Diving in Dominica
Dominica is an eco-friendly destination, known for its lush forests, stunning waterfalls and soothing hot springs; but it is what lies below the calm waters that attracts divers from all around the world to this Nature Island. The diving in Dominica is some of the best in the Caribbean. Lots of small critters, spectacular walls, turtles, and mounds upon mounds of colorful corals, sponges, and crinoids. And don’t be surprised if you are greeted by playful dolphins or whales during your surface intervals. The waters around Dominica are just teeming with life. The water temperature is normally 78-84F degrees all year, slightly warmer in the summer and cooler in the winter. A 2 mm shorty to 3 mm full suit is recommended. See Dominica's current weather here.
Passport and/or Visa Requirements
A valid passport is require with at least 1 blank page for entry stamp. No visa is required for stays of less than 6 months with proof of onward or return ticket. See the entry/exit requirements here.
Vaccinations are not required for entering the Caribbean if you’re coming from the U.S. Before traveling check the CDC here.
Culture and Customs
Mas Domnik is Dominica's Carnival: a pre-lentern celebration which runs from December until Ash-Wednesday. Another major event is the annual World Creole Music Festival in October, featuring the highest level of Caribbean and world entertainment. During summer months (May – November) you may enjoy Dominica's traditional feasts in various villages throughout the Island.
Electricity, Phone and Internet Access
The island operates on 220/240 volts - 50 cycles, so both adapters and transformers are necessary for U.S. made appliances. However, many hotels have dual 220/110 voltage, with 110V US style outlets in the room, along with 110 outlets available in the dive shops for camera equipment. Approximately 70% of Dominica’s electric power supply is hydro generated. Diesel generators provide the remainder.
The island area code for Dominica is 767. There are 3 mobile service providers on the island, check with your local provider to see what plans are available or roaming charges will apply. Many hotels offer WiFi.
Tap water is safe to drink, if you prefer bottled water, it is available for purchase.
Language & Currency
English is the official language though much of the local population speaks Creole (French based Patois). The Eastern Caribbean dollar (EC$ or XCD) is the currency used locally. Check the current exchange rate here. United States Dollars, British Pounds and the Euro are accepted. ATMs are available and dispense EC Dollars. Most vendors will accept foreign currency and give your change in local currency. Credit cards are widely accepted.
Dominica is on Atlantic Standard Time and does not observe Daylight Savings Time. Dominica is 4 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (-4 GMT).
History, Art, and Culture
Dominica was originally named 'Wai'tukubuli' or 'Tall is Her Body’ by the original inhabitants, the Arawak and Carib Indians. However, the name that stuck was given by Christopher Columbus, who named the island for the day of the week he spotted it - Sunday, 3 November 1493.
With its rich, fertile land and strategically located harbour, Dominica has been the subject of envy by European powers throughout the island’s history. In 1627 the English took theoretical possession from the natives without settling, but by 1635 France laid claim to the island and maintained power until 1759 when the English captured it. Dominica changed hands between the two countries multiple times, passing back to France (1778) and again to England (1783). The French attempted to invade in 1795 and 1805 before eventually withdrawing, leaving Britain in possession. Dominca achieved full Independence on November 3, 1978.
Dominica’s rich culture comes from its mix of English, French, African, and Carib peoples. This is evident in their food, music, dance, language, and hospitality. Read more about the history of Dominica here.
Location, Size and Population
Dominica is a sovereign island country that is part of the Windward Islands in the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean. It is located SSE of Guadeloupe Islands and Northwest of Martinique. Dominica is 289 square miles, roughly 29 miles long and 16 miles wide at it's widest point.
Dominica's population is 73,016 (2016).