Dominica Transportation Options

There are a number of transportation options for visitors once they reach this tropical island

Photo credit: © Debra James | Dreamstime.com
 

Dominica's wildness and unspoiled terrain entice many visitors to its natural sites and to its peace and quiet. The tranquility offered on this island makes it stand out compared to other destinations in the region. This also makes it harder to reach than some of its neigbors.

Getting There

Maps

Because the island's geography is marked by cliffs and mountains, it is a little more difficult to reach than other Caribbean islands. But the area is by no means inaccessible. When you arrive, you will find Dominica's preserved beauty makes this a perfect vacation destination.

Air Travel

Air travel is the most convenient way to get to Dominica. The island has two airports that receive connecting flights from several destinations. Both Douglas-Charles Airport and Canefield Airport have landing strips that are small and must be accessed by smaller hopper planes, but connections are frequent and easy to catch. It helps to know which airport you're flying into to schedule transportation and accommodation check-in times. Click here to find out more about flying to Dominica.

Sailing

Independent sailors and boaters can also visit the island by sea as long as they clear customs. Although there is no huge, official marina, sailors can gain clearance in Portsmouth, Anse-de-Mai, or Roseau before moving on and finding a place to anchor such as Castaways and Castle Comfort. Dominica is by no means the most popular place to sail to in the Caribbean, but it had its merits such as the beautiful landscape and relatively friendly customs officials. Read more about sailing and yachting to Dominica here.

Cruises

Cruises are a luxurious way to make travel a part of your vacation to the island of Dominica, which is becoming a more popular stop on cruise itineraries and cruise visitors are growing each year, in fact, 350 thousand of the 450 thousand tourists that visited Dominica in 2010 did so via cruise ship. Dominica's ports of call, which includes Woodbridge Bay Port, can accommodate both large and small cruise ships, and once passengers come ashore, they will be able to enjoy a number of activities. High-speed ferries also service the island, shuttling passengers between several of Dominica's neighboring islands.

...wondrous natural paradise...

 

Getting Around

Vacationers should choose a method of transportation that fits their budget while it allows them to explore the rich and diverse landscape on Dominica. Dominica's 300-plus miles of roads allow travelers to do most of their exploring by car, bus, or taxi.

Rental Cars

Road and driving conditions can vary in Dominica, and drivers stay to the left-hand side of the road. Foreign travelers should always exercise extreme caution when driving. Many of Dominica's roads are steep, narrow, and winding, with steep drop-offs that run parallel to them. Both standard cars and four-wheel-drive vehicles can be rented on Dominica. A local driver's permit must be obtained, and drivers should always secure collision damage insurance to limit their liability. The appeal of rental cars is that they allow travelers the freedom and flexibility to travel at their own pace and on their own time rather than relying on a transportation service. Rental cars may also save money for travelers who will be frequently moving to different island sites.

Bikes and Mopeds

With so many chances to explore the natural world, it is no wonder Dominica has great opportunities for mountain biking. With trails ranging from flat, meandering paths to steep, rocky switchbacks, mountain-bike riders of all skill levels can enjoy the island's terrain. Biking can be a great way to see the flora and fauna of the island while having fun. Bikers who take to the road, however, should beware of the sometimes poor road conditions and aggressive drivers.

Taxis

Taxis are good transportation options for travelers doing limited exploration of Dominica, but fares can quickly add up and become quite expensive. Fares are fixed by the government and are typically charged per person. Rates for groups of multiple passengers may be negotiated with the taxi driver. Uniformed taxi drivers can also give friendly and informative island tours that last up to five hours. Both buses and taxis allow travelers to put driving in the hands of seasoned Caribbean driving veterans. These services also allow travelers to gaze wondrously at the beautiful landscapes as they pass.

Buses

Privately owned but public buses are perhaps the least expensive form of transportation in Dominica and are generally quite reliable. Primary pick-up areas for these buses are in Roseau, but vehicles can be flagged down from any location. These decorative buses should be easy to spot and can hold up to 15 passengers. Fares are reasonable, and these vans serve most areas on the island until the early evening.

Ferries

Travelers who are staying on the neighboring islands of Guadeloupe or Martinique can use ferry services to cross to Dominica and spend the day hiking through the rainforest or whale watching off the coast. Travelers who are vacationing on Dominica but wish to take a day trip to another Caribbean island can travel north on board a ferry to Guadeloupe or go south to Martinique and St. Lucia.

Dominica is the largest island in the Windward Island chain. Travelers should be sure they have plenty of opportunities to get out and explore some of the treasures nestled in its lush rainforests.

 

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