4 days in Dominica

How to Spend 4 Days in Dominica: Ultimate Dominica Itinerary [2024]

After winning a flurry of travel awards in the past few years, this is for sure: it is time for Dominica’s moment in the sun as a bonafide travel hotspot in the Caribbean.

Known as the Nature Island, this untouched, mountainous island is one of the few remaining destinations in the Caribbean to enjoy a laid-back, local tranquility, free from the overdevelopment of neighboring islands.

We spent an incredible week exploring the entire island of Dominica and have traveled extensively across the Caribbean, so we feel confident when we say it is a Caribbean destination worth visiting. With the help of local experts, we’ve created the ultimate Dominica itinerary for your trip to the island. Whether you have 4 days in Dominica or even more to explore, this is how to enjoy the island best.

dominica itinerary

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Best Time To Visit Dominica

Most travelers visit Dominica between December and April, during the drier months that coincide with winter for many North American travelers. While the island is busier during these months, it’s never crowded.

  • High Season: December – April
  • Shoulder Season: May – June
  • Low Season: July – November

We traveled to Dominica in May, and it was an ideal time to enjoy the island. The busier tourist season had passed, cruise ships were done taking over Roseau, and the island generally had a laid-back, uncrowded feel. If you can plan a visit for May, I’d recommend it!

How Many Days to Spend in Dominica

Dominica is an incredibly diverse, rich tropical island with everything from hiking trails and reefs to lakes and gorges. With so many things to see and do in Dominica, you’ll need a few days to explore all the island has to offer.

With at least 4 days in Dominica, you’ll be able to get a good feel for the island. However, you can easily spend at least a week in Dominica without getting bored – consider spending a full week here if your Dominica itinerary allows for it!

jungle bay dominica
Jungle Bay, Dominica

Dominica Itinerary

Sure, Dominica is a great place to kick back and relax with a drink in hand. However, if you’re looking forward to all the adventurous things to do in Dominica, you’ll need a comprehensive Dominica itinerary.

While the island isn’t huge, its rugged mountains mean that transportation across the island takes a while, so you’ll want to plan your days geographically to make the most of your time. Here’s an outline for a perfect four-day Dominica itinerary:

  • Day One: Explore Dominica’s Interior
  • Day Two: Visit Dominica’s Waterfalls
  • Day Three: Scuba and Snorkeling Excursions
  • Day Four: Hit the Beaches

4 Days in Dominica

Day One: Explore Dominica’s Interior

Enjoy Sunrise Yoga

There’s no better way to kick off your Dominica itinerary than with sunrise yoga with a view over the lush mountains and the Caribbean Sea from Jungle Bay. Tucked away on a hillside above the fishing village of Soufriere, Jungle Bay is one of the most impressive resorts in Dominica.

Jungle Bay offers sunrise and sunset yoga classes from its two yoga pavilions, as well as a number of different excursions, guided hikes, and activities for guests looking to explore the island. Or, start the morning with coffee overlooking one of the resort’s two pools, both of which boast spectacular mountain views.

Jungle Bay is the perfect mix of luxury, seclusion, and connection to the heart of the Nature Island. Staying at Jungle Bay was a highlight of a trip to Dominica – I couldn’t recommend it more wholeheartedly! Looking for something more simple? Check out the guest houses located in Soufriere, located just below Jungle Bay.

Read More: Jungle Bay Dominica: Hotel Review

Swim in Titou Gorge

After starting the morning at Jungle Bay, head directly to Titou Gorge to avoid the crowds later in the day. Well known for being a prominent filming location for the second Pirates of the Caribbean movie, Titou Gorge is a dramatic slot canyon with a refreshing river running through it.

You’ll start your excursion by venturing into the gorge, where you’ll swim for about 15 minutes before reaching a plunging waterfall at the end of the gorge. Take photos, use goggles to check out the deep underwater walls of the canyon, and enjoy the beauty of this natural wonder. I was much more impressed by Titou Gorge than I expected!

If you’re looking for more adventure, head to Extreme Dominica for canyoning down a lower section of the gorge.

Never heard of canyoning? It involves repelling down a series of waterfalls and trekking through the river! It’s a thrill that adventure seekers will love, and it’s one of the most popular things to do in Dominica. Add canyoning to your Dominica itinerary for an unforgettable adventure.

freshwater lake dominica
Freshwater Lake Hike

Hike Around Freshwater Lake

One of the most impressive gems in the interior of the island of Dominica is Freshwater Lake. Snuggled among forested mountains that barely peak through the clouds, this stunning lake was an unexpected highlight on our Dominica itinerary.

Freshwater Lake has a popular loop trail around its shores, which is the best way to see the lake and appreciate the mountainous surroundings of this impressive area of the island’s interior. The loop generally takes around 1.5 hours to complete and is generally considered easy to moderately difficult.

After hiking around the lake, stop back at the small rental shop and restaurant for a hibiscus tea or cold Kubuli beer. If you still have energy, take kayaks out onto the lake – you’ll enjoy even more impressive views.

Visit the Wotten Waven Hot Springs

The town of Wotten Waven, just twenty minutes from Freshwater Lake, is the hot springs capital of this highly volcanic island. You’ll find a number of local “spas” that channel the hot springs into pools of different temperatures and offer different treatments like natural mud baths.

We stopped at Screw’s Sulphur Spa at the close of the day and had an incredible experience bathing in the springs. This is a local favorite that visitors will also love.

Make sure to try the natural mineral-rich mud treatment included with your entry. Use the mud to exfoliate and let it dry before rinsing in the river. My skin has never felt so soft after a spa treatment as it did after visiting Screw’s!

trafalgar falls
Trafalgar Falls

Day Two: Visit Dominica’s Waterfalls

Hike to Middleham Falls

Spend the second day of your Dominica itinerary enjoying much of the same area you explored on your first day on the island. The mountainous center of the island is home to so many impressive gems that just one day doesn’t do it justice.

Start the day with the hike to Middleham Falls, one of the island’s most impressive waterfalls. Middleham Falls is the island’s tallest waterfall and has a stunning swimming hole at the bottom.

The hike to the falls is considered of moderate difficulty, though you shouldn’t have any issues if you’re relatively physically fit. The out-and-back trail is about three miles in total and generally takes a little over an hour each way. There are bathrooms and a small pavilion at the start of this well-defined hiking

Make sure to bring your bathing suit and a towel to reward yourself with a refreshing swim at the end of the hike. Tevas or other water shoes like Chacos are perfect for this hike, as they are at almost every adventurous spot you’ll visit in Dominica.

river rock cafe dominica

Eat at River Rock Cafe & Bar

Before heading on to nearby Trafalgar Falls, stop for lunch at River Rock Cafe & Bar. Located just down the river from Trafalgar Falls, you’ll get a sneak peek of this famous destination in Dominica as you arrive. Plus, the river and mountain views from the restaurant’s patio are truly stunning.

As impressive as the views are from the restaurant, the food is even better. Dishes are basic but packed with flavor, with the choice of goat, shrimp, fish, or chicken in delicious local sauce, with sides of rice, lentils, salad, and “provisions,” which consist of cooked plantains, yams, and baked breadfruit.

Pair lunch with a cold Kubuli beer, which is the local Dominican brand, or a peanut rum punch. Be warned that the rum punch is strong here, but it’s a local favorite.

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Visit Trafalgar Falls

Just a quick 10-minute walk from the parking lot, Trafalgar Falls is perhaps the most easily accessible large waterfall in Dominica, making it a must-visit spot on your Dominica itinerary.

These twin waterfalls cut a dramatic path through the rainforest before dropping into a deep riverbed, making them extremely dramatic. After reaching the viewing platform near the falls, you can maneuver among the boulders in the riverbed to reach the base of the falls where you’ll find natural pools for swimming.

Despite the area’s popularity, we didn’t find it too crowded and saw few other visitors while there, even though a ship was in port at Roseau for the day. It was a beautiful spot and one of the highlights of our trip to Dominica.

At the entrance to the falls, you’ll find a small restaurant and pavilion, a number of souvenir vendors, and bathrooms and changing rooms. Make sure to bring your swimsuit if you want to swim under the falls and water shoes like Tevas to navigate among the rocks and water. If you don’t want to swim, sneakers or even sandals are fine for the easy walk to the viewing platform.

soufriere dominica

Day Three: Scuba and Snorkeling Excursions

Scuba Dive in Soufriere

You can’t visit the island of Dominica without scuba diving or snorkeling at the very least. Dominica is well-known for being one of the best destinations for scuba diving in the world – even the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) says so!

The small fishing village of Soufriere is one of the best spots for diving on the island, offering a number of impressive destinations nearby. Scotts Head Pinnacles sits just across the bay from Soufriere, while the famous miles-long wall known as L’Abym is just around the point from town.

Nature Island Dive in Soufriere is one of the best dive companies on the island, offering scuba diving and snorkeling excursions to nearby dive sites. They take into account both the conditions of the water and the experience level of the diver and guide you to the best nearby spots. Guides also participate in coral restoration projects in Dominica.

If you’re not yet certified to scuba dive, consider visiting the island to get your certification. While this is a process that takes a few days of effort, Dominica is one of the more affordable options for travelers looking to get their PADI certifications. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to give diving a try for the first time among such gorgeous reefs.

Read More: 20 Best Things To Do in Dominica

Lunch at Chez Wen

Head to nearby Chez Wen near Scotts Head for one of the best meals you’ll enjoy in Dominica. This oceanfront local eatery is simple but has outstanding, authentically Dominican food.

Go for the grilled mahi mahi or the ribs, which are local favorites here, as are sides like baked breadfruit, turmeric rice, and sweet potato pie. However, you really can’t go wrong with anything you order here.

After an extensive and laborious search, Chez Wen also proved to have the most delicious coconut rum punch that we tried in Dominica. Make sure to save space for this – it wasn’t overly strong, and other flavors are available as well.

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Visit Bubble Beach Spa and Snorkel Soufriere Pinnacles

After a lazy lunch near Scotts Head, head back to Soufriere to enjoy the resort of the day in this picturesque town. Whether that looks like getting back out on the water or relaxing island-style on the shore, you’ll have plenty of options for how to enjoy your afternoon in Soufriere.

Make sure to visit the Bubble Beach Spa. Located on the northern edge of the bay in front of the old church, this beachfront area has a naturally occurring hot spring to bathe in by the water’s edge.

You’ll see streams of bubbles springing through the water from below the sand, showing that the volcanic power of the island is very much alive. Dig your feet in the sand and you’ll see just how hot this water could get.

If you’re looking for more time on the water, take out snorkeling gear and explore the bay from the beach. The Soufriere Pinnacles is a snorkel-accessible spot also popular with divers and is known for having some of the best snorkeling in the entire Caribbean. Alternatively, rent a kayak from Soufriere Outdoor Centre and explore the bay.

Head North

While visitors could spend a week just on the south end of the island of Dominica and still have more to see, if you only have 4 days in Dominica you’ll want to move to another resort on the north side of the island for easier access to all this rugged section of the island has to offer.

Grab your bags and head to InterContinental Dominica Cabrits Resort & Spa to enjoy your next few nights in Dominica. The InterContinental is the largest resort in Dominica and feels much more like a classic Caribbean resort than the rest of the accommodations you’ll find on the island, with expansive swimming pools, a kids club, and an impressive spa all just steps from the ocean.

If you’d prefer to stay somewhere with a bit more of a local feel, consider heading to the beach town of Calibishie, where you’ll find plenty of friendly guesthouses and smaller hotels near the sand and in the hills. Jacoway Inn is a simple but lovely option, one of the best in Calibishie.

Read More: 10 Best Hotels in Dominica

turtle beach
Courtesy of Discover Dominica

Day Four: Dominica’s Northern Gems

Hit the Beaches

The northern coast of Dominica is home to some of the best beaches in Dominica. While Dominica isn’t a beach destination in the way that Caribbean islands like Antigua and the Dominican Republic are, it has its fair share of beaches with golden or even enchanting black sand. Beaches tend to be hidden or little-visited coves, which adds to their appeal.

One of the must-visit beaches on Dominica is Batibou Beach, by far the island’s nicest beach. A long stretch of pristine sand in a protected bay makes this one of the most popular beaches on the island, and a local restaurant on the beachfront also draws visitors. Baitbou Beach is one of the most unique beaches to be considered among the best beaches in the Caribbean.

Other favorite beaches in the area include Pointe Baptiste, with its stunning red rocks, the beachfront in the village of Calibishie, and the black sand Number One Beach. Also known as Hampstead Beach, this beach was featured in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.

Read More: 10 Best Beaches in Dominica

Stop at the Farmacy

On your way to your next stop at the Emerald Pool, make sure to stop off at The Farmacy. This roadside fruit stand and bush bar sells the island’s freshest fruits as well as Dominica’s classic “bush rum.” Choose from a number of flavors, including vanilla and peanut, to mix with juice or drink straight.

The owner of the Farmacy also roasts his own coffee and has a small organic garden behind the store where he grows everything from limes and coconuts to medicinal herbs.

emerald pool dominica

Swim at the Emerald Pool

Head a few miles south from the beaches on Dominica’s northern coasts to visit the island’s Emerald Pool. If you’ve ever dreamed of swimming under a waterfall in the jungle, this is the place you’ve been dreaming of.

Hidden away among the island’s lush rainforest, this plunging waterfall and tranquil pool is perfect for a cooling swim after a hot afternoon under the Caribbean sun. This is a favorite destination in Dominica, however, it never seems to be crowded. We enjoyed the Emerald Pool all to ourselves for the majority of our visit.

Emerald Pool is quite easily accessible, another reason for its popularity. Though you’ll need to walk downhill for about 15 minutes from the parking area and welcome center, the path is well-defined with gravel, steps, and handrails. You’ll find a large viewing platform at the base of the waterfall, so while most visitors choose to swim, you can enjoy the scenery from here if you’d prefer.

Visiting Emerald Pool was one of my favorite things to do in Dominica. The lush rainforest surrounding this tranquil swimming hole makes this special destination feel like the ultimate forest oasis.

Dinner at Keepin’ It Real

Head to Toucari Beach in Portsmouth for dinner at Keepin’ It Real, yet another of the incredible local restaurants that we experienced on our trip to Dominica. We arrived too late to see the sunset, though with the oceanfront view, I imagine this must be one of the most impressive spots on the island for a happy hour drink.

Order local favorites like octopus or grilled fish and shrimp. These delicious plates come with all the fixings, including rice, lentils, salad, and local “provisions” of fried plantains, yams, and breadfruit. Keepin’ It Real also has delicious lime and passion fruit rum punch, but be warned – they’re strong!

carley rojas avila

Carley Rojas Avila is a bilingual New York-based travel writer, editor, content marketer, and the founder of the digital travel publications Explorers Away and Home to Havana. Carley is an expert on all things Latin America, the Caribbean, and Cuba, having lived and worked in four different countries in the region. Her writing has appeared on the Associated Press wires and in Travel + Leisure, Yahoo, MSN, Euronews, The Weather Channel, and more. When she's not writing about her travels, find her front row at a Bad Bunny concert, befriending street cats, and taste-testing every pizza in Havana.