12 Reasons We Love Dominica
Collected by Amanda Castleman, AFAR Local Expert
Tiny, easy-going Dominica hasn't grown jaded and still greets travelers with enthusiasm. And while it has hit the trendsetters' radars, Nature Island remains uncrowded, even when the massive cruise ships pull into port. Experience it soon, before direct U.S. flights and hotel chains reshape this mellow country that is beloved by outdoor adventurers.
Jimmit, Mahaut, Dominica
The country's most established contemporary artist, Earl Darius Etienne produces social realist paintings, often made with smoke and soot. Check out these masterpieces at various island galleries, including his own Art Asylum. He also painted the...
This open-air, oceanside Creole restaurant snuggles behind a grocery store in Calibishie, a bijou town where locals, expats, and tourists mingle. While the short ribs steal the spotlight, it also serves Caribbean favorites like yam, fried...
Emerald Pool Trail, Dominica
Stroll 15 minutes down through a lush rainforest to a gorgeous 40ft (12m) waterfall grotto. Railings and a broad, well-maintained trail make this trip accessible even to non-hikers. Located in the World Heritage Site of Morne Trois Pitons National...
Dominica's national bird lives in the canopy of mature mountain rain forests, but sometimes descends to forage. Largest of the Amazon parrots, the sisserou typically has a lilac breast, glorious green wings, and a burgundy crown. This endemic...
Indian River, Portsmouth, Dominica
Already a popular day trip, this jade-colored waterway rocketed to fame as the site of Calypso's house in Pirates of the Caribbean. Hire a guide and colorful rowboat—most seat up to eight passengers—for this one-mile excursion upstream. Watch for...
Unnamed Road,, Castle Bruce, Dominica
Just south of the Kalinago Territory, this rustic hilltop bar overlooks Castle Bruce Beach. Dig into Creole specialties like callaloo soup, fried plantains, and grilled chicken, all washed down with infused "bush rums." Hand-lettered labels reveal...
Descendants of the island's first settlers, the Amerindian Kalinago people sell intricate baskets woven from larouma reeds. Shop for these and other crafts, such as pottery, hanging coconut-shell planters, carved calabash decorations, and mats and...
Wotten Waven, Dominica
The proprietor, Screw, a charismatic Rasta also known as "Irie Man," has spent years building this colorful open-air retreat, just a 20-minute drive east of the capital Roseau. Slip into six pools of varying temperatures on a lush, leafy hillside...
Ross Blvd Portsmouth, Portsmouth, Dominica
This luxe West Indies hideaway skips communal spaces in favor of in-room pampering, from meals to massages and private jazz concerts! It'll slowly expand from eight villas to 50, hidden among the adjacent valley and ridge: all available for sale....
Drawing inspiration from west African ceremonial attire, these suits froth with strips of paper, rope, cloth, frayed plastic sacks or pounded agave leaves. The layers cascade from head to toe, forming a wild, shaggy silhouette topped by a mask...
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