As the name suggests, this phenomenal lake is constantly boiling. And I’m not talking about small bubbles! A powerful eruption of steam comes out of the middle of the lake and the water rises dramatically, creating a surreal image.
The route up to the lake can be completed in about three hours, with about two-and-a-half hours required for the return. Therefore, it is important to leave early from Roseau; by including the time you spend in the lake, the trip can take up to seven hours total.
The hike to Boiling Lake in Dominica is divided into 3 parts.
From Titou Gorge to Breakfast River (45 minutes)
The first part of the trail runs through a beautiful rainforest; the path is quite muddy and can be slippery in some places. At the beginning, just to the left, you will find the impressive Titou Gorge.
Most people take a break at Breakfast River, precisely for that: to have breakfast or lunch. However, I personally do not recommend it, as the area is full of mosquitoes.
From Breakfast River to the Valley of Desolation (1 hour)
Once we cross the river, the climb becomes a bit more difficult. We leave behind the thick jungle and find a much more open mountain landscape, with spectacular views in all directions and steep cliffs by which we must venture. I find that this part has the most beautiful scenery of the route.
From the Valley of Desolation to Boiling Lake (1 hour)
The Valley of Desolation is an amazing place that seems to come straight out of the movie “Mad Max”. The color of the earth varies between gray, red and yellow due to the mud and sulfur left behind by the small geysers found throughout the valley.
The trek continues along a very rocky area before arriving at beautiful Boiling Lake. This is the only part where the path can be a little confusing; however, if you keep your eyes open, it should be easy to take the right way.
Exploring Boiling Lake in Dominica
There is a small viewpoint over a cliff from which to observe the lake. The terrain is a bit unstable, so don’t get too close to the edge.
For those who want to get down to the lake to check out whether the water really reaches 100 degrees Celsius or not, there is a way on the left side of the viewpoint. This access is very steep and quite dangerous. I decided to go down myself, but I personally do not recommend it.
Transport. How to get to Boiling Lake in Dominica
Vans leave from Roseau every day at 9:00 in the morning. The bus stop is at King George Street (right in front of Astaphan supermarket). The price must be around 5 EC. Try to take this van because the next one is at 12:30 or even later and then it would be too late to get back before dark.
We got there at 9:01 and the van was gone. So, we went to the road and hitchhiked. We finally found a van that took us to the starting point of the hike for 20 EC.
Food and drink
The hike can be completed in the same day, so you just need to take some sandwiches, fruits and cookies. You will find several springs along the way where you can fill your bottle.
Weather. When to go
The best season is from November to June, when there is not much rain. However, the trail can be completed any time, avoiding hurricanes, of course.
There is a $5 fee for almost all the island’s attractions. However, when we went to Boiling Lake, nobody was at the entrance.
There is also a week pass for $12.
The entrance fee for the Waikitubuli trail must be paid separately.
Tips for Hiking Boiling Lake in Dominica
Personally, I think that a guide is not necessary because the path is quite well marked. If you think you need one, you can find several guides in Roseau for about 140 EC.
As noted above, this trek can take up to seven hours, so try to leave early and do not miss the 9:00 a.m. van.
The path can be quite slippery, as there are muddy areas. Bring good boots!
We found a very good host on Couchsurfing during our stay in Roseau. It was a very nice experience and we didn’t spend anything.