Hiking degree levels: In order to match hiker abilities and expectations and provide the best possible hiking experience, Dominica’s trails have been classified into five categories: 1 (very easy); 2 (easy); 3 (moderate); 4 (difficult); 5 (very difficult).
What to wear? Depending on the type of hike, you may encounter crossing rivers, muddy terrain, boulders, human-made paths, and numerous other trail route forms, some of which may be slippery. Hiking shoes are strongly recommended and for hikes that traverse numerous rivers, water shoes with proper grips may be used. Swim wear is a must for hikes with waterfalls. Ensure that you walk with appropriate hiking clothes, which should allow for easy movement of your body. For some hikes, long sleeves and long pants are recommended to avoid grazing by some plants like the razor grass. Ask your tour operator or guide what to use.
Tour guides: A must for every hiker - that is our recommendation! A listing of certified tour guides is available from the Tourism Authoirty (DDA) or contact your local tour operator.
What to bring? Ask your tour operator or guide in advance of the hike. Depending on the hike, you may be able to pass through communities for refreshment. Always walk with a bottle of our local water and some snacks depending on the hike.
What time to hike? Again, you are advised to go with a tour operator or tour guide, who will inform you of the appropriate time to hike, typically earlier in the day to avoid being caught in the forest during dusk.
Safety & communication:
- Take a DDA certified tour guide.
- Ensure your hotel provider & the trail management unit is aware of your hike plans.
- Always stay in view with your certified tour guide and accompanying hikers. It is easy to get distracted with nature and you should try to hike with persons of similar hiking pace.
- Do not use your cell phone excessively to save on the battery in case needed. Note that not all trail locations will allow for cell phone coverage.
- Keep money to a minimal amount.
- Be cautious at edges.
- The Waitukubuli National Trail has GPS capabilities.
Weather conditions: Weather patterns in Dominica will determine whether hiking is possible. Heavy rainfall prior to or on the day of your hike can lead to flash floods and landslides along the trail path. For further advice on conditions, contact a tour operator.
Cost of hiking: User site fees are paid as a one day site pass or a one week site pass. Passes can be obtained at a few locations. Not all locations around Dominica have facilities to sell site passes. Therefore, it is best to contact your local tour operator to obtain a pass in advance of your hike.