Walking Holidays in Dominica - Dominica - The Walkers Island


Dominica - The Walkers Island - Multi-Centred
Holiday Highlights
  • Undeniably stunning, varied walking across the pristine island
  • Explore the exquisite UNESCO Trois Pitons National Park
  • Hike to the world's second largest Boiling Lake through captivating jungle



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Guided walking holiday - Click here to find out more about Guided walking holidays   Self Guided walking holiday - Click here to find out more about Self Guided walking holidays          

 
  • Overview
  • Walking
  • Pricing
  • Map
  • Accommodation
  • Info

The Island 

Dominica is such a pristine island there is a very short list of typical island attractions to fill each day. So it's back to nature and in visiting Dominica you soon become a bit of naturalist - that's the island. With so much to learn discover and explore the best way to start is on foot. 

Walking is undoubtedly what the island is all about and we offer a choice of guided and self guided walks from two beautiful and very comfortable Eco Lodges and a converted fort in Roseau the capital town. For a perfect combination stay in all three. Aside from hiking the Ocean offers further opportunities for swimming, snorkelling, diving and whale watching. 

Food on the island is pure plentiful and very natural with an abundance of fruits fish and vegetables which leave you glowing with health when you return home. Dominica is an island which will truly captivate your senses with every intention to return... and most people do. 


Getting Around

Self guided walk in DominicaA good way to explore the island is by car and with driving the same side as the UK many decide on this option. With very little traffic there is little to negotiate other than a few potholes! If you feel uncomfortable collecting a car from the airport and driving in a strange country after a transatlantic flight, we can arrange transfers to the hotel and a car delivered the day after, and you can then return the car to the airport. Or transfers can be arranged as an alternative  in both directions and you can use taxis to get around, guided walks include transportation from and return to your hotel. 


The Walking 
Hiking on Dominica can be enjoyed by all levels of walkers and it comes as a great surprise that there is such a superb network of well maintained hiking trails. Most hiking trails are in the Trois Pitons National Park located in the centre of the island with much of the area preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There is also walking in the north west Cabrits National Park and further trails around Morne Diablotins – Dominica’s highest peak in the north. 
Some are gentle short walks through the cloud forest (above rain forest level) to a tranquil lake or an impressive waterfall where a swim in a warm clear pool adds to the excursion. At a moderate level there are plenty of moss covered trails into the dense steamy rainforest free from the worry of biting, stinging, buzzing creatures as in other such tropical destinations!  However, for the truly enthusiastic hiker Dominica features one of the world's top ten best hikes - the haunting Boiling Lake and Valley of Desolation.  This is a demanding hike deep into the interior of the island hours from the rest of the world. Furthermore mountain peaks such as Morne Diablotins at 1447m is there to climb. These hikes can offer a feeling of remoteness seldom possible on our planet. 
Easier hikes can be left to individuals to take at their own pace but more challenging walks should only be attempted with the company of one of the islands' expert registered guides. 


Self Guided Walking
Most of the walks on Dominica are available to the independent walker and we provide you with our Walk Booklet giving full route descriptions and directions.  Paths are well marked and generally good underfoot. Some trails have a considerable number of shallow steps formed from springy palm wood giving an excellent grip underfoot. We offer a hire car to assist your way to the walks or alternatively transportation can be arranged by your hotel.
Guided Walking
Guided walks are available from all hotels we offer on Dominica and in many respects, with such diversity in the flora and fauna on the island; a local guide can truly enhance a walk. We would advise that some of the walks such, as the Boiling Lake and some of the waterfalls, are only attempted with a guide. All our guides are local and are trained and registered on the island. They will guide you for a full or half day and on walks to suit your requirements and interest. Transportation is included and you will be collected from and returned to your hotel.

Sample Walk Descriptions
EASY
Trafalgar Falls                  Self Guided
Just a short stroll (uphill) from Papillote then a shady rainforest path takes you to these twin falls – Mother and Father.  After admiring the falls you can bathe in hot or cold pools amongst the boulders followed by a refreshing ginger beer at the nearby cafe and visitor centre.

Boeri Lake                        Guided or Self Guided
Closest to Papillote, an easy trail through different levels of forest and vegetation leads to Dominica’s highest and almost circular lake at 850m. Along the way you pass hot and cold springs and luxuriant tree ferns, cabbage palms and heliconia all to the haunting call of the mountain whistler. Views are superb.  Boeri Lake is a beautiful and tranquil place to sit with a book and a picnic if time allows. 
Walking time: Under 2 hours 
Freshwater Lake            Guided or Self Guided  A short distance from Boeri Lake, the walk around Freshwater Lake, Dominica’s largest freshwater Crater Lake, takes in various levels of forests and offers the best views of ridges and volcanic peaks to be found on Dominica. Part of the trail is the rim of the old volcano.  Plants, too many to list, include epiphytes (plants using others for support), transparent ferns, huge bromeliads and large leaved anthuriums.  At certain times of the year purple flowered water hyacinth float in carpets over the lake.
Walking time: 2 hours      
MODERATE Middleham Falls             Guided or Self Guided
Not only are the falls spectacular when you reach Middleham, but also you pass through the most beautiful and best preserved area of primary rainforest on Dominica. The forest and trails are well signed and maintained by the National Park.  Closest to Papillote.
Walking time: 2 - 2.5 hours
Titou Gorge                    Guided
Not so much hike as hike and swim with a unique experience starting at the trailhead to the Boiling Lake.  From here you swim in the fast but shallow current through warm and cold waters as they flow through the steep sided Titou Gorge.  Above and around the gorge there is still unexplored territory due to its inaccessibility.  Hike back through the rainforest.
Walking time: 2-3 hours
The Cabrits National Park                 Self Guided A whole day can be spent exploring the numerous trails through the Cabrits in the far North West of the island.  Restoration is now well under way of  the 18th century Fort Shirley, clearing the creepers and ficus roots which enshroud the ruins.  Cannon balls still lie on the ground just where they fell!  The Park also has a fine sandy beach good for a swim after exploring the Fort. Hire car required so accessible from all hotels.
Walking time: Up to 4 hours 
Chemin Letang                              Guided or Self Guided
From either Papillote or Rosalie Bay, an old, well established slave trail traverses the island from Freshwater Lake to Grand Fond or vice versa.  Through dense, glossy, dripping, luxuriant rainforest and with glimpses of the ocean or high peaks, this trail is a delight. However, it is long so you may wish to arrange a pick up at the end.
Walking time: Return 6 hours 
Victoria Falls                                Guided  Closest to Rosalie Bay this is classified as moderate although the walk only last about 1 ½ hours.  However, it involves crossing the warm turquoise waters of the Victoria river numerous times and some scrambling over boulders.  A guide is advisable to show the way across the shallows.  The end reward is a stunning, single fall into a blue, blue pool and there you can bathe in the warm waters cascading down from Boiling Lake.


Sari Sari Falls                               Guided
Similar, but even more spectacular than Victoria Falls, these can also be reached from Rosalie Bay.
Walking time: About 2 hours
Glasse Trail                                   Guided
An extension to the old slave trail, the final stage of the Chemin Letang is a superb coastal trail down through the rainforest before emerging onto a headland of volcanic rock with views along the east coast in both directions.  The Atlantic Ocean pounds the rocks filling huge pools (used by locals as swimming pools) with foaming waters.  Walk the Glasse Trail from Rosalie Bay.

Walking time: Return 2 hours
CHALLENGING
The Boiling Lake and Valley of Desolation  
Listed as one of the world’s top ten hikes, it is truly awesome. Many walkers deliberate and cogitate as to whether they can do it....and many do as the sheer isolation and mystery surrounding the Boiling Lake entices beyond belief.  You do need a good level of fitness as the trail starts with a relatively easy first hour with a climb and a descent to the Breakfast River.  Take a rest here before a tough 45 minute ascent, much on steps, to the summit of Morne Nicholas at nearly 1,000m.  Here the mists can swirl and winds can blow but if it’s clear, the views are amazing.  Mosses, ferns and lichens growing on stunted trees add to the setting.  The difficult part begins as a long descent, involving steps, boulders and mud leads down into the Valley of Desolation.  Sulphurous odours reach your nose, the air is warm and steam is visible rising from the multi coloured earth beyond.  Finally, arriving in the Valley of Desolation you no longer see the hike as an endurance test.  With the path disappearing, hence the absolute need for a guide, you realise just how thin the earth’s crust is at this point.  Boiling streams flow past, pools of mud bubble and boil and deep, boiling water pools spew steam in all directions. Leave the Valley of Desolation reluctantly as it’s reasonably flat (apart from being an amazing sight).  One final climb to go, another tough one through forest, past turquoise streams of hot waters, up and up over more boulders and suddenly there it is! A circular, milky boiling lake. 
Suggested Itineraries
We can arrange any itinerary you wish. All the walks can be reached from any of the hotels, however some are much closer than others, so to obtain the best out of your time on Dominica we would propose the following itineraries, the walks can be taken on whatever day you wish or omitted if you wish.
 Dominican Snapshot 7 nights
 
(with flights is 8 nights as includes overnight flight back to Europe)
Day 1: Transfer to your hotel or collect car hire at the airport. Overnight Papillote with half board*

Day 2: Trafalgar Falls, Middleham Falls and Boeri Lake, guided or self guided. Overnight Papillote with half board*  

Day 3: Boiling Lake - Guided. Overnight Papillote with half board*

Day 4: Drive to Portsmouth and walk in the Cabrits National Park – Self Guided. Overnight Papillote with half board*

Day 5: Transfer to Rosalie Bay. Take coastal walk – Guided or Self Guided. Overnight Rosalie Bay with half board*

Day 6: Victoria Falls Guided or Self Guided. Overnight Rosalie Bay with half board*

Day 7: Sari Sari Falls Guided or Self Guided. Overnight Rosalie Bay with half board* 

Day 8:
Transfer to the airport or return hire car to the airport (if travelling back to the UK). 

Day 9: Return landing back in Europe 

*Half board is dinner, bed and breakfast 

Dominican Explorer 9 nights
(with flights 10 nights as includes overnight flight back to Europe)
Day 1: Transfer to your hotel or collect car hire at the airport. Overnight Papillote with half board*  

Day 2: Trafalgar Falls, Middleham Falls and Boeri Lake, Guided or Self Guided. Overnight Papillote with half board*  

Day 3: Boiling Lake (challenging) Guided. Overnight Papillote with half board*  

Day 4: Drive to Portsmoth and walk in the Cabrits National Park – Self Guided. Overnight Papillote with half board*  

Day 5: Transfer to Rosalie Bay. Overnight Rosalie Bay with half board*  

Day 6: Victoria Falls Guided or Self Guided. Overnight Rosalie Bay with half board* 

Day 7: Sari Sari Falls Guided or Self Guided. Overnight Rosalie Bay with half board*

Day 8: Relaxing day (see details of activities, under hotel details). Overnight Rosalie Bay with half board*  

Day 9: Take coastal walk Guided or Self Guided. Overnight Rosalie Bay with half board*

Day 10: Transfer to the airport or return hire car to the airport (if travelling back to the UK)

Day 11: Return landing back in Europe 
*Half board is dinner, bed and breakfast
 
Dominica Relaxed  14 nights

(With international flights 15 nights as includes overnight flight back to Europe)
Day 1: Transfer to your hotel or collect car hire at the airport. Overnight Papillote with half board*  

Day 2: Trafalgar Falls, Middleham Falls, Guided or Self Guided, moderate walks. Overnight Papillote with half board*

Day 3: Boiling Lake (challenging) Guided. Overnight Papillote with half board*

Day 4: Boeri Lake and Jungle cableway or Titou Gorge. Overnight Papillote with half board*

Day 5: ‘Cross Island’ walk Moderate Guided or Self Guided. Overnight Papillote with half board* 

Day 6: Transfer to Fort Young in Rouseau. Explore the capital. Overnight Fort Young B&B.

Day 7: Drive to Portsmouth and walk in the Cabrits National Park – Self Guided. Overnight Fort Young B&B.

Day 8: Transfer to Rosalie Bay. Overnight Rosalie Bay with half board*

Day 9: Victoria Falls Guided or Self Guided. Overnight Rosalie Bay with half board*

Day 10: Sari Sari Falls Guided or Self Guided. Overnight Rosalie Bay with half board*

Day 11:
Relaxing day (see details of activities, under hotel details). Overnight Rosalie Bay with half board*  

Day 12: Take coastal walk guided or self guided. Overnight Rosalie Bay with half board*  

Day 13: Relaxing day (see details of activities, under hotel details). Overnight Rosalie Bay with half board*  

Day 14:
Relaxing day (see details of activities, under hotel details). Overnight Rosalie Bay with half board* 

Day 15: Transfer to the airport or return hire car to the airport (if travelling back to the UK). 

Day 16: Return landing back in Europe. 


*Half board is dinner, bed and breakfast

Island Hopping
Why not combine Dominica with St. Lucia, a short hop by plane. St. Lucia also offers some superb walking along with relaxation by the sea in a comfortable resort hotel.  
Or, make your trip to Dominica  part of a longer trip to the Caribbean, we will just take care of the arrangements on Dominica and you can make all your other plans.

Grade

Self Guided
- Easy to challenging but with more variety of walks moderate to challenging

Guided - Easy to challenging

Fort Young Hotel - 4 Star

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Nestled at the edge of a cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea, cradled in the beauty of Dominica's mountainous landscape, is the Fort Young Hotel, The Key to Dominica.

Fort Young Hotel was built around the walls of the old 18th-century fort; many of the original features have been retained in the public areas of the property.

The uniqueness of the Fort Young Hotel is its wide range of facilities, making it a perfect home-away-from-home for business travelers as well as those looking for relaxation, fine-dining, luxury, and comfort, with great opportunities to discover the beauty of Dominica.

  

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Papillote Wilderness Retreat and Restaurant

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Papillote is a small comfortable mountain inn at the head of the Roseau River Valley about 30minutes from the capital of Roseau.  Set against a back drop of unimaginable lushness mountains waterfalls, pristine rainforest and tropical gardens surround the barely visible buildings of the hotel. 

 

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Rosalie Bay - 4 Star

../../holiday-hotels/?HolidayID=61&HotelID=223&HolidayName=Dominica-Dominica+%2D+The+Walkers+Island-&HotelName=Rosalie+Bay">Rosalie Bay

Opened in January 2011, Rosalie Bay Resort is an acclaimed eco-boutique Dominican hotel and nature inspired Spa that's simply magical. It enjoys close harmony between the Rosalie River, the ocean and the rainforest.

Prepare to be mesmerized by unsurpassed natural beauty. Let the magnetic force of the ocean pull away the stress of everyday life leaving in its place peace and serenity and enjoy one of the 28 spacious rooms and suites, organic cuisine, nature-inspired spa, a daily wellness, culture and hiking program. Stroll along the wild and beautiful black sand beach where turtles nest and watch then hatchlings struggle to the sea.

 

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Availability Information

The Caribbean has a great range of temperatures being hot and humid at sea level and cooling considerably in the mountains and rain forests.  At sea level expect an average of 80º, with high humidity during the summer, dropping to around 60º at 600-900m.  Constant cooling trade winds bring the temperature down further.  Rainfall occurs all year, mostly during the late afternoon and less during summer.  Walking is possible all year, however it is best to avoid the hurricane season from mid June to October.

When to book your walking holiday in Dominica - Dominica - The Walkers Island

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Best Best Best Best Best Good OK N/A N/A N/A OK Best


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