Dominica is about 1,400 miles southeast of Miami, 400 miles
southeast of San Juan, 400 miles north of Venezuela and
1,500 miles west of Central America. The Caribbean Sea
expands to the west, the Atlantic Ocean to the east. The
island sits between the French islands of Guadeloupe, 30
miles to the north, and Martinique, 27 miles to the south.
approximately 29 miles long and 16 miles at its widest
point; it area is 289.5 sq. miles. The island's coordinates
are 15.20N, 61.19W Dominica is the dividing point of the
Caribbean islands' Windward islands to the west and the
Leeward islands to the east. The highest point is Morne
Diablotin at 4,747ft. Dominica has some of the richest
mountain rainforest in the Caribbean.
The majority of the island is covered by densely wooded
mountains and rainforest. The overall terrain is very
steep, and extremely rugged. Dominica’s beaches generally
consist of shimmering black sand or rocks. There are few
expansive beaches. The island has over 360 rivers. There
are 9 volcanoes on the Dominica ...none display the distinct
cone shape top generally associated with volcanoes. There
have been few noticeable eruptions for centuries. Small
tremors and earthquakes occasionally occur.
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70,000 Capital City: Roseau; 27,000
East Caribbean Dollar (EC) > $1 US = $2.68 EC
dollars can be easily used for most all purchases
- Credit cards are accepted at many locations
- There are a few ATM machines at various
- Banks include: Natl Bank of Dominica, Scotia &
GDP per Capita:
U.S. $5,400 Literacy Percent: 94
Sources: Tourism, Farming, Fishing
Roman Catholic, Protestant
English, French patois English is the official language of
Dominica, however, many locals communicate in a hybrid
language known to scholars as Lesser Antillean Creole
East Caribbean dollar The local currency is the Eastern
Caribbean Dollar (EC$). The rate is set at EC$2.68 to
US$1.00. Many businesses accept US Dollars, but you will get
the most favorable exchange rate at the banks. Major Credit
Cards are accepted in many places
Dominica is one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time on
Atlantic Standard Time. However, Dominica does NOT observe
on British Common Law - ultimate right of Appeal to the
Privy Council in London.
Mini-buses (look for the number plate
that starts with an 'H') serve routes
from Roseau, Marrigot / Melville Hall
airport, Ross University and other
prominent island locations… and to all
villages they are a cheap (often
exciting) way to get around the island.
Prices are fixed by the government.
Taxis: are readily available for
reasonable prices and can either be
arranged from your location of stay or
from the street. Inquire about
destination prices with someone before
hailing a cab. Drivers most
generally will take both US and EC
dollars. If possible pay with EC.
Riders will find most drivers
very friendly and easy to visit with.
Car Rental: Automobiles can be
obtained from a few locations. Inquire.
If driving, a temporary license will be
needed - cost is US$12. If one is
not familiar with driving on the left or
Dominica's tricky roads, don't try
Driving: Dominican’s drive on the left! Visitors need a
driving permit which costs US$12 and is available from your car
rental company. NOTE that if you are not accustomed to or
comfortable driving on the left it is strongly recommended that
you hire or utilize public transport. Driving on Dominica’s
roads can be very trying and treacherous. Besides being very
steep road are very narrow and winding with multiple blind
curves. (First time visitors might want to consider taking
Dramamine to avoid car sickness before arriving.) Driving even
a short distance on the island can take a long time. Roads are
not marked with center or edge lines and harbor a moonscape of
pot-holes and other obstacles including fallen rocks,
pedestrians, goats and cattle. There are few places to pull off
the road as road edges consist of serious cliff drop-offs, sheer
cliff-faces and deep, narrow French ditches.
Ross University: Located
along the west-northwest
coast, in Picard, and very near to Portsmouth,
University (associated with DeVry University, USA) is one of the largest, most successful medical
educators in the world. Since opening in 1978, it remains one
of the great secrets in medical education.
Learn More about Ross University
The average high temperature is 85°F in January / 90°F in July;
average low temperature is 68°F in January / 72°F in July. Dry
season generally occurs January - May, rainy season from June -
October . The south and the west coasts receive about 85 inches
of rain annually, while the mountainous interior rain forest
gets more than 340 inches per year. Light to moderate showers
occur everywhere year round. Hurricane season is predominantly
between August and mid-October.
Clothing: Lightweight shorts and casual shirts. Jeans or
slacks are frequently worn for all occasions. Light sweater or
long sleeved shirts for cool nights in the mountains could be
preferred by some. Pocket or tote sized umbrellas are always a
welcome accessory for both sun and rain. Don't swim or
sunbathe topless on Dominica. It's not considered good taste,
nor should you wear swimsuits on the street or in public areas
off the beach. When hiking, walking shoes and raincoats or
anoraks are recommended, though tennis shoes and sandals can
suffice for most occasions.
Dominican's are very friendly and polite people; they
comfortably greet or acknowledge everyone with: "Good morning,"
and "Good day." However, "Good night," is generally
said in place of "Good evening." One will also hear locals
replying or acknowledging at practically any opportunity or
greeting with "OK!" or "Alright!)
The electricity system is 220-240 volts, 50 cycles. Power
outlets are 3-prong English style. Some hotels, rentals and
homes have 110v; consider bringing a small travel transformer.
Or transformers are readily and affordably available at many
The international dialing code for Dominica is 1-767
followed by seven digits. On the island, use the seven digits
alone. Dominica has very dependable cell phone service
Companies providing land-lines include Cable & Wireless, Marpin
Telecoms and Orange. Three companies provide cellular services
including LIME, Cingular/AT&T and Orange. Phone can be purchased
for reasonable amounts with phone card chips moveable from phone
to phone. Need more minutes? Users can "top up" at
numerous locations around the island for very reasonable cost.
Internet: High speed cable and wireless service is
avaialbe in practically all hotels, bed & breakfasts, etc.
Internet cafes can be located in Roseau and Portsmouth.
Some eating establishments also offer free service. Most
generally, internet service is very dependable
Water: The water is safe to drink throughout the entire
island. As well, bottled spring water is available everywhere.
Dominica has an abundance of fresh, crystal clear, clean water.
A valid passport
is sufficient for a stay of up to one month. You may renew
your stay for a further 3 months but you will need to show a
return ticket. Visas are required for stays of over 21 days
for travellers from Cuba, Haiti, Russia, The People's
Republic of China and the Eastern European Countries. Please
note that from January 23, 2007, US citizens will need a
passport to re-enter the US.
...are not required to enter Dominica
(DMH) – International and Canefield (DCF) - local & small
inter-island planes. NOTE that Melville Hall Airport,
located very near the village of Marigot, is over an hour's
drive to Roseau and 45 minutes to Portsmouth.
Reserve US $20 or EC$50 in cash for paying your departure
tax at the airport.
Cruise Ships: Ships arrive at Dominica's Roseau port
weekly. During the peak season, November - May.
2-5 ships could be in port at any one time. As well, smaller
cruise ships frequently visit the Portsmouth dock located