The Best Swimming Spots in Dominica
Poised between the tumultuous Atlantic Ocean and calmer Caribbean Sea, Dominica lacks the award-winning beaches of its neighboring islands, but it more than makes up for it with natural hot springs and swimming holes under jungle waterfalls. The island is even home to a submerged fumarole that releases spectacular veils of bubbles.
Batibou Bay, Dominica
The soft, gold sand of Batibou Beach stretches along Dominica’s northeast coast, where the Atlantic is calm enough for swimming. Visitors and locals alike come here to relax in the shade of towering coconut trees, or sip rum punch in a hammock at the tiny, rustic beach bar. To reach Batibou, walk 20 minutes down a rough, often muddy trail, or hire a roundtrip ride from the Hampstead Country House. If you’re seeking solitude, avoid Sunday afternoons, when the barbecue scene is particularly lively.
Sip a passion fruit punch at this small beach hut beside Saint Mark Parish—Soufrière’s splendid Roman Catholic church, built in 1880—then hop in the homespun sulfur soaking pools on the shoreline. Here, a fumarole warms the sea water and injects bubbles into this natural volcanic spa. For an even more indulgent experience, rent a sun lounger, book a session with the massage therapist, or visit for a Sunday barbecue, when live music creates a festive vibe.
Dr Nicholas Liverpool Hwy, Dominica
For a refreshing swim, head to this deep mountain pool, which shines turquoise in the afternoon sun. On the upper reaches of the Hampstead River, the swimming hole even has a natural waterslide, fashioned from smooth, chafe-free rock. Pack and picnic and wear shoes suitable for the moderate rain forest hike in (1–2 hours roundtrip, depending on your route).
Edward Oliver Leblanc Highway
This long, lovely stretch of silver-gray volcanic sand is a rarity on Dominica’s rocky coastline. Locals enjoy it for the warm, calm waters and Sunday beach barbecue scene—not to mention the toilets, showers, concession stands, and nearby restaurants. However, it’s just a half-hour drive north of the cruise ship terminal in Roseau, so the crowds can heat up when the big vessels dock. Steer clear then, if you can.
Emerald Pool Trail, Dominica
Stroll 15 minutes through a lush rainforest to this gorgeous 40-foot waterfall grotto, located deep within the World Heritage site of Morne Trois Pitons National Park. Railings and a broad, well-maintained trail make the trip accessible even to non-hikers, though the tree-fringed pool—which is open to swimmers—gets unpleasantly packed when cruise ships pull into port. Serious photographers should haul along tripods and cable or remote shutter releases to capture the low-light, but oh-so-lovely scenery, which has become one of Dominica’s top attractions.
Unnamed Road, Calibishie, Dominica
Swoops of smooth, scarlet earth overlook Dominica’s northeast coast near Calibishie. At Point Baptiste, a mile-long coral reef protects the seashore, creating a calm lagoon. Farther down the coast, however, the Atlantic erodes and slaps waves high onto the dramatic headland. If you visit Point Baptiste Beach, know that a caretaker sometimes requests a donation from foreigners. Still, it’s a small price to pay for exploring this spectacular landscape of black sand, red rock, and splendid mountain views, which are especially beautiful at dusk.
Wotten Waven, Dominica
A charismatic Rasta also known as “Irie Man,” Screw spent years building this colorful, open-air retreat, just a 20-minute drive east of Roseau. Here, you can slip into six pools of varying temperatures on a lush, leafy hillside, pierced by cascades and water features. Open from Tuesday through Sunday, the spa also offers massages and volcanic mud wraps.
An easy, 10-minute trail leads to these paired cascades on the west side of the mammoth Morne Trois Pitons National Park—the higher, lefthand fall is known as Father (279 feet) and the smaller as Mother (131 feet). While the path stops at the viewing platform, visitors often descend and bathe in the pools, moving cautiously over the slippery rocks.