Awsome Diving,Lovely Waterfalls, Sandy White Beaches

domina history

Geologically speaking, Dominica is one of the youngest islands in the Caribbean chain. It is a spry 26 million years old, still actively evolving with continuous geothermal activity.

Dominica's first inhabitants, the Ortoroids, arrived from South America around 3100 B.C., and lasted on the island until around 400 B.C. Next came the Arawaks, who settled in about 400 A.D. By 1400, the Kalinago or "Caribs," moved aggressively up the Caribbean from South America, eliminating the Arawak from the region, including Dominica. When Columbus ushered in the era of colonization to Dominica in 1493, the same fate that befell the Arawaks would threaten the Caribs.

Ignoring the Kalinago name of "Waitukubuli," Columbus renamed the island Dominica as he first made landfall on a Sunday. The Caribs successfully resisted efforts of Spanish colonization, but the British and French followed from the 1600s on, battling each other, and the Caribs, to claim the Island. Through the many battles and ravaged by disease, the Caribs gradually lost control of the island, fleeing back to South America. However, today approximately 2,000 Caribs remain on the island, most living in the Carib Territory in northeast Dominica. You many note that many of village names in and around Dominica are a mix of Carib, French and English, reflecting the power struggles of the last 500 years.

On November 3rd 1978, the island was finally granted its independence from Britain. The new era of freedom and independence brought increased challenges, and economic and political struggles. By the mid-1980s though, Dominica had settled down as a stable and peaceful country. The success of the banana trade, the island's major export, brought economic buoyancy to the island. By 1992 however, Dominica saw sharp declines in banana exports with the loss of its preferential access on the UK market.

Today, the Government of Dominica is investing heavily in tourism to drive economic development, focusing on the island's unsurpassed natural beauty, and the popularity of diving, hiking and eco tours.

Aerial View of Fort Shirley at the Cabrits National Park, Portsmouth


Dominica offers much more than a stunning nature adventure. Its rich culture is a blend of English, French, African, and Carib peoples. Colorful costumes, music, and pageantry are on display at a host of celebrations, from Carnival to the World Creole Music Festival, and the many independence celebrations around the island. Though Dominica received its independence from Britain on November 3rd 1978, the country commemorates this date with an extended period of cultural celebrations which can last as long as four weeks.

Dominica boasts wonderful examples of Caribbean architecture with a distinctive mix of French, English and Spanish influences. Monumental buildings from colonial times, as well as some old plantation estates, are a must see. A self-guided walking tour through historic Roseau, from the Society for Architectural Preservation and Enhancement (SHAPE) office in Roseau, allows you to experience the rich history and architecture of the capital city.

Dominica is the only Caribbean island with a remaining population of pre-Columbian Carib Indians. Migrating in waves from South America as early as 3,000 B.C., various tribes made Dominica their home, and by 1,000 A.D. were well settled, calling the island "Wai'tukubuli" meaning 'tall is her body' in the Kalinago language. Today, over 2,000 Caribs, properly known as the Kalinago, inhabit a 3,700 acre territory on the northwestern side of the island.

Don’t expect to encounter a primitive people in grass skirts practicing primordial rituals. There is little to differentiate them from the rest of the population. But it is still possible to acquire a glimpse of their ancestral roots, especially from their craft, canoe building and traditional culinary activity.

The majory cites, languge, and populition

Major and local towns and cities in Dominica:

Roseau, Dominica
Portsmouth, Dominica
Berekua, Dominica
Marigot, DominicaAtkinson, Dominica
La Plaine, Dominica
Mahaut, Dominica
Wesley, Dominica
Castle Bruce, DominicaCoulihaut, Dominica
Barroui, Dominica
Pointe Michel, Dominica
Pont Casse, Dominica

The 13 cities listed above are all in Dominica.

What language do they speak in Dominica?

  • French


    French (the Romance language spoken in France and in countries colonized by France)


    English, the West Germanic language that developed in England during the Anglo-Saxon era


    Dominica's population was estimated at 71,540 in mid-2000, marking a decline of 1.14 percent from the preceding year and a fall from the official mid-1998 estimate of 73,000. The decline in population, despite relatively high life expectancy and a birth rate of 18.27 per 1,000 population, is mostly due to a high degree of migration, estimated at 22.39 migrants per 1,000 population in 2000. Migration is largely caused by lack of work opportunities, and Dominicans are to be found working in other Caribbean islands (notably the French overseas departments), the United States, and, to a lesser degree, the United Kingdom. At current rates of population decrease, Dominica could have only 65,000 inhabitants by 2010. The death rate is Dominica is 7.3 per 1,000.

    The island's mountainous landscape means that its population is mostly clustered along the coast. About 30 percent of Dominicans live in the parish of St. George, in or around Roseau, while the volcanic interior is very sparsely inhabited. Generally, Dominica is not densely populated, and its population is by regional standards evenly distributed between age groups. Islanders aged 14 and under make up 29 percent of the population, while 63 percent are between 15 and 64 years old. The remaining 8 percent includes those 65 and older. Approximately 90 percent of Dominicans are of African descent, and the island is also home to some 2,000 descendants of the indigenous Carib population. A small minority of these Caribs are the last surviving descendants of the Caribbean islands' pre-Columbian peoples and live in a 3,700-acre reservation in the northeast part of the island.

    English is the official language of Dominica, and the literacy rate is 94 percent. Nearly 80 percent of the citizens are Roman Catholic, with Protestants making up 15 percent, and the remainder spread among several other Christian and non-Christian faiths.


    Dominica has no territories or colonies.

    —James Ferguson



A time line of Dominica

Dominica's History: a timeline

A brief timeline of important events in Dominica's history.

c3000 BC Stone age tribes, the Igneri from the Orinoco, first populate our island.

c1000 AD Kalinago (Island Caribs) moving up through the island chain become dominant, and give the island the name of Wai'tukubuli, meaning 'Tall is her body'

1493 Colombus visits the island and names it Dominica.

1627 Dominica and other islands were granted by patent to the Earl of Carlisle who was a Proprietor.

1748 Pressure from France led to the Treaty of Aix-La Chapelle which forced the British to give up claims to the islands of the 1627 Patent including Dominica.

1763 Dominica was ceded to Britain by the Treaty of Paris. The Royal Proclamation establishes "Government of Grenada" with jurisdiction over Grenada, the Grenadines, St. Vincent, Tobago and Dominica - one Governor and one Legislature for the group.

1768 Separate Legislative Assembly established in Dominica.

1778 The French repossessed Dominica. The Legislative Assembly continued to function as usual.

1783 The French returned Dominica to Britain by the Treaty of VersailHes.

1784 Governor Orde convenes Assembly to deal with internal Maroon revolt.

1831 Full political and social rights granted to free non whites.

1832 Coffee constituted 32 per cent of the value of Dominica's exports.

1833 Dominica grouped in the Leeward Islands administrative union under one Governor.

1834 Slavery abolished.

1838 Mulatto Ascendancy form a majority in House of Assembly of Dominica, the first in the British West Indies.This was under the leadership of the flambouyant, self-educated newspaperman George Charles Falconer.

1865 Crown colony government had been instituted by the Dominican Legislature.

1871 Administrative union of the Leeward Islands converted to a constitutional Federation - with a federal Executive Council nominated by the Governor and a federal Legislative Council consisting of ten (10) nominated members and ten (10) elected members elected by the unofficial members of the legislatures of the member islands. Dominica administered by a President (later titled "Commissioner" and subsequently "Administrator").

1898 Crown Colony Rule is introduced in Dominica with Sir Hesketh Bell as its first Administrator.

1922 The Wood Commission visits and makes possible the election of four (4) members to unofficial side of legislature.

1932 The Closer Union Commission further weakened Crown Colony Rule and set the basis for the West Indies Federation of 1958.

1938 The Moyne Commission visits and makes possible union and party formation in Dominica.

1940 Dominica withdrawn from the Leeward Islands con stitutional Federation and placed in the Windward Islands Administrative Union.

1945 First Trade Union formed in Dominica, the Dominica Trade Union. 1951 Universal Adult Suffrage introduced, replacing property-ownership or payment of taxes as qualifications for voting.
Qualification for membership on the Legislative Council reduced.
Legislative Council with a clear elected majority established - consisting of two (2) ax-officio, three (3) nominated and eight (8) elected members, with Administrator having a casting vote.

1955 Ministerial system introduced. The Legislative Council remained unchanged, but a fourth elected member was included in the Executive Council - three of whom were appointed Ministers on a majority vote of elected nominated members of Legislative Council and removable on majority vote of whole Legislative Council. One (1) ex-officio member was added but the official member was to be appointed only if requested by Executive Council.
The First Representative Party was formed - The Labour Party of Dominica.

1956 The British Caribbean Federation Act 1956 was passed enabling Her Majesty in Council to provide for the Federation of the West Indian Colonies of which Dominica was one.

1957 Dominica had its first Chief Minister.
The Second Representative Party was formed - The Dominica United Peoples Party.

The West Indies Federation was constituted under the West Indies (Federation) Order in Council 1957 which was brought into operation in Dominica on the 3rd day of January, 1958 by the West Indies (Federation) (Commencement) Order in Council 1957.

1962 With the dissolution of the Federation by the West Indies Act 1962, Dominica was restored to its original status.

1967 Dominica granted Associated Statehood - virtual independence, with Defence and External Affairs in the hands of the U. K. Government.
Dominica had its first Premier.
New Constitution sets up legislature consisting of eleven (11) elected, three (3) nominated and an ex-officio member (the Attorney General if a public officer) and the Speaker of the House of Assembly (if not a member of the House).

1978 Full independence attained under a republican Constitution. Unicameral legislature consisting of twenty-one (21) elected and nine (9) nominated members - with a Prime Minister (Patrick John) and Cabinet based on the Westminster model.

1979 Hurricane David devastates the island.

1980 Eugenia Charles replaces Patrick John as Prime Minister, becoming first female prime minister in the Caribbean.

1981 Two coup attempts; Patrick John tried and acquitted.

1985 Patrick John retried and found guilty - sentenced to 12 years imprisionment.

1993 Eugenia Charles resigns as DFP leader but continues as prime minister.

1995 United Workers Party (led by Edison James) win general election with 11 seats. Freedom and Labour parties both take 5 seats. (Full results) Eugenia charles retires from politics after 27 years.

2000 Close general election. (Full results) Labour and Freedom parties form coalition. October 2000: Rosie Douglas, Labour Party leader, dies. Pierre Charles becomes new party leader.

2001 International Monetary Fund called in.

2002 Govt. implements 4% 'Stabilization Levy' tax to tackle the financial crisis.

2003 May: Caribs celebrate 100th anniversary of the founding of the Carib Reserve.
June: austerity Budget sees public sector job cuts.
Oct: Mr. Nicholas Liverpool becomes next President.
Nov: Dominica celebrates 25th anniversary of Independence.

Jan: PM Pierre Charles passes away suddenly at 7:45pm Jan 6th following health concerns. Roosevelt Skerrit named new Prime Minister.
March: Dominica establishes diplomatic ties with the People's Republic of China, prompting Taiwan to end ties with Dominica.
June: PM Skerrit presents his first budget as PM, and declaring that the economy has turned the corner, announces the end of the Stabilisation Levy.

2005: Election fever grips the island. The filming of Pirates of the Caribbean 2 & 3 is a major boost to the economy in the early part of the year.
May 5th: PM Skerrit leads the Dominica Labour Party to a General Election victory.
September 6th: Dame Eugenia Charles, former PM, passes away.

2006: Value Added Tax is introduced.
IMF commends Govt. on implementation of its economic programme.
NDC launches new website as part of major rebranding of tourism product.

2007: Feb: President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela pays visit to Dominica as part of deepening ties between the two countries.
The CBS reality TV show 'Pirate Master' is filmed in Dominica in early 2007 and aired in summer.

October 24th: new national sports stadium offically opened.

2008: July: 2008 Budget responds to world food price crisis by reducing taxes on some foods. Income tax reduced by 2%.

2009: December 18: Dominica Labour Party wins General Election in a landslide victory, with 18 seats vs 3 seats for the Opposition UWP. Dominica Freedom Party win no seats.

2012: September 17: Mr. Eliud Williams becomes Dominica's seventh President of Dominica as Dr. Nicholas Liverpool steps down.

Dominica Food & Dining

Dominica Food & Dining

Like many other Caribbean islands Dominica has a rich cultural heritage. Due to the intermingling of the European nations on the island, Dominica has a French-Creole culture with the overtones of a British heritage. With colonization, slavery, emancipation and the later globalization there was great movement of people throughout the Caribbean (Dominica) and as such the culture, the music, the tasty Dominica food, the dress, the language, and the architecture are all influenced by such historic passages. The rich cultural heritage of Dominica, and Dominica’s culinary inheritance is integrally linked to its past. Dominica food is based on root vegetables like yams or turnip, spinach, watercress, locally available meats and fish such chicken, goat and seafood (fish, crabs, crayfish and octopus). Meat is one of the main elements of most Dominica foods and cured, pickled and smoked meats are often used Dominica food.

Dominica food is best known for its Creole dishes. The word Creole is derived from the Spanish word crillo (meaning native to an area). By Creole standards in Dominica, food is very fresh, simple and healthy and is cooked in a Creole style featuring a spicy sauce with a base sauce of tomatoes, peppers, onion, celery, and fresh seasoning. Dominica food clearly has an African and French influence.

The preparation of Dominica food imitates many African and French techniques; this is one of the reasons for the particular flavor of Creole fried cuisine. Africans cooked by steaming, baking, stewing, roasting, or frying and meats were roasted, stewed or fried. To this day most of Dominica foods are prepared using traditional ways of cooking which were handing down from generation to generation. Coincidentally, the consumption of fresh fruit drink with meals is standard. In Dominica, drinks and food go hand in hand.

Dominica foods such as curry goat and callaloo soup (a creamed spinach type soup) are local favorites. These types of Dominica foods are prepared using local ingredients only, and often flavored with the earthy aroma of locally made curries and fresh coconut milk. Coconut milk is the extracted (milk colored) liquid squeezed from the hardened fruit of the coconut, it is not popular Dominica drink, coconut water; which is the water found inside the coconut. Coconut water is a refreshing Dominica drink sold along streets and along country roads. It is also a popular mixer for alcoholic drinks.

When slavery was abolished, there were no available workers to tend to existing plantations, so the indentured laborers were introduced. Mostly of Chinese and Asian ethnicity, these indentured laborers brought with them their own cooking styles and tastes. Today the use of rice as a primary staple food on all tables and the use of heavy curry sauces is a direct inheritance from these dwellers on the islands. Dominica foods and techniques for preparing Dominica foods is a fusion of all these culinary influences passed on.

Whilst most of the Dominica food is classified Creole cuisine, Dominica foods are also influenced by modern day European and North American cuisines as well. The availability of greater variety of imported foods such as beans, corn, squash, pastas and other processed foods, and other wise unavailable meats and condiments has simply expanded the creativity of Dominica food.

Dominica’s rich tropical climate yields an abundance of succulent fruit year round. Traditional Dominica drinks are tropical fruity refreshment used alone or mixed in thirst quenching combinations. Guava, mango, pineapple, lime, grapefruit, passion fruit, cherry, avocado, plaintain, tamarind, papaya, bananas, gooseberry, barbadine, orange , tangerine, apricot, mangosteen and soursop are just some of the many Dominica fruits that go into fresh Dominica drinks.

Sometimes, the drinks of Dominica are combined with one of the local rums on island to give it a little ummph. Of Dominica drinks the tropical fruit punches are simply to die for and the most popular Dominica drink for tourist. Local rums are widely available, and cask rum dominates the local market consumption in Dominica drinks.

An authentic Dominica drinks is spiced rum – it is Dominica cask rum that is combined with herbs and spices to produce some unique and tasty and very potent mixtures. The popular local additions to this Dominica drink are cinnamon, mint, anise or rosemary. Then there is the legendary 'bois bandé', a local aphrodisiac, proven by locals and foreigners alike.

The local beer on island Kubuli Beer is the proud recipient of a Gold award in the reputable ‘Monde Selectione Quality Awards’. Kubuli Beer is brewed with 100% Natural Spring water and the local Brewery's very own formula. This refreshing German oriented beer has gained favor from beer drinkers from Europe to North America and all over the Caribbean.

Fried and barbeque foods are commonly sold by street vendors. Vendors sell an array of steamed and barbecue meats: chicken, fish, ribs and pork. A side order is often included: potato salad, French fries, fried plantain, bakes, rice, vegetable salad or roast corn or breadfruit. On a Friday and Saturday late night, these Dominica dishes are readily available till the wee hours of the morning.

Dominican food and drink is a medley of brilliant colors, bold flavors, and lush presentations. The cooking techniques of Dominica foods combine European, African, Indian, and Chinese influences, result in a cuisine with a big, assertive personality.

The Dominica Guide

The Dominica Guide is your comprehensive guide to the youngest island in the Caribbean. Although it is one of the few places in the region that isn't known for its beaches, as the home of several rain forests and numerous species of exotic wildlife, Dominica is a favorite destination for ecotourism.

A mountainous island with tropical rain forests, Dominica's has a relatively stable year-round temperature averaging around 80 degrees Fahrenheit, with high humidity which is moderated by northeastern trade winds. Seasons are determined more by rainy and dry weather periods than by temperature, and vacationers should bring proper attire, especially if they are planning to hike in the rain forest, where it rains nearly every day. All the information you will need can be found in our detailed month-by-month weather guide...

JanuaryMay September

February JuneOctober



The key to a perfect trip is to do as much planning as possible beforehand. Take the time to familiarize yourself with all that Dominica has to offer and you're sure to enjoy the vacation of your dreams...

When to Go

The weather during the tourist season tends to be nicer, but planning a trip during the off-season will most certainly save you money. These are just a few considerations to take into account when planning when to go to Dominica...

Clothing and Attire

With more than 300 hiking trails in Dominica, it is likely that you will spend some time exploring the island on foot. Make sure to pack light weight, comfortable clothing, as well as walking shoes...

Find the perfect hotel using our powerful advanced search tool.

For many travelers, one of the best things about traveling to a foreign country is the opportunity to sample food they may not have had the chance to enjoy back home. Others dread the unfamiliarity more than anything. Luckily, in Dominica there are food options for both...

Culinary Styles

Vacationers will find a unique and delicious mixture of culinary styles on the island, derived from Creole and British influences. Fresh vegetables and fruits grown from the island's rich soil complement delicacies such as smoked opossum, as well as shellfish gathered from the sea and mountain streams. West Indian styles are prevalent in a commonly served curry sauce made with Scotch bonnet peppers. Accompanying the eclectic menus found on Dominica, visitors will find tropical beverages, regional beers and imported wines to enhance their meal...


Dominica offers an interesting variety of restaurants for vacationers to choose from. Whether it be Asian, French, or African cuisine that tempts you, this island will satisfy. Roseau, Castle Comfort, Concord, and Portsmouth offer a concentration of eateries. Although most dining establishments remain open throughout the week, many are closed on Sundays. Other issues worth considering include proper attire, reservations, and accepted currencies. Our comprehensive restaurant guide will provide you with all of the information you need to plan ahead...

Dominica isn't a large island, but taking advantage of the local transportation options will help you in your quest to see every nook and cranny of this Caribbean paradise...


Taxis in Dominica are more than just a means of getting from one place to another. Many drivers are knowledgeable in history and attractions, and are able to provide tours to guests who are willing to pay for it...


Bus services in Dominica are actually provided by privately owned minivans. These buses can seat up to 15 passengers comfortably, and fares are set based upon your destination...

Ferries and Boats

Travelers are able to take day trips from Dominica to Martinique or Guadeloupe aboard a ferry. This method of travel is more time consuming, but is definitely more affordable than flying...

For many years, control of Dominica was passed back and forth between France and Great Britain. All though the island is now British, France has left a permanent stamp on Dominica. Today, the official language is English, but there are many islanders who still speak with in a localized Creole dialect, and many street signs appear in French...


Though the Arawak people from South America were the original settlers of Dominica, by the time Columbus arrived on the island, they were gone and the Carib Indians ruled the roost. Unlike many other Caribbean nations, Carib Indians still inhabit Dominica to this day...


Agricultural has been at the top of the economic food chain since the discovery of Dominica, but in recent years the island has branched out to include tourism and oil refinery at the top of the list...


Despite the increase of crimes such as petty theft in recent years, Dominica is still relatively safe. Vacationers can further protect themselves by taking a few simple precautions...

Every day life may be just a little different in Dominica than what you are used to back home. Take the time to read up on some of the topics you may not consider to be important to know about before you leave for your vacation; like tipping etiquette, telephone use, and hours of operation...

Currency and Credit Cards

While the Eastern Caribbean Dollar is the official form of currency in Dominica, the United States Dollar, the Euro, and the British Pound are all widely accepted. Travelers may also choose to pay by credit card at many businesses as well...


Customs officials work hard to ensure that their country stays safe by prohibiting certain types of items. You can make their jobs easier, and your trip through customs smoother by arriving prepared...

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ElectricityPostal Services


Health and MedicalTime Zones

Hours of OperationTipping

LanguagesTourist Offices

Visitors to Dominica, will experience some of the most beautiful natural areas in the Caribbean. From Trafalgar Falls to the World-famous Boiling Lake, there are many awe-inspiring sites to behold. And in addition to national parks and hiking opportunities, visitors can simply relax and contemplate the Atlantic Ocean or Caribbean Sea from the uncrowded, rocky shoreline...


The beaches of Dominica are unique in their beauty, comprised mainly of black and gold sands. The sands tend to be more rocky than fine, so sunbathers would do well to bring a beach chair...

Your travel priorities should be the major factor in determining how you'll reach Dominica. If you'd like to get to the island as fast as possible, air travel may be right for you. If you're of the opinion that getting there should be half the fun, look into cruises. Travelers with seafaring experience (or the desire to gain some) can even try their hand at sailing and yachting...

Enjoying a home away from home is easy when you stay in an island rental property, but If a luxurious getaway is at the top of your list, check out your All-inclusive resorts options. Whatever your choice, you are sure to be impressed with the wide array of hotels and resorts found on Dominica...