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Beaches in Dominica

Toucari Bay

Toucari bay is excellent for day or night dives, this site boasts a wide variety of sea life, including octopus, moray eels, rays, squid, lobster, crabs, trumpet fish, parrotfish and puffer fish, just to name a few. Identify the corals in this area, such as finger, pillar, fire, brain and vase corals. A secluded area with coral covered rocks reaching from the beach out to the main reef at about 40 feet.

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Londonderry Beach

Long rugged black-sand beach on the Atlantic coast close to Melville Hall Airport. Great for beach-combing!

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One of Dominica's nicest beaches. To access it you will need a 4WD vehicle. Look for the 15 miles from Portsmouth milepost.

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Mero Beach

A grey-sand beach located on the west coast.

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Castle Bruce Bay

Beautiful, sweeping black-sand beach located on the Atlantic coast.

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Dominica is by far one of the most memorable ports i have ever been to. a little island tucked away in the Caribbean. what an adventure island with very friendly people.

Aug 26, 2012
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Info on Dominica

The island of Dominica is the wildest in the Caribbean. It was green long before anyone heard of eco-tourism. The government of Dominica has been preserving its shoreline and protecting its mountain rainforests since the 1960s, even while other Caribbean islands, including Barbados and Aruba, were in the process of extensive development. In fact, the little island nation was the first country benchmarked by Green Globe, an internationally recognized program certifying sustainable environmental and cultural tourism.

Dominica is struggling to preserve its reputation as the Caribbean's green island, yet attempting to attract more massive tourism. It deepened its port, making it navigable for the cruise industry's new jumbo liners, and it has spent millions illuminating and expanding its airport. Now planes can arrive at night, bypassing a long-standing hassle of overnighting in Puerto Rico.

Long a British colony, Dominica achieved independence in November of 1978. It occupies a seat in the United Nations and is the central Caribbean's only natural World Heritage Site. Its capital is Roseau, and its official language is English, although a dialect of Creole is spoken by most islanders.

The beaches aren't worth the effort to get here, but the green landscape and rivers, as well as increasingly renowned scuba diving, are. Nature lovers who visit Dominica (Dom-in-ee-ka) experience a wild, rugged Caribbean setting, as well as the rural life that has largely disappeared on the more developed islands. Dominica is, after all, one of the poorest and least developed islands in the Caribbean. Unlike St. Lucia, for example, there are no chain hotels, and the tourist infrastructure tends to be basic. It's also one of the less expensive islands in the Caribbean, and probably the only one that Columbus would still recognize.

Hiking and mountain climbing are good reasons to visit Dominica; its flora is made unbelievably lush by frequent rainfall. Covered by a dense tropical rainforest that blankets its mountain slopes, including cloud-wreathed Morne Diablotin at 1,424m (4,671 ft.), it has vegetation unique in the West Indies. The mountainous island is 47km (29 miles) long and 26km (16 miles) wide, with a total land area of 751 sq. km (293 sq. miles), much of which has never been seen by explorers. Should you visit, you'll find clear rivers, waterfalls, hot springs, and boiling lakes.

With a population of 79,000, Dominica lies in the eastern Caribbean, between Guadeloupe to the north and Martinique to the south. The Caribs, indigenous people of the Caribbean, live as a community on the northeast of the island and still practice the art of traditional basketry.

Clothing is casual, including light summer wear for most of the year. However, take along walking shoes for those trips into the mountains and a sweater for cooler evenings.

Money & Costs
Currency: Eastern Caribbean dollar (EC$)

A mountainous island, geographically part of the Leeward Islands though historically it has been grouped with the Windward Islands for administrative purposes. It has volcanic peaks, mountain streams and rivers, dense forests, quiet lakes, waterfalls, geysers and boiling volcanic pools.
In fact it has more than 200 rivers, many of which cascade over steep cliff faces en route to the coast, and has the highest mountains in the eastern Caribbean.
There are beaches of both black (volcanic) and golden sands while orchids and untamed subtropical vegetation grow in valleys. Guadeloupe lies north and Martinique to the south.
Main attractions are lakes, rainforests, indigenous culture, unique flora and fauna, mountains, hiking, scuba diving, snorkeling, bird watching, fishing and whale watching.
Those who are comfortable with rugged surroundings and who have a deep interest in nature will love Dominica. Those who relish relaxed days on the beach, pina coladas, gourmet food and nightlife will want to look elsewhere. The comforts of home and the amenities of a large Caribbean resort are not to be found.
Geographically, Dominica is a fairly small island, 15miles/24km wide by 29miles/47km long. Volcanic mountains rise abruptly to more than 4,500ft/1,375m and run north-south along the island's entire length.
Lush oceanic rainforest covers the hillsides and there are also evergreen forests, cloud forests, montane thickets and more - an incredible variety for an island so small. Jagged ridges and cliffs dominate the coastline.
There are some narrow beaches along the west side of the island, many of them with black sand. Abundant rainfall means there is plenty of water - 365 waterways criss-cross the island, waterfalls cascade down steep valleys and hot springs and lakes are splashed across the interior.

When To Go
Best time to visit is December-May, when day temperatures average 70s-80s F/23-32C, with nights about 10degF/5C cooler.
July-October is hurricane season. It's cloudier then and rains more, though parts of the island are always wet - it rains a whopping 350in/890cm a year in the mountains and about 40in/102cm on the western coast. Always be prepared for rain in forest areas.
December-January are the coolest months, with days 70sF/23-27C and nights in the low 60sF/15-18C.

Limited international foods but Creole food is very good. Meals comprise primarily lightly seasoned seafood and fish - crayfish and crab backs for instance - as well as fresh vegetables and tropical fruit. Be sure to try stuffed crab if it's featured on a menu (red and black land crab stuffed with crab meat and Creole seasonings), as well as pumpkin soup, fried plantain and callaloo (akin to spinach soup).
The adventurous will want to sample tee-tee-tee made from tiny fish and fried like a pancake. Be warned that crapaud, or mountain chicken, is a species of mountain frog. It's usually served in-season from September to February. Hotel restaurants and other local eateries tend to take great pride in the meals they serve.

Public Holidays: 1 Jan (New Year's Day), Carnival (usually in Feb), Good Friday, Easter Monday, 1 May (May Day), Whitmonday, first Monday in Aug (August Monday), 4 Nov (Independence Day), 5 Nov (Community Service Day), 25 Dec (Christmas Day) and 26 Dec (Boxing Day).

Dominica's Carnival is held during the traditional Mardi Gras period in the two weeks prior to Lent (February/March). It includes calypso competitions, a Carnival Queen contest, 'jump-ups' and a costume parade.
Creole Day, usually held on the Friday before Independence Day (3 November), is a celebration of the island's Creole language and culture. It includes traditional dancing, folklore, food and music.

To describe Dominica to the king and queen of Spain, Christopher Columbus reportedly crumpled a piece of parchment into a ball. The folds and creases illustrated the island's steep mountains - and created one of the first documented three-dimensional maps.
But his model did little to communicate the island's other wonders. Hundreds of fast-running streams plunge through its thick tropical forests and rare birds and animals flit through the greenery.
Offshore, steep underwater cliffs play host to colorful coral, sponges and fish. Best of all, most of these attractions remain much as they were when Columbus first visited in 1493. Even after recent attempts to increase the number of visitors to the island, Dominica is one of the most undeveloped islands in the region.
Those who love nature and don't mind roughing it in a tropical wilderness will find the island to be pure paradise. People go to Dominica to catch a glimpse of a rare bird, to spend the day hiking through dense forests and for spectacular diving and snorkeling in remarkably clear waters.
While the government would love to boost the number of visitors to Dominica, it is also making a concerted effort to maintain and preserve the island's natural state. So it is making a special pitch to attract those interested in eco-tourism - travel that incorporates education about the environment and promotes preservation of natural resources.
It was a Sunday in 1493 when Columbus first saw Dominica so he gave it the Spanish name for that day of the week. Despite his 3-D map, Spain took little interest in it, partly because of the cannibalistic Carib Indians living there.
The French sent missionaries to Dominica in the 1630s but they fled when it became apparent they would be converted into dinner before the Caribs converted to Christianity. In the 1660s, the French and English agreed that Dominica should be left alone.
But French settlers began establishing plantations at the end of the 1600s and France took formal possession in the 1720s.
Like many other Caribbean colonies, Dominica changed hands between the French and English as the two powers battled in the 1700s and 1800s. The English maintained control after 1805 and developed the island's sugar plantations.
Dominica became an independent republic in 1978 and has weathered some political turmoil since, including two unsuccessful coups in the early 1980s, one involving mercenaries that were involved with the Ku Klux Klan.
Nature was also rough on the young country. Hurricane David struck in 1979, killing 37 people and leaving about 80% of the population homeless. The next year, Hurricane Allen inflicted more damage.
In 1995, two hurricanes -Luis and Marilyn - struck in successive weeks. Despite these obstacles, the island has extended and improved its road system and has been trying to boost its tourism business in recent years. Agriculture, especially bananas and coconuts, remains the core of the island's economy.

Facts At A Glance
Official Name: Commonwealth of Dominica.
Area: 751 sq km (290 sq miles).
Population: 74,000 (1996).
Capital: Roseau. Population: 15,853 (1991).
Government: Parliamentary democracy; member of the British Commonwealth.. Gained independence from UK in 1978. Head of State: Vernon Lorden Shaw since 1998. Head of Government: Prime Minister Pierre Charles since 2000.
Languages: English, French/Creole Patois.
Economy: Agriculture, tourism.
Religions: Roman Catholic, Protestant.
Currency: Eastern Caribbean dollar (EC$). 100 cents = 1 EC$. Credit cards and travelerÕs checks accepted in urban and tourist areas.
Time Zone: 4 hours behind GMT. Daylight Saving Time is not observed.
Telecommunications: Good. Country code 809. No city code needed.
Electricity: 220/240 volts AC, 50Hz. Three-pin European-style plugs are usual.
Weights & measures: Imperial
Departure Tax: Yes.

With underwater pinnacles, drop-offs and walls and some exceptionally clear water, Dominica has become a popular dive destination.


Phone: IDD available. Country code: 1 767. Outgoing international code: 1 for USA, Canada and most Caribbean islands - 011 for other countries.

Money & Costs
Currency: Eastern Caribbean dollar (EC$)

Largely destroyed by Hurricane David in 1979, Roseau has been rebuilt with Caribbean-as-it-used-to-be colonial charm. Small enough to be seen in an hour or two, it has many West Indian wooden buildings with gingerbread trim and balconies.
Tourism has had only a minor influence on Roseau so far. The vegetable market on the north end of Bay Street, for example, is authentic. It's not a show put on for tourist photographers.

No one goes to Dominica for the beaches. Most are of black sand and even the residents seem to prefer swimming in the freshwater rivers. The white-sand beaches on the Atlantic side of the island are remote and much too rough for swimming. All beaches are public.

Snorkeling & Scuba Diving: Cruise passengers who are certified scuba divers will want to take advantage of Dominica underwater. It is one of the great unspoiled Caribbean dive spots, with reefs rich in both coral and fish life.

Whale Watching: In the winter, migrating whales can be seen in the Caribbean off Dominica. There's no guarantee you'll see any, of course.

In Dominica, it's called mountain chicken or, in Creole, crapaud. The same dish, in other lands, is called frog's legs. Whatever you call it, it's a tasty specialty of the island. The rest of the local cuisine is heavy on spicy roasted or fried chicken, beef, crab backs stuffed with land crab or crayfish.
The meat is accompanied by potato-like breadfruit either cooked or in "potato salad" or other squash-like vegetables called dasheen and christophene. Other things you'll find on the menus: "goat water," which is goat stew; callaloo, which is a spinachlike vegetable, served as a thick soup; and rotis, which are "Caribbean burritos" that show heavy Indian influence (curried chicken, beef or goat, with local vegetables, all wrapped in a tasty pitalike bread).
The only U.S. fast food on the island is available at the KFC in Roseau.
Food prices in Dominica are among the lowest in the Caribbean.
Their hours are erratic, they don't accept credit cards and most do not have phones. But they do have delicious local food at low prices.

Dominica Shopping
Shopping Hours: Weekdays 8am-1pm and 2-4pm. Sat 8am-1pm. All closed on Sunday.
Note: Bargaining isn't common, although it's done politely in the produce markets if, for instance, you're buying large quantities of fruit or hot sauce. Most items are marked in local currency, EC dollars (EC$). Some shops add a fee if you pay by credit cards.
Dominica is not the place to find bargains on goods from afar. What you'll want to buy instead are local items, including cassette tapes of local music, soap made from aloe and coconut oil, hot sauce, leather crafts and wood carvings.


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