Drive away your troubles diving or hiking Scotts Head

A tiny village on the southwest coast of Dominica, Scotts Head overlooks Soufrière Bay — one of the most popular diving and snorkeling destinations in the world. The village is about an hour’s drive south of Roseau — and well worth the time it takes to get there.

Joining diving enthusiasts are hikers eager to make their way up the peninsula’s peak and take in the inspiring landscape of the southwest coast and ocean views that stretch all the way to Martinique. It’s a short and easy climb to the peak and it also marks the beginning of the Waitukubuli National Trail.

But clearly the most popular draw to Scotts Head is its pristine waters. Divers regularly request repeat visits to this site with its riveting and varied formations. Most dives begin on Swiss Cheese, a large rock formation home to Soldierfish Cave. It’s not actually a cave, but a passage packed with soldier fish and grunts that form a curtain in front of you, briefly parting to swallow you into the school as you pass through.

After crossing a flat area of coral-encrusted rock formations, you reach the pinnacle itself. At a depth of only 35 feet, it’s a picturesque swim-through bisecting the pinnacle and brings you to the "other side" — a steep wall on the inside of the volcanic crater that plunges downward more than 120 feet. Aside from the black bar soldier fish, grunts, and lobster, the wall is laden with deep water sea fans and colorful gorgonians.

Hikers and swimmers who visit in summer can catch the annual village feast in honor of Saint Peter. But no matter when you visit or whether you dive or hike, whatever worries you bring will wither before the beauty found atop the land — and under the waters — of Scotts Head.