Back to nature
MUCH OF THE ISLAND FALLS UNDER THE
CONTROL OF THE WELL ORGANIZED
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, WHICH HAS A LONG STANDING AND VIGOROUS
POLICY OF OPENING UP ITS RESERVES FOR SUITABLE TOURISM PURPOSES.
LISTED BELOW ARE SOME OF THE BETTER KNOWN SITES ACCESSIBLE TO
ACCESSIBLE ATTRACTIONS SITES
The Boiling Lake and Valley of Desolation are reached by way
narrow trail from LAUDAT. The trail is less than four miles long
but it takes three to four hours to walk one way. The whole
expedition requires a full day. The Boiling Lake is
of its kind in the western hemisphere. It is kept bubbling by the
volcanic heat of the crater in which it is cupped. The Valley of
Desolation is also a fascination area located on the flanks of
Morne watt. This is made up of sulphur springs boiling water,
pools of gray boiling mud and streams made multi-coloured by the
minerals contained in the water from the old volcanic activity.
VALLEY of DESOLATION:
Below the Boiling Lake is the Valley of Desolation,
forest has been destroyed by sulphuric emissions.
At the beginning of the trail to boiling lake is the TITOU Gorge,
where hot and cold streams intermingle.
A series of paths through the rain forest, leading to the
Falls, which tumble through 150 meters into a beautiful
pool in the middle of the forest.
About 5 miles from Roseau up a steep and picturesque valley are to
be found two spectacular cascades. The Trafalgar Falls are two
and sometimes three falls situated in the Roseau Valley.
approaching the village of Trafalgar, one gets his/her first view
of the tops of the falls, cascading side by side out of the deep
gorges on the cliff face. Past the village of Trafalgar one continues
on foot along a trail which leads to the Falls. To the left is
the taller waterfall which is sometimes referred to as the
'father' falls and to the right is the shorter, which is
sometimes referred to as the 'mother falls'. They are also
referred to as the male and the 'female' falls.
Climbing up to the falls requires some balancing and clambering
skills as one must clamber over large and slippery boulders. A
trained tour guide is highly recommended.
Located in the Morne TROIS Piton National Park and a ten minute
track from the main road through beautiful tropical woodland, the
Emerald Pool is a lovely grotto of crystal, refreshingly clear,
cool water which is filled by a waterfall.
Cabrits National Park:
The CABRITS National Park in Dominica's north west coast, is one
of the unique protected areas of its kind in the Caribbean. An
18th century garrison, coral reefs, volcanic sand beaches are all
linked together within this park. Parts of the park remain
overgrown and interesting trails lead through the ruins.
Prince RUPERT'S Garrison, known as one of the most impressive
Military sites in the West Indies, is hidden beneath the lust
vegetation which covers the Carrits. The Garrison was
constructed between 1970 and 1815 and contains over fifty major
There are numerous furmaroles where visitors can conveniently
witness this phenomenon of bubbling mud as sulphur gasses escape
from the volcanic interior of the earth and those at Soufriere
and Wotten Waven have been identified as suitable for Spa
Dominica has a reputation for good quality original handicrafts,
particularly for those manufactured by the Carib community,
producing some fine basket, bowls and bags.
Nestled below the Morne Bruce hill, on the outskirts of Roseau,
is the 40 acre Botanical Gardens of Dominica. Just 66 feet., above
sea level, the Gardens receive approximately 85 inches of
rainfall annually, with a favourable conditions for the growing of a wide
variety of tropical plants.
The Botanical Gardens has so far survived several tropical storms
And hurricanes, including hurricane David in 1979. Some evidence
of David's wrath may still be seen, as the remains of a large bus
Lies crushed beneath the weight of a massive Baobob Tree.
The Indian River has its source in the foothills of Morne
Diablotin and before it enters the sea at Prince Rupert's Bay, it
meanders for about a mile through low-lying swamp land just south
of the town of Portsmouth.
The luxuriant vegetation hanging over head and along the banks of
The placid waters of the river is what attracts attention to this
river. Its twisting course is made even more contorted by the
Serpentine bank. Herons break the silence and beady eyed crabs
shuffle between the roots.
The village of Soufriere takes it
name from the Soufriere Bay
located along the south coast. Sites to visit in Soufriere are
the ruins of the old sugar and lime factory and the Catholic
Church with its vibrant mural depicting the village life. In the
valley behind the village are sulphur springs which gives the
area its name. When the French held Dominica, they built baths
their for their soldiers. The area is like a small walk-in
volcano. Hot springs are also active along the sea shore between
the Soufriere and Scott's Head, and on the sea bed in front of
Scott's Head lies to the southern end of the Soufriere Bay. The
Ruins of fort Cachacou remains the headland which exist along the
narrow isthmus. Most of the batteries and ramparts of the fort
have fallen over the cliff into the sea, but it was an important
defence post, involved in military action between the British and
French in 1778 and 1805. Cachacou is the original Carib name
Which means "that which is being eaten" (by the sea). The English
called it Scott's Head after Captain Scott, one of those, among
the others, who gave their names to places in Dominica after
Capturing the island from the French in 1761. Snorkelling, scuba
diving and sea kayaking around the point are spectacular.
The Carib Territory is an area of 3,700 acres of land on the
north east coast of the island. The Territory is home to the
original inhabitants of the Caribbean islands - the Carib
Indians. Today the Carib people engage themselves in
agriculture, fishing, and their native craft of dug-out canoe and
L'ESCALIER TETE CHIEN (The Snakes Stairway):
Tete Chien is the
local name for a Boa Constrictor, because its
head looks like a dog. Geologically, this formation is called a
dyke. It resembles a gigantic petrified serpent crawling up the
hillside from the ocean. This `escaller' features prominently in
Carib myth and folklore.
The Freshwater Lake is located within the Morne TROIS pitons
National Park, at an altitude of 2,500 feet, above sea level. The
lake is less than a mile from the village of Laudat with
motor-able roads up to the lake itself. Nature was combined with
technology on this lake when the lake was dammed for use as a
reservoir. It is the source of the Roseau River and also the
subject of myths and legends. A single eyed monster with gem
like carbuncles was said to reside there. It was also said to be
bottomless, although it was actually only 55 ft deep. From the
Hilltop area over looking the lake, the island's eastern coastline
Can be seen.
The Boerie Lake trail leads off from the shores of the
reservoirs in a north-easterly direction around the back of Morne
Micotrin. An easy one and a quarter (1 1/4) mile walk will lead
you up and over two sharp ridges to the rocky shoreline of the
lake at an altitude of 2,800 ft. Boeri Lake is said to be 117
feet., deep and its almost circular surface covers an area of
about four (4) acres. The lake is filled by rain water and run
This Gorge is located just minutes from the village of Laudat.
this dark, narrow, water-filled canyon winds along to the base of
a waterfall. The water flows in a powerful manner and a swim up
should be attempted only by strong swimmers. A hot
cascade at the mouth of the canyon can also give pleasant relief
To sore muscles after hiking or cycling.
The Cabrits Cruise Ship Berth is the only cruise ship facility in
the Caribbean which is located within a national park.
Portsmouth is a popular call for yachts and borders along Prince
Ruperts Bay in the north west of the island. Traditional sloops and
schooners are still built along the shore. Small questhouses
and beach front facilities are located in Portsmouth. Bars and
restaurant serve simple snacks and local dishes. Hotels along
Picard Beach offer modest type hotel accommodation.
The market near the end of Bay Street offers local fruits and
vegetables early on Saturday mornings shops stock a good variety
Dominica's beaches are small, and are golden grey or honey
coloured. Most of the beaches are cosy and secluded with breath-taking
Visitors can get to Dominica by air with connections from Antigua or
St. Martin using Liat.
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