Dominica Travel Facts
Will I need a passport? -- Yes.
How long will it take to get to the island? -- From some locations in the US you can get to Dominica in a day. But, from locations expect to overnight in San Juan, Barbados or other island depending on the airline you are using... both going to and departing from Dominica. Note that large jets cannot fly into Dominica's airport. The final leg of your journey will be by a turbo-prop plane that carries 50 plus passengers.
Where is Dominica located? Dominica is about 1,400 miles southeast of Miami, 400 miles southeast of San Juan and 1,500 miles east of Central America. The Caribbean Sea expands to the west, the Atlantic Ocean to the east. The island sits between the French islands of Guadeloupe, 30 miles to the north, and Martinique, 27 miles to the south.
What language is spoken on the island? English is the first language, spoken with an accent unique to Dominica and often at a fast clip. You will catch on while listening closely. "Patois," an English-based creole language, is also spoken by many. You will also experience instances of French, Spanish, Chinese and several European languages depending on the moment. But, in most all case you will be able to communicate by English.
What about currency?
What time zone is it? Dominica is Atlantic Standard Time; this is one hour ahead of U.S. Eastern Standard Time. *Dominica does NOT observe Daylight Savings Time.
Is the water safe to drink? The water is safe to drink throughout the entire island. Dominica has an abundance of fresh, crystal clear, clean water. Bottled water is easily obtained.
What about electricity? The electricity system is 220-240 volts, 50 cycles. Power outlets are 3-prong UK style. Some hotels, rentals and homes have 110v; consider bringing a small travel transformer. Transformers are readily available at many locations. ...just DON"T plug your US device in a Dominican 220 outlet!
What is the weather like? The average high temperature is 85°F in January / 90°F in July; average low temperature is 68°F in January / 72°F in July. Dry season generally occurs January - May, rainy season from June - October. The south and the west coasts receive about 85 inches of rain annually, while the mountainous interior rain forest gets more than 340 inches per year. Light to moderate showers occur everywhere year round. Hurricane season is predominantly between August and mid-October.
What clothing is appropriate? Lightweight shorts and casual shirts. Jeans or slacks are frequently worn for all occasions. Light sweater or long sleeved shirts for cool nights in the mountains could be preferred by some. Pocket or tote sized umbrellas are always a welcome accessory for both sun and rain. Don't swim or sunbathe topless on Dominica. It's not considered good taste, nor should you wear swimsuits on the street or in public areas off the beach. When hiking, walking shoes and raincoats or anoraks are recommended, though tennis shoes, sandals or flip-flops suffice for most occasions.
Are the mosquitoes bad? -- The intensity of mosquitoes will vary from none to many depending on your location and then most only in the early mornings and nights. Yes, bring mosquito repellent -- just in case.
Can I use my cell phone? -- Maybe, depending on how new it is and what country you are from. IF your cell phone can take a sim card, then you can purchase a local card ( you will get a local # with this) that will let you use your phone locally and make international calls. Cost for calls is on a pay-as-you-go, top-up system.
Is internet available? Internet is available on the island and probably most places you stay. Free internet connections are also available at many businesses. If your phone or tablet or computer has internet capabilities, then you will have access to the internet.
How is driving on the island? Dominican’s drive on the left! - If you are not used to driving on the left, it is best to leave it up to a local hire. Driving on Dominica is complicated. The mountainous roads are narrow, with excessively sharp and blind curves. There are no shoulders; road edges consist of drop-offs, cliff faces, deep French ditches and many hidden obstructions. There are mostly no signs and the speed limit is irregular.