I was on board the Express des Iles, the ferry coming from Martinique, when we approached the south coast of Dominica. Imposing hills, covered in green forest to the very top, meet the sea creating a dramatic panorama. At that point, a scene from the film “Jurassic Park” came to my mind. I knew this island was going to be special.
I had 2 weeks to fill with travel adventures and get lost in this paradise for nature lovers. And the options were endless. The island is covered by numerous hiking trails for all different levels. For some of them, a good hiking GPS is recommended. The Waitukubuli Trail crosses the whole island from north to south in 14 segments and takes between 11 and 14 days to complete. At the same time, there are other interesting sights that can be reached by day-hikes or by side-trips from the Waitukubuli. At the end, I decided to do a combination of all the options available. I hiked some segments of the Waitukubuli carrying my beloved expedition camping hammock as well as other single hikes like the “Boiling Lake”, “Titiu George” or “Middleham Falls”.
Dominica hasn’t got a very organized tourism industry when it comes to the hiking. This has advantages and disadvantages. On the bad side, it’s practically impossible to find proper hiking maps of the island (the best ones are on the Waitukubuli Trail Website). However, due to the poor tourism development there are hardly any other tourists or hikers around. Only in the very popular hikes I met a few other people. Also, the forest is still very wild and in pristine condition. The tracks are normally quite rugged and you will only find proper signs, steps and stuff like that in the few popular trails. If you get out of those 3 or 4 routes, you will find pure wilderness all for yourself.
To get to the main attractions you will need to purchase a pass. There are several options: 1-day, 1-week and 2-weeks. I found the rates very reasonable (12 USD for the weekly pass) and all the routes, stations and sights were very clean and well maintained.
WHAT WE LIKED THE MOST
- Pure untamed wilderness. Probably, some of the best hiking we’ve ever done.
- The water temperature is just great, making every river or waterfall into a mandatory swim!
WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE THAT MUCH
- Very wet and windy nights, making it hard to do a multi-day route camping along the way.
If you are an experienced hiker, explore the less-known routes. Get off the main marked routes and plan a multi-days trip. You won’t be dissapointed.
It really depends on you. There are plenty of routes to keep you busy for a few weeks.
Dominica gets lots of rain all year around. April seems to be the driest month in case you don’t like getting too wet.
You can base yourself in one place like Trafalgar and do day-hikes from there, or follow the Waitukubuli Track and carry all your stuff along.
VIDEO: HIKING IN DOMINICA
Hiking in Dominica doesn’t mean “another nice walk in the forest”. What it really means is truly spectacular untouched wilderness. This is a destination for real and serious hikers. What you can see, do and experience here is not possible in many other places around the planet.
We were really impressed with the island and that comes from someone who lived and hiked all around New Zealand for 4 years. The sights were really amazing and most of the forest remains wild and alive. If you are a serious hiker and looking for a real travel adventure, consider a visit to Dominica. You won’t be dissapointed.
Location: Dominica. West Indies
Price: 12 USD for a week pass (gives us access to the main sights). Extra fee required for the Waikatubuli Trail.
More Information: Waikatubuli Trail Website
Useful Notes: Some areas are only for experienced hikers. But there are many others that can be easily done independently.