Dominica (pronounced DOM-in-EEK-a) is not your typical Caribbean island. Instead of sandy beaches and turquoise waters lapping the shores, Dominica boasts a robust rainforest and mountain ranges that are perfect for hiking. Sure, there are beaches, but instead of white sand there is gray-black volcanic sand. Swimmers love Champagne Beach’s rocky sand shore for the bubbles in the water that are created by fumaroles and the out of this world snorkelling. Dominica does have beaches but that is not the draw to the island. There are so many other things to do in Dominica that take out of the water and into nature that the beach will be somewhat of an afterthought.
History buffs will enjoy learning about the Carib people that inhabited this island. In fact, Dominica was their last official land. The Carib people are the Caribbean’s namesake. This tribe was notoriously hostile and created many colourful stories for descendants to tell in present day. Animal lovers will enjoy whale and dolphin watching, monkey sightings, and bird watching. For those who enjoy a good hike, the rough terrain of Dominica offers much to conquer. Go to Morne Trois Pitons National Park and explore the rainforest or got o the Papillote Wilderness Retreat and enjoy the natural springs. Enjoy a spectacularly created meal in one of Dominica’s finest restaurants with the most aesthetically pleasing panoramic view. Feast your eyes on all there is to enjoy in Dominca.
River tubing, ziplining, scuba diving, snorkeling, hiking, canyoning, relaxing – whatever you want to do can be done on this unique island. Friendly people who are always willing to give suggestions on things to do and places to eat make getting around simple. You’ll have so much fun being active and enjoying the feeling of an unspoiled paradise you’ll wonder why you worried about beaches in the first place.
Size: 290 square miles
Government: Unitary Parliamentary Republic
Currency: Eastern Caribbean dollar (EC$); United States dollar (US$) widely accepted
Main City: Roseau
Main Airports: Melville Hall Airport (DOM) and Canefield Airport (DCF)
Telephone Country Code: 767
Local Beer: Kubuli
National Dish: Traditionally Mountain Chicken however they are now critically endangered. Thus an alternative is: Broth, a hearty one-pot meal with fish, smoked meat or chicken, ground provisions (often cassava) and dumplings.
Entry Visa: All visitors to Dominica must have a valid passport and an onward or return ticket. Citizens of the United States, United Kingdom and Commonwealth do not require a visa for stays less than 21 days.
When To Go: Dominica is warm throughout the year. Evenings are cooler but rarely as low as 70°F. The rainy season is between June and November. The most popular time to visit the island is February to June, the island’s driest months. Dominica’s Carnival celebrations run for two weeks prior to Ash Wednesday. In October, the World Creole Music Festival is held in Roseau. Another vibrant celebration of Dominican heritage is the week leading up to Independence Day (November 3) or Creole Day.
Marriage Requirements: Couples who want to get married in Dominica must apply for a Special Marriage License from the Ministry of Social Services, Community Development and Gender Affairs.
Documents Required: In addition to the completed marriage application form, both the bride and groom will need their:
• birth certificates along with driver’s licences or other forms of identification
• certificates of no impediment or single status report
• EC$7.50 postage stamps
Also if applicable:
• divorce papers i.e. decree absolute and/or death certificate of spouse
• proof of parental consent if under 18, stamped and signed by a solicitor
• proof of name change by Deed Poll, stamped and signed by a solicitor
Residency Requirement: Couples can be married within 24 hours of arrival.
Fees: For those wishing to meet the two day residency requirement is EC$300.00. For persons opting for no residency, the marriage fees are EC$500.00. The fees for weekend and holiday weddings is EC$704.00.
Witnesses: Two witnesses must be present at the ceremony.