We were in Dominica in February 2003. It's a very beautiful island and the people were nice. We took a snorekling tour to Champagne Reef, which we really enjoyed. Afterward, we just walked through town a bought a few things. Based on a previous post by someone, we bought some locally made soap that sells in gift shops for about $3/bar. It stinks, as far as I'm concerned, and is crudely made. However, it is about the best soap we've ever used. We'll buy some more the next time we're there. I don't know if you can find it in a local grocery store, or something similar, for less. All-in-all, we enjoyed the stop and would not hesitate to go there again.
It's an extremely beautiful, rugged island (big parts of it are still unexplored, if you can believe it), with a wealth of wildlife and plants and very friendly people. This is an excellent place for an active shore excursion like a hike, tubing or snorkeling. The beaches of Dominica are not good compared to those of neighboring islands, so if you don't snorkel or dive, you may want to go elsewhere than the beach.
You should be prepared for the poverty of the inhabitants. Almost everyone has enough to eat, but living conditions are not what you'll find on the larger, more developed islands. I say this not to discourage you in any way--Dominica is fantastic and I can't wait to go back--but because some of the people on my ship were really taken aback and showed it. One lady, if you can believe it, looked at a row of tin-roofed shacks and asked our guide, "Don't you have any jewelry stores?" I still cringe when I remember that.
tx for info on the soap we are going on jubilee 1/31, ill check out the soap, never paid any attention before, maybe its only in the upper levels my plans for Dominica is Champagne Reef and Douglas Bay, maybe Scotts head if time allows. i was at champagne bubbles few years ago, little rough walking to get down the little hill, and there was only rocks, no sand at that time, still worth the battle. someone said they thought the bubbles were hot, i found them relaxing. personal opinion i hope, or is the volcano getting hotter)) lolo
There are two types soap you can buy around the shops at the dock area.
One is coconut oil based, produced locally under license from Proctor and Gamble called " Refresh ". It is great stuff. The other that 10X was probably referring to is a glycerin soap, greenish in color and looks kinda rough but is actually great stuff .
We have been there twice. The first time someone had told us about the soap and we brought some home. The second time we loaded up on it and actually have a few bars left that we are saving.
Regarding the island itself, Dominica is beautiful, lush, green and not developed like St. Thomas and a lot of the other islands. Dominica has the largest remaining population of Caribe Indians in the Caribbean. You can take a tour back into the mountains through their reservation. They make beautiful baskets of all sizes and shapes, woodwork, etc.
Dominica is definitely a great place to go if you have the opportunity.
We took a ship's excursion to Champagne Reef and got there by boat. We saw people on shore struggeling over the rocks and we were glad we were doing ti by boat. Much nicer and a lot easier to get to the reef.
thanks 10x, ill give that some thought, how long, how much and where else did u go on the excursion? i was several years younger the first time down and over the rocks. i sure wouldnt want to fall, tho i can say the rocks were not sharp lol i only had a few bruises
I also got a few bars of soap from Dominica, I bought an oatmeal for my face and a lavender for my body. You feel so refreshed and invigorated when you take a bath with this soap after a long and hard working day. The name of the soap is CoaIpot and I found out from the locals that it is locally, naturally and manually made so I really thought that it was a bit too cheap.
I did not go to Champagne but I took a bath in the sulphur pool, it was so warm and relaxing and the sulphur is good for the skin especially for people with eczema. I was amazed at the carib people and their craft work and I enjoyed looking at the men making their traditional canoes. I bought a few of the baskets to use as laundry baskets.
The country is certainly not as developed as the other islands but I think that those houses that were not inferior were beautifully designed and well built.My driver for the tour: Nelson did a great job at teaching me some of the islands rich history and humoring me and the rest of the group on board. I would really reccomend him to anyone who wants to visit the island and wants to be in capable hands. He gave us his card with his email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The trip to Dominica was great except that the beaches there are not as beautiful as those in some of the other islands.
My husband and I have been to Dominica twice and both times took a mountain biking trip. We loved it. they took us up about 2100' to the top of the mountain and we rode bikes down, stopping along the way at the bridge over a stream. Some of us crossed the river and relaxed in a natural hot spring pool. The mountain water is freezing so the hot spring is wonderful. We also stopped at a local fruit stand for the most wondeful bananas, coconut, mangos, pineapples and other native fruits. Since this is a rainforrest you might want to pack a light weight rain poncho as it did rain on us our last trip. I highly recommend this trip. Wish I had known about the soap. Now I have an excuse to go again.