Dominica, Caribbean - Wontra Travels

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Welcome to Dominica

Dominica

Capital: Roseau

Population: 73,607 (2015)

Dialing code: +1-767

Driving Side: Left

Currency: East Caribbean Dollar (XCD)

Time zone: UTC-4

Continent: North America

Official language: English

Not to be confused with the Dominican Republic, Dominica, officially known as the Commonwealth of Dominica, is a sovereign island country of volcanic origins. It is located between the French islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique in the Eastern Caribbean. Roseau is the capital and largest city. The second largest city is Portsmouth in the north-west. Other towns of note include Marigot and Grand Bay.

Also known as the ‘Nature Island of the Caribbean’ for its unspoiled beauty, the island is largely covered by rainforest and is home to the world's second-largest hot spring - Boiling Lake. Dominica has many waterfalls, springs, and rivers and the volcanic nature of the island attracts scuba divers yearly.

Dominica's official currency is the East Caribbean Dollar. Vast majority of Dominicans are of African descent and about 80% of the population is Roman Catholic, although there is also a small Muslim community. The economy depends on tourism and agriculture; and the Sisserou parrot (imperial amazon), found only on Dominica, is the island's national bird and features on the national flag.

Information & Facts

Attraction Overview

Plunge under the Trafalgar Falls

Waterfall hikes can be full-day sweaty affairs with a beautiful waterfall as the hike's reward, or they can require less exertion and result in the same reward. Trafalgar Falls, which is found on the west side of Dominica's Morne Trois Pitons National Park, is one of the easily accessible waterfalls on the island, and also one of the most magnificent.

Scuba Diving Scotts Head Pinnacle

Scotts Head Pinnacle should be at the top of a diver's list of Dominica underwater excursions. Scott's Head is also the name of the town that serves as the jumping off point for the dive. Scotts Head Pinnacle is a demanding dive, so novices shouldn't tackle it alone.

Hiking to Boiling Lake

Boiling Lake is located in Morne Trois Pitons National Park and is one of the island's most dramatic sights. Boiling Lake is a fumarole, an opening in the earth that releases boiling water in a cloud of vapour.

Cultural Adventures in Kalinago Territory

Dominica is the only island with a remaining population of pre-Colombian Carib Indians. Today, the Caribs occupies 3700 acres of land in Dominica, called the Kalinago Territory, which houses about 2, 200 Caribs. Visitors are welcome but don't expect to find people in grass skirts with ornamental bone jewelry. The Caribs have embraced modern ways, but for the sake of tourism they are more than happy to share Carib traditions.

Snorkelling Champagne Reef

The prime spot for snorkelling in Dominica is Champagne Reef, which can be accessed directly offshore. There's no beach to speak off, so it's a direct launch into the water from the rocky shore. The conditions that make the reef so special are bubbling vents in the sea bottom (hence the name, Champagne Reef).

Climate

Dominica has a tropical wet climate with characteristically warm temperatures and heavy rainfall. Excessive heat and humidity are tempered somewhat by a steady flow of the northeast trade winds, which periodically develop into hurricanes.

Electricity

220/240 volts AC, 50Hz. British-style plugs with three square pins are used. Many hotels have dual 220/110 voltage.

Health

International visitors are advised to opt for full medical insurance as treatment is on a 'payment on advance' basis. Four main hospitals serve the whole island and there are some private clinics where high fees are the norm.

Language

English is the official language of Dominica and is universally spoken and understood. The Antillean Creole, based on the French language, West African and Carib influences, is still spoken by many residents, especially people of older generations

Money

The official legal tender is the East Caribbean Dollar (XCD) represented with the EC$. 1 EC$ = 100 cents. Bank notes are available in 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 dollars denominations while Coins are available in 5, 10, 25 cents, 1 dollar and 2 dollars.

The US dollar is widely accepted too but change may be given in the East Caribbean Dollar. Credit cards and Travellers cheques are also accepted and ATMs are also available.

Passport Visa

A valid passport and onward/return ticket are required for stays of up to 21 days.

Effective January 1, 2006 the United States has instituted a new passport regulation that will require US citizens visiting the Caribbean to be in possession of a valid US passport to re-enter the US.

Canadian citizens may use proof of citizenship with photo. French nationals may use a Carte identite for stays up to two weeks.

Time

Dominica is on Atlantic Standard Time (AST) - four hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC-4).

Tipping

Tipping is pretty much standard in Dominica. More often than not a service charge will already be included in your total bill especially in restaurants, hotels and bars. When not includes – a tip between 10 – 15% of the total bill is advised. For taxi drivers, rounding up the fare is not a bad idea.

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