The best way to travel to Dominica is by air via Puerto Rico on American Airlines, a round trip flight ranges from $500 to $750 USD depending on the season. LIAT is also an option but often more expensive. If you are travelling from nearby island such as Guadeloupe, Barbados, or Martinique you can fly directly with LIAT. If you are coming from the Island of St. Lucia an option can be a ferry crossing with Whitchurch Ferry at around 4 hours.
Once you get to Dominica there are four possible ways to get around: Renting a car, Driver for hire or Taxi, local minibus or even hitchhiking. Below is our guide to driving and getting yourself around Dominica.
Taxis are available at Melville Hall Airport and rides can cost anywhere from $15 to $60 depending on distance. Depending on taxis when you are in the middle of the rain forest will prove challenging. If you are staying at a nice hotel you can definitely rely on a taxi service to get you back to the airport.
Minibuses are also available and are fairly reliable but not necessary on time. Figuring out the minibus system can be a little frustrating. We also recommend to avoid taking a minibus after sunset.
Car rental is available at the airport, trusting the VoomaGo Local contact for car rental is highly recommended and worth your while. Budget between $55 and $70 per day depending on the vehicle. In order to drive you will need your valid driving licence and you will need to buy a $12 local driving permit.
Hitchhiking, while it is legal on the island, it is an option we do not recommend. The locals do it often, if you drive and decide to pick someone up caution is encouraged, avoiding it at night, and avoid picking up two strangers. If you have a jeep, it is safer to let them ride in the back.
Note that in Dominica you MUST drive on the LEFT side. Use lots of caution as the roads are narrow, mountainous, curvy and often full of potholes that are very hard to spot in the rain. Because of potholes and bumps every local drives swerving around. Use of your horn is a must especially when going around bends and curves to alert incoming traffic or people about your presence. If you are prone to car sickness make sure you travel with the appropriate medicine for you.
There are lengthy parts with unmarked French drains (ditches) along the roadside that are 1 foot across and 2 feet deep and they are often hidden by overgrowth, be very aware of them as you can get stuck in one.
When driving away from major towns and into remote areas there are not street lights, so it is like driving in pitch dark. People and animals walk along the side of the road during the day and at night and are not afraid of oncoming traffic, always use caution. When coming up to a narrow street or crossing, it is best to stop and let the more experienced local get by you.
If you plan on adventuring off the beaten path a 4×4 or four wheel drive is necessary but if you want to spare yourself the stress of driving given all the variables, transportation can be arranged and give you peace of mind. No matter what car you drive keep in mind that gas station can only be found in bigger towns or cities and the ONLY accept cash.
The bottom line is that driving on Dominica is an adventure, and with proper precaution and an understanding of what you’re getting into, you can make it a thrilling adventure!