Hiking in Dominica means you are going to cake your favorite pair of hiking boots in the mud and rub the sweat from your brow. Also, Dominica hiking will teach you to understand how a little bit of rain and a cool breeze can make an impossible hike easy all of a sudden.
Dominica is filled with lush and hilly terrain that is attractive to many adventure hikers and they come to visit this beautiful place from all over the world! Trails on The Nature Island have different difficulties, but all of them have unique challenges you will have to face. Hopefully, one of these 10 locations will be labeled as your favorite after your Dominica hike!
Hiking in Dominica
1. The Boiling Lake Hike
Do this hike if you have time to do only one while you’re in Dominica. You will be starting above the city of Roseau (which is also the capital) from Titou Gorge. During the hike, you will be able to enjoy spectacular mountaintop viewpoints and beautiful rainforest. Valley of Desolation will show you its hissing volcanic vents and bubbling mud pools. Finally, you will be looking over a ledge into a crater that contains boiling hot water in it!
There are too many details about this trail, and we can’t put all of them in one article. But, once you reach the highest point remember to look around for a tiny footpath on the right. If you manage to find it, it will lead you to a hidden shelter not too far away. If you have your sleeping bag and food, you can spend the night here. It is not necessary, but it is certainly recommended to hire a guide while hiking in Dominica.
Why we love it: Very beautiful destination, ideal for adventurous hikers. A lot of mud pools and volcanic vents. Don’t forget your sleeping bag!
2. Waitukubuli (National Trail Segment 4)
If Dominica hiking means exploring the rainforest for you, then Waitukubuli National Trail Segment 4 is probably the best solution for you! You will experience twisted buttress roots, dangling dripping epiphytes, and neverending feasts of towering trees. Along the way, you will be able to see the Middleham Falls, one of the island’s most spectacular waterfalls.
Keep in mind that this segment of the national trail is long and pretty hands-on. Get off the trail prematurely at Middleham Falls if you get fed up with sliding and slipping down steep slopes, sloshing through mud, stumbling over branches, or drenched by torrential rain (which is why you also need a rain jacket during this trail).
Why we love it: One of the most fun parts of the Dominican rainforest. Also, it would be nice to visit it since you can see the falls from this trek.
3. Rosalie-Freshwater Lake
This trail starts near Rosalie, just above the Guile Lion village. The trail will lead you to the Freshwater lake, but keep in mind that it is rarely taken even if it leads to the heart of the island. Climbing is not that hard even though you will have to climb for several hundred vertical feet. Hiking in Dominica usually means that you will be enclosed by vegetation on all sides. But, this trail will provide you with views of the sea and across the adjoining valley.
Why we love it: Not a very hard hike, but still very rewarding in terms of views and elevation.
4. Waitukubuli (National Trail Segment 9)
You will love segment 9 if you enjoyed segment 4. The path consists of tangled vegetation of the rainforest floor, steep downhill slides, and steep uphill scrambles. Not to mention that trees are immense! Make sure you start early and keep up a good pace since the path can be difficult to follow at times due to the recent landslides along the way. Dominica hiking can be tough at times due to a lot of rain. So, postpone your hike for a day or two if it rained hard during the previous night.
There’s a national park building if you manage to get at the Syndicate Estate. Having a good sleeping bag will allow you to sleep on the tables until the morning when parrots will probably wake you up. If that’s not the case, rural roads that lead to the coast have some open-sided packing sheds for you to have a bit of rest.
Why we love it: There’s a building in the national park where you can spend the night if you need to.
5. Waitukubuli (National Trail Segment 13)
The national trail has a variety of vegetation and climate zones. This segment of the trail is very different from the above-mentioned segments and is located in the far north of the island. It connects the Capuchin and Pennvile villages via a coastal path that leads through plots of farmland and dry woodlands, with amazing views of the neighboring Marie Galante and Guadeloupe islands. Some hikers find it relaxing to hike this trail since hiking in Dominica usually means soggy ground, but segment 13 has firm. Families are living at both ends of the trail where you can rest, rehydrate, and eat.
Why we love it: A lot of different climate zones and amazing views. Also, plenty of vegetation.
6. Waitukubuli (National Trail Segment 8)
Taking this hike will allow you to cross the whole island from East to West in just a single day. When you take a look at it on the map, it looks great. However, this segment is rarely traversed and considered remote. Also, it is very long and has a lot of bushes, so be careful if you decide to give this trail a try not to hurt yourself. Still, hikers who visited all the trails report that Segment 9 is harder than this one, so it is not that challenging.
Why we love it: Easier than Segment 9, but still very rewarding.
7. Grand Bay-Delices
Dominica hiking will require you to talk with locals about what trails are safer than others. For example, this trail, in particular, has a path that’s almost impossible to follow. Tropical Storm Erika caused multiple landslides that ruined the path, but it is still marked on the map. So be careful if you’re taking this trail without a guide. It is probably not smart to go without a guide since you will, most likely, keep losing your way and wasting your time. The best thing you can do is to hire a guide and start extremely early to finish the trail on time.
Why we love it: Beautiful scenery if you manage to stay on the trek.
8. Freshwater Lake-Boiling Lake
Another Dominica hiking trail that is marked on the map, but probably not the smartest to visit without a guide. Even fully equipped and most competent hikers have problems with this trail due to the amount of damage on the path. This trail in particular probably has one of the most challenging topography anywhere in the world when it comes to hiking trails. Also, it is almost completely overgrown. Still, if you are interested in completing this hike, it is probably best to hire a local hunter who knows the area well and let him guide you through to the boiling lake.
Why we love it: Very challenging trek, ideal for experienced hikers.
Globo Surf Overview
Hiking in Dominica doesn’t have to be necessarily hard. Just make sure you have the necessary hiking equipment with you in case you need to spend a night somewhere, stay hydrated, and take necessary nutrients. The above-mentioned trails are among the most popular ones, and you can probably finish most of them without a guide. Still, if you’re unaware of whether there are any damages or changes in the trail, make sure you ask locals for directions, or just hire a guide. It will cost you much less than being lost in the wilderness.
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- Dominican hiking destinations, godominicanrepublic.com