Caribbean Tourism

Dominica

Accommodation & Places to Eat - Playa Galeras

A-B Villa Serena A-B Villa Serena, next to the shore, T5830203, F5382545. Canadian-owned, painted turquoise, pink and white, cool, plantation-style, undergoing expansion works in 2000, huge, stylish rooms, private terrace overlooking sea and little islet, rocky coast but small, sandy beach, a/c and fans, gourmet restaurant, tours organized. A Club Bonito A...

Accommodation & Places to Eat - Montecristi

Chic Benito Monción 44, T5792316. Santa Clara Mayobanex 8, T5792307. Cabañas Las Carabelas J Bolaños, T5792682. Places to Eat: La Taberna de Rafúa, Duarte 84, T5792291. Heladería y Pizzería Kendy, Duarte 92, T5792386. Mi Barrita, Duarte 86, T5792487.

Hurricanes

In 1979 the island was devastated by Hurricane David, 37 people were killed and 60,000 were left homeless. Much of what David left standing was felled by Hurricane Allen the next year. In 1995 Dominica was hit by three storms in August and September. Storm Iris damaged roads and spoilt some crops and Hurricane Luis destroyed many roads, seafronts and...

Culture

Popular culture reflects the mixture of native and immigrant peoples. While most places on Dominica have a Carib, a French or an English name, the indigenous Carib traditions and way of life have been localized in the northeast, giving way to a dominant amalgam of Créole (French and African) tradition. Dominicans are proud of their local language, which is...

The Windward Islands

The Windward Islands include four independent nations: Dominica, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada as well as the French Antilles which are departments of France. They form a series of volcanic peaks jutting out and forming a barrier between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Sulphur fumaroles and hot springs can be found on some...

History

The Caribs, who supplanted the Arawaks on Dominica, called the island Waitikubuli (“tall is her body”). Columbus sighted it on 3 November 1493, a Sunday (hence the modern name), but the Spanish took no interest in the island. It was not until 1805 that possession was finally settled. Until then it had been fought over by the French, British and Caribs. In...

Government & Economy

Government: Dominica is a fully independent member of the British Commonwealth. The single chamber House of Assembly has 31 members: 21 elected by the constituencies, nine Senators appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition, and the Attorney-General. The Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition also...

Food & Drink

At hotels 3% sales tax may be added to meal charges. On weekdays in the capital the lunch hour begins at 1300 and places fill up quickly. Dominicans eat their main meal at lunch time and it is often hard to get anything other than takeaways after 1600 or on Sun except at hotels. If you have a car, try different hotel restaurants on different nights and...

Festivals

Carnival The main one is Carnival, on the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday; it is not as commercialized as many in the Americas as it lacks the sponsorship of a carnival like Trinidad’s, but it is one of the most spontaneous and friendly. Sensay costume has returned to the streets: layer upon layer of banana or cloth is used for the costume, a scary...

Flora & Fauna

There are several national parks, including the Morne Trois Pitons (17,000 acres) in the south, the Central Forest Reserve and the Northern Forest Reserve, which together protect rainforest covering much of the island’s mountainous interior. At the highest levels on the island is elfin woodland, characterized by dense vegetation and low-growing plants....

Entertainment

The Arawak House of Culture, Hillsborough Street in Roseau, next to Government Headquarters, can seat 540 for plays, concerts, dance shows and recitals. Performances are also held at the Old Mill Cultural Centre in Canefield. Mid-week entertainment at Anchorage and Reigate Waterfront hotels. Weekends at Fort Young Hotel, Friday night happy hour 1800-1900,...

Diving & Marine Life

Dominica is highly regarded as a diving destination and has been featured in most diving magazines as ‘undiscovered’. Features include wall dives, drop-offs, reefs, hot, freshwater springs under the sea, sponges, black coral, pinnacles and wrecks, all in unpolluted water. Due to steep drops the sediment falls away and visibility is excellent, at up to 30 m...

Beaches & Watersports

Compared with other Caribbean islands, Dominica has few good beaches, but does have excellent river bathing. The Caribbean side of Dominica gains or loses sand according to swells and storms but the black coral sandy areas are few and far between. A small one exists just off Scotts Head (favoured as a teaching ground for divers, snorkellers and canoeists,...

Tourist Information

Local Tourist Office The main office of the Curaçao Tourism Development Bureau is at Pietermaai 19, Willemstad, PO Box 3266, T4616000, F4612305. There is an information office on Breedestraat, east of Hendrikplein, and at the airport. The Curaçao Hotel and Tourism Association (CHATA) is at Kaya Junior Salas 1, T4651005, in down town Punda, offering helpful...

Communication

The official title, Commonwealth of Dominica, should always be used in addresses to avoid confusion with the Dominican Republic. Telephone Services Telephone and fax services at Telecommunications of Dominica (TOD), Mercury House, Hanover St, Roseau. Open 0700-2000, Mon-Sat. Phone cards are available for EC$10, 20 and 40 from Telecommunications of Dominica...