Have you heard of the Caribbean island nation Dominica? No, not the Domincan Republic, DOMINICA, the nature island! The correct pronunciation is DOM-ih-NEE-kə. Let us share why you should visit Dominica!
This beautiful mountainous island nation has it all: the friendliest people you will ever meet, volcanoes, hot springs, jungle, fresh rivers, waterfalls, coral reefs, beautiful beaches (including black and red sand beaches), and…wait for it…sperm whales year round!!
Dominica is truly the ultimate destination for family adventure travel! If you enjoy nature, love to be active, and relish locations that have not been negatively impacted by tourism, then you definitely need to add Dominica to your travel wishlist.
Reason #1 Why You Should Visit Dominica: The People
First and foremost, visit Dominica because of the people. They are truly some of the friendliest and kindest people that we have encountered anywhere. We were often the ONLY tourists in an area and we never felt anything but welcome and safe. However, you may not find all of the amenities of a place that is overrun with tourists. The grocery stores, restaurants, etc. are very local, and there are very few resorts on the entire island. Even the resorts that we saw did not appear to be of the size and scale that most resort lovers expect. For us, this was a positive thing!
Adventure Around Every Corner
If you love adventure, this is the island for you. It reminded us a great deal of the adventure opportunities available in Costa Rica but without a language barrier (English is the official language) and in a much smaller footprint. From canyoneering to swimming in waterfalls to amazing hikes to snorkeling and scuba diving to whale watching, you can do it all here.
Affordable Lodging is a Big Reason Why You Should Visit Dominica
Amazingly, lodging is still quite reasonable, and there are a lot of great options that are eco-friendly . This means that you can enjoy this beautiful island while minimizing your impact on it. You also can enjoy paradise without spending all of your money on lodging!
Sea Cliff Dominica is the perfect example of how tourism does not have to change a place. The cottages are very well appointed and comfortable, but they also blend into the surrounding neighborhood and are eco-friendly. We had EVERYTHING we needed.
It is conveniently located not far from the airport. The property is also only minutes from the wonderful village of Calibishie and the northern beaches. You will also have easy access to the middle of the island to explore waterfalls, hot springs, etc.
Even though it is open air, everything has screens to keep bugs out. There are fans in every room, and the sea breeze is constant on the windward side of the island. This combination makes for a consistently comfortable temperature!
You will feel like you are actually in a neighborhood all while having the amenities, privacy, and security of a vacation villa. We met several of the local neighbors, and everyone was beyond kind. There is someone available most hours of the day if you have any issues (we had none) or questions.
Did I mention the fresh fruit all around? Fruit trees are abundant on the property, and guests are encouraged to help themselves! We had fresh mango at least once a day!
In addition to the beautiful views from the cottages, there are multiple trails leading to beautiful beaches, a river, and even the best meal we had on the island. These are all right outside your doorstep. Do wear secure shoes for these trails, and expect a decent climb up and down rock stairs! Trust us when we say that the effort is worth it! If you like adventure like we do, you will love it!
The owners, Simon and Amber, go above and beyond to make sure that you have a great stay and enjoy all that Dominica has to offer! You will leave feeling more like friends than resort guests.
Incredible Natural Beauty
The range of natural beauty and wonders on and around Dominica is really spectacular! From the moment your plane circles to land, you will find yourself saying, “Wow!” over and over. On the Atlantic side, we could not get over how green everything is. From hedges of hibiscus plants to a variety of palm trees and truly lush, thick jungle, we were in heaven! Then there is the variety of creatures! From giant lightning bugs and giant caterpillars to large skinks and a variety of birds, there is so much to discover!
On the Caribbean side, it can be much drier, but the water is the beautiful turquoise that you expect in the Caribbean. The water was calm and crystal clear for snorkeling, and you absolutely must make the effort to see the bubbles at Champaigne Beach. This is also the area where the whale watching tours depart. Unfortunately, we had to cancel our tour due to one of us being under the weather. We will have to make a return trip!
In addition to the greenery and sea life to explore, the island is full of rivers (365 to be exact), waterfalls, and hot springs. Since we traveled during the off season, the canyoneering guides were not available, but that was at the top of our wishlist.
Abundant Fresh Produce
Because Dominica is still a largely unspoiled Caribbean island, you can get all kinds of fresh produce either from the tree in the yard of your rental or from the kind people living on your street who may come by to offer them for sale or as a gift or from one of the ladies set up with a cart in town. So, if you enjoy fresh bananas, fresh mango, fresh coconut, etc., you will love Dominica! We had fresh mango and fresh coconut every day!
Empty Beaches: A Definite Reason Why To Visit Dominica
It is not uncommon to have beaches entirely to yourself! In fact, we never saw more than one other family on a beach at the same time as us. That included Pointe Baptiste Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches on the island, and the beautiful Toucari Bay and Champagne Beach, two of the best snorkeling spots on the island.
How Do I Get to Dominica?
Currently, there are daily flights on American Airlines from Miami. Cruise ships also stop in Dominica during certain times of the year. However, there are also plans to build a much larger international airport in the near future (anticipated to be completed by 2025). So, the time is now if you want to experience authentic Dominica before everyone discovers it!
Looking for a Family Adventure?
If you are not quite ready for the adventure of Dominica, you may want to consider our itineraries for Costa Rica or the American Southwest instead. Regardless of the destination, you will never regret collecting memories as a family!