Before I share my thoughts on Dominica, I want to make it abundantly clear that I am referencing Dominica and the Dominican Republic. Two totally different things and experiences. I have been to the Dominican Republic in the past and can tell you that there is no comparison to be made with Dominica. Dominica is located approximately a 1 hour ferry ride from Martinique in the eastern caribbean. If taking the ferry from Martinique, you will enter into the town of Rousseau. Be prepared to wait in line approximately 30 minutes to process through customs and immigration as there may only be one immigration officer processing individuals.
What can I say about this small tropical paradise? It reminds me a little of St. Thomas as there are so many shops and vendors in the town of Rousseau. The locals are SOOOOOO nice, welcoming (even to the tune of actually thinking you are Dominican yourself — that happens to me a lot) and very informative. Music can be heard everywhere you venture and the vibrancy of the colors is amazing. And the gentle breeze is heavenly. All of the ingredients that make for a great island experience.
But what about the food? The food is amazing. I had a grand opportunity at CocoRico Cafe which is not far from the ferry dock. I ordered the creole codfish which was nothing short of amazing. I felt the chef’s love for cooking all through out that dish. So much flavor and soul in that dish. And the portion was huge; I could only consume half of my meal while in the restaurant. It doesn’t hurt that the meal was roughly $13Us. So, if you happen to visit this lovely island, please look this place up. It is rather small inside, but the food is worth the visit.
Okay, I know I know. Yes, I am a connoisseur of the finer things in life and I am well known for procuring some of the finest local artifacts that money can buy. So, of course I brought back 4 bottles of the local rum. Haven’t had a chance to imbibe yet, but looking forward to it.
Things to know before visiting Dominica:
- Dominica local currency is the eastern caribbean dollar (EC) which is valued at $2.70EC to $1US.
- If you take the ferry over to the island, please know that there is a $59EC or $23US departure tax that must be paid prior to processing to immigration and boarding the vessel.
- One other note regarding the ferry. If you decide to purchase the finer things in life (i.e. rum), please know that you must clear magnetometer and X-ray machine when departing Dominica. As such the large bottles of rum will not be allowed through. So make sure you bring a small suitcase or book bag with a towel or something to cushion your purchases and check the bag in. Thankfully I always carry my beach bag and beach towel with me, so I was good to go.
- Taxi’s are readily available as soon as you disembark; however, I love to walk and didn’t find it too difficult to navigate the terrain and explore.
- If visiting on a Saturday, you will find that many of the restaurants have very limited offerings as they do not cook on Saturdays. While I found this rather odd, I also found it very reassuring. At least I know that people weren’t going to serve me any spoiled or three-day old food just to make a buck.
- As with all tropical spots, be prepared for the sun. I am a summer baby, so I love the sun. But for some, 86+ degree temps in February proved to be a bit too much.
- Support the local economy. I visited a few of the local craft tables where I was able to pick up my obligatory shot glass and some other souvenir items for very little money. Please do not be like the ugly tourists who put their hands up, twist up their noses and rudely say “No, I don’t want any.” It hurts nothing to give a look and a simple thank you before moving on will do the trick if you decide not to purchase anything.