Glassy Point, East Coast of Dominica. Photo: GettyImages-1225643406
4.5
| 4 reviews

Hike, Snorkel and Whale Watch in Dominica

8 nights
Moderate

Explore the rugged coastline and tropical interior of the Caribbean's 'Nature Island' by land and by sea

What's Included?

Activities & Certified Guides

All itinerary activities with expert, local, English-speaking guides

Guesthouse

8 nights in locally owned, boutique guesthouses

Meals

All breakfasts, 7 lunches, 6 dinners

Transfers & Permits

All airport transfers, local transfers, with national and marine park permit fees

Equipment

Snorkelling gear

Small Like-minded Groups

Solo-friendly by design, join our small n’ sociable groups of up to 10 like-minded, active and outdoorsy people
From

excluding flights

What's it like?

4.5
| 4 reviews
This trip definitely exceeded my expectations!
March 2024
Kelley I.
This trip definitely exceeded my expectations!
March 2024
Kelley I.
This trip definitely exceeded my expectations!
March 2024
Kelley I.
This trip definitely exceeded my expectations!
March 2024
Kelley I.
This trip definitely exceeded my expectations!
March 2024
Kelley I.
This trip definitely exceeded my expectations!
March 2024
Kelley I.
This trip definitely exceeded my expectations!
March 2024
Kelley I.
This trip definitely exceeded my expectations!
March 2024
Kelley I.
This trip definitely exceeded my expectations!
March 2024
Kelley I.
This trip definitely exceeded my expectations!
March 2024
Kelley I.
Glassy Point, East Coast of Dominica. Photo: GettyImages-1225643406
Waitukubuli National Trail, Dominica. Photo: Host/Jungle Trekking and Adventure Safaris
Sperm whales. Photo: GettyImages-637248038
Dominica beach. Photo: GettyImages-535228947
Parrot, Dominica. Photo: GettyImages-962314218
Whale tail. Photo: GettyImages-1456931373
Reef snorkelling, Dominica. Photo: GettyImages-1225643202
Dominica. Photo: Dreamstime l 11437304

Hike sections of the Waitukubuli Trail alongside one of its founders, through lush rainforest to dreamy waterfalls

Head out on the water to spot sperm whales, humpbacks and dolphins, then snorkel the dazzling seas of Champagne Reef

Bask in hot springs, wild swim in cool rivers and kick back with a sundowner on this authentic Caribbean island away from the crowds

Featured by The Times as one of 'the world's best walking holidays'

Key Information

Day 1

Welcome to Dominica!

Rosseau, Dominica. Photo: GettyImages-1126734846

Get your first glimpse of Dominica's green expanse as you land in Roseau, the capital. Meet your host at the airport and hop in the van for the short drive to your guesthouse. Enjoy some downtime in this peaceful spot (depending on your arrival time), before meeting up with your host and the rest of the group for dinner and a chat through the adventure ahead.

Day 2

Morne Trois Pitons National Park

Middleham Falls, Dominica
Dreamstime photo - ID 45393647 © Irishka777

Hiking

4-5hrs · 7km · 330m up · 195m down

Kick start your Dominica adventure with a deep dive into the Roseau Valley. Hike through thick primary rainforest to reach the Middleham Waterfall – tumbling 200ft into a deep basin, it's the tallest on the island, and the perfect spot for a swim. Head deeper into the Morne Trois Pitons National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, until you reach a large freshwater lake, where you'll have lunch with a lush mountainous backdrop. Next, it's on to the Titou Gorge, a narrow ravine carved into the rocks by the river. You'll tackle a unique upstream hike, swimming and scrambling through the spectacular ravine to reach the exit point. Cap off an epic first day with tasty Caribbean food and perhaps a beer or rum sundowner.

Day 3

Hike the Waitukubuli National Trail

Waitukubuli National Trail, Dominica. Photo: Host/Jungle Trekking Adventures & Safaris

Hiking

4-5hrs · 9km · 925 up · 80m down

Hit Dominica's long-distance trail, the Waitukubuli National Trail. The trail originally spanned 185km (along the entire length of Dominica), however, the trail was decimated by Hurricane Maria in 2017. Locals have so far rebuilt several sections, which you'll be tackling on this trip. Today you'll hike through tropical rainforest, passing four villages perched high on the hills above Roseau. The trail enters a heavily forested area giving way to a narrow path and steep 200m descent to a river crossing and challenging climb out of the valley. The hike ends at Wotten Waven, where you can soak your limbs in the natural hot springs.

Day 4

Trek to Boiling Lake

Boiling Lake, Dominica. Photo: Dreamstime l 88946419

Hiking

4-5hrs · 10km · 720m up · 720m down

Hike through different terrain today on a demanding route to reach Boiling Lake – a huge pool of bubbling, thermal waters, heated by volcanic activity below. To reach the lake you'll trek through more stunning Dominican scenery: lush forests, sharp ridges and volcanic rivers, streams and boiling mud. The steam and sulphur in the air increase the closer you get to the lake. Enjoy some downtime later in the afternoon and revel in the Caribbean pace of life.

Day 5

Snorkelling and whale watching

Sperm Whale, Dominica. Unsplash/Ray Harrington

Snorkelling

2-3hrs

Wildlife Watching

4hrs

There's only one place in the world you'll find sperm whales residing year-round: yes, that'll be Dominica. Today's the day to head out on the water to spot Dominica's majestic local residents. With their easily recognisable tail shape, they are often found in groups of five or six which make for spectacular wildlife displays. Humpback whales also inhabit Dominica's waters between November and April. Hopping back off the boat and onto land, your marine adventures aren't done for the day yet – head to Dominica's best dive site, Champagne Reef, for some snorkelling. In this unique spot, the water is like glass and a submerged volcanic vent in the sea floor bubbles and heats the water around you, while you take in the array of tropical fish and technicolour corals. The snorkelling is done right from the beach, so there's time to kick back on the sand in between bouts of snorkelling.

Day 6

Wild Atlantic coast

Glassy Point, East Coast of Dominica. Photo: GettyImages-1225643406

Hiking

4-5hrs · 11km · 445m up · 125m down

Wild Swimming

1hr

Head east to the wilder Atlantic Coast of Dominica today for unforgettable hikes and wild swims. Traverse the rugged coastline via the rural communities of Tranto and Petite Soufriere, with epic views all the way. Glassy Point is a particularly beautiful spot with natural rock formations and dramatic green cliffs. You'll eventually reach the village of Delices, where you can dive into the White River for a refreshing swim before hiking up the valley to Victoria Waterfall. Continue along the Sari Sari River to the breathtaking Sari Sari Waterfall, one of the biggest on the island.

Day 7

Hike the Centipede Trail with Kalinago indigenous guides

Dominica Atlantic coast. Photo: Dreamstime l 71930085

Hiking

4-5hrs · 12km · 575m up · 240m down

You'll be joined by an additional guide today – a member of the Kalinago, the indigenous people of Dominica. The Kalinago are descendants of Amerindians who travelled to the Caribbean archipelago some 2,000 years ago. Starting from L’escalier Tete Chien, you'll hike down a steep trail carved by lava to the ocean's edge before picking up the Centipede Trail. Continue along the coast through Kalinago territory (with breathtaking Atlantic scenery) while your Kalinago guide provides deep insight into the culture, lifestyle and mythology of the first inhabitants of Dominica.

Day 8

Back on the Waitukubuli Trail

Dominica, Waitukubuli national trail, segment 14
Host image: Jungle Trekking & Safaris Dominica

Hiking

3-4hrs · 9km · 330m up · 180m down

Get back on the Waitukubuli Trail today to explore the final two segments of the trail, by land and by sea. The route goes through volcanic terrain and dry forest while offering spectacular views of the neighbouring islands of Guadeloupe, Marie Galante, and Les Saintes to the north. After the hike, you'll hop onto small boats to reach the Cabrits National Park and Prince Rupert and Douglas Bays, steeped in old smuggling folklore. Once docked, you can enjoy Purple Turtle beach and have a swim in the Caribbean Sea.

Day 9

So long, Dominica

Sunset on Dominica in the Caribbean. Photo: GettyImages-1396513577

The adventure comes to an end after breakfast as your host takes you back to the airport in time for your onward flight.

Day 1

Guesthouse · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2 – Day 6

Guesthouse · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 7 – Day 8

Guesthouse · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 9

Departure day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

Fresh fruit stall, Dominica. Photo: GettyImages-1265268905

Dominica is blessed with an abundance of fresh vegetables such as yam, eddoe, dasheen, sweet potato and exotic fruits such as bananas, coconuts, papayas, guavas, pineapples, and mangoes. The Dominican diet is one of the reasons why Dominica is the country with the most centenarians (people over 100 years old) in the world. Breakfasts will vary, from oats with fresh fruit, to British-influenced bacon and eggs, to the local breakfast speciality of saltfish (dried and salted cod) and 'bakes' (dough fried in oil – sort of like a doughnut, it's a popular street food staple). Lunches will vary – from picnics whipped up by your host while out on the trails, to lazy lunchtimes in cafés with a simple sign saying 'fish lunch'. Keep a lookout for the national dish, 'callaloo' – a soup made with leafy vegetables, coconut milk, salted meat, yams, onions, peppers, green bananas, and dumplings, served with toast and avocado. Dinner will mostly consist of spiced fish and meat dishes with rice and peas and a variety of vegetable sides. A popular option is 'reef chicken' flavoured with dark rum, ginger, mango chutney, hot pepper sauce, spices and lime.

Vegetarians, vegans and other dietary requirements and allergies can be catered for – please just request this on your passenger info form.

What is the accommodation like?

Le Petit Paradis

A warm Dominican welcome awaits at Le Petit Paradis, your base for the first five nights on the island. Nestled in the small village of Wotten Waven and surrounded by rainforest, thermal hot springs and mud baths, Le Petit Paradis has twin-share rooms with shared bathrooms, as well as a 'hammock shack' to help you slip into the pace of life around here. Your hosts Joan and Al cook up amazing Caribbean food and homemade rum punch for a sundowner after your days out hiking.

Rosalie Bay Dominica Hotel
Rosalie Bay Eco Resort

On Dominica's Atlantic coast, you'll stay at the Rosalie Bay Eco Resort, nestled between mountains and the coastline. With warm Caribbean hospitality from the friendly team, you'll stay in twin-share rooms with en suite bathrooms.

Portsmouth Beach Hotel

Your final two nights of the trip are spent at Portsmouth Beach Hotel, located in Prince Rupert Bay on Dominica's northwest coast. The hotel features a private beach, a spa and a beachfront restaurant. You'll stay in twin-share rooms with en suite bathrooms.

Upgrades

For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room can be booked for an extra charge, see Optional Extras for the price. Please request this at the time of booking (this is subject to availability).

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Douglas–Charles Airport, Dominica

Any time on Day 1

Ends

Douglas–Charles Airport, Dominica

Any time on Day 9

Transfers

Your host will meet you on arrival at Dominica's Douglas–Charles Airport and transfer you to the first of your accommodations. On Day 9 your host will transfer you back to Douglas–Charles Airport in time for your onward flight.

Travel options

Dominica's Douglas–Charles Airport (DOM) is easily accessible by flights from major hubs in the UK, Europe and North America, generally with a stop en route in Bridgetown, Barbados (BGI). Dominica is also serviced by a direct flight from Miami, which connects well with all major airports in North America and plenty of hubs in the UK and Europe as well.

Enjoy 12.5% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 12.5% discount to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What's included?

  • Snorkelling gear

What do I need to bring?

BAGS

  • Soft overnight duffel bag or rucksack
  • Daypack (20-30 litres)
  • Waterproof liner for daypack

CLOTHES

  • Lightweight waterproof jacket
  • Lightweight waterproof trousers
  • Fleece jacket or similar for evenings
  • Lightweight trousers/shorts/skirts for hiking
  • T-shirts
  • Underwear and socks
  • Swimwear
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunhat
  • Something to sleep in
  • Hiking boots or trail runners (worn-in)
  • River shoes or old trainers for river crossings and waterfall swims
  • Sandals/light shoes for evenings

OTHER

  • Universal travel plug adapter
  • Power bank or solar charger
  • Passports (and visas)
  • Travel insurance documents
  • Ear plugs
  • Insect repellent
  • Suncream
  • Personal first-aid kit (inc. blister treatment)
  • Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc)
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Alcohol hand-gel
  • Reusable water bottle x1 litre
  • Biodegradable wet-wipes
  • Energy bars and snacks - read our article on Best Hiking Snacks
*Requests for optional extras can be made after booking on your “My Bookings” page

Post trip accommodation in Portsmouth (single room)

Payable Before Departure

Post trip accommodation in Portsmouth (single room)

Per Night

Post trip accommodation in Portsmouth (twin/double room)

Payable Before Departure

Post trip accommodation in Portsmouth (twin/double room)

Per Night

Pre trip accommodation in Wotten Waven (single room)

Payable Before Departure

Pre trip accommodation in Wotten Waven (single room)

Per Night

Pre trip accommodation in Wotten Waven (twin/double room)

Payable Before Departure

Pre trip accommodation in Wotten Waven (twin/double room)

Per Night

Optional Private Room Upgrade from

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Room Upgrade from

Yvonne K.(April 2024)
Loved it!

An awesome trip on a wonderful island with stunning scenery and good hiking.

Kelley I.(March 2024)
This trip definitely exceeded my expectations!
This trip definitely exceeded my expectations!
This trip definitely exceeded my expectations!
This trip definitely exceeded my expectations!
This trip definitely exceeded my expectations!
This trip definitely exceeded my expectations!
This trip definitely exceeded my expectations!
This trip definitely exceeded my expectations!
This trip definitely exceeded my expectations!
This trip definitely exceeded my expectations!
This trip definitely exceeded my expectations!

What a hidden gem of an island! So many great hikes and sites to see! I highly recommend this trip! Don’t let the 2 out of 4 rating make you think this is simple hiking… there are a few hikes that have some interesting technical sections.

Sarah-Anne G.(March 2024)
A good trip that could be improved

Dominica is a beautiful island and this trip does a good job of seeing quite a lot of the island in a short space of time. As it is off the beaten track, it is beautifully untouched and often you would not come across many other tourists at all each day, which I think makes it special.

Our main guide, Michael, was very friendly and always available and the supporting guides were equally friendly. Sometimes timings, pick-ups or meals for the next day were finalised very last minute the night before, but this is typical island time so something that didn't bother me too much.

The accommodation and food varies in quality: the final two hotels were a marked improvement on the first guest house (Roxy's), which had friendly staff but was just quite basic. Roxy's did not provide much food which meant it was hard to sustain ourselves through days of hiking and the remote location meant there was nowhere to buy additional food. Rosalie Bay Eco Resort is a very nice hotel with good food that it would have been nice to stay at for more than one night. The final two nights at Picard Beach Cottages (with beachside terraces where we could watch the sunset) was great, and there was a good selection of restaurants to venture out to in Portsmouth.

I think some of the trip description does need updating so that it is accurate. We had to pay for two meals that were supposed to be included (day 1 dinner and day 5 lunch), the accommodation on the first five nights is at Roxy's Mountain Lodge (not Le Petit Paradis) and the final two nights at Picard Beach Cottages (not Portsmouth Beach Hotel), and the timings of the hikes are not correct - days 3 and 4 are actually circa 7 hours long while I believe day 7 is two fairly short hikes that don't amount to 4-5hours in total.

The hikes can be very difficult as Dominica is a volcanic island with lots of steep inclines and descents. Paths are not always well maintained and have rough terrain/slippery rocks, so the hikes can be technical with scrambling involved and hiking poles a must. The difficulty rating should probably be increased for that reason.

I also think the itinerary could involve a larger variety of activities to really take advantage of everything the island has to offer. Kayaking and canyoning are both available on the island and would be good substitutions for some hiking days so the trip is more varied. With so many days spent hiking, I'm not sure I would say this trip is worth the rather high price tag.

Overall though, this was a good trip to a beautiful island but it just could use some work on its itinerary to make it great.

David L.(February 2024)
Excellent, true adventure

Well organised, excellent guides. Not for the feint hearted. Boiling lake hike was a very tough hike/climb/scramble.

We partner with the World Land Trust to ensure this trip achieves Net-Zero emissions. We also support their Buy an Acre programme, helping local communities to buy and protect natural habitats in perpetuity.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 455kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. We partner with the World Land Trust to ensure this trip achieves Net-Zero emissions. We also support their Buy an Acre programme, helping local communities to buy and protect natural habitats in perpetuity, ensuring the protection of the reserve and its wildlife.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

In 2017, Dominica was hit by the devastating Category 5 Hurricane Maria. Over 90 percent of the island’s structures were devastated, 65 people lost their lives, the tropical rainforests were ripped apart and the country's economy was crippled. Slowly, Dominica has rebuilt itself from the ruins of this natural disaster – including a climate resilience bill introduced in 2018 to help the country adapt to its status and position on the front line of climate change, as hurricanes become more frequent and intense due to global heating. Today, homes and businesses have been rebuilt, the forests have regrown and the lush canopies are alive again with animals – including the national bird, the sisserou; an endangered species found only on Dominica and feared to be extinct after the hurricane. The bird is now routinely spotted again. That said, Dominica still bears considerable scars – the trees at the edge of the rainforest still show signs of the destruction, and on the Atlantic Coast bare branches face the ocean, still struggling to regrow what was torn off by the 160mph winds. A slower recovery is ongoing for The Waitukubuli National Trail which pre-Maria, spanned 115 miles from the top to bottom of Dominica. Currently of the 14 segments of the trail, over half are still out of action. This trip hikes along some of the reopened segments of the trail. Your host originally founded the trail, and it is central to the community's gradual efforts to rebuild the full trail to its former glory. Tourism was a big part of the economy before Hurricane Maria, and the island's continued recovery and future resilience is hugely dependent on visitors – your visit here puts money directly into the local communities to aid the island's full recovery.

Dominica’s position in the middle of the Caribbean’s Lesser Antilles island chain gives it a year-round tropical climate, ranging from about 26–32°C (79-90°F) on average. December to May is considered the 'best' time to go as this is the dry season. Rainy season is from June to November, bringing higher chances of rainfall, however there are far fewer people on the island and the rain storms are short and make the tropical forests feel even more alive than usual. September is the month when the hurricanes are most likely to hit. There have been fewer and fewer over the last few years, but the ones that have hit have been devastating, including 2017’s Hurricane Maria. Traditionally, many businesses shut down during September. The sea temperature stays at a delightful 26-28°C (79-82°F) year round.

The hikes on this trip are relatively tough going at points, and you'll need to be comfortable hiking up to six hours per day on uneven trails with a good chunk of up and down. There'll be some scrambling and swimming at points – sort of like easy canyoning – but no experience will be necessary for this sort of hiking. A fondness for being in the water will help as there are myriad river crossings (Dominica contains 365 rivers – enough to swim in a new one every day for a year, the locals like to say), waterfall swim spots and of course the amazing snorkelling day at one of the Caribbean's premier dive spots. The tropical climate with high humidity and often wet conditions can make the hiking activities more strenuous.

Sure can! Over 70% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Tips are not included in the trip cost. These are entirely at your discretion but there is an expectation to tip for good service. Your guide will help with advice, however we suggest the below as a guideline per person:

$5-10 per day

Of course, you are free to tip more or less, and the amount should be reflective of your perception of service and quality - a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

Tap water is safe to drink in Dominica, so you can fill up at your guesthouse each day. There will also be chances at certain points of the trip to fill up with fresh Caribbean water from mountain streams.

No. You'll need to have a larger bag suitable for all your belongings which will be transported for you, and then a small daysack to carry personal items during each day of hiking.

This trip is based from three guesthouses spread across the island - each one you can leave your main luggage at while taking a daypack out with you each day.

We recommend checking out the country specific information here and also talking to a travel nurse.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory for all of our adventures and you are required to provide your policy information before departing.

Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure. We also strongly recommend it includes cancellation and curtailment insurance, should you be unable to join your trip for specific reasons such as illness.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last-minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

You're always in good company on one of our adventures.

Our trips are typically made up of a mixture of solo travellers and small groups of 2 or 3 friends, with most in their 30s-50s.

Our sociable adventures are solo-friendly by design and naturally attract outdoorsy people with a shared mindset; a love for adventure, a desire to push themselves and meet awesome, like-minded people along the way.

It’s this camaraderie that has so often turned a great adventure into a life-changing one.

Don't just take our word for it:

  • 95% of people rate the group dynamics on our trips 5/5
  • 90% of people recommend joining a trip to make new friends
  • 75% of people have met people on our trips that they would now consider friends

See here for more info about the Much Better Adventures tribe.

Interested in a more exclusive experience? Opt for a 'Private Group' through the dates and prices tab to book this adventure for just you and your chosen companions.

Our team of Adventure Hunters create exclusive adventures with highly vetted, specialist hosts. We only work with independent, local in-destination experts who know the very best places to explore and how to stay safe. See here for more info about the local teams we partner with.

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Connect before you go

You'll be invited to join a WhatsApp group to get to know each other before your big adventure together. Full details

DEPARTURE DATES

Private trip

Go private and split the bill with ease.

Forget complex logistics, we've taken care of all the details to ensure a hassle-free get together. All of the adventure, none of the faff.

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