What to do in Dominica for a day

See the best of Dominica during your short stay!


Dominica in a Day

Don’t have much time to explore? Perhaps you are here on a cruise, or only have a few hours to spare while on business. There are a number of things to do and places to see during that short time that will give you a wonderful feel for Dominica.

Half Day

Under 5 hours

If you only have a morning or afternoon to spare – limit the number of activities to one or two. This allows you time to get there, enjoy the site or activity and return.  The best places to visit during this time would be in the 30 minute distance range which includes:

Roseau and Environs Roseau Valley | South West if you are based in Roseau


Portsmouth & Northwest | Northeast if you are based in Portsmouth

Full Day

Under 9 hours

If you have the entire day, you have a few more options on how to spend your time.

Depending on the area and how far you travel you could fit in a number of activities, allowing you to venture further from your base. Whether you are in the north or south, the variety of sites available for you to see are numerous.

You can go on a hike, drive around the island, or pack in as many sites as you can handle.

Around the Capital

 Learn more about Roseau and Environs… here

Near Roseau

30 minutes or less

Areas less than half an hour’s drive from the capital include:

Roseau Valley – Best for National Parks, Waterfalls, Lakes and Hot Springs. This is about a 20 – 30 mins drive from Roseau. 

West – Beaches. The best beach is about 25 mins from Roseau.

Southwest – Best for Snorkeling, Hot Springs and Whale Watching. This is about a 10 – 20 mins drive from Roseau. It is possible to take in the site of the capital, as well as a couple attractions in the southwest.

Under the Sea: Feel like exploring our dramatic marine world? See our Scuba and Snorkel Page, or visit the links below.

Whale WatchingWhale watching tours usually take half the day.

Hot PoolsWant to soak in the variety of Natural Hot pools around the island?

Beaches: Interested in the assortment of beaches found in Dominica? Visit our beach page or look through the options below for beaches close to the Capital.

  • Champagne: Rocky beach popular for snorkeling and wildlife observations. Geothermal activity results in bubbles in the water, giving it the name Champagne.
  • Mero: A popular sandy, grey beach 20 mins from Roseau. There are bars and activities available.
  • Scott’s Head: Rocky beach at the very southern tip of the island. Great views and snorkeling.

Waterfalls & RiversThe land of rivers and waterfalls, there is no shortage of freshwater.

Hikes: In the mood for some adventure? Getting to the trail heads is about 30 mins, but the hike themselves vary in length. They are well worth the time. For half day hikes – see below.

  • Middleham Falls: about an hour hike one way through rainforest ending at the lovely Middleham falls.
  • Boeri Lake: about an hour’s hike one way to Dominica’s highest accessible lake.
  • Freshwater Lake Loop trail: An hour loop around the ridge of Freshwater Lake provides fantastic views to the east coast and the surrounding mountains.

Scenic & Cultural


Island Interior, Kalinago Territory and East Coast

30 - 60 minutes

30 – 60 minute drive from Roseau, 30 – 90 minutes from Portsmouth

InteriorWettest part of the island, best for enjoying Waterfalls, Wildlife Viewing and Hikes. The dense forest and landscape here is breathtaking to see, so even driving through is a treat. 

Kalinago Territory and East Coast More dramatic landscape, very different from the calm west coast, here the landscape is carved by wind and sea blast. Best for cultural experiences with Kalinago People, Sightseeing, Waterfalls and wildlife viewing. 

Beaches: The beaches on the east coast are not suitable from swimming, but are sights to behold and beautiful to walk on.

Waterfalls & Rivers

  • Layou River: Dominica’s longest river.
  • Emerald Pool: One of the best known waterfalls on the island, it is a short walk to falls.
  • Spanny Falls: Lovely waterfall located in Belles.
  • Soltoun Falls: Multiple waterfalls, a short walk from parking area.

Hikes: If you have the whole day try these hikes. Getting to the trail heads is about 60 mins, but the hikes themselves vary in length.

See all hikes in this area… here

Scenic & Cultural



Portsmouth, Northwest and Northeast coasts

60 minutes +

60 + minutes, drive from Roseau, or 0 – 30 mins from Portsmouth

Portsmouth & Northwest  Dominica’s second largest town. There are a number of things to see and do here. Great for Historical Sites, Beaches, Watersports. 

Northeast Coast breathtaking landscape, great for beaches & waterfalls

Beaches: The beaches on both the northwest and northeast coasts are good for swimming. However, always check with locals or a guide to ensure conditions are safe.

See all beaches around Portsmouth & Northwest, here. And all beaches around the Northeast, here

Waterfalls & Rivers

  • Indian River: Take a fascinating tour through a coastal swamp
  • Chaudiere Pool: Dive into clear waters of this bubbling river pool and waterfall

Hikes: If you have the whole day try these hikes. Getting to the trail heads is about 60 mins, but the hikes themselves vary in length.

  • Cabrits National Park: Leisure walk along old trails and among ruins of the fort.

See all hikes in and around Portsmouth & Northwest, here. And around the Northeast, here.

Scenic & Cultural

See all attractions in and around Portsmouth & Northwest, here. And around the Northeast, here.


Recommended Reading

The Dominica Story:
A History of the Island

by Dr. Lennox Honychurch

Buy on Amazon


Dominica (Bradt Travel Guide)

by Paul Crask

Buy on Amazon

Three Nights Later, The Soukouyan on the Roof and Other Stories

by Roy Sanford

Buy on Amazon