Facts & Information
Currency: East Caribbean dollar The local currency is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (EC$). The rate is set at EC$2.68 to US$1.00. Many businesses accept US Dollars, but you will get the most favorable exchange rate at the banks. Major Credit Cards are accepted in many places
Weather: 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.
Dominica is one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time on Atlantic Standard Time. However, Dominica does NOT observe Daylight Savings.
Public Transport: Mini-buses (look for the number plate that starts with an 'H') serve routes from Roseau, Marrigot / Melville Hall airport, Ross University and other prominent island locations… and to all villages they are a cheap (often exciting) way to get around the island. Prices are fixed by the government.
Taxis: are readily available for reasonable prices and can either be arranged from your location of stay or from the street. Inquire about destination prices with someone before hailing a cab. Drivers most generally will take both US and EC dollars. If possible pay with EC. Riders will find most drivers very friendly and easy to visit with.
Car Rental: Automobiles can be obtained from a few locations. Inquire. If driving, a temporary license will be needed - cost is US$12. If one is not familiar with driving on the left or Dominica's tricky roads, don't try driving!
Driving: Dominican’s drive on the left! Visitors need a driving permit which costs US$12 and is available from your car rental company. NOTE that if you are not accustomed to or comfortable driving on the left it is strongly recommended that you hire or utilize public transport. Driving on Dominica’s roads can be very trying and treacherous. Besides being very steep road are very narrow and winding with multiple blind curves. (First time visitors might want to consider taking Dramamine to avoid car sickness before arriving.) Driving even a short distance on the island can take a long time. Roads are not marked with center or edge lines and harbor a moonscape of pot-holes and other obstacles including fallen rocks, pedestrians, goats and cattle. There are few places to pull off the road as road edges consist of serious cliff drop-offs, sheer cliff-faces and deep, narrow French ditches.
Airports: Melville Hall (DMH) – International and Canefield (DCF) - local & small inter-island planes. NOTE that Melville Hall Airport, located very near the village of Marigot, is over an hour's drive to Roseau and 45 minutes to Portsmouth.
Cruise Ships: Ships arrive at Dominica's Roseau port weekly. During the peak season, November - May. 2-5 ships could be in port at any one time. As well, smaller cruise ships frequently visit the Portsmouth dock located near Cabrits.
Clothing: 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 and sandals can suffice for most occasions.
Etiquette: Dominican's are very friendly and polite people; they comfortably greet or acknowledge everyone with: "Good morning," and "Good day." However, "Good night," is generally said in place of "Good evening." One will also hear locals replying or acknowledging at practically any opportunity or greeting with "OK!" or "Alright!)
Electricity: The electricity system is 220-240 volts, 50 cycles. Power outlets are 3-prong English style. Some hotels, rentals and homes have 110v; consider bringing a small travel transformer. Or transformers are readily and affordably available at many locations. Note - Post Hurricane Maria, (as of May 15, 2018) many locations around the island remain without electricity, but this is changing on a weekly basis.
Telephones: The international dialing code for Dominica is 1-767 followed by seven digits. On the island, use the seven digits alone. Dominica has very dependable cell phone service. Companies providing land-lines include Cable & Wireless, Marpin Telecoms and Orange. Three companies provide cellular services including LIME, Cingular/AT&T and Orange. Phone can be purchased for reasonable amounts with phone card chips moveable from phone to phone. Need more minutes? Users can "top up" at numerous locations around the island for very reasonable cost.
Internet: High speed cable and wireless service, since Hurricane Maria, is limited. but is available in some hotels, and public locations.
Water: The water is safe to drink throughout the entire island. As well, bottled spring water is available everywhere. Dominica has an abundance of fresh, crystal clear, clean water.
Entry Requirements: A valid passport is sufficient for a stay of up to one month. You may renew your stay for a further 3 months but you will need to show a return ticket. Visas are required for stays of over 21 days for travellers from Cuba, Haiti, Russia, The People's Republic of China and the Eastern European Countries. Please note that from January 23, 2007, US citizens will need a passport to re-enter the US.
Legal System: Based on British Common Law - ultimate right of Appeal to the Privy Council in London.
Vaccinations: ...are not required to enter Dominica
Departure Tax: Reserve US $25 or EC $67 in cash for paying your departure tax at the airport.