This is an island that not too many tourists choose to visit. In 2014 it was actually the 25th least visited country in the world according to writer/traveler Gunnar Garfors, in his book “198 – Mi reise til alle verdas land” (If you’re Norwegian – we can recommend reading the book. If you’re not – visit his website www.garfors.com. A funny guy!).
For sailors, the island has not always been a recommended place to go due to security, and if you did go there, you were recommended not to leave your boat unattended. Luckily this has changed, and they are now welcoming tourism. The marinas/anchorages are being looked after and patrolled, and since this started, there has been no known issues.
Our first encounter with the island was the capital, Roseau. Here we stayed a nice walk south of the city center. And off course, the first thing we did after arriving were to walk this distance. And the town was buzzing! The last 2 days, but certainly not the least, of Carnival were still remaining. The Carnival in Dominica, locally called Mas Domnik, is said to be unique in many ways. This is not like the famous Rio or Trinidad Carnival, but a Carnival true to its 18th Century origins, filled with the spirit and the awakening of the ancestors.
We were in shock! We thought we had heard loud music at the Carnival in St Pierre, Martinique, but this was completely out of another world. Huge trucks drove through the streets with massive sound systems, with DJ’s, drummers and rappers. And behind each truck followed the parades, with different style of costumes behind each truck. A big party for the whole community, and an experience for us.
After the Carnival we moved on to the northern part of the island, to Prince Rupert Bay outside of the town Portsmouth. At Prince Rupert Bay we were impressed to see how the locals were working together to look after the visitors, instead of competing with one another for your attention. If they could not provide you with what you were looking for, they happily helped you get in touch with the ones that could. We quickly decided to go on a guided tour up the Indian River, where you can see a lot of wild life, and also a copy of a house used in the filming of Pirates of the Caribbean.
The island is perfect for nature lovers, and truly a hikers paradise. There is a trail going across the whole island, and if you do the whole trail it will take you about a week to walk it. As we hadn’t adjusted properly to the warm climate yet, we decided this would not be a good option for us this time. We did however go with 4 Americans to see some more of the natural wonders of the island, like rainforest, waterfalls, hot Sulphur pools – and our favorite – the Champagne reef, with snorkeling amongst bubbles from the reef and heaps of colorful fish.
We are really happy we decided to visit Dominica, and can highly recommend it. It truly is a hidden gem.