Travel Fundamentals for Dominica

There is much to learn before traveling to the nature island of Dominica

Photo credit: © gailf548

While there is extensive travel information you can discover before visiting Dominica, etiquette and regional differences are essential topics to know before you go.

Many of the conventions that make up daily life for most travelers will be slightly different on Dominica. Hours of operation can vary slightly, as can the way that telephones are used. Social standards may also be different than they are in your region, so it is important for all travelers to understand the expectations for social interactions and behavior in order to avoid offending the residents of Dominica. In fact, nothing may endear travelers to residents more than taking the time to understand their local culture and regions.



Although many travelers come to Dominica to escape the conventions and customs of daily life, there are still social practices and courtesies that should be observed when in a place that other people call home. Friendly local residents are likely to greet most guests with pleasantries and greetings, and travelers should always be certain to respond in kind.

Appropriate dress can serve as a visual indicator that a traveler has taken note of local customs. Dress in the Caribbean is important, and travelers should not find it difficult to conform to local customs and standards. Most importantly, beach wear, active wear, and revealing clothing are not appreciated in any location other than the beach or pool. Travelers should avoid wearing these items when visiting, shops, restaurants, streets, and towns. Dinner often calls for casual but neat clothing such as trousers, shirts, and informal dresses. Topless and nude sunbathing is not practiced on Dominica.

Although Dominica, with an emphasis on eco-tourism and natural preservation, is not the most visited destination in the Caribbean, many travelers still make their way to the island every year. Many will also travel to the island armed with cameras and camcorders to capture the majestic and unparalleled natural beauty. While travelers should certainly not miss out on the opportunity to photograph this beautiful island, it is important to understand that many of Dominica's residents may have cameras pointed at them throughout the year. Photographers, whether tourists, amateurs, or professionals, should ask permission before pointing a camera at a person or their property. This small gesture of respect will be greatly appreciated by the friendly residents of Dominica.

While bargaining and haggling may be acceptable practices in some areas of the world, they are not practiced nor are they acceptable on Dominica.


Dominica is the largest island in the Windward Island chain, and the island has a host of peaks, rivers, waterfalls, trails, and dive sites to explore.

Region Description
Roseau The capital of Dominica. The ferry terminal is located at the city's Bayfront and is where travelers arrive from Martinique and Guadeloupe. Both the Old and New Markets are close to this Bayfront area, with crafts, fruits, vegetables, and other items available to buy. The city is also home to a botanical garden with an aviary.
Portsmouth The other primary town on the island, Portsmouth is located on Prince Rupert Bay, a popular spot for yachters. The city is home to the island's medical school, and Cabrits National Park and Indian River are among the natural sites of appeal around Portsmouth.
Carib Territory Dominica is home to the only surviving group of indigenous Carib natives. The group has a plot of territory on the northeastern coast of the island. Although they live by modern standards, Caribs maintain elements of their ancient culture and heritage.
Soufrière and the South Home to the unique bubbling Champagne Beach and a diverse and captivating marine park, whale watching, and dive area.
Morne Trois Pitons National Park The focus of much of Dominica's eco-tourism, this UNESCO World Heritage Site boasts stunning tropical rainforest vistas and scenery. The Emerald Pool with its towering waterfall and the island's famous Boiling Lake are both within this national park.

There is much in the way of culture and landscape to discover and relish during a visit to Dominica. Travelers should show respect for local customs and manners while exploring this island's unrivaled natural beauty.


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