As the Nature Island of the Caribbean, Dominica is mostly known for its mountain peaks shrouded in mist, numerous rivers that turn into plunging waterfalls and therapeutic sulfur pools. But did you know that Dominica is just as beautiful underwater as it is above?
In this article I will share with you 10 great reviews about Dominica’s underwater life that will make you want to book your next vacation right now!
Diving in Dominica
Over 13 years ago, three friends founded www.originaldiving.com and their team has been providing dive enthusiasts with amazing experiences ever since. On their trip to Dominica a few years ago, they were amazed by the underwater life. I was proud to read this line:
Over the last 15 years I have seen my fair share of bleached beds of dying corals and the lack of life it had once supported. Dominica’s reef, though lacking of anything much larger than a parrotfish or torpedo ray, accommodates a fascinating variety of crab, shrimp, starfish and eel; the yellow-headed jawfish; frogfish; leaf fish and ancient soft corals that could be as old as 150 years old.
The divers were also impressed by Dominica’s move toward sustainable energy and applauded the efforts of Secret Bay and Rosalie Bay Resort for sticking to an eco-friendly theme. This prompted the diver to conclude:
I believe that Dominica will hold out far longer than other neighboring islands and that it will remain as a naturally preserved wonder of the Caribbean for some time; due to the population’s pride and their determination to responsibly share their treasure with the rest of the world.
Torben and Nicolai Loenne launched Dive.in about 8 years ago, but the two have decades of diving experience between themselves. The website has since grown tremendously and employ active divers to share content and experiences.
Their article about Dominica was written by Torben who said:
With its beautiful marine life, untouched habitats, and populated marine reserves, diving in Dominica certainly deserves to be considered the world’s best […] Dominica’s waters remain a magical showground for diving. Not spoiled by industrial development or pollution, diving conditions are superb.
The guys recommended six popular dive sites – Rina’s Hole, Dangleben’s Pinnacle, Scotts Head Pinnacle, Toucari Bay, Crater’s Edge and The Suburbs – but strongly emphasized the ease and beauty of Champagne Reef.
I was even more pleased to find a few reader reviews as well: Lilly said, “We where there a few years ago. Went whale spotting, so so amazing, the kinds loved it. It was before I learned to dive so that we leave for next time. When snorkeling on the reef and that was great as well! Beautiful country!”
And Ben said, “We go there [Dominica] almost every year (last year was an exception). The last few years we [have] been diving with Dive Dominica – they are really great. I’m a safety freak and I feel safe here. Great guys on the boats and good dive staff. Just a small recommendation too a fellow diver.”
Caribbean Journal is an online resource dedicated to tourism and traveling in the Caribbean. Every so often, their team releases list such as 5 Budget All Inclusive Holidays in the Caribbean or 9 Caribbean Islands You Should Visit Right Now.
These lists are loved by many because in one short reading, you can learn about an island’s rank in an area that you’re interested in, such as affordable vacation travel or choosing your next vacation destination.
I found one list that made my heart smile because Dominica was featured prominently ahead of so many other regional options. Our island, specifically the Anchorage Hotel, made it to the 20 Best Dive Resorts in the Caribbean, and the editors had this to say about diving in Dominica:
Dominica is one of the Caribbean’s underrated diving destinations, frequented by those in the know. Now that we’ve told you, head to the Anchorage, the island’s signature dive hotel (and go whale watching on your break).
The Scuba Diving magazine is published 8 times per year, and the online arm of its operations is a treasure trove of information about diving, gear, training and special deals. They have been in the business a long time, and I’d like to think that they know their stuff 🙂
Their article about Dominica from two years ago make no mistake about how much Patricia Wuest (the article’s author) loved her visit to the Nature Isle:
What makes Dominica special? Start with its stunning, lush and protected natural park system; hundreds of streams and countless waterfalls; and thriving coral reefs.
Patricia was impressed that Dominica had prime diving sites all along its west coast, but she was most awed by those near the Soufiere Scotts Head Marine Reserve:
Spectacular is a word that’s overused but it applies here. The ancient volcanic action that gave birth to this beautiful island also created its reefs. Pretty coral gardens lead to exciting walls and pinnacles are the visible spiky tops of an ancient volcano […] All we can say is that the trip is well worth it.
Here’s what he had to say about Dominica:
With volcanoes, waterfalls, rainforests, hundreds of rivers, and endemic flora and fauna, it’s no surprise that this 300 square mile island has earned the nickname “Nature Island”. And, that isn’t even taking the marine life into account! Diving on the west coast is among the best in the Caribbean!
Keri has had a great track record over the last two years – he has spend 44 days at sea and 36 of those yielded whale sightings. What’s more, on 21 of those remaining days, his team had a lot of success tracking a number of whales and spending the majority of their days diving and interacting with the sea mammals.
If you see this in time, you can apply for Keri’s 2017 whale-watching expedition to Dominica here.
SnorkelingOnline.com has been around for about 9 years, but its parent company is almost 30 years old. They’re one of the world’s largest retailers of snorkeling equipment and gear, so I think they are more than qualified to rate diving in Dominica.
In a recent list of seven worldwide destinations for salt water snorkeling, the website featured Dominica as one of the few locations where one can experience warm water snorkeling. They said:
The Commonwealth of Dominica could be considered a hot spot for snorkeling. This is due to the fact that it is volcanically active. There are nine active volcanoes there and you can grab your snorkel gear and head over to Champagne Beach and snorkel through the geothermal vents found there which keep the water temperature at about 82 degrees. The vents release streams of warm bubbles so it is often described as snorkeling in champagne.
A recent article ranked the top 25 best islands destinations for snorkeling, and guess who came in at number seven? Dominica! Again, Champagne Reef is featured prominently as one of our best snorkeling sites:
A freshwater sulfur spring at the site sends out streams of warm air bubbles into the Caribbean. Not only does this sea of seltzer tickle as it bubbles up from the reef, but the vent also attracts unusual critters, from flying gurnards to Caribbean reef squid.
Dominica is one of the Caribbean’s under-the-radar diving destinations, and it’s equally true for snorkelers. The biggest pull for snorkelers is the amazing Champagne Reef destination, so called for the geothermal vapors that give the feeling of snorkeling in bubbles — another bucket list experience for Caribbean travelers.
The website has grown into a hub of cruise passengers, explorers, travelling families and all kinds in between. With more than 450,000 annual visitors, the website carries considerable weight in the cruise research industry. That’s exactly why I was happy to come across Tim’s article.
With 22 different kinds of cetaceans roaming through its waters, Dominica has rapidly become the Caribbean’s whale watching capital […] Everyone on our boat becomes charged as several people point to a short plume of spray a half-mile from us; our boat was already heading for it […] Amazingly, we quickly locate two more small groups of whales before returning to the Anchorage Hotel, sighting a total of nine whales that morning.
The company has an active following of more than 200,000 users, so when seasoned diver, Louisa Collyns, wrote about Dominica in November 2016, many people in the industry started listening. This article sought to inform the world about Johnny Deep’s freediving courses and in general, diving in Dominica:
Not only does the island have the ideal conditions that we free divers are searching for: easy access to unlimited depth from shore, predictably calm, current-free and warm conditions in the water; it also boasts incredible natural beauty, friendly locals, and offers many activities for freedivers and non-freedivers alike.
Louisa wrote specifically about two camps that Johnny hosted in Dominica and she was clearly impressed with Dominica as a diving destination. In between the camps, the team explored Dominica and they fell in love with scenery such as Trafalgar Falls and Emerald Pool.
The freediving conditions were perfect, and the island beautiful with so much to explore […] Johnny has more exciting training opportunities coming up, so stay tuned. I think everyone who attended the camps would return for more. I know I will!
The diving camps were the lead-up to the Blue Element Freediving Competition, which is the first of its kind in Dominica and the wider Eastern Caribbean.
These 10 reviews, coming from people who are more than qualified to rate underwater experiences, all rank Dominica high among its peers in the areas on scuba diving, snorkeling, whale watching and freediving.
With those endorsements, you can’t go wrong. Book your trip and come experience diving in Dominica!