This twelve day tour suggestion that will show you some of the natural wonders of this beautiful island, whilst staying in comfortable small individual hotels and can be extended in Dominica, or alternatively we would recommend combining this tour with another island such as Antigua, Barbados, St Lucia or Trinidad.
There will be time to hike the jungle trails that invariably seem to end in cascading waterfalls and superb views, to look for the endangered Imperial and Red-necked Parrots that are only found here and to spot whales and dolphins, which unusually remain in these waters all year round.
You will have the opportunity to explore gardens full of rare and beautiful plants, to swim in sparkling cold rivers, snorkel in the warm Caribbean Sea and soak in volcano-fed hot mineral pools. You will also be encouraged to visit the last remaining settlement of the Indigenous Peoples of the Caribbean, the Kalinago. Dominica is the only island where they have survived the centuries and still live in their own community known as the Carib Territory.
Arrive in Dominica, the ‘Nature Island of the Caribbean’ and transfer to Calibishie Lodges, your comfortable hotel on the north coast of the island.
A relaxing first day to acclimatise and to explore the north coast area surrounding your hotel. You could visit the amazing red rocks of Calibishie and perhaps stroll to the beautiful deserted beach at Pointe Baptiste. Overnight at Calibishie Lodges.
The adventure begins with a relatively easy combination of hikes and nature experiences with a visit to La Chaudiere Falls & Pool in the morning before travelling down to Portsmouth, Dominica’s second largest town, to visit Fort Shirley and 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 southeast across Prince Rupert’s Bay towards Morne Diablotin, Dominica’s highest peak. After lunch, you will take a boat trip on the famous Indian River, which has recently been used as a location for Pirates of the Caribbean. Rowboats go through the mangroves where you are likely to see herons, kingfishers and sometimes iguanas, to an area where the river narrows and you can then take a walk or go to the bush bar for a drink. Return to Calibishie Lodges for the night.
You will be collected from the hotel very early in the morning 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 Jaco (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 most easily accessible oceanic rainforest, and is abundant with trees like the giant Gommier (Dacryodes Excelsa), the incredibly buttressed chataignier (Sloanea Carabea) and numerous epiphytes and stranglers. Continue on to Papilotte Wilderness Retreat, your home for four nights.
In the morning you will have a guided tour of the wonderful tropical gardens at Papillote landscaped by the owner, Anne Jean Baptiste and inhabited by over 30 species of birds and 19 species of butterflies. Your tour will then continue with guided hikes along both the Ridge and Wilderness Walks on the estate. You may also enjoy the hot and cold waterfalls and soothing steamy natural mineral pools that are to be found here. Overnight at Papilotte.
A day trip to the charming capital, Roseau, with plenty of time to explore, shop and to visit the Botanical Gardens before lunch. The afternoon is spent on a Whale and Dolphin Safari. Dominica is blessed with an abundance of resident and visiting cetaceans, pods of Spinner and Spotted Dolphins, Pilot Whales, Sperm Whales, 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. Fish, seabirds, and a magnificent view of the island’s rugged beauty make this trip an excellent way to spend an afternoon. Overnight at Papillote.
Head off this morning on the Trafalgar Loop Walk with a visit to Trafalgar Falls and the Sulphur Springs at Wotten Waven. If it is operational, you might also like to take an optional airborne journey on the Rainforest Aerial Tram through and above the rainforest. Naturalist guides explain the flora and fauna of the canopy, with over 175 species of birds and the views are spectacular. Alternatively, you may like to visit 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 Cloud Forest trail around the shore and admire the views and the eerie scenery. Overnight at Papilotte.
Leaving Papillote after breakfast, your diver will make a stop at one of the island’s most beautiful waterfalls, the Emerald Pool located in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park. Follow a short trail past overhanging trees and lush vegetation to the waterfall and shimmering pool in a grotto in the forest and have a quick dip if you wish. Your driver will then take you on to Beau Rive, your hotel for the next three nights.
A day of leisure to enjoy the pool and delightful surroundings of Beau Rive, which is set in three acres of tropical gardens and forest. You can take the forest trail to Richmond River and the beach, which is wild and rocky. The sea is too rough for bathing here but there is a natural rock pool nearby where it is possible to swim when conditions allow and a black sand beach at the village of Castle Bruce one and a half miles to the south. Overnight at Beau Rive.
Today you might like to visit the Carib Territory, which is not far from Beau Rive and is the only indigenous peoples’ reserve in the Caribbean, offering a unique perspective to the island and its heritage. The Kalinago Barana Aute Carib Cultural Village by the Sea has an excellent interpretation centre of the heritage of the Kalinago 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. Overnight at Beau Rive.
Morning at leisure before leaving for the airport and your afternoon departure to Antigua with onward connections on BA or Virgin to London Gatwick.
Arrive back to the UK.
High Season – From £2385
Low Season – From £2150
The price is per person sharing a double room and includes flights from the UK on BA or Virgin to Antigua or Barbados, connecting flights to Dominica, all transfers, accommodation with breakfast as described, local representatives, all taxes and a full itinerary of tours led by experienced and expert guides.