Driving on Dominica
Drivers for Hire, Taxis,
Car Rental, Local Buses,
Places to Eat
Staples, Fish, Fruits,
this guide reflect travel from the United States
connecting through San Juan on one's way to Dominica.
However, those flying connecting routs
through Barbados and Antigua will still find much of
this information useful. Scroll down to read
the guide or select a following link:
Upon Arriving at the
Airport in San Juan
Follow the other
passengers to the baggage claim area.
Claim your luggage off
the carousel. (DO NOT use your phone in baggage
Make sure you have
your luggage claim tickets out and available for the
person checking luggage at the exit door from
Getting to the Airport Hotel
Located in the terminal within about 300 feet from
baggage claim and only steps away from the American
Airline check-in counters. The rooms in this
hotel are tiny, and often overly cold. One stay's here
because of the convenience. Rates range from $115
- $150+ US.
To get to the hotel
located on the airport (The San Juan Airport Hotel)
Most generally IF arriving on American, exit out of the baggage claim area and go
out the door, then left. There are overhead
signs that point to the hotel, but they can be
Double check with the
person checking your luggage tags to make sure directions are
Follow the sidewalk,
past the post office (on your left).
Look for an escalator
going up. (There will be signs to the hotel; however. If the escalator is not
working or if there are signs blocking it that say
“out of order,” you can consider going up anyway,
they could just be cleaning… the escalator dumps out
entrance to the terminal... walk toward the American
and Seaborne ticket counter but as you pass a corner
make an immediately left... you will see the hotel's
new check in counter to your left.
This hotel has gone
through some renovation and management changes the
past year or so; there have been some noticeable
The rooms are very small, basic, but very convenient for late
arrivals and early departures as, when exiting the
hotel door, you will find yourself mere feet from
American Airline and Seaborne ticketing.
are many other hotels within 5 minutes of the airport.
Taxis can be hailed immediately upon leaving baggage
claim. Walk out the door and get in line; someone
will help you get the taxi. Expect to pay $10,
one-way to get to the nearby hotels plus $1 for each
piece of luggage. We have had good
experience with the
Hampton Inn & Suites San Juan,
6530 Isla Verde Avenue. It's close, newly remodeled,
clean, provides breakfast, has a pool and pool side bar
and several satisfactory restaurants immediately across
the street or within short walking distance. The area is safe.
Where to Eat in or near the
San Juan Airport and Airport Hotel
McDonalds and other fast-food
-- from the hotel entrance inside the
terminal proceed RIGHT past the American
check-in counters for a ways and around the
bend… you’ll come to them, eventually.
has closed :-(
La Fonda Criolla Buffet/Diner --
Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner (closes at 7p) --
from the hotel entrance inside the terminal
proceed LEFT beyond the information booth and very
near the entrance to gate security… go in,
stand in the counter line and order what you
want… the food is OK… we sometimes eat
breakfast here… The Black Coffee
coffee shop is also located in this same
Air Margaritaville -- (located inside
the gate area after clearing security) ... a
nice, spacey restaurant with good Mexican
food and margaritas. ---- Pizza and
sandwiches: there are a few small places to grab a bite in the
secure gate area before boarding your
flight… sometimes we get a sandwich for the
plane… you can also buy water once through
security to take on the plane.
staying at a location away from the airport
premises expect to find many recognizable as
well as good local restaurants within
walking distance of your hotel.
Leaving San Juan
Check your luggage at
the Seaborne counter… it will be to the
left of the regular American check-in counters,
nearly straight inside the terminal entrance
left to the security area… it’s at the very end of
the Seaborne / American counters
Make sure you have
your passport and ticket out for the agents in
Follow the usual
security process. Be careful not to have a lot of
liquid-like make-up in your bag.
In San Juan, you have
to stand in a certain place before walking through
the security scanners.
Once you find your gate, probably at
the furthest end of the terminal (in some instances,
there might not be an agent there for awhile), ask for
a customs form for Dominica and a red tag for your
carry-on gate “checked luggage” -- in other words,
because there is very little space for luggage
inside the plane, they will take it from you to
place in the cargo hold of the plane.
(*NOTE that you can
carry on a normal sized backpack, large purse or bag
as long as it is not overstuffed…
keep/carry your most
important valuables with you on to the plane… e.g.
passport, cash, credit cards, cameras, etc.)
They do not serve food
on the plane, only drinks. IF you want to eat just
before departing now is a good time to do it… you’ll
see where in the gate area. OR, if you want to purchase a sandwich &
bottle of water to carry on the plane to eat on the
way, there is a small vender near your gate
You will depart San
Juan on a turbo-prop plane that carries about 60
people; there might or might not be many passengers.
To board the plane,
you will be lead from the terminal, outside and
across the tarmac to the plane.
Just before boarding,
IF you have a carry-on suitcase, you will
have to be “plane-side checked” at this point; they will
take it from you before you climb the stairs to the
plane OR they will tell you where to
sit it on the tarmac so the airport folks can load
it onto the plane. You can now board the plane.
Taking a seat on the
right side of the plane will provide you a look of
Dominica’s coast as you approach the island.
Enjoy your flight!
Back to Top
Immigration Customs Form -- The form will
be provided to both of you at some point just before
or “after” boarding the plane from San Juan to
You each need to fill
out the front; only one of you needs to fill out the
back. You have up until you land in Dominica to fill
this out… (*NOTE, it is always a good idea to be
carry a pen for writing that is easily accessible to
The form is needed to
enter Dominica and will need to be presented, along
with your Passport, at the immigrations desk upon
arrival in the Dominica terminal and just before you
can pick up your luggage.
Arriving in Dominica
Follow the other
passengers and proceed to the terminal and Customs.
They might have your gate check luggage at the foot
of the steps or it will come in with the rest of
your luggage to the carrousel
Immediately inside the
airport doors, there will be 2 customs booth.
Get in the line for
visitors or non residents or non citizens
Have your passport,
customs form and pen out (the pen just in case you
have to fill out something you forgot)
When it is your turn,
wait for the customs officer to beckon you forward…
you can “both” approach at the same time, unless
Give the custom’s
officer Passport and Customs form.
He might ask you some questions… such
as why you are here (vacation, school, work) – where are you
for how long, etc…
He will look at your
info like he is really looking for something;
finally, he will stamp your passports and give you
copy of the customs form back
You will give this
paper to the guy that is “clearing” baggage “out”
the customs door.
Claiming Luggage in
After getting your
passport stamped, you will take about 2 steps
forward; this is where you will see our airport’s
impressive (smile) luggage carousel on the left.
It might or might not
be crowded… grab your luggage and then proceed about
4 steps to the final customs counter.
The customs officer
will ask you if you brought a lot of money on or if
you brought electronics and may ask you to open your
suitcase. (just tell them personal stuff)
He will ask for your
copy of the customs form.
There will be some
skinny guy trying to take your luggage out (bell
hop). Tell him no, you have it and be firm, but
nice. If he does end up helping you, that’s OK, too.
Tip him a couple of US dollars or whatever you feel
As soon as you exit
the terminal doors a lot of taxi drivers will start
asking if you need a ride or not and or you’re the
person or transport picking you up will be very near
by. Expect to pay US $45 to $60 for a ride to the
west coast area.
Welcome to Dominica!
Plan ahead for your
journey back to the airport at Melville Hall. If
you are staying at some locations on the west
coast and are taking an early morning Liat
flight, you might have to leave as early 3:30a -
4:30a so as to arrive an hour or more early for
When checking your
main luggage NOTE that you will also have to
"gate-check" your CARRY-ON luggage unless
it’s a really small backpack or purse, at the
same time. Don’t worry, a red ID tag will be
placed on that piece of luggage whereas your
carry-on will be provided back to you when you
exit the plane in San Juan. Plan ahead, have
your valuables like your camera, wallet, etc out
of your main carry-on before you getting to the
After you have
checked your luggage you will proceed to another
counter where you will have to pay a
“departure tax” of $22 US dollars. As well,
the small white “blank” departure slip you
retained upon your arrival will need to be
filled out and presented here. IF you lost it,
another will be provided.
Next, security check
and boarding area… proceed out the door and to
the right for about 50 feet – you’ll see the
sign above the entrance to the security area –
if no one is there, wait awhile, they will show
up – note that the security folks can sometimes
be overly picky.
Back in San Juan
Make sure you have a
immigrations/customs card for the U.S.
Follow everyone else
Get in the line for
U.S. Citizens to present your passport and
immigration card. They will give you a card. Don’t
lose it. You will have to show it again after you
claim your luggage.
Go downstairs to claim
your luggage (not regular baggage claim, you are
still in customs).
Follow the other
passengers after you get your luggage and present
the sheet of paper again.
Exit out and go right.
Walk straight and you will see an airport exit
door. Through this door you go left (I think,
sometimes they set up those ropes and you might have
to go a different direction) and you will see the
Best Western. If you are unsure ask the security
guard—they all speak English.
Going home from San Juan
Make sure you take your luggage
outside the airport and put it through the
agriculture scanner before you check your
luggage in San Juan.
If you don’t, they may send you back to do that
before they will check your luggage back to the
States. This is to ensure you don’t’ have fruits, or
After your bags come
out, they will have a red/orange sticker on it they
says it has been through an agriculture scan.
Follow the regular
check in process at this point.