Dominica is an island republic in the West Indies. The official name is the Commonwealth of Dominica. Not to be confused with the Dominican Republic, which is another island at about 1,000 km North West of Dominica. The capital, Roseau, is located on the western side of the island. It is part of the Windward Islands in the Lesser Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean Sea. The island is located near Guadeloupe to the northwest and Martinique to the south-southeast. Its area is 750 km2 (290 sq mi), and the highest point is Morne Diablotins, at 1,447 m (4,747 ft) in elevation. The population was 71,293 at the 2011 census.
Dominica has a tropical rainforest climate, with, at times, heavy rainfall. Therefore, an essential part of your daily outfit should be, besides sunscreen, carrying an umbrella, either to protect you from the rain or shield you from the intense sun. Luckily, excessive heat and humidity are tempered somewhat by northeastern trade winds. The mountainous regions also influence the temperature and wind.
Because of the influence of the surrounding ocean the daytime temperatures vary only slightly, from around 26oC in January to 32oC in June.
Although it rains almost all year round, the amount of rain vary in different parts of the island. In general, most rainfall occurs between June and October. Dominica has among the highest accumulations of rainfall in the Caribbean. Humidity readings range from 70- 90% on occasion in Roseau, the capital.
This weather condition as well as the location of Dominica makes the island especially vulnerable to hurricanes. Some of which can be very devastating, like Hurricane Maria on September of 2017.
Dominica calls itself, The Nature Island. We even boosts that if Columbus, who discovered Dominica, would come and visit us now, he would still recognize the island. And although I am not sure whether that statement is true, Dominica is stunningly beautiful. From the lush rainforest, towering mountains, the 365 rivers (yes, one for every day of the year), countless waterfalls, volcanic wonders to amazing black beaches. Dominica has it all. Come see and experience our little gem in the Caribbean.
The native inhabitants, Kalinago Indians, have been living on the island for centuries. Nowadays, the population is a mix of African and European cultures as well as Kalinago Indians. You will find both names of French places as well as English. Dominica’s culture has strongly been influenced by the African culture, and nowadays you may see European and American influences.
It is a rich tapestry like their local and colorful Madras fabric. Proudly worn by local Creole wear.
Dominica is in the Atlantic Standard Time (AST) zone. Please follow this link to see the difference with your home country.
Local currency is the east Caribbean Dollar. To give you an idea, on the island the fixed exchange rate is 2.7169 to calculate. Please note that rates may vary at the moment of exchange.
So far, no vaccination is needed for Dominica; however, that can of course change. Please check this website. However, having a tropical climate means we do have mosquitoes. Make sure to bring or buy repellent and nets (ask for them), especially during the rainy season.
Sunburn, heat & tap water
Some practical advice when you visit us. Since we are close to the equator, make sure to wear sunscreen. Even when it is overcast, you can still get a sun burn.
Stays hydrated and drink lots of water. Bottled water is widely available. The tap water quality is up to standard, however, if you do not trust it, buy bottled water.
Always carry an umbrella, no rainforest without rain. And it can also protect you from the sun if necessary.
The official language is English. We drive on the left side of the road.
Traveling to Dominica
There are 2 regional airports on the island and no international airports. One of them however has been destroyed by hurricane Maria. Which leaves Douglas-Charles Airport (DOM) on the north-east coast the primary airport. With flights to and from St. Martin, Martinique, Guadeloupe or Barbados.
With 2 ferry terminals, both in the capital Roseau and in Portsmouth in the north, travelling to Dominica by ferry is also good option.
There is so much more…
There is so much more to tell you about this beautiful little island, which is also known as The Nature Island. Read more about it in my monthly blog.
Hope to see you soon in Dominica!