The 200 square miles of Dominica are punctuated by dramatic volcanic peaks, covered with verdant rain forests, criss-crossed by 365 rushing rivers, and dotted with mountain lakes and cascading waterfalls. Exotic flora and fauna flourish in its rain forests and coral reefs. Dominica is so dazzling to behold, it has earned the name “The Nature Island of the Caribbean”.
The capital, Roseau, with a population of about 20,000, is on the western shore near the southern end of the island, where the Roseau River flows into the sea. The sleepy town reveals the influence of both the island’s early French and British inhabitants. The gingerbread network and jalousies of its wooden buildings are purely French, while driving on the left is in true British tradition. In town there are craft shops and cafes housed in old buildings of wood, stone and concrete, and historical churches worth seeing.
Hiking through the island’s national parks is one of the best ways to see the real Dominica – and the only way to some of its natural wonders. Morne Trois Pitons National Park has innumerable walking trails varying in length and terrain.
The best buys on Dominica are island-made goods, including straw hats and baskets. You will also find hand-painted candles, handmade cigars, coconut-oil-base soaps, and local preserves and syrups.
Most of the cooking on Dominica is island Creole, however you can enjoy Continental and North American cuisines too. Fresh fish and seafood are found on every menu.
On beautiful Dominica nightlife is low-key. Take a stroll or relax over a cocktail in one of several hotel bars. A few hotel lounges and local spots provide music – entertainment is liveliest on the weekends.
New Year's Day; Carnival; Good Friday; Easter Monday; May Day; Whit Monday; August Monday; Independence Day (3 November); Community Day (4 November), Christmas; Boxing Day.
A valid passport and a return or onward ticket is required of most EU citizens for stays of up to 21 days.
751 sq km (290 sq miles)
Eastern Caribbean Dollar
Dominica GNI per capita
US$4,770 (World Bank, 2008)
Dominica Main exports
Bananas, soap, bay oil, vegetables, grapefruit, oranges
70,400 (UN, 2009)
Dr Nicholas Liverpool
Dominica Telephone codes