Dominica is a mountainous, green and fertile land, and is
definitely the most unspoilt island in the region. Unlike most of the
neighbouring islands Dominica is still largely covered by rainforest, and it
should remain that way thanks to the National Parks and Forest Reserves set up
by a nation mindful of the need to preserve this unique natural beauty.
Dominica has 365 rivers (one for each day of the year!) and also boasts six waterfalls over 100 feet high. Of course there are many smaller waterfalls and bathing pools to be found along these rivers, and you will encounter many of these during your stay on the island. You will also find an interesting variety and abundance of plant life during your travels around the island. You can also look out for the 170 species of birds that visit Dominica at various times of the year, including those birds endemic to Dominica such as the Sisserou Parrot (which is the symbol of the nation and can be found on the national flag).
Sari Sari Falls
Hiking trails can be found throughout the island, and these are a great way to
explore the hidden beauty of this lush tropical paradise. These trails can range from easy strolls along coastal paths to strenuous hikes up the sides of mountains; whatever your fitness level you will find a trail to suit your needs.
A local guide lives
just next door to Sunrise Gardens, and through whom tours can be arranged to a
variety of places around the island, especially our own area in the north East.
There are only a handful of sites in Dominica where it is mandatory to have an
official tour guide with you, but the sheer wealth of local knowledge that a
guide will possess on the flora and fauna and local customs makes hiring one a
worthwhile and rewarding experience.
Signpost on the Waitukubuli Trail
The ultimate Caribbean hiking experience has to be the Waitukubuli Trail, opened in 2010, which zig-zags its way up the entire length of the island; taking you on a journey that will introduce you to Dominica’s dramatic terrain and unspoilt nature (e.g.: mountains, rivers, waterfalls, sulphur springs, gorges and rainforests) as well as taking you through villages that will showcase the culture and heritage of Dominica. The trail is split up into 14 segments and you could easily use Sunrise Gardens as your base for walking the northern half of the Trail. We can arrange a drop off and pick up service for you at the start and finish of each segment. For more info on the Waitukubuli Trail see the official website on our links page.
Due to its mountainous topography, with sheer cliffs rising out of the sea on much of the coastline, beaches are not as common as on some of the other flatter Caribbean islands. However, with Dominica there is quality and not quantity when it comes to beaches. The North-east of the island where Sunrise Gardens is located is home to some of the best and most picturesque beaches on the island. Hampstead beach, where scenes from Pirates of the Caribbean II were filmed, is located just a few minutes’ drive from the northern entrance of Calibishie.
A few more bends along the coast road will then get you to Batibou Beach, a wonderful picturesque white sand beach where privacy and good swimming can be enjoyed. Closer to home we have the unspoilt Hodges Bay and also the idyll of Pointe Baptiste. Beach bars, tastefully blending into the surrounding vegetation, can be enjoyed at Pointe Baptiste and Batibou beaches
Dominica’s underwater topography provides for some of the finest dive sites in
the Caribbean lying immediately offshore. Reefs, wrecks, sulphur springs as well
as an abundance of marine life, including whales and dolphins, can be seen and
enjoyed. The North West of the island around the Portsmouth area is home to many
of these well known dive sites. There is also some spectacular snorkelling to be
enjoyed right alongside the sea shore.
Dominica receives plenty of sunshine and annual temperatures average 80 degrees
Fahrenheit (or 27° C). The dry season usually lasts from December to May and
this is generally the coolest time of the year for the island, due to the trade
winds that breeze across the East and North Eastern coasts, bringing a pleasant
respite from the heat and humidity. After a busy day exploring and experiencing
the many natural attractions that Dominica has to offer, what better way to
unwind than to relax on a lounger on the balcony of your Sunrise Garden
apartment, cool drink in hand, whilst having the gentle cooling breeze wafting
over your gloriously relaxed body.
For the more adventurous traveller who wishes to experience an island untouched
by the dubious pleasures of mass tourism; where the local population are
wonderfully friendly and all areas are accessible for exploration, then the wild
and wonderful island of Dominica is the perfect Caribbean getaway. Go Explore!