances of being affected by not carrying valuables or large amounts of cash – particularly during crowded festivals and events; avoiding walking after dark in isolated areas; and only taking licensed taxis.

Our top Dominica Vacation

Dominica nature holiday

Dominica nature vacation

Independent tour of Dominica, Caribbean's "Nature Island".

From US $1675 to US $2295 9 days ex flights
Tailor made:
This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Dominica or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.

Dominica advice from our travelers

At Responsible Travel, we think the best people to advise our travelers are often... other travelers. They always return from our tours with packing tips, weather reports, ideas about what to do - and opinions about what not to.

We have selected some of the most useful Dominica travel advice that our guests have provided over the years to help you make the very most of your vacation.
Try to get to know the people who live near your accommodation. Dominicans are very friendly and love to share their lives with you.
- Joan Rule
“Monitor the paths you are going to walk on. Frequent rain makes some of the steeper paths very slippery and it is best not to attempt them unless you are very sure-footed. Don't expect that every trip you make will work out as expected. Whales do not show up to order.” – Joan Rule

“Travel light, be well organised, and be prepared for early starts. The coastal walk on Dominica is only suitable for experienced walkers, it is rated as medium difficulty, we believe it is more challenging than that. Fortunately we are experienced walkers, but some sections were difficult. We had two very wet and slippery ascents and descents, and the boulder hopping on the beach was not for the faint hearted. “ – Jenny Campbell on our Caribbean nature tour

“Get some really good insect repellent and bite treatment. My tropical version with deet had no use what so ever!” – Nicola Beldham
Dominica is wet, hence its 365 rivers, so be prepared and have some decent footwear for the brilliant walking. Something with grip that can also get wet - you don't want to miss all those plunges into fabulous waterfall pools. It may be wet but it's hot too.
- Pat Tulloch
“It's not your type of vacation if you just want to lie on the beach all day. Be prepared for a relaxed way of life and don't be afraid to try all sorts of different fruits and veg. Go to the Riverside Cafe at Citrus Creek Plantation on the east coast for the best onion pie in the world! Lots of wonderful walking opportunities so take good walking shoes - also something waterproof as there can be tropical showers.“ – Jean Powell

“Take $US not $EC. You end up carrying a wadge of notes otherwise. There are a lot of additional costs for excursions and food not included in the price of the trip.” - Ewa Cobham

“We tailor made our vacation, so work with your travel agent to ensure you can make the most of your time by staying in different areas. “ - Jacqui Smith

Responsible Travel would like to thank the Dominica tourist board for their sponsorship of this guide.
Written by Catherine Mack
Photo credits: [Page banner: Matthias Ripp] [Cultural tips: Matthias Ripp] [Way of life tip: S. Faric] [Health & safety: Dominica Tourism] [Review 1 - Joan Rule: Titanium The Dog] [Review 2 - Pat Tulloch: Titanium The Dog]
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