Colorful boats along the water's edge in Dominica

Dreaming of Dominica

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It’s a cold and misty January day today, with more rain in the forecast tonight and tomorrow.

A cold, gray day in January
This evening’s view… a cold, gray day in January

It’s the kind of day where you can’t help but daydream about sunshine and warmer weather. Like the kind you find in the Caribbean.

One of the most exotic places I’ve been to is Dominica. Tropical rainforests, waterfalls, black volcanic sand beaches…and sunshine.

Where the mountains meet the sea in Dominica

Before visiting this island, I didn’t know what to expect. There’s not a lot of information online like there is for other more popular destinations in the Caribbean, and even the port chats on Ship Mate were pretty sparse. Then again, Dominica isn’t usually on the itinerary for most large cruise ships.

I think that’s part of what makes it feel so exotic.

That, and Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed there.

We were lucky enough to have Dominica as one of our port days while cruising on the Carnival Fascination out of San Juan. Jumping out of bed after enjoying our room service breakfast, we hopped on a tour bus, ready for adventure. And it really was an adventure.

Lush vegetation in Dominica

We traveled through the mountains, winding over narrow, crumbling roads. Sitting next to the window I had to close my eyes as we traveled along the edges of cliffs.

Colorful boats along the water's edge in Dominica
Somewhere in Dominica

We hiked through a national park to swim at a waterfall. The water was cool and deep, and the view looking up from the water was filled with lush, tropical vegetation.

Emerald Pool waterfall in Dominica
Emerald Pool, Dominica

We swam in the warm Caribbean water of a black sand beach…and enjoyed free drinks in the sun.

Dominica was truly a Caribbean adventure. Minus the pirates!

Mero Beach in Dominica
Mero Beach, Dominica

If you go…

Top 3 Experiences in Dominica Not to be Missed:

  • See the spectacular panoramic views from Morne Bruce
  • Walk along the black sand beach at Mero Beach
  • Swim underneath a waterfall at the Emerald Pool

Packing list – special items not to forget:

  • Water-resistant backpack
  • Water bottle
  • Chacos, or waterproof hiking shoes (especially for swimming at the waterfall!)
  • Eco-friendly sunscreen
  • Swimsuit and towel
  • Beach cover-up (nature has no changing rooms)
  • Dry bag
  • Waterproof camera or GoPro
  • Granola bars or energy bars

Special instructions:

  • Leave your fear of cold water at the door
  • Wear your swimsuit to the waterfall
  • Tell your teenage son that yes, he does need shoes for the waterfall because it’s rocky
  • Don’t look down if you’re sitting by the window on the tour bus
Sandals and Kubuli beer on a black sand beach in Dominica

If you liked this post, you may also like this post about what to do in Freeport, Bahamas and this post about where to eat in Miami.

What tropical destinations are you dreaming about visiting this winter? Let me know in the comments!

In the meantime, I’ll be warming up underneath 25 blankets while drinking a cup of hot chamomile tea.

Chai for now!

Pinterest pin for a day in Dominica


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