From lifestyle, beauty trends, and over-the-top luxury getaways, Petrona reveals…
Dominica often mistaken for the Dominican Republic is the Caribbean’s best-kept secret. Named Dominica because Christopher Columbus discovered it on a Sunday, Dominica is the first choice destination by celebrities around the world who want to experience the magic of the ocean, mountains, and jungle. With hidden resorts only known by their address, Dominica is the perfect balance between luxury and nature.
HOW TO GET TO DOMINICA
Getting to Dominica from Montreal can be a bit tricky. It took me a few days and quite a bit of research before I chose my flight route. My research concluded that the shortest route would be from Toronto Pearson International Airport to Miami International Airport where daily flights are available directly to the island.
My flight from Miami to Dominica was met with some trepidation as the pilot announced that we had to circle the island a few times for landing because the runway was so small. Made sense as the population is speculated between 58,000 to 70,000 inhabitants.
Returning to Montreal from Dominica was also very easy, I took a flight to Puerto Rico, then from Puerto Rico directly to Montreal International Airport: YUL. My layover was minimal and I took the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful weather in PR.
WEATHER IN DOMINICA
I did lots of research on Dominica before arriving on the island. Coming from Montreal, I knew that the island would be hotter but I was not sure how much more. Having lived through hurricane Maria from afar as my family members survived five years ago – my trip was scheduled during the heart of the hurricane season but there were no predictions of a major hurricane.
Once on the island, I was surprised at how cool the weather was even though it was hotter than what we were used to in Montreal. The rain and the untouched nature somehow shielded the intensity of the sun and as I was in the mountains most of the time, I was privy to the ocean breeze that swooped through, making it easy to be in the jungle climate.
GETTING AROUND IN DOMINICA
Getting around can be very tricky compared to most islands because there is no readily accessible transportation system. Compared to other islands, there is no private taxi system either so for tourists, the best mode of travel is to contact a local taxi service.
Another solution to getting around the island is to rent a vehicle, and the island is filled with motor rental companies available to assist tourists. Prices range from $400 a week to $500 and acquiring an international driver’s license is fairly easy and costs 10 EXD.
WHERE TO STAY IN DOMINICA
Secret Bay: At the intersection of luxury and sustainability, Secret Bay is a secluded six-star resort experience voted as the #1 resort in the Caribbean by Travel + Leisure. The property also gives way to two private beaches accessible only to the resort guests and sits on the coastline of lush rainforest and the Caribbean sea.
Fort Young Hotel: you will find the Fort Young Hotel in the city center as the center of Roseau. Roseau is the capital of Dominica and a vibrant city where everything you may need is a walking distance. It is about a two drive from the airport, so set aside 200 EXD to get there. As Dominica’s first all-inclusive, Fort Young also has a dive program, conference rooms, and on-location fine dining. You can also get to one of my favorite places in Dominica within 10 minutes from this resort, and that’s the vibrant local market filled with coconut water vendors and a beautiful array of local fruits and vegetables.
Seacliff Dominica: owned by a beautiful couple who left New York to live in Dominica permanently during the pandemic, Simon, and Amber were the perfect hosts. Their eco and sustainable villas are nestled on a cliff over a private beach in Calibishie. Calibishie is a 30-minute drive from the airport and has a beautiful picturesque landscape that warms the soul. As a self-contained villa, you will need to bring your own food and beverages as there is a fridge, stove, and dishes available to guests.
As we approach the winter months, and snowbirds are contemplating where to vacation, consider Dominica, the Caribbean’s best-kept secret.
From lifestyle, beauty trends, and over-the-top luxury getaways, Petrona reveals hidden gems from across the globe and writes about her extraordinary experiences.