The island of Dominica is, in my opinion, one of the most interesting places in the Caribbean. The beaches might not be very impressive and perhaps the people are not as friendly as they are in the neighboring islands, but it’s definitely a paradise for hiking and adventure lovers.
Dominica has impressive mountains, milk-colored rivers, thick rainforests and lakes which are literally boiling. It’s the Caribbean of wild and unspoiled nature.
The prices are a bit more affordable than in the neighboring islands and by using couchsurfing it’s possible to find someone to host you for a few days.
Explore a paradise where tourism has not yet arrived and feel the African flavor in every street and market! Here, you will test your skills by negotiating prices and really coming into contact with the local people by sharing van rides. You’ll understand the meaning of “there’s always room for one more!”
Things to do while Backpacking Dominica on a budget
1- TRAFALGAR FALLS
Trafalgar Falls is one of the main attractions on the island. Besides being situated in a breathtaking natural environment (a thick jungle where it seems as though a velociraptor could show up at any time), you have access to very nice hot springs where you can relax and enjoy the views.
2- EMERALD POOL
Another beautiful place to visit on your trip to Dominica. Beyond the main entrance, you will walk downhill for about 15 minutes along a rocky path to get to the pool. The place is perfect for relaxing and having a swim.
3- SCOTTS HEAD PINNACLE
On the southwestern tip of the island is this peculiar rock formation. The area is a popular diving spot where you can find a great variety of coral and marine life. We were snorkeling around and the place is certainly nice. Do not miss the views from the top of Scotts Head because they are exceptional.
4- BOILING LAKE
This was my favorite spot on the whole island. Can you imagine a route where you enter a thick forest, cross some rivers, ascend to the top of a mountain, admire the landscape from there, walk through a valley where small geysers rise between streams and finally get to a lake which is literally boiling? Complete the Hike to Boiling Lake to live the experience yourself.
5- THE WAITUKUBULI TRAIL
This is an amazing circuit that crosses the whole island from one end to the other. The trail is made up of 14 segments which vary in difficulty and length. There are different passes (from $12 to $40) depending on how many days you are going to hike.
We did only a small part of the trek, but finishing the entire trail sounds like a great adventure that I would like to complete someday.
This is the Waitukubuli official website where you can find more information.
Travel budget for backpacking in Dominica. $15 / day
We managed to spend only about $ 15 a day during our stay given that we didn’t pay for accommodation. Basically, we spent everything on food, transport and tickets to visit the waterfalls.
We used Couchsurfing and were hosted by a great guy.
In Roseau, you can find some basic lodges for about 100 EC. I can recommend: Anthurium Apartment.
Within the island
Van Airport – Roseau: 10 EC
Van short rides: 3.5 EC
The “Express des Iles” ferry covers the following route: Santa Lucia – Martinique – Dominica – Guadeloupe.
The price is 80 euros per ride, so going to the next island is as expensive as going to the last one.
You can book online on the Express des Iles website.
FOOD AND DRINK
Food is quite expensive. Prices in supermarkets are basically the same as they are in Europe. Vegetables and fruits can be found at a cheaper price in the local markets.
WEATHER. WHEN TO GO
Keep in mind that the hurricane season runs from July to November. Just two days after we left the island, there was a hurricane in which several people died.
Tips for backpacking in Dominica
ENTRANCE FEE TO TOURIST SPOTS
The one-day pass for most attractions costs $5.
If you are planning to visit several places, it might be worth buying a week pass for $12.
As in pretty much all the Caribbean, hitchhiking works really well. We had to take just a few vans during our stay.
HITCHHIKING SAILING BOATS
I don’t think this is a place where you can easily find a boat ride since most of the sailing boats continue their route to Martinique or Dominique. If you have problems getting a ride, you can always take the ferry. Sometimes, spending several days waiting for a ride to another island means spending more money than taking the ferry straight away.
I highly recommend that you get a good insurance policy before you visit Dominica. Trusted by thousand of adventurers, World Nomads is one of the best and more reliable options (without breaking your bank).
Next Read: The best things to do in Martinique
Do you have any questions about Backpacking in Dominica travel guide? Leave a comment!
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Hi, I’m Miguel; Adventure traveler, scuba diver and hiking lover. I have been traveling the world for the last 10 years and I hope my experiences, photos and hiking routes inspire you to travel the world too.