BEFORE YOU TRAVEL...
The following is a list of pertinent information for visitors to Dominica. It features everything from what you’ll need to enter and leave the country, to monetary, banking and business information, electrical and phone service, emergency resources, and time zone and weather in Dominica.
Passport & Immigration
Immigration officials require most Dominica visitors to present a valid passport on arrival. All need to show a return ticket and some need to have a visa. Canadian citizens can show documents certifying proof of citizenship that also bears a photograph, and French nationals can stay for up to two weeks by presenting a valid identification card. Visitors coming from a specified list of countries, who intend to stay for 21 days or less, do not require a visa. Click here for a list of these countries.
Taxis are available at the airports and in Roseau, and can be arranged all over the island. They are easily identified by the letters, H, HA or HB preceding the registration numbers on the number plates. There are standard fees from the city to both airports. The fare from the Melville Hall Airport to Canefield/Roseau/Newtown/Portsmouth/Picard is EC$65 (US $26). From Melville Hall Airport to the Carib Territory/Concorde/Atkinson/Calibishie, the fare is EC$40 (US$15); to Castle Comfort/Loubiere/Wallhouse EC$70 (US$28) and to Salisbury/ Batalie/Coulibistrie/Colihaut EC$100 (US$40); Canefield to Roseau EC$25 (US$10).
There are a number of car rental agencies on the island offering vehicles for rent. But before you get on the road, you will need to obtain a driver's license, which costs $30 (US$12). You must be between 25 and 65 years old, with two years of driving experience to qualify for a driver's permit. Traffic uses the left side of the road, most of which are well maintained. Click here for a list of car rental companies.
Dominica has a reliable public transportation system consisting primarily of private minibus operators. Bus stops can be found at designated points throughout the city depending on your destination. The bus fares are standardized and range from EC$1.50 to EC$10.25 ($US.60 to US$1.40) according the specific route. Bus rotation is fairly frequent throughout the day, but this method of transportation is not suitable for night travel.
English is the official language of Dominica; however a large portion of the population speaks Kwéyòl, which is based primarily on French and Carib vocabularies and a syntax borrowed from a variety of West African indigenous languages. A few northern villages use a distinctive English dialect called Kokoy.
The local currency is the Eastern Caribbean dollar (EC$), which trades at EC$2.67 to US$1.00. Banks will offer EC$2.68 for a US$1.00 traveler's cheque. Everywhere on the island, businesses accept United States Dollars, British Pounds, and Euros.
Most tourism related business, such as hotels, restaurants, tour operators, and car rental agencies accept Master Card, Visa and American Express credit cards, including traveler's cheques.
Businesses open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. from Monday to Friday with a lunch break from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Banking hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. from Mondays to Thursdays, and 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Fridays. On Saturdays, the banks are closed but merchants open their enterprises from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
The following are a list of the banks found in Dominica:
- Dominica Agricultural Industrial & Development Bank
- The Bank of Nova Scotia
- The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank
- First Caribbean International Bank
- Griffon Bank
- National Bank of Dominica
- Royal Bank of Canada
Dominica has a modern and reliable telecommunications system. It is easy to find public phones in the city and in most communities. Hotels offer International Direct Dialing from their rooms, and there are three major mobile service providers on the island: Cable & Wireless, Digicel, and Orange Cariabe. The island's area code is 767.
Dominica's electrical services use 220/240 volts. American appliances are quite popular, but require transformers for voltage conversion. Many accommodations offer both outlets, but it would be wise to receive confirmation from the specific establishment.
There are three public hospitals on the island: the Marigot Hospital, the Portsmouth Hospital, and the premier Princess Margaret Hospital. Intensive care units are available at the Portsmouth Hospital and the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH). The PMH also has a Hyperbaric Chamber. Several specialists and general practitioners operate private clinics.
The emergency contact for the Police, Ambulance and Fire Department is 999.
Dominica enjoys one of the lowest crime rates in the entire Caribbean; however visitors are encouraged to practice common sense in their deportment and the protection of their property.
Dominica Time is 4 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT-4), which is one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time and the same as Eastern Daylight Time.
Visitors to Dominica should expect plenty of sunshine interjected by intermittent rainfall. The island's annual temperature averages at 27 C. Frequent rainfall cools the tropical heat, nourishes the island's extensive rainforest, and feeds its rivers, lakes, and waterfalls. On the coast, average rainfall registers 1,780 mm, but in the interior that figure is triple.