Dominica a hidden Caribbean gem

A native dance performance is a highlight of any visit to the Kalinago Barana Aute cultural centre on Dominica. (JIM BYERS PHOTO)

I don’t like arriving at night in a place I’ve never been. I like to get my bearings and to suss a place out when I land someplace new, and that’s hard to do in the dark.

But my flight from Barbados didn’t arrive here until after 7 p.m., well after sunset. I was disappointed at having a half-hour drive to my hotel in the dark. But not for long.

It had been drizzling earlier in the day and the smell of the earth and the sea air was ripe in the air. The driver of my van bobbed and weaved along the twisting, rise-and-fall road through the village of Marigot, and then briefly along the coast. I could see a three-quarters moon peaking through the clouds, shining golden-white beams on the Atlantic. I rolled down the window and heard dark waves crashing mightily on the black rocks on the coast, the silhouettes of the palm trees pinned against the moon and the stars.

I didn’t arrive at the hillside Beau Rive hotel until well after dinner, but owner Mark Steele had prepared a fine tomato tart with wonderful pastry and a light, welcoming rum punch. I sat outside under the stars and listened to the ocean waves pound the coast a couple hundred metres below me, with crickets and tree frogs chirping in the night.


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  1. Jen
    March 8, 2017

    We have to learn to accept criticism in order to deal with our problems. I am happy that the visit enjoyed his stay and must encourage him to come again. However, I’ve notice he stayed outside of Roseau and wishes that he always does because Roseau is just not tourist friendly. We have a lot of work to do and as well as maintaining what we are blessed with.

  2. March 8, 2017

    Did he walk round the streets of Roseau or Portsmouth. What with the trash and smelly drains, the constant smell of Pee, the Paros accosting you at every corner. I am a Dominican, proud of my country and currently residing here.
    As I stated in a post a week ago we have to wake up from our slumber and look at the real DA. not the one with the fabled 365 rivers and lush agricultural vegetation. Our people are no longer caring about our environment as evidenced by the number of old discarded vehicles and appliances littering several parts of the country. Not to mention the indiscriminate disposal of garbage along our streets and drains. The latter speaks to what is in our hearts. Children and adults alike are engaged in that practice, so please do not come to me with those platitudes expressed by a man whose trip was paid by us, what do you expect him to say. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Anonymous
    March 8, 2017

    Of course Dominica is beautiful it is a gem beyond compare. Pity its management stinks and dulls its brilliance. Skerrit must go.

  4. anonymous2
    March 8, 2017

    I wish that Dominica Tourism would have subsidized some of my stays. Those weren’t cheap hotels.

  5. March 7, 2017

    Welcome. Come again.

  6. Driver
    March 7, 2017

    These articles do much more than the expensive ads that our people want to see. Dominica IS special and should try to attract people who would appreciate what it has to offer. Fete,, beach and rum is not our bag. The people who appreciate what we have, boast about it and encourage their friends to visit. By the way, those people contribute a lot more to the economy than the cruise passengers.

  7. Barbara Saunders
    March 7, 2017

    Thank you sir for your very flattering article about our country. You did not need to tell some of us of its unique attributes as we recognise them and thank God for them everyday!

    Can I make a suggestion? Can you exchange your Canadian citizenship with some Dominicans here and abroad who are making a career of portraying a completely contrasting image of their native land, Dominica.

    You would certainly serve us better than some who were born here. Hats off to you sir for a very refreshing article.

    • Anon
      March 7, 2017

      “Some Dominicans here and abroad who are making a career of portraying a completely contrasting image of their native land, Dominica.”

      I wonder who is portraying a contrasting image of Dominica. After all, no one is saying Dominica doesn’t have a beautiful Emerald Pool and the other sites mentioned by the author.

      What many Dominicans, including me, have a problem is the state of governance of the country, the get rich over night politicians, our diplomatic passports landing in the hands of questionable characters and the like.

      This is the heart of the issue for many Dominicans, not the images portrayed by the author in this excellent article.

      Additionally the author spent four days in Dominica on a trip paid for by the Discover Dominica Authority and the man is a travel writer.

      • Really
        March 8, 2017

        There you go with your negativity,keep your comments to yourself or prove it by bringing out the evidence,you cannot just say what you want with no proof,prove it bofore you come out with your”alternative facts” you have been watching Trump for too long!!!!!

      • Barbara Saunders
        March 8, 2017


        Well here is my dilemma. Last week or perhaps it might have been the week before, the Sun Newspaper published a front page article about the UWP receiving campaign funds in 2005 I think it was totalling millions, as a promissory arrangement for the sale of diplomatic Passports to those financiers if they had got into office.

        The Sun had very specific information such as quantum of funds; where it was coming from; who was at the negotiating meetings; the country where the meeting/s was/were held, the hotel where it all took place, etc. etc. A very damaging report in my view! Later a radio show provided even more information about cheque numbers; companies through which the funds were chanelled etc.

        What did we have? No denial; no threat of lawsuits; nothing but silence. These were not innuendo and allegations as in the case of the other party, so if six and half dozen are still the same as I know they are what is the argument to replace Mr. Skerrit with UWP?

  8. Dominica I love
    March 7, 2017

    Always nice to see the beauty that our island has to offer to visitors.
    This person sure captured a lot of Dominica’s popular sites.
    Thanks for sharing and spreading the word.

  9. Gem
    March 7, 2017

    Do come again and tell others about your experience. I’m glad you enjoyed your stay.

  10. The Darkness
    March 7, 2017

    Nice for a change!!

    We need more people to experience this side of Dominica!

    Support the positive!

  11. LifeandDeath
    March 7, 2017

    Interesting Read..Dominica is truly a Gem waiting to be explored.

  12. March 7, 2017

    Lots to love about Dominica . Thank you sir for such a well written story of your travel here . Do come again

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