As the capital city of Dominica, Roseau is an important port for trade, tourism, and even transportation. Every form of transportation to and around the island has origins in this, the largest town on the island. With so many choices, it is best to get as much information about each option well in advance.
While the most popular form of transportation to most islands in the Caribbean is air travel, on Dominica it is actually by cruise. Of course, flying is still a very popular choice, and the option of sailing your own vessel to the island exists as well.
Seasoned travelers would recommend that tourists who haven't visited Dominica before forgo renting a car and let a local driver get behind the wheel. The choice is yours, whether you make use of the fairly reliable public transportation system, hire a driver for every move you make, or decide to ignore the advice of the pros and rent a vehicle to drive on your own.
There are two major airports on Dominica. The larger of the two is(DOM), which is located less than an hour outside of the city on the north-eastern side of the island and has means to accommodate commercial airlines. As of the fall of 2010, Douglas-Charles Airport began welcoming late night flights, so guests have the capability of flying into the island as late as 10:00 p.m. every night.
The other, called(DCF) is located just 15 minutes outside of Roseau and at only 3,100 feet long, serves courier services. Neither of these two airports is known for their modern facilities. Each has a snack bar, but it is rarely open, and customs is known for taking their time going over your documentation so be prepared for a wait.
Though it isn't one of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean for sailing, those with a sense of adventure might choose to travel to Dominica aboard a privately chartered yacht. If this is your preferred method of arrival, you'll be able to sail directly into Roseau via the ferry terminal or atto gain clearance to the island.
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With between 350 and 450 thousand people arriving on Dominica each year via cruise ship, cruising is one of the biggest tourism draws to the island. The cruise terminals on the island can accommodate both large and small cruise ships, and many sail directly into Roseau, allowing tourists to deboard and immediately begin touring the capital city. Another port is located just north of Roseau and called the, and a third and final port is in Cabrits to the north.
Outside of the airport, you'll find the most rental car agencies on the island to be located right in Roseau. There are a collection of both international and local agencies, so you'll be able to look through the list and choose one that best suits you. Local agencies tend to offer more personalized service and lower rates, while many tourists end up choosing chains because they are familiar and trust worthy. Whichever agency you go with, always make sure to check your vehicle over before you leave the lot to ensure there are no scratches or dings that you can be held responsible for later on. Click here for more tips about renting a car in Roseau, as well as what it's like to drive on the island.
...primary form of transportation...
Taxis in Roseau are known for their high cost, but there are a number of reasons why many tourists still choose them as their primary form of transportation. For one, the roads on the island can be perilous, and local drivers know how to navigate them, not to mention the fact that you never have to look up directions. Finally, Roseau's taxi drivers, with their uniforms and friendly demeanor, are known for their excellent service.
Taxi drivers are well trained and can also be hired as tour guides. Learn more about this option, and everything else about taxis in Roseau when you click here.
While not the most common mode of transportation for tourists, buses offer a cheap alternative to taxis and rental cars. Just remember that when using the buses, you are subject to their schedule, routes, and stops. Still, if the routes line up to where you are going, the bargain is hard to pass up.
Buses on Dominica are colorful, friendly, and unique. They run Monday through Saturday from 6:00 a.m. To 7:00 p.m., and can be recognized by checking for an “HE,” “HA,” or “HB” on the license plate. They tend to take the form of minivans rather than actual buses. Each bus is privately owned, painted brightly, and features the name of the bus operator across the front of the vehicle. There are no bus stops on the island. Instead of waiting, just begin walking in the direction you want to go, and when a bus comes along, hold your arm out straight and wave it up and down.
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Air planes, cruise ships, and private yachts are all options for traveling to Dominica, and once you arrive, you'll be able to get around by driving yourself in a rental car, hiring a driver and taking a cab, or hailing a ride aboard the eccentric local bus system. Whatever path you take, an adventure surely awaits you in Roseau.
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