Visiting Dominica for the First Time

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In 2009 Dan had to visit the Commonwealth of Dominica on business and I created an online journal so our family could read about our visit. Our brief stay on this beautiful, natural island reawakened our fondness for travel and Dan’s love of photography, and eventually, my online travel journal morphed into the website you’re reading now, As We Saw It. This is a version of one of my very first posts. I hope you enjoy it.

“We’re visiting Dominica?! Where the heck is that?” I asked when Dan first told me we’d be going there on business. Sure, I’d heard of the Dominican Republic, but it took me a bit of time to fathom that two Caribbean countries would have such similar names.

Aerial view of the island of Dominica

Anyway, Dan and his business partner had business to do there. Being the thoughtful family men they are, they were bringing us (their wives and sons). Field trip! I tried to search for information about the country but it wasn’t easy: Google kept throwing in search results for the Dominican Republic as well.

At least I wasn’t alone.

As it turns out, the Commonwealth of Dominica is a tiny slip of an island, only about 4 times the size of Washington, D.C. Lying between Guadeloupe and Martinique in the Lesser Antilles, it has only about 70,000 inhabitants. I was especially happy to find out that its proper pronunciation is Dom-in-EEK-a, before I embarrassed myself in the country.

Visiting Dominica, not a tourist hot spot

Most people wouldn’t choose Dominica as a vacation destination, even if they could find it in search results. First off, you can’t get there in one day; you have to fly to Puerto Rico and then fly to Dominica the next afternoon. Plus, there are no resorts on the entire island because it has no beautiful, sandy Caribbean beaches. (Can you say untouched?)

Since it doesn’t appeal to resort developers its primary resource is its pristine beauty it has become a mecca for divers and eco-tourists.

Small town of Portsmouth along the water.
No beaches means no resorts.

Dominica is for nature lovers

It’s often been said that Dominica is the only island that Christopher Columbus would still recognize, and I believe it. As we descended between the forested mountains and saw some of its rivers Richard said it reminded him of flying into ‘Nam.

Mist covering the mountains while we were visiting Dominica. Bamboo in foreground

But there was no gunfire to greet us, just a small, puddle-jumper airport and the desk where we picked up our rental car. We took off for our first destination: Calibishe on the island’s northeast coast. The guys might have business meetings in Roseau every day for a week, but that was days away. This was a weekend just for us: Our plan was to relax and enjoy ourselves in this lush, beautiful country.

Visit our Dominica photo gallery to see more images from this island.

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Written by Linda

Linda is multilingual and has been to over 50 countries. Her insatiable love of travel, cuisine, and foreign languages inspired her to create As We Saw It, where she documents her trips, shares practical itineraries, and offers insider tips. She’s passionate about helping fellow travelers save time, money, and hassle, and loves to discover new places to explore.

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4 thoughts on “Visiting Dominica for the First Time”

    • Actually, it’s a terrific place for a vacation if you love spending time outdoors. Take your pick from SCUBA diving, hiking, swimming, mountain climbing, snorkeling, and some nice national parks. Dominica also has a UNESCO site, Morne Trois Pitons. But you’re right, Roseau can be tiresome after a few days.

  1. Thanks for the Geography lesson, I much needed it (without knowing so). This is interesting! Nice to be brought to an island like that as a part of biz trip 🙂

    It does look great, I hope you had a great time there!

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