Although traveling during Dominica's off season can mean significant savings, the threat of rain and Atlantic hurricanes should be considered before making your final arrangements. Tourist season weather is friendlier, but prices and crowds can increase dramatically.
You will not find grand shopping complexes and luxury resorts on Dominica. Beautiful and richly dense rainforests conceal towering waterfalls and meandering rivers in the tropical confines of this wild island. The beaches are not among the fabled in the Caribbean, but they do offer travelers peace, seclusion, and beauty.
With a terrain that is well-preserved despite the heavy yearly influx of tourism to the Caribbean, Dominica attracts travelers looking for seclusion and adventure rather than traditional tourist attractions and activities. Although travel to the island is possible any time of the year, travelers who wish to make the most of the island's vast outdoor riches should consider traveling during the Caribbean tourist season.
The busy tourist season in the Caribbean is from mid-December to mid-April, when cold temperatures in North America and Europe drive many to the warmth of the Caribbean. Dominica can be quite hot throughout the whole year, with summer highs averaging close to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Winter highs linger at about 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperate winter climate, combined with cool trade winds and drier conditions make traveling to the island during the tourist season ideal. Rainfall on Dominica is significant, with regions of the island accumulating up to 300 inches in a year.
The wetter summer and fall months of July to November bring the most rain, as well as the threat of flash floods. In addition, Dominica is subject to Atlantic hurricanes and tropical storms, which bring significant rain and wind activity. The Atlantic hurricane season begins in June, and its ending in November coincides with the beginning of the Caribbean tourism season. The drier months on the island, from February to May, give travelers the most opportunity to explore the terrain free from the fear of threatening tropical storm systems.
Although it is possible to visit the island during the off season months, the weather during this time should not be taken lightly. Travelers who choose to visit Dominica during this time should keep abreast of any Atlantic storm developments prior to and during their stay. Travelers should also pay special attention to warnings and advice pertaining to flash floods.
...adventure, seclusion, and peace...
Although the number of yearly travelers to visit Dominica pales in comparison to many of the heavily trafficked Caribbean islands, it is the adventure, seclusion, and peace that make this island so popular with those who do visit. The tourist high season will still be busy, and travelers should expect to make their air and accommodation reservations months in advance to be able to secure travel. Hotels and tourism related service industries will all be running at their highest efficiency, and may offer benefits and amenities that are not offered in the slower season. Restaurants and other shops may extend hours during this time to accommodate a greater number of visitors. Popular restaurants and tours may be difficult to get into, so travelers should plan on making reservations during the high season.
If you do travel in the off season, you will not have to share the island with many other tourists. Reservations may not be necessary, tours may be easier to secure, and beaches may be enjoyed in complete isolation. Traveling during the off season can also be a lot less expensive, saving travelers up to 50 percent on airfare and accommodations. However, prospective travelers should realize that many services and hotels may shorten their hours or even close down during these slower months. Hotels and guesthouses may use this period to renovate their property, which means you may have to contend with noise and construction sites during your stay. Check with your hotel to see if renovations are planned during your visit.
A number of activities and events on Dominica can give travelers a festive look at local culture and heritage. Carnival, the ubiquitously popular Caribbean festival, results in a full month of activities and festivities in January and February. Included in the yearly schedule are parades, bands, and costumes. The World Creole Festival in late October or early November features a number of world music acts and continues to bring more and more travelers to the island. Independence Day is celebrated Nov. 3.
Although there are appealing reasons for traveling during the Caribbean off season, many vacationers may find that the weather on Dominica is most accommodating during the busy tourist season of mid-December to mid-April. Although the island will be more crowded during this time, travelers should still be able to enjoy this unspoiled Caribbean island in peace.
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