Dominica’s geography is fascinating and the island is famous for its tropical rain-forests, rivers (365 in all) and waterfalls which result from the high rainfall in the interior.
In addition, its volcanic origins manifest themselves most noticeably in the Boiling Lake (one of the largest of its kind in the world) and many other smaller fumaroles around the island (including at least one underwater).
Related: Where is Dominica
Some plants and animals thought to be extinct on surrounding islands can still be found in Dominica’s forests.
UNESCO World Heritage Site
The volcanic nature of the island and the lack of sandy beaches have made Dominica a popular scuba diving spot. Dominica is home to several protected areas, including Cabrits National Park.
There are a number of National parks or reserves on the island. Our World Heritage Site, the 17,000 acre Morne Trois Pitons National Park contains perhaps the majority of Dominica’s above-water famous sights – several crater lakes and waterfalls, including the Emerald Pool, 14 miles from Roseau.
Dominica was recognized as a World Heritage Site on April 4, 1995. Within the Caribbean, Dominica shares this distinction with historic World Heritage sites in San Juan (Puerto Rico), Willemstad (Curacao), Saint Kitts, Hispaniola (Dominican Republic/Haiti) and Cuba, and another natural World Heritage site in St. Lucia.
National Parks and Reserves
There are currently three national parks and four other protected areas in Dominica.
|Cabrits National Park||This is Dominica’s first national park and was established in 1975. It now covers more than 17,000 acres of land was opened to protect samples of the island flora and fauna.|
|Morne Diablotin National Park||Dominica’s newest national park and is home to the island’s highest mountain, Morne Diablotin (4747 feet above sea level). It was established in 2000 and covers over 8,000 acres of land.|
|Morne Trois Pitons National Park||This park was opened in 1986 protects the island’s largest tracts of dry coastal forests. It also preserves Dominica’s largest wetlands of marsh, freshwater swamp and mangroves.|
|Central Forest Reserve||Established in 1952, it is inhabited by an abundance of gommier, which grow to heights of almost 120 feet.|
|Northern Forest Reserve||The largest refuge for the island’s two indigenous species of parrot, this reserve was opened in 1977, and encompasses some 22,000 acres of land.|
|Soufriere Scotts Head Marine Reserve||This bay is an extinct volcano crater which plummets to unknown depths within a lava chute. There are four distinct areas: a fish nursery, recreation area, fishing priority area and scuba diving.|
Site Passes and User Fees
Non-resident users of the National Parks, Forest Reserves and Marine Reserves contribute to sustainable maintenance of these locations by paying a user fee at some of the sites. Site passes cost US $5 per site or US $12 for a weekly pass to all sites.
These can be purchased at the National Parks office in the Botanical Gardens or at the Sites themselves. Passes are also available from Cruise Agents, Tour Operators, Car Hire Agencies and at various other locations around the island.
Site passes are required for the following:
- Boeri Lake
- Boiling Lake and the Boiling Lake Trail
- Botanic Gardens
- Cabrits National Park
- Emerald Pool
- Freshwater Lake and the Freshwater Lake Trail
- Indian River
- Middleham Falls
- Morne Diablotin
- Morne Trois Pitons
- Soufriere Sulfur Springs
- Syndicate Nature Trail
- Titou Gorge (canyoning)
- Trafalgar Falls
The Waitukubuli National Trail has its own fee structure: a one-day pass costs US $12 and a 15-day pass costs US $40.
The Soufriere Scotts Head Marine Reserve also carries a separate charge of US $2 per dive.