Totally Tropical Trekking in Dominica

Head beyond the beaches to discover the real Caribbean




From $2,740 Land only

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Holiday Overview


  • Caribbean paradise island walking holiday in the West Indies
  • Trek through dramatic gorges to Dominica`s Boiling Lake
  • Experience laid back Caribbean culture including a cookery lesson
  • Snorkelling with a difference at Champange Reef

Known as the ‘Nature Island of the Caribbean', the wild and untamed island of Dominica (not to be confused with the Dominican Republic) is the perfect holiday destination for keen walkers and naturalists; those looking for a Caribbean walking holiday with a difference. Nestled between the French islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique, Dominica was previously a French, then British, colony. Now an independent nation, English is still the official language and strong Creole influence also remains. Largely unspoilt by tourism, it is said that Dominica is the only Caribbean island Columbus would recognise if he were to return today. On this trekking holiday we head beyond the beautiful beaches to explore, on foot, Dominica's rugged Caribbean and Atlantic coastlines, where the lush green forests teem with rare bird and animal life, the tree branches bow under the weight of countless exotic fruit and the air is heavy with the scent of wild herbs. Straying inland, we trek deep into the island's dramatic geological heart; including an exciting journey over the towering green ridges of the Morne Trois Piton National Park and through the evocatively named Valley of Desolation to Dominica's incredible Boiling Lake, the second largest hot spring in the world! As well as some fantastic walking, this holiday also includes multiple activities off the trail including a Caribbean cookery lesson, a visit to a traditional indigenous Kalinago Indian village, snorkelling at Champagne Reef, a chance to relax in soothing natural hot springs and a tranquil boat journey down the atmospheric Indian River in search of Sisserou parrots. This is a holiday bursting with flavour and laid back Caribbean charm.

Is this holiday for you?

On this holiday we have 6 days of walking, the highlight being the 7-8hr trek through the Valley of Desolation to the amazing Boiling Lake. You will need to ensure you are physically prepared for the trekking days, you should be comfortable with walking for 4-5 hours each day, in humid conditions, with the occasional longer day of up to 8hrs. You will experience high temperatures and humidity, but there is plenty of time for rest stops and water breaks factored in to our walking times. Along some of the coastal paths we will be walking through open grassland and owing to the effect of the overhead sun, wide brimmed hats are essential. We will also be walking on exciting trails through virgin rainforest with wooden steps, log bridges, stepping stones and tree roots; there will be some small elements of scrambling and it is likely that parts of the trail will be muddy underfoot. Trekking poles are recommended. The trek is fully supported with all luggage transferred between our accommodations and you will only be required to walk with a day pack each day. The snorkelling will take place just a small distance from the beach and all snorkelling equipment will be provided. Accommodation is in characterful small hotels and simple friendly guesthouses and beach side lodges.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group hotel near Roseau. A single timed transfer from Melville Hall airport is provided.
  • Southern coast walk from Soufriere to Scotts Head. Snorkelling at Champagne Reef. Return to Roseau.
  • Walk from Bellevue Chopin to the Sulphur Springs at Wotten Waven. Return to Roseau.
  • Cookery lesson, Trafalgar Waterfalls and Fresh Water Lake. Return to Roseau.
  • Boiling Lake Trek and Titou Gorge. Transfer to Castle Bruce.
  • Walk from Castle Bruce to Hatten Garden. Visit Kalinago Barana Anute. Transfer to Portsmouth.
  • Exploring the northern estates. Walk from Colihaut Heights to Ros Castle. Return to Portsmouth.
  • Guided tour of Indian River. Visit Fort Shirley. Afternoon on beach. Return to Portsmouth.
  • Walk along the north coast from Penville to Capuchin. Boat journey back to Portsmouth.
  • Departure Day. A single timed transfer to Melville Hall Airport is provided.
Sat 19 Dec - Mon 28 Dec Code DOM /04/15/ Adult$2,740 Status Available Book now
Sat 30 Jan - Mon 08 Feb Code DOM /01/16/ Adult$2,740 Status Sold Out Call Us
Fri 01 Apr - Sun 10 Apr Code DOM /02/16/ Adult$2,740 Status 2 more to guarantee Book now
The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary joining in Melville Hall, Dominica. For clients making their own flight arrangements, Melville Hall Airport is the most convenient for transfers to the group hotel. Please refer to 'Joining Arrangements and Transfers' in the trip dossier for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee*

* Against Land Only services.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • airport
  • point
  • trip direction
  • transfer
  • trek

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group hotel near Roseau. A single timed transfer from Melville Hall airport is provided.

    Meet at the group hotel near Roseau. KE Land Only package services begin with a single timed airport transfer from Melville Hall Airport to the group hotel, the drive takes around 1hr. On arrival we meet with our guide and enjoy a welcome dinner at the hotel, which sits on the sea front; this will be our first taste of the healthy and delicious Caribbean cuisine.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals d

  • Southern coast walk from Soufriere to Scotts Head. Snorkelling at Champagne Reef. Return to Roseau.

    After breakfast at the hotel we take a short 30 min drive to Soufriere, the start of our walk. As we are adjusting to the temperatures and high humidity, we will have plenty of time to stop, look around and enjoy the views. Our route takes us along the road and through villages before joining an old estate track leading us to the fascinating ruins of the Bois Cotlette Estate. This is one of the most fertile areas of the island, once famous for large scale sugarcane, cocoa and citrus production; it was from these estates that the fruit for Rose’s famous lime cordial originated. From Bois Cotlette we head down a track lined with exotic fruit trees to the southern community of Scott Head, on the south west tip of the island. Here we can stand on the narrow isthmus that separates the Caribbean from the wild Atlantic Ocean. We have some time to explore characterful Scotts Head before stopping for lunch in a local restaurant, surrounded by colourful gardens filled with fruit trees and butterflies. In the afternoon we head to Champagne Reef where we will have the opportunity to do some guided snorkelling. Snorkelling equipment will be provided. The reef is just meters from the beach, and is teeming with marine life. Bubbling gases from underwater volcanic vents give the reef its name and make this a unique underwater experience! We return to our hotel in Roseau.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 250m

    • Distance 8km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 300m

    • Time 3 - 4 hrs walking

  • Walk from Bellevue Chopin to the Sulphur Springs at Wotten Waven. Return to Roseau.

    Today we have our first views of the lush tree clad mountains of the Morne Trois Pitons National Park. This tropical forest is on the UNESCO world heritage list, as it has the richest biodiversity in the Lesser Antilles. With its deep valleys, hot springs, fresh water lakes and precipitous slopes it is not hard to see why. Today’s route is along a collection of old trails, which once connected the many rural villages. Our path takes us through four villages, perched high on the hills above Roseau. We start with a 20 min transfer to the colourful village of Bellevue Chopin. The gardens of the houses are filled with vibrant flowers, a haven for colourful hummingbirds. The trail winds through pristine tropical rainforest and through the community of Giraudel, where we see day to day village life. Mid morning we enter a heavily forested area and we take our time on the steep descent to the river before climbing out of the valley to Morne Prosper. We will take it slowly as parts of the ascent are steep and the forest trail is covered with tree routes in parts. From here the trail opens up again and we walk again through villages and past local farms to Wotten Waven, where we can take a dip in the natural hot springs. After our first full day of walking, this is the perfect way to unwind. We head back to Roseau in time for dinner.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 650m

    • Distance 13km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 800m

    • Time 6 hrs walking

  • Cookery lesson, Trafalgar Waterfalls and Fresh Water Lake. Return to Roseau.

    After breakfast we head into Roseau, where we have some time to look around this small, but colourful, city. We will also visit the local market where we can sample some of the delicious produce. Dominica has the highest percentage of centenarians per capita in the world and it’s not hard to see why with all the healthy, fresh and organic produce available. In the late morning we head to the kitchen for our Caribbean cookery lesson, where we will learn to prepare some of the local cuisine, delicious! Lunch will be a traditional Caribbean buffet, some of which we will have helped prepare. After lunch we head to Fresh Water Lake, stopping off en route to see the imposing twin waterfalls at Trafalgar. Fresh Water Lake is Dominica’s largest. Shrouded by myths and legends it is believed to be the home of a one eyed monster! The walk around the lake takes around an hour and there are some superb views along the way. We return to our hotel near Roseau in time for dinner.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

    • Time 1 hr walking

  • Boiling Lake Trek and Titou Gorge. Transfer to Castle Bruce.

    This is our longest walking day as we make the 7-8hr return walk from Titou Gorge, through the steaming Valley of Desolation to Boiling Lake. It is a 30 min drive to the start of the trail, armed with a packed lunch and plenty of water we begin our trek through lush forest on a series of wooden steps, over sharp green ridges. En route we will encounter volcanic rivers, streams and boiling mud in the aptly named Valley of Desolation. The trail is steep in parts and there is a small element of scrambling involved. We cross a series of small streams, which vary in colour from clear water to milky blue, black, white, yellow and orange. The steam and sulphur fumes give the air a potent aroma. We will reach Boiling Lake around midday; this is the second largest hot spring in the world (after Rotorua, New Zealand), though it is not technically a lake at all but rather a flooded fumerole. The natural basin of the lake collects rainfall from the surrounding hills and from the small streams, which empty into fumerole. The water seeps through the porous bottom to the hot lava below where it is trapped and heated to boiling point. After some time to enjoy the spectacle we will retrace our steps back to Titou Gorge, where we can cool off with a swim before heading to our overnight accommodation in the east coast village of Castle Bruce.

    • Accommodation Guesthouse

    • Ascent 875m

    • Distance 11km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 875m

    • Time 8 hrs walking

  • Walk from Castle Bruce to Hatten Garden. Visit Kalinago Barana Anute. Transfer to Portsmouth.

    Walking along the most easterly segment of the trail we meet Dominica's indigenous people, the Kalinago, giving us insight into their culture and lifestyles, whilst providing excellent walking on the rugged Atlantic coastline. The Kalinago name for Dominica is Waitikabuli, which means “tall is her body”. Today’s walk in on undulating terrain, climbing and dipping gently as we past through hamlets and villages, and along the Atlantic cliffs. We will see many lizards and iguana today out basking in the Caribbean sunshine, there is little forest on this section and the sun can be strong, so our sun hats are essential. Many of the villages have small craft shops with friendly Kalinago people eager to say hello to us. We end the day at Kaliago Barana Anute, a traditional village by the sea. Here we can learn about Kalinago history and culture. Afterwards we drive 1.5hrs to the north of the island and our beach side accommodation in Picard Portsmouth, our base for the next 4 nights.

    • Accommodation Bungalow

    • Ascent 350m

    • Distance 7km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 400m

    • Time 4 - 5 hrs walking

  • Exploring the northern estates. Walk from Colihaut Heights to Ros Castle. Return to Portsmouth.

    Today we will walk from Colihaut Heights to Ros Castle. After breakfast at our accommodation there will be a short transfer of 35mins on jeep track up hill to the start of the trail. We follow an old estate road that leads us through forest and fertile farmland. In the early years of the 19th century, French coffee planters owned this area. There are some fantastic views down to the valley and the coastline. Fresh exotic fruit grows all around us and we can enjoy some of the wild raspberries, which litter the edge of the path. Our route takes us past Morne Diablotin, Dominica’s highest mountain. From here we have a slow and winding decent through an agricultural belt once known for citrus and coffee, the track is still surrounded by citrus orchards, alongside banana and plantain. We leave the estate track and continue on a narrow footpath that winds down through thick forest; we may see Jaco and Sisserou parrots hiding in the trees. In places the path is steep and tree roots cross the trail. We continue down to Ros Castle where today’s walk will end. From here we drive to Brandy Manor, where we can enjoy some Caribbean afternoon tea and explore the gardens before returning to our accommodation in Portsmouth, where we will have dinner.

    • Accommodation Bungalow

    • Ascent 345m

    • Distance 12km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 763m

    • Time 3 - 4 hrs walking

  • Guided tour of Indian River. Visit Fort Shirley. Afternoon on beach. Return to Portsmouth.

    After breakfast we have a short transfer to the pier of the Indian River, boarding our rowing boats we will have a guided tour whilst exploring the mangroves looking for wildlife. This is a real treat for bird watchers and nature lovers. As we glide through the mangroves and wetlands of this brackish river our guide will explain the history of the area and tell us all about the incredible flora and fauna lining the waterway. This atmospheric back drop was the fitting location for various scenes in Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean film series. Back on dry land, we make the short drive to Fort Shirley. Located upon the twin hills of the Cabrits, which tower over Portsmouth, this large 18th century British garrison once housed 600 soldiers. From up on the hill there is an excellent panoramic view of Prince Rupert Bay and back to Portsmouth. This is the perfect location for a picnic lunch. From here a gentle walk takes us down to the beach where we can spend the rest of the afternoon swimming and relaxing. We return to our accommodation in time to freshen up for dinner.

    • Accommodation Bungalow

    • Meals bld

  • Walk along the north coast from Penville to Capuchin. Boat journey back to Portsmouth.

    Our last day on the trail. We start with a short transfer to the start of today’s walk. We stop en route at Cold Soufriere, the world’s only cold sulphur spring. Our walk begins on volcanic terrain and through the dry forest. The trees roots here are dotting with holes, home to Dominica’s army of land crabs, usually only seen after dark. Grapefruit, mango, and soursop hang in the trees aside the path, we may have a chance to sample some of these delicious fruits along the way. As we walk we have spectacular views of the neighbouring French islands of Guadeloupe, Marie Galante and Les Saintes. Our path is undulating, but straight forward and there is plenty of time enjoy the views. We end at the village of Capuchin, the most northerly village in Dominica. Here we will be treated to a Caribbean home cooked buffet in the home of one of the villagers. After a leisurely lunch we board boats for the exciting journey around the coast and back to Portsmouth. The seas around Dominica are a haven for dolphin, turtles, flying fish and whale and we should be on the look out. If the seas are rough it may be necessary to continue on foot. Back on dry land we head back to our beach accommodation where we will enjoy a delicious meal, whilst watching the sun sink into the Caribbean Sea. The perfect way to celebrate our last night on the island.

    • Accommodation Bungalow

    • Distance 10km

    • Meals bld

    • Time 3 - 4 hrs walking

  • Departure Day. A single timed transfer to Melville Hall Airport is provided.

    We end our holiday on this idyllic Caribbean island with a single timed transfer to the airport where KE Land Only package services end.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • English-speaking local guide
  • Group airport transfers
  • All accommodation as described in the trip dossier
  • Meals as detailed in the Meal Plan
  • All land transport required by the itinerary
  • National park entrance fees
  • All excursions mentioned in the itinerary.

  • Travel insurance
  • Visas
  • Airport taxes
  • Airport transfers other than group transfers
  • Some meals as detailed in the meal plan
  • Extra activities and excursions
  • Tips for local staff
  • Miscellaneous personal expenditure

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

A single group transfer from Melville Hall, Dominica Airport to the group's hotel near Roseau (approx 1 hr) is provided on the evening of day 1 of the itinerary. This transfer is timed to meet passengers arriving on the Virgin Atlantic/ LIAT flight from London Gatwick via Antigua. At the end of the holiday there will be a single group transfer back to the airport timed to meet the check in for the mid afternoon flight from Melville Hall to Antigua and on to London. Anyone may use these transfers. If your flight schedules mean that you are unable to take advantage of these group transfers, independent transfers can be arranged at an additional cost. Contact the KE office for more information. Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be sent with your booking confirmation.

During this holiday, the group will spend 4 nights at the Evergreen Hotel near Roseau, right on the shores of the Caribbean Sea, rooms have A/C, there is a small restaurant with fantastic sea views and a pool. We will also spend 1 night in a family run guesthouse in Castle Bruce and 4 nights in lodge accommodation right on the beach at Picard, Portsmouth. As tourism is still in its infancy in Dominica you will find that the accommodation is simple, but full of charm and we will enjoy some delicious and authentic Caribbean home cooking, with ingredients often picked directly from the gardens. All accommodation is on a twin share basis. If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired with another single traveller of the same sex. Depending on availability, it is possible to request single rooms for an additional charge. For hotel prices and single supplement costs please refer to the holiday dates and prices page on our website. Hotels are subject to availability and prices may vary.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

Dominica’s cuisine is similar to many Caribbean islands. Popular local meals include rice and peas, stews of chicken or beef, freshly caught fish and many different types of hearty broths and soups, which are cooked with locally grown onions, carrots, garlic, ginger, and herbs like thyme to create a rich sauce: all served with plantain or yam. The flavours are delicious and the ingredients could not be fresher. Typical snacks are saltfish (dried and salted cod), ‘bakes’. The bakes are deep fried dough balls (a little like doughnuts) and fried plantain crisps. These can be found for sale by street vendors along with more healthy smoothies. Breakfasts can include cornmeal porridge or eggs and bacon with fried plantains, washed down with a fresh glass of coconut water. Fruit lovers are in for a treat with an abundance of fresh exotic fruit and juices readily available. Pineapple, mangoes, bananas, guava, passion fruit and the unusual soursop, the list is endless. You should drink bottled water only whilst in Dominica, which can be purchased en route.

All meals are included from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 10.

Approximately $200 should be allowed for miscellaneous expenses, which will include tips. If you expect to buy considerable quantities of soft drinks or beer, you should make an allowance for this. It is not necessary to purchase local currency (East Caribbean Dollar) prior to travel and sterling, euros and US dollars are readily exchanged on the island. We suggest you carry your travel money in the form of cash as it can be difficult to change travellers Cheques. ATMs are located around the island. If you are intending to buy expensive souvenirs, you should budget accordingly. Credit cards can be used to purchase goods in the larger towns and shops, and it is a good idea to carry one in case of emergency.

The group will be accompanied throughout by a professional English-speaking local tour leader.

Tipping is the accepted way of saying ‘thank you’ to you local guide and driver. Tipping is entirely voluntary and should be dependent on good service. We advise you to tip as a group.

Your baggage will be carried in the vehicle throughout this trip. There is no weight restriction other than that imposed by your international carrier. However, we do ask you to restrict your luggage to one main bag and a small day bag. We recognise that for some of our holidays and for some of our travellers, the KE Trek Bag (see below) may not provide the best solution when packing for your trip. A bag with fitted wheels or a holdall with more than one compartment and more than one access zip can, in some circumstances, be more appropriate. We have no problem if you choose to use an alternative bag.

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

No visa is required for travel to Dominica by the holders of the following passports: United Kingdom, EU, United States of America, Canada or Australia. Please note that your passport must be valid for at least six months after your date of entry to Dominica and that this entitles you to stay in the country for up to three months. Holders of passports not on the above list should contact their local Dominica Embassy or High Commission for visa information service to see if a visa is required.

We do keep our information up to date but be advised visa requirements are subject to change. It is recommended that you contact the relevant commission in the case of recent alterations.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum.

You must bring the following items:

  • Hiking boots
  • Sandals
  • Socks
  • Trekking trousers (trek pants)
  • Lightweight waterproof overtrousers (rain pants)
  • Underwear
  • Baselayer shirts
  • Shirts or T-shirts
  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper
  • Lightweight waterproof jacket
  • Sunhat
  • Eyewear - Sunglasses
  • Daypack c. 35-45 litres
  • Headtorch (Headlamp) with spare bulb and batteries
  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)
  • Water bottles 1 Litre (2 pint) x2
  • Washbag and toiletries
  • Antibacterial handwash
  • Small towel
  • Small padlock (to lock your KE trek bag)
  • Basic First Aid Kit, including: Antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), painkillers, plasters and blister treatment, Insect repellent (DEET), and re-hydration salts (Dioralite). Glucose tablets and multi-vitamin tablets are also a good idea.

The following items are optional:

  • Trekking poles
  • Trainers / sneakers for travelling in
  • Mosquito net (in most establishments they are provided or the windows have netting, however it is prudent to bring one as well)
  • Spare laces
  • Shorts
  • Travel clothes
  • Swimwear
  • Umbrella
  • Gaiters
  • Pocket-knife (note: always pack sharp objects in hold baggage)
  • Repair kit – (eg. needle, thread, duct tape)
  • Camera, film / memory cards, batteries etc

A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport.

We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

It makes a lot of sense to spend some time getting some additional exercise before coming on a walking holiday. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience. Hill walking, running and swimming are good for developing cardio-vascular fitness as well as improving stamina.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

Dominica has a hot, humid subtropical climate with temperatures averaging 20-30 Celsius all year. Temperatures in the mountains are noticeably cooler and the central range of mountains, which the trail passes, are often under cloud cover. The spring months (Feb-Apr) are the driest, and the heaviest rains and humidity falls from June to October.

English is the official language of Dominica and is universally spoken and understood.

The Wide Sargasso Sea, Jean Rhys

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