This Caribbean island may be small, but family vacation in Dominica pack a big punch when it comes to natural beauty and exciting activities. Take a dip in the crystal-clear waters of Emerald Pool, hike through the lush rainforests to see breathtaking waterfalls, or snorkel with colorful sea creatures in Champagne Reef.
And don’t forget to indulge in the delicious local cuisine, including fresh seafood and exotic fruits. With its friendly locals and laid-back atmosphere, Dominica is the perfect destination for creating lasting memories with your loved ones.
If you are planning family vacations in Dominica you need to be aware that this is an island of approximately 29 miles long and 16 miles wide. It’s not an island which is going to allow you to experience many of the different climates of the Caribbean because of it being so compact.
Family Vacations in Dominica vs the Dominican Republic
Also do not confuse it with the Dominican Republic, Dominica and the Dominican Republic are two completely different countries that are not related to each other in any way, other than being in the same region (the West Indies).
On Dominica, the official language is English, but a French-based creole is also sometimes spoken. Dominica is located entirely on a small island in the West Indies with a population of roughly 70,000. (The Dominican Republic is a much larger country with a population of over 10 million.
(The Dominican Republic can be found on the island of Hispaniola, which is shared with Haiti. The official language of the Dominican Republic is Spanish.)
Where to go in Dominica
The main town on the island of Dominica is Roseau. Here you’ll find much of the historical culture to put your family vacation on Dominica into the right context. In the Dominica Museum located in Roseau for example you’ll find artifacts that show life under the various cultures who have ruled there at one time or another throughout its colorful history – for example Native American, Creole, French and British.
In the second largest town in Dominica, Portsmouth, you can get closer to nature at the Cabrits National Park
Best Time to go to Dominica
Dominica is an ideal family beach vacation because of the temperate weather. Although there is the Caribbean heat, this is cooled to an approximate temperature of 24 C/75 F by the northeastern trade winds, which makes it perfect even for smaller children who become easily tired and fussy in constant hot weather.
The busiest time of the year is between February and June as this is when it’s less likely to experience much in the way of rainfall. With a rainy season that lasts from July right through until the end of October, and the Caribbean hurricane season which lasts June to November, it’s not difficult to see why the spring and early summer are so popular with tourists!
One famous pirate (ahem, Johnny Depp) is said to have regularly imbibed the rum at Bush Bar, on Dominica’s Indian River, when filming the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise on Dominica. Also some scenes for Jurassic Park were filmed in Los Haitises
What to See and Do on your family vacations in Dominica: Waterfalls and Rainforests are Yours to Explore
If you want to get the most out of your family vacations in Dominica then the best way to do that is to rent a car. If you don’t want to pay the rental charges for your entire stay, then consider having a few days to acquaint yourself with Roseau and the beautiful beaches.
Then use the car to travel further afield to the other side of the island – not forgetting the Morne Trois Pitsons National Park which is mainly primordial rainforest.
Now recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, it is untouched and relatively undiscovered, the park is like stepping back in time. Lush, green primordial rainforests slope up to magnificent peaks.
Rivers rush past giant ferns as the fragrances of island flowers surround you. Morne Trois Pitons National Park is truly how the Caribbean was meant to be!
And even if you don’t feel adventurous or energetic enough to tackle the 6 mile trek around the Boiling Lake, you’ll still be awe-inspired at the vastly different sights of nature that live together in this area.
The locals will tell you Dominica has 365 rivers, one for every day of the year. But as all that water zigzags across the island, it creates a multitude of waterfalls, many of which are easily accessible and even swimmable.
In the Portsmouth area your family vacation won’t be complete without a river ride on the Indian River. Try to find one of the park workers to act as your guide so that you get the most out of the trip.
Whale watching is a must as well. Dominica’s sheer underwater drop-offs create deep sheltered bays along its western coastline–the perfect haven for the Sperm Whales to breed and calve. As a result, Dominica is the only country in the world where sperm whale resides all year long, although sightings are most common between November and March.
Sperm whales dominate the waters, but you might also see of an assortment of other whales, including orcas, pygmy killer whales, humpback whales and even dolphins. Tour boats typically depart out of the city of Roseau, Dominica’s capital.
Dominica is a small island with a lot of offer Caribbean family vacations in Dominica. With a myriad of Caribbean sporting activities and beautiful landscapes and beaches, you’ll find yourself wishing you had much more time to explore everything it has to offer.
Kids enjoy these family hotels in Dominica:
Fort Young Hotel Traveler rating: 4.0/5
The Fort Young Hotel in Dominica is situated in front of the Caribbean Sea and only 1.2 km away from Roseau City. The Fort Young Hotel has an outdoor infinity pool, spa, and dining options on-site. Each room has a private balcony, and guests can participate in water activities like diving or relax in the hot tub or fitness center. On-site duty-free shops are also available. The Fort Young Hotel contemporary rooms come with free Wi-Fi, cable TV, desk, safety deposit box, refrigerator, ironing facilities, and a ceiling fan. Oceanfront rooms are an option as well.
The Champs Hotel Traveler rating: 4.5/5
The Champs Hotel is situated on a hill in Picard village, offering stunning views of Prince Rupert Bay and just a 5-minute stroll from Ross University. The hotel boasts warm and cozy rooms with complimentary Wi-Fi, guided hikes, and a hot tub. All rooms feature a flat-screen satellite TV, refrigerator, and coffee-making facilities. The Champs Restaurant and Bar is located on-site, offering full-service dining every day, with fine dining on Fridays and brunches on weekends.
Hibiscus Valley Inn Traveler rating: 4.5/5
Hibiscus Valley Inn is conveniently located near several popular attractions, including the North Rainforest Reserve, Kalinago Territory, Watikubull National Trail segments 6 and 7, as well as the villages of Marigot and Concord. Shuttle service to the airport and ferry is available for a fee. Guests can enjoy a refreshing dip in the natural river pool. The cozy “Nature bungalow Rooms” are designed in a traditional Dominican country style and offer a private terrace with lovely garden views. Ceiling fans, a safety deposit box, and a hammock are also provided. The private bathrooms come equipped with a shower. There are plenty of flowers and hummingbirds just outside adding to the natural beauty of the surroundings.
Find the best deal, compare prices and read what other families have to say about more hotels in Dominica
FAQ’s Dominica Family Vacations
Q: Is Dominica suitable for family vacations?
A: Absolutely! Dominica is one of the more unique Caribbean islands and is a great destination for families and offers many activities that can be enjoyed together. From exploring vibrant rainforest and waterfalls, to snorkelling in the Caribbean Sea, there is something here that everyone in the family can enjoy.
Plus, with its agreeable climate and friendly locals, it’s the perfect spot to relax and have an unforgettable family vacation.
Q: What types of accommodation are available?
A: Dominica offers a wide range of accommodation options for families, including hotels, resorts, holiday homes, private villas, and camping sites. Whatever your preference or budget may be, you’ll be sure to find a comfortable place to stay.
Q: Is Rosalie Bay a good place to experience Dominica?
A: Absolutely! Rosalie Bay is a fantastic resort located on the east coast of Dominica and offers an unparalleled experience for families. Not only does it have great amenities and accommodations, but the real highlight of a stay here is swimming with the turtles. It’s an unforgettable experience that the whole family will enjoy!
Q: What activities can the whole family do together?
A: There are plenty of fun and exciting activities that the whole family can enjoy in Dominica. You could go for a hike in one of the island’s lush national parks, or explore underwater on a scuba diving trip.
For something a little more leisurely, take an evening boat tour and observe the incredible wildlife of Dominica, or spend some time on one of the island’s beautiful beaches. Make sure to visit the black sand beach at Rosalie Bay. Don’t miss the chance to visit Emerald Pool, either – it’s one of Dominica’s most beautiful natural attractions.
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing break or an adventure-filled holiday, Dominica has something for everyone! The possibilities are endless!
Q: What is the best area to stay in Dominica?
A: Dominica is full of unique and beautiful places to stay, so it all depends on what you’re looking for. For adventurous families looking for an outdoor adventure, the northern part of the island is ideal for exploring nature. If you’d prefer a more relaxing holiday, the south is home to some stunning beaches and resorts where you can relax in luxury.
Q: Is Dominica better than St Lucia?
For the ultimate island experience, two destinations stand out – Dominica and St Lucia. If you’re seeking a quiet and unspoiled paradise, Dominica is your go-to. However, if you’re looking for a more luxurious and bustling getaway, St Lucia is the place to be.
So, which one will you choose? The tranquil and serene Dominica or the glamorous and thriving St Lucia? It’s all up to you!
Water sports are of course popular in Dominica, but if you fancy a change of scenery why not incorporate a day trip to St Lucia into your family vacation? It’s only a short ferry ride away!
Looking for other Caribbean Adventures for your family? Your kids will love the exciting Game Garage at Beaches Resorts!
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