This frequently overlooked island boasts volcanos, waterfalls, and more of nature’s must-see beauty.
Trafalgar Falls—located in Morne Trois Pitons National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a 20-minute drive from the capital of Dominica—is the premier destination of Dominica. Trafalgar - actually a pair of falls - consists of Daddy (a 75ft drop) and Mommy (125 ft) which flow side by side. Read on as we take you through a journey in Dominica and then to the towering Trafalgar Falls.
Right in between Guadeloupe and Martinique, Dominica—aptly named “Nature Island,” has a population of just under one million and is one of the Caribbean’s lesser-known islands. If you haven’t heard of Dominica, you’re not alone. While known for its active volcanoes, dense rainforest, waterfalls, undulating topography, and naturally-occuring hot springs, it features few of the region’s characteristically perfect, long white-sand beaches and doesn’t have an international airport.
Far from the beach-lounging crowd, the majority of the island’s annual intrepid 200,000 venturers will arrive by sailboat, ship, or small plane, having flown long-hall to one of the neighboring islands.
There are plenty of places to relax and raise a rum to your lips, but Dominica is a destination for those who’s bucket includes words like “waterfall,” “hike,” “trek,” and “climb.” The island boasts many natural wonders—including over 350 rivers and three hundred miles of hiking paths. Additionally, 20 percent of the land is in the national park system. What’s more, a whopping two-thirds of the island is rainforest. And one of the most iconic features of these green, succulent expanses is Trafalgar Falls.
As we mention in the beginning, Traflagar Falls is only a 20 minute drive from Roseau - the capital of the island. When you arrive you will see a visitor reception area built on a well-maintained path. Even from the reception area there are sensational viewing platform. The waterfalls themselves are almost platonic ideals of the form: a light mist rises from the pool impact point, water that’s gentle enough for visitors to strip off and enjoy a swim, and rocks made for climbing that hug the sides of both falls.
Mommy is the easier of the two falls to reach. Though the hike still can be complicated by slippery boulders you have to navigate around. The views from when you reach the falls however are well worth the effort. Whether you choose Daddy or Mommy, there are warm hot springs on either side of the falls. They provide a great retreat to sit back and relax after a tough hike.
The falls at Morne Trois are beautiful and swimmable. Victoria Falls, just over an hour to the southeast, is more on the to be seen, not swam in side of the spectrum. Awe-inspiring, yes. A place to frolic in the shallows, no. The water force is simply too strong. But as far as sights to behold go, this is a goodie.
Other picturesque falls in the park include Middleham, Titou Gorge, Jacko, and Emerald Pool Nature Trail. Of these, the last is probably the most intensely and publicly admired. Water cascades and crashes through a bouldered-grotto, which is only a short walk into the rainforest. It’s admired by visitors and film crews alike, and has featured in several films.
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But Dominica isn’t just about falls. Small towns bustle and pulse with unique musical energy and the serenity of the rainforest is a sight to be marveled. The Botanic Gardens are exquisite (as you may expect) and it wouldn’t be a Carribean island without a Whale and Dolphin Sea Safari. At just 29 miles long and 16 miles wide, the island is as diverse and desirable as it is manageable. And what’s more, it’s one of the most unique and diverse islands in the region.
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