A week is never enough on the nature island, but if that is all the time you have, here is the best way to spend your time….
Ease yourself into your adventure with a trip to the Emerald Pool. An easy 20-minute walk brings you to an alluring waterfall and crystal-clear pool surrounded by verdant forest. From the Emerald Pool, head up the Roseau Valley to the Trafalgar Falls. The twin ‘father’ and ‘mother’ falls are spectacular and a challenging scramble over boulders and cascades brings you to the high waterfall pools. End your first day with a late afternoon walk around the Botanical Gardens in Roseau where you can relax and watch the world go by.
Step up the adventure a little with a couple of moderate, back-to-back hikes in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park. The first is a short one-hour hike around the Freshwater Lake. Nestled between the two volcanoes of Morne Trois Pitons and Morne Micotrin, hikers on the Freshwater Lake Trail can enjoy sweeping views of the park’s volcanic peaks as well as views down to the east coast. Not far from the Freshwater Lake is the Middleham Falls trail. A round trip of around two hours through the rainforest brings hikers to one of Dominica’s tallest waterfalls. After your hike, head back down to the Roseau Valley and take a stroll around Papillote Gardens, enjoying a soak in one of the hot pools. As well as being very beautiful, the gardens are peaceful, private, and perfect for romantics.
Give your legs a break and transfer to the water by taking a half-day whale watching trip. Sightings of sperm whales are very likely, and the boat is often accompanied by pods of dolphins. After your trip, head down the coast to Champagne Reef and enjoy afternoon snorkelling in the bubbles of this volcanically active reef. Passing turtles and brightly-coloured parrot fish are often seen here. Finish up your day with a delicious lobster dinner as you watch the sunset from the sleepy fishing village of Scotts Head.
Now for the big one! Take on the challenge of the Boiling Lake Trail in the company of an experienced guide. Memories of this hike will remain with you forever; trekking through forest, up and over mountain peaks, and across the volcanically active caldera of the Valley of Desolation. Dominica’s Boiling Lake is the second largest of its kind in the world. At the end of your hike, take the short swim through TiTou Gorge to a hidden waterfall and then finish your day with a private, muscle-relaxing soak in one of the hot mineral-rich spas of Wotten Waven.
Your legs may be a little stiff on day five so take an easy stroll along the forest trails of the Cabrits National Park where you can discover garrison ruins entangled in jungle vines. The restored Fort Shirley is a fascinating heritage site with awesome views across the northern bays. Head down to the Indian River and take a relaxing (and very romantic) boat trip inland to the jungle bar. Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed here – it was the home of Tia Dalma, the sea goddess, Calypso. Finish day five at Purple Turtle beach, enjoying a rum punch and watching another beautiful Caribbean sunset.
Take a trip along the east coast, beginning in the Kalinago Territory where you can learn about and meet Dominica’s first people at the Kalinago Barana Auté in Crayfish River. Watch canoe-building, basket-weaving, and traditional cassava bread-making, and buy some unique hand-crafted souvenirs. Head south down the coast to Zion Valley and take a short river hike to the Victoria Falls. It is one of Dominica’s most spectacular waterfalls. Learn about the Rasta way of life and enjoy some ‘ital’ food before heading to Rosalie. Settle in somewhere private on the black sand beach and (at certain times of the year) wait for moonrise and giant leatherback turtles emerging from the Atlantic breakers to lay their eggs in the sand.
On your final day, head up to the northeast and explore the beautiful, other-worldy red rock coastline at Pointe Baptiste before dropping into the Chocolate Factory for a tour and a tasting session. Finish up your trip with a walk down to the lovely Batibou Beach and enjoy an idyllic sea-side picnic.
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