Get to know The Nature Isle top to bottom, from the bubbling reefs and steaming volcanic vents, from secluded sandy beaches to rainforest trails underneath hidden waterfalls. Meet the Kalinago Caribs, the island’s original inhabitants. A great itinerary for those who like to be on the move but enjoy great meals and hospitality too!
Transfer south along the coast to Pagua Bay House. Located just 10 minutes South of Melville Hall airport, Dominica’s newest boutique hotel integrates a simple modern aesthetic with comfortable rusticity in a stylish ocean view retreat overlooking Pagua Bay. Day at leisure to enjoy the cool Atlantic breeze year round. Pagua Bay House offers the perfect place for a quiet get away, where all unnatural noise is replaced by sounds of the surf. Positioned just yards away from the tranquil cove of Pagua Bay where you can choose from a walk on the beach, a swim in the crystal clear Pagua River or have lunch overlooking the Atlantic Ocean at Pagua Bay Bar & Grill.
Day of leisure to enjoy the delightful surroundings of Pagua Bay House.
This morning visit the Carib Territory, the only indigenous peoples’ reserve in the Caribbean which offers a unique perspective to the island and its heritage. The newly-opened Kalinago Barana Aute Carib Cultural Village by the Sea has an excellent interpretation centre of the heritage of the Kalingo people. Here you can sample local food, witness craft and dance demonstrations, learn about the traditions of agriculture and fishing and purchase authentic handicrafts for which the territory is renowned. From here drive to the Emerald Pool located in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park. Follow a short trail past overhanging trees and lush vegetation to a small waterfall and shimmering pool in a grotto in the forest for a quick dip.
This morning we follow the coastal road round the northern end of the island, stopping en route at the fishing village of Calibishie famous for its rusty red rocks that jut out to sea and for its views across the channel to Guadeloupe and beyond. We then drive across the island to Portsmouth, Dominica’s second largest town, for a traditional lunch in a local café before spending a lazy afternoon at Fort Shirley in Cabrits National Park. There are well-marked wildlife trails around the grounds and ruins of this 18th century garrison which is gradually being restored and beautiful views south-east across Prince Rupert’s Bay towards Morne Diablotins, Dominica’s highest peak. Transfer south to the cliff top Tamarind Tree Hotel, centrally located on the west coast.
Today leave the hotel very early to travel into the rainforest at Syndicate located at the foothills of Morne Diablotin to look for the island’s national bird the Sisserou ( the Imperial Parrott) and the Jacquot ( the Red Necked Parrott ) both endemics to Dominica, as well as the nine regional endemics. The Syndicate rainforest has well maintained trails which pass through some of Dominica’s best easily accessible oceanic rainforest and is abundant with trees like the giant Gommier (Dacryodes Excelsa) the incredibly buttressed chataignier (Sloanea Carabea) numerous epiphytes and stranglers. Continue to the famous Indian River, which is so called because the Carib Indians at one time lived on the higher ground up the river and used it as a route to the sea and has recently been used as a location for Pirates of the Caribbean. The verdant vegetation along the banks of the river is dominated by intricately buttressed Mang trees (Pterocarpus Officinalis) and you are likely to see herons, kingfishers and sometimes iguanas. The rowboats go to an area where the river narrows and visitors can get out and take a walk or go to the bush bar for a drink. Return to hotel.
Drive through the capital city Roseau and through Botanical Gardens. Continue up the lush and verdant Roseau Valley. There will be photo stops at scenic locations until we reach the village of Laudat. From Laudat we take a 15 minute walk to the Ti Tou Gorge which is one of the most unique And “must see” marvels of the Island. The name Ti Tou Gorge is Creole and means ‘Little Throat Hole, literally we will swim up the ‘throat’ of a mountain to a waterfall located inside the gorge.This gorge was formed many thousands of years ago and is fed by water from the Freshwater Lake. The formation of the rock walls on either side, through which you swim are intricate and breathtaking, this place is truly one of the wonders of Dominica. After the gorge we walk back to the vehicle and proceed to the spectacular twin Trafalgar Falls. Drive through the friendly and picturesque village of Trafalgar to the trail leading to two of the island’s most beautiful waterfalls cradled under the shadows of the ubiquitous and awesome mountainous landscape. It is a 15 minute walk from where the vehicle stops, to the viewing area of the falls. Those who are able to, under the supervision of the guide can scramble over the boulders to the base of one of the falls where there is a great pool for another rejuvenating swim. Then there are the Hot Pools just waiting to soothe your aching limbs.
Be sure to have your camera ready. The majesty of this place will have you clicking away at its surroundings. After the falls walk back to the vehicle and return to base.
After breakfast drive to the Freshwater Lake, Dominica’s largest lake and the source of the Roseau River. Though it is only 55ft deep, the lake is widely-believed to be bottomless and legend tells of a one-eyed monster of the deep that resides in the lake. Here you can kayak or take an hour-long trail around the shore and admire the views and the eerie scenery. From Freshwater Lake there is a more difficult trail to the mist-shrouded Boeri Lake which is approximately one hour away and sits at an elevation of 2,800 ft. Drive to Papillote Wilderness Retreat in the Roseau Valley. Afternoon at leisure to enjoy the wonderful rainforest gardens landscaped by the owner, Anne Jean Baptiste where frogs and other creatures live contentedly with 30 kinds of birds and 19 species of butterfly amongst hot and cold waterfalls and soothing hot mineral pools.
This morning depart the hotel very early for travel south by boat to snorkel in famous Scotts Head / Soufriere Marine Reserve. Tour departs at 8:30hrs on this tour two different snorkel sites are visited with scenic coastal views and brief history of villages and geography. Captain and guides will be on the lookout especially for sea birds, turtles and dolphins that frequent the bay. Tour includes all snorkeling equipment, including a snorkel vest, a boat equipped with safety gear. Diving can be substituted for snorkeling at an additional cost. Enjoy 1hour snorkeling at each location upon conclusion of 1300hrs. Return to the hotel. Overnight at Fort Young Hotel in a standard room (B)
This morning free to relax. This afternoon take a boat trip to look for whales. Dominica is blessed with an abundance of both resident and visiting cetaceans, pods of Spinner and Spotted Dolphins, Pilot Whales, Sperm Wales, False Orcas, and at least a dozen other species. Whales and Dolphins are sighted so frequently in these waters that Dominica is widely considered to be one of the best areas in the Caribbean for encounters with these fascinating creatures. Watch as they break the surface of the water and listen to the rhythmic sounds of their clicking communication as you relax on the fast, hydrophone-equipped catamarans. Your whale and Dolphin Safari starts with an educational, boat safety briefing. Remember that these animals are living in their natural habitat, and that their welfare is our primary concern. The 3.5 hour tour starts along the West Coast; with hydrophones being dropped into the water every 15 minutes, or 3 miles to listen for clicks, pings, whistles or singing. The trips have a 90% success rate of seeing a whale. The boat is a 45 foot, twin diesel power catamaran, which is Hydrophone & GPS equipped. It is shaded, with “marine head”, glass bottom port, U.S. coast guard safety equipped. Fish, seabirds, and a magnificent view of the island’s rugged beauty makes this trip an excellent way to spend an afternoon.
Transfer to the airport for your departing flight. Farwell, Dominica!
Why Travel with Wilderness Explorers?
For more than 20 years, we’ve been working at the crossroads of adventure travel and community tourism. Not from the sidelines or behind a desk, but on the ground. In the jungle. On the boats. Getting our feet dirty and seeing everything first-hand. Tourism isn’t our business – it’s our life. Our handcrafted itineraries prove it.
Our partners in the field aren’t just suppliers in the traditional sense: we are deeply involved with the development of the lodges, tours, training programs, and attractions that draw adventurous souls to this part of the world. Back in 1999 Wilderness Explorers was one of the first tour operators to embrace the now-fashionable idea of community tourism, partnering with the Amerindian Makushi village of Surama in Guyana to provide marketing and administrative support for that country’s first indigenously-operated ecolodge. These days we continue to work with lodges and regional consortiums with tourism development aspirations. Hand-in-hand we are building opportunities for economic growth that don’t rely on resource extraction or the mass-market.
We know that tour companies are increasingly looked upon as unnecessary middlemen in a world where the internet connects everyone with marvelous ease. And, no doubt, someone with ample time and patience could organize their journey independently. But we know that sometimes you want to spend less time researching and more time travelling. If that’s you, we can vastly simplify your trip planning, get you into the best (and often least-known) lodges, prioritize your activity list, and set you up for an unforgettable getaway. Having the time of your life once you get there? Well, that part is entirely up to you!