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The island of Dominica which is fondly referred to as the Nature Island of the Caribbean is one of the most unique Caribbean destinations.
It is located between the French Caribbean Islands of Guadeloupe to the North and Martinique to the South.
The island is 290 square miles and is often confused with the Dominican Republic. The capital city of Dominica is Roseau.
In this article, we explore all the pros and cons of living in the Dominica, the nature island of the Caribbean.
The pros of living in Dominica are its low crime rate, the ease of island hopping, stable currency, and beautiful natural scenery. On the other hand, living in Dominica has its cons such as the threat of natural disasters, high cost of living and limited international flights from major cities.
Read on for comprehensive details of the pros and cons of living in Dominica.
Pros of Living In Dominica
Beautiful Natural Scenery
If you enjoy the outdoors and nature, then you will fall in love with Dominica. The island is blessed with a variety of flora, fauna, lakes and waterfalls.
One of the main tourist attractions on the island is Morne Trois Pitons National Park which is an official Unesco Heritage Site since 1997.
This park comprises of three types of geological formations being volcanic piles, glacis slopes and soufrieres.
The park occupies about 9% of the island and is home to lakes and boiling springs. Boeri Lake is one of two freshwater lakes located in this park and Dominica’s second largest lake which is at an altitude of 2,800 feet.
There are a number of species of birds, reptiles and amphibians living in the park.
The famous twin waterfalls called the Trafalgar falls are also located in this park. There are several hiking trails and it is recommended that you explore using a guide.
The official currency of Dominica is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar. This currency is shared with seven other Caribbean territories.
The EC Dollar has been pegged to US (United States) dollar since July 7th, 1976 at a rate of USD $1 to XCD $2.70.
US dollars are readily accepted by most businesses on the island. Notes that are torn or worn are usually rejected from vendors.
If you are visiting the island with US dollars, it is best to travel with smaller denominations. Change from your transactions will be given in EC dollars.
Island Hopping Opportunities
Getting to Dominica is convenient via ferry from the French Caribbean Islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe as well as St Lucia.
The ferry service is offered during the year at different times and is called L’ Express Des Isles.
Feel free to check out their website or email them at [email protected].
Additionally there is another ferry service called Val’ Ferry that offers service from Guadeloupe via Marie Galante to the northern end of the island called Portsmouth.
This is the second largest town on the island. This service can be contacted on [email protected] for information on scheduling.
The Island Is Safe
One major advantage of living in Dominica is the safety of the island. Crime on the island is less when compared to some of its regional counterparts.
According to the US Department State, Overseas Advisory Council based on a 2018 crime report per 100,000 citizens, Dominica had 15 murders, 1 case of kidnapping and 46 cases of vehicle thefts throughout the year.
Additionally, residential burglaries were 427 for that year.
Despite the island’s low crime rate, safety precautions must be maintained. Avoid secluded areas at nights and refrain from leaving valuables such as electronic gadgets unattended.
The island of Dominica is filled with genuinely friendly and hospitable people who values community and are willing to assist each other. Community spirit is still prevalent in societies like Dominica.
Additionally, Dominica is the only island in the Caribbean with pre-Columbian Carib Indians knows as Kalinago. They are usually very welcoming and willing to share their history and culture.
If you are traveling to the island, a visit to the Kalinago Territory is an exciting thing to do.
There are individuals there who can provide a guided tour of the territory as well as you can enjoy hikes along the Asulukati river and its waterfall as well as hike to the peak of Kabet.
Cons of Living In Dominica
Threat of Natural Disasters
Being a Caribbean island with a location in the hurricane belt, the island had its fair share of storms.
The island experienced the devastating impacts of hurricane Maria in 2017. As a result of this category 5 storm, over 90% of the buildings and infrastructure on the island was destroyed.
If you are planning on visiting Dominica during the hurricane season, it is prudent to consider travel insurance.
Nevertheless as a result of its experiences, the island is poised to become the world’s first hurricane proof country. In addition, there is an agency now established on the island called CREAD tasked with spearheading this initiative.
Limited International Flights From Major Cities
At the time of writing, American Airlines is due to commence service from Miami to Dominica on Wednesdays and Saturdays shortly.
This service twice weekly will be operated by American Eagle with a seating capacity of 76.
The launch of American Airlines will provide a much needed direct flight to the island.
Persons visiting the island can also connect through other cities such as Antigua, Barbados, Martinique, St Maarten, Puerto Rico, Guadeloupe, and St Lucia.
Travelers can transfer to the island via a regional carrier such as Liat, Caribbean Airlines and Seaborne Airlines.
Alternatively, visitors can also use ferry services from Guadeloupe, Martinique and St Lucia.
The Government of Dominica is currently in the process of building an international airport with an expected year of completion of 2025.
High Cost of Living
Dominica has rich soil and as a result is able to grow fruits and vegetables in abundance. The island also supplies several other Caribbean islands with various produce.
Nevertheless, a large amount of items used is imported and hence the cost of living is high.
Below is a sample table of wholesale products adapted from a local distributor on the island, Fine Foods Distribution in August 2021. These are the prices at the time of writing.
Kindly remember that these prices are wholesale/ bulk prices. Therefore if you are buying these goods at a retail outlet, one should expect that the prices will be higher.
|Cream of Island Flour||25||32.50||1.30|
|Sussex Corn Beef- 12 oz||24||160.6||6.69|
|Distinction Evaporated Milk (410g)||48||107.15||2.23|
|Drummond Lentils (1lbs)||24||74.53||3.11|
|Mauby Concentrate -750 ML||12||98.79||8.23|
|Morning Foods Caribbean Crunch-500g||12||97.41||8.12|
|Mornflake Oats -750g||6||41.7||6.95|
|Kean Cranberry Drink||12||69.23||5.77|
On a whole, infrastructure in Dominica is not as developed when compared to other Caribbean islands. There is a Government owned hospital and also a private hospital called Justin Fadipe hospital located in the parish of Saint Joseph.
Persons with complicated issues usually seek medical care in the nearby French Territories or Barbados. Medical at the Government owned hospital is free only for citizens. There is a School of Medicine on the island called All Saints University.
Additionally, the road network could be improved. There are no traffic lights on the island and the signage along the road is poor.
Driving on the island is on the left hand side of the road. There is no public bus transportation system on the island but there are private buses for moving around.
Lack of Privacy
As with every other Caribbean island, there is a strong sense of community. However, with this often comes a lack of privacy.
Living on the island one may feel that it is difficult to maintain a level of privacy and anonymity.
The pros of living in Dominica are that the island is safe, has friendly people, it is easy to island hop to neighboring islands and has amazing natural scenery. On the other hand, the cons are limited direct flights from major international cities, high cost of living and poor infrastructure.
If you are contemplating traveling to Dominica or the rest of the Caribbean, cruising is an affordable option to consider. I have recently completed an informative course by cruise specialist, Emma Cruises which you should check out titled How To Cruise For Less.
This course provides detail tips and techniques on how to save money while cruising onboard, onshore as well as the importance of insurance. So if you if you are considering a cruise for your next Caribbean vacation, check out How To Cruise For Less.
Need More Information?
Feel free to browse our website for more content on Dominica and many other Caribbean Islands by using the search bar located at the top of this page. The following are some of our articles which we believe may be suitable for you.
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