A step off the boat brings you into the unspoiled natural beauty of Dominica (pronounced Dom-in-EEK-a), a small island bursting with culture, rivers, hiking trails, and waterfalls. The country was explored by Christopher Columbus in 1493, but not claimed until the British arrived there in 1763. Roseau (pronounced Ro-zo) is the colorful capital and main city in Dominica. Formally named the Commonwealth of Dominica, their flag has seven colors and a parrot in the center of the red seal. Called “the nature island of the Caribbean, Dominica is an independent country since 1978, after French, then British rule, and has 73,000 friendly residents who pride themselves on their country’s beauty and heritage. Their language is English with a bit of French creole.
Since Dominica is famous for their tropical rainforest, the excursion we chose was Trafalgar Falls and Aerial Tram, booked with the cruise line. We took a bus from the pier to the destination and walked about twenty minutes to the falls. Hidden in the midst of the lush jungle terrain were the gracefully flowing waterfalls.
The beautiful twin falls cascade into pools beneath you. From the platform, you can get amazing pictures as the water falls in your background. Use caution as it was raining the day we were there and the paths were very slippery. If you should need to purchase a raincoat, they were available for $5. After the falls, a 300 feet aerial tram takes you on a forty-five minute ride above the Breakfast River Gorge, through the rain forest. This was incredibly boring for me as we saw no animals or splashes of colors. Some friends on the boat toured the less strenuous Botanical Gardens and enjoyed it a lot.
Dominica has an old market that is worth seeing. You can buy fruits or vegetables there or enjoy street food along the way. Shopping starts at the end of the bayfront pier as you enter the Old Market Plaza. Popular items to shop for are wood-carvings, woven handicrafts, rum, and leather goods. Market stalls line the street adjacent to the pier, and reggae music can be heard nearly everywhere. It certainly is a lively and vibrant city.
One business owner called my husband and I over to try their turtle soup, no strings attached. The locals are not pushy or aggressive like they are on some Caribbean islands. We bought a souvenir CD of the local Christmas music and it is one of our favorites. The thing I would like to do on my next visit is to see Champagne Beach, located in the southern part of the island. In the Champagne area, volcanic activity causes thousands of bubbles to come from the rocks beneath the waters.
FYI: The sale of coral is forbidden so do not purchase it from vendors.
TIP: The water in Dominica is safe to drink and is listed on the governments website.
FYI: Dominica’s cuisine is based on “local wildlife” and includes crab, crayfish, agouti, and crapaud, or “mountain chicken”.
Dominica Photo Gallery:
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