trip
NEW for 2023 - K2 Trek with Victor SaundersView trip details
4
Introductory to Moderate
Activities
  • 7 day walks
Accommodation
  • 10 nights lodge or guest house
Meals
  • 10 Dinners
  • 9 Lunches
  • 10 Breakfasts

11 Days$4390USD

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Trip Code: UND

Trip highlights


  • Trek the best parts of the Caribbean's only long distance walking trail
  • Discover virgin forest and the best of Dominica’s nature
  • Unwind in the local hot springs and go snorkeling at Champagne Beach
  • Enjoy a Caribbean cooking adventure at a family home
  • Visit the spectacular Boiling Lake
  • Go bird watching on the Indian River boat trip and explore the mangroves and wildlife
  • Experience the local Caribbean culture, cuisine, lifestyle and heritage

Experience the best sections of the Caribbean's first and only long distance walking trail, the Waitukubuli National Trail. Discover the nature and culture of Dominica on this adventurous jungle trek. The Trail climbs slopes carpeted with rainforests, descends dramatic gorges, crosses rivers and takes in spectacular waterfalls. At 115 miles long, over 14 segments, the Waitukubuli National Trail runs from the southern village of Scott's Head to the Cabrits National Park in the North. Showcasing virgin forest and the best of Dominica's nature, culture and local lifestyles, the National Trail passes through old plantations, skirts along coastal cliffs, meanders past fertile farms and stops by small villages. We have handpicked the best sections for this fantastic 11 day trip. Admire panoramic views while trekking, experience the local culture and learn about the island's history and exotic flora and fauna. We have time to relax as we swim in the Caribbean waters and enjoy an Indian River boat trip to explore the mangroves and wildlife. This well rounded journey also highlights a Caribbean cooking adventure and local guest house accommodation; from forest to farmlands and stunning waterfalls this diverse trek does it all!


Upon arrival in Dominica you will be met and transferred to the Fort Young Hotel, located in Roseau along the waterfront. The international airport servicing of the island is at Melville, though it is also possible to take a ferry from Martinique (south) and Guadeloupe (north), ask us for details on the best way to arrive. Our included transfer will pickup from the airport on day one of the trip. Welcome dinner and overnight at the Fort Young Hotel (or similar).

Meals:  D

After breakfast there is a short presentation that will cover an orientation of the island and introduction to this adventure. Following this, a 20- minute transfer will get us to the Soufriere Estate and the starting point of your Dominica adventure. Today’s trek will combine walking in the back country and along the coast line along old estate trails and surfaced roadway for a total walking time of approximately 3 hours. This traverses one of the more volcanic areas of the island, once well known for large scale sugarcane, citrus and cocoa production - today overgrown and wild, with a few cultivated fruit trees. En route this provides glimpses of local fauna and fauna, heritage and village life through the communities of Soufriere, Gallion, and Scotts Head, and spectacular vistas of the Soufriere - Scotts Head Marine Reserve, before ending at the Scotts Head point. The adventure starts at the center of the southern village of Soufriere and continues east along the main road leading to the Sulphur Springs area – going past village life that includes houses, the school and playing field, and an animal farm. Beyond the sulphur springs there is a newly constructed road – the result of changing times and development, which is a far cry from the conditions in times of estate operations. Throughout fruit and other trees dwarf the access. We continue along an old (circular) estate track through scrub vegetation and farmlands that eventually connects with the main surfaced roadway that leads to the mountain community of Gallion. Gallion is perched over the main highway connecting the south western- most communities of Soufriere and Scotts Head, and this vantage offers excellent views of the Caribbean Sea and the local marine reserve. From here we follow the old local village access that dips down to the main southern roadway along a series of switch backs, and then continue along the coastline to Scotts Head. At Scotts Head we encounter the local fishermen at the narrow isthmus that separates the Caribbean and Atlantic, and visit the view point at Scotts Head. Picnic lunch will be served somewhere along the route. Next we continue to the Champagne Beach for snorkeling - explore a local marine ecosystem dotted with champagne bubbles, swim with colorful fish and an assortment of coral and sponge life. From there we proceed to our accommodation – dinner being the highlight of the evening. This short day provides an excellent opportunity to acclimatise to the expected (average) day time temperature of 25 degrees C, high humidity, and rugged island terrain. Overnight at the Fort Young Hotel (or similar). Time – 4.5 hours Distance – 7.5 km Cumulative height gain - 250 metres and descent - 300 metres - peaking altitude of 300 m

Meals:  B,L,D

Today features Segment 3 of the Waitukubuli National Trail and provides the first real glimpse of the Morne Trois Pitons National Park World Heritage Site – flora and fauna and nature in its wild and natural state! This route is a collection of the old trails that once connected rural folk and served as the highway along which commerce was conducted, and goes through four villages that are perched high on the hills above Roseau, all of which are well known for their wellness appeal. From the segment start at Bellevue Chopin the trail continues through pristine tropical rainforest and through the community of Giraudel showcasing village life, small streams, colorful blooms, vegetable gardens, quaint miniature farm homes, and a botanical garden along the way. This 6 km section makes for easy walking - rising and dipping gently along old estate and surfaced (village) main roads and narrow dirt paths, and takes approximately 2 hours to complete. Beyond this, the trail enters a heavily forested area giving way to a narrow path and steep 200 metre descent to the river crossing and challenging climb out of the valley to Morne Prosper – a 4 km stretch of trail that requires almost 2 hours for completion - trees and roots becoming necessary hand holds at times. From Morne Prosper, the trail opens up to Wotten Waven – a 3 km section that requires just 1 hour of easy walking along the main village road and through vegetable farms. Wotten Waven features therapeutic natural hot springs bath and opportunities for full body massage. This local village experience is the perfect balm for a full day of hiking. Accommodation will be at a village inn, and dinner will be served at the local restaurant. Time – 6 hours Distance – 13 km Cumulative height gain of 650 metres and descent of 800 metres - peaking altitude of 600 m

Meals:  B,L,D

The route covers part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Morne Trois Pitons National Park, and showcases in a very real way primary and secondary rainforest, and provides living instruction on biodiversity as well as watershed management. The National Park was inscribed in 1998 and awarded because of its rich bio diversity and flora and fauna. Part of this section is associated with a period of Dominica’s history 100 years ago when many British investors came to Dominica to open up coffee, cocoa and citrus estates in the interior of the island. Many of these attempts failed and the land went back to forest. A few minutes into the day’s walk we stop at the bubbling Sulphur Springs and then visit the majestic Trafalgar Waterfalls – the perfect introduction to our island geography and our picturesque landscapes and exotic flora and fauna. We then continue through the village and then onto the steep climb up Morne Jacks through primary forest which leads to the mountain community of Laudat. From here the Trail continues along the main village access road and then disappears onto the backroads that lead to Middleham Estate. From the Middleham Visitor Facility we begin our trek along a well-manicured trail through thick primary rainforest to the Middleman Waterfall. The Middleham waterfall is the tallest on island and towers to approximately 200 feet high. It has a deep basin that allows hikers a well-earned cooling swim, and a chance to disconnect, and enjoy ‘natural’ nature! Once done we retrace our route out of the forest with a transfer to our village Inn. The late afternoon allows for free time in the local hot springs - an opportunity to rejuvenate. Time – Whole Day Distance – 9 km

Meals:  B,L,D

Today is a lazy day with a late start, and features a culinary adventure with Chef Daria. We will share the culinary secrets to preparing Caribbean delicacies – the tricks to using the fresh herbs and spices with local produce, and with rum to make herb infused rum-tails. Cooking with Daria is all about Caribbean food – the fresh and flavorful ingredients and the bright colors of our dishes, and radiant energy! Cooking with Daria is an authentic and hands-on culinary experience at a family home in the foothills of Morne Anglais. It is fresh, flavorful, and fun! We return to the hotel on completion.

Meals:  B,L,D

The world’s largest boiling lake is actually a flooded fumarole, a crack through which gases escape from the molten lava below, rather than a volcanic crater. The natural basin of the Boiling Lake collects the rainfall from the surrounding hills and from two small streams which empty into the lake. The water seeps through the porous bottom to the hot lava below where it is trapped and heated to boiling point. The lake is about 60 meters across. The trek to the lake is through lush forest, over sharp ridges, and crosses volcanic rivers, streams and boiling mud. The streams vary in colour from normal clear water to milky blue, black, white, yellow and orange. Steam and sulphur fumes increase the closer you get. The trail itself is approximately eight miles long, and is a three-hour walk each way. This amount of time should be allowed for. On our return we stop at the Titou Gorge to cool off. Little Throat is the literal translation for Titou Gorge - a narrow ravine carved into the rocks by the river. This breath-taking upstream swim through this cave-like setting lit by rays of sunlight streaking through the forest is absolutely astounding and refreshing! At the top of the gorge is a small waterfall. This exploration is done with the use of life vests. After the exploration, we begin the long cross-island transfer to our accommodation on the Atlantic east coast. Time – 7 hours Degree of Difficulty – Strenuous

Meals:  B,L,D

Today you will experience the majesty of the east coast - rugged and green landscapes, and the imposing Victoria waterfall. Throughout there will also be fantastic views of the roaring Atlantic. The highlight will be our visit to Zion Valley, named by the Rastafarian community who live in the area. This small homestead sits on the banks of the White River and the Jack River. A 30 minute site seeing drive will lead past farm local villages and stretches of verdant fields to the deeply rural community of Delices and to the trail head of the Victoria Falls, located at Zion Valley. Probably the most impressive falls on the island, the trail begins at La Riviere Blanche (the White River), and crosses the river and gorge many times. As it heads further up-stream visitors have to scramble and climb over large boulders before eventually reaching the base of the waterfall, where an invigorating swim awaits. Once done, it is back downstream with a stop at the Rastafarian homestead of Moses James for river swimming and picnic lunch. With luck we may get to meet Moses a very colourful character, who has much to share about his life and local experiences. Depending on the time of year, and the accommodation, there may be opportunities for turtle watching or turtle excavation – as Leatherback, Green and Hawksbill sea turtles nest and hatch along eastern beach fronts. These endangered gentle giants can travel great distances, as far away as Canada, Europe and Africa, to Dominica to nest on our protected black sand beach. Turtle season offers a vacation experience that is unforgettable and simply magical. Time – 5 hours Degree of Difficulty – Strenuous

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we introduce you to Dominica’s indigenous people, the Kalinago. This easterly-most segment of the Waitukubuli National Trail - best described as being an open living museum, provides deep insight into the culture and lifestyles of the Kalinago people while providing stunning vistas of the rugged Atlantic coastline. At approximately 13 km long, this segment can be completed in about 6.5 hours. Encounters with the locals are continuous - the first in the hamlet of Sineku in the vicinity of the Les Calier Tete Chien attraction, and the others as the trail slithers between forests and the hamlets along old trails and surfaced roadway – first Mahaut River, then onto Gaulette River and then St. Cyr (pronounced Sen si). Some of these trails are perched on thin ledges above the roaring Atlantic. The terrain is undulating, climbing and dipping gently along most of the segment - never climbing higher than 100 metres above sea level, though some of these short ascents can be steep in areas. This segment goes through very little forest vegetation, and this hike can be taxing because of the lack of shade – hikers should use a broad brimmed hat and carry loads of bottled water. Along the hamlets are small craft shops and friendly Kalinago, all waiting to say hello. Highlights include agricultural farms, a local shrine, a community cemetery, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Kalinago Barana Aute (KBA) - a tourism facility showcasing things-Kalinago. At the Kalinago Barana Aute (KBA), the hiking day comes to an end, and we have lunch. After lunch there is an opportunity to experience aspects of Kalinago culture as showcased at the KBA. In the afternoon, we have a vehicle transfer to the town of Portsmouth, our base for the next 3 nights. For those who may want to continue the hike to the end of the segment, from the hamlet of Bataca there is the 1.5 km-long walk up to Horseback Ridge – a 250 metre altitude climb that comes at the end of a long and possibly hot day. This ascent and steep descent (that follows) into the Pagua Valley is another of the challenging sections of this strenuous hike. This last 1.5 hours stretch over the final 4 km of the segment, ends at the Pagua River and provides an excellent opportunity for a well-earned cooling dip in the refreshing Pagua River. From here we return to our hotel where you spend a quiet night. Time – 5.5 hours Distance – 8.5 km Cumulative height gain of 350 metres and descent of 400 metres

Meals:  B,L,D

The day begins with a 40 minute transfer from our accommodation to the small hamlet of Delaford – the official start of Segment 13. Enroute we pass through the Soufriere area which provides spectacular vistas of the neighboring islands. We are also able to stop at the Cold Soufriere and visit the cold sulphur springs. Today promises to feature a day like no other, and will explore the last 2 segments of the trail - segment 13 by land, and segment 14 by sea, while offering views of the neighboring French islands to the north. Segment 13 is along volcanic terrain and is through dry forest. It is one of the oldest and most frequently used and maintained routes, and though undulating makes for a very easy hike. At 7 km it is one of the shorter segments requiring just about 3 hours for completion. Once the main route connecting the communities of the northern end of Dominica, the overland part of the day follows the volcanic terrain along the narrow shelf through a period of history spanning the Kalinago and French migrants who controlled large estates. En route, spectacular views of the neighbouring islands of Guadeloupe, Marie Galante, and Les Saintes, and the remains of Grand Fond Village tell the tale of a village abandoned – a sign of changing fortunes and economics. Cana Heritage Park the site of an Amerindian village, an early missionary site of the Capuchin Order and a military signal station is the entrance to the village of Capuchin. Buffet home-cooked lunch at Capuchin breaks the routine. Next, it’s down to the bay and onto our fishing vessel to complete Segment 14 of the trail by boat (approx 45 minute boat ride). We will see Cabrits National Park as well as the Prince Rupert and Douglas Bays from the boat, and they provide deep insights into local fishing, and the tales of smuggling of long ago. Time – 5 hours Distance – 14 km Cumulative height gain of 675m and descent of 600m

Meals:  B,L,D

Your day begins with a short transfer to the pier of the Indian River, up which we will have a guided row boating tour to explore the mangroves and wildlife. For bird watchers or nature-lovers this 90 minute rowing boat-trip up the Indian River is perfect. Glide through the mangroves and wetlands of this brackish river with your personal guide who will tell you everything about the incredible flora and fauna en route. Next we have a short transfer to Fort Shirley, a large 18th-century British garrison which once housed 600 soldiers and located upon the twin hills of the Cabrits (which towers over the town of Portsmouth). This site provides important examples of 18th century defence systems, as well as excellent panoramic viewing of Prince Rupert Bay and the town, and is a perfect location for a picnic lunch. From here a gentle 20 minute walk will take us to the beach, where we spend the rest of the afternoon - the perfect end to our 11-day Dominica adventure! From here it is only a short transfer to hotel accommodation and we will have a celebration dinner tonight.

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast there is a 45 minute transfer to the Melville Hall Airport, where the trip arrangements conclude.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 10 breakfasts, 9 lunches and 10 dinners
  • Airport transfer on Day 1 and Day 11
  • Comfortable accommodation on a twin share basis
  • All group activities mentioned
  • Private internal transportation
  • Professional local guides

  • International flights and departure taxes
  • Travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Items of a personal nature ie laundry, phone calls, etc
  • Applicable taxes
  • Tips
  • Visa costs
  • Excess baggage costs
  • Medical treatment

Departure dates

* Guaranteed status denotes minimum trip numbers have been met, however the trips operation will be subject to there being no COVID-19 restrictions or other government travel advisories. Please contact us for further information.


Notes

1
A Christmas and New Year surcharge may apply. Please ask us for details.
Note:
Individual departure dates can be added upon request

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Total Priceper person from

$4390USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Single SupplementUSD$430
*Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Trek the Waitukubuli National Trail Dominica trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.


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