Best Beaches on Dominica

Being an island, Dominica of course has beaches, but broad swaths of bright sand is not exactly what this destination is known for. In fact, many of Dominica's beaches consist of dark volcanic sand or rocky coastlines. That said, however, there are a few gems worth experiencing (note that the waters on the Caribbean side of the island are far calmer than those on the Atlantic side)...

  • 01 of 10

    Pointe Baptiste

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    ••• Sunset at Pointe Baptiste, Dominica. © Alexandra Stevenson/CC by ND 2.0

    Unique location on Dominica's northeast coast allows you to visit both a white and black sand beach. Views out to sea include the famous Red Rocks and the islands of Guadeloupe, Marie Galante, and Les Saintes. Rarely crowded, so privacy lovers may find that they have these pretty strands near Calibishie more-or-less to themselves.

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  • 02 of 10

    Champagne Beach

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    ••• Bubbles and marine life at Champagne Beach, Dominica. © Francisco Daum/CC by 2.0

    Champagne is a rocky beach, but volcanic hot springs on the sea floor warm the water here to bath-like temperatures. The bubbly waters are what give this beach its name. Local marine life loves the effervescent waters almost as much as you will, so there's always something to look at here, including sea urchins populating a healthy reef system (both of which are increasingly rare in the Caribbean).

  • 03 of 10
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    ••• Batibou Beach, Dominica. © Matthais Ripp/CC by 2.0

    This north coast beach was a filming location for "Pirates of the Caribbean," but that claim to fame doesn't mean it's overrun with tourists. Maybe that's due to the 15-minute hike necessary to reach its broad black sands on the Atlantic. Rough surf make this beach more for admiring and maybe a quick dip than for swimming.

  • 04 of 10

    Mero Beach

    Beach Volleyball
    ••• Photo by Sander van der Wel/CC by SA 2.0

    Make Mero Beach, close to Dominica's capital, Roseau, your top destination for an active beach scene. The black sand beach is lined with bars and restaurants, and you'll also find plenty going on both on land and sea, especially on Sundays. Joining a local volleyball game or cricket match could turn out to be one of the highlights of your visit!

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Purple Turtle Beach

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    ••• Purple Turtle Beach, Dominica. © Alexandra Stevenson/CC by ND 2.0

    Another lively beach, this one closer to the north shore town of Portsmouth, Purple Turtle is good for sunbathing, swimming or picnicking. Local bands often play here, and there are watersports concessions renting jet skis, kayaks and the like.

  • 06 of 10

    Douglas Bay

    Cabrits Peninsula, Dominica
    ••• Cabrits Peninsula, Dominica. Photo by Dillngerforce

    This white sand beach is part of Cabrits National Park and offers good snorkeling and an uncrowded atmosphere close to Portsmouth on Dominica's north shore. Minimal facilities on the beach, but the Purple Turtle Beach Club is within walking distance. Historic Fort Shirley is also nearby.

  • 07 of 10

    Rosalie Bay

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    ••• Rosalie Bay Beach, Dominica. © Rosalie Bay Resort

    One of Dominica's longest and widest beaches has black sand fringed with palm trees. Better for sunbathing than swimming due to the rough surf, but it's secluded and the eco-friendly Rosalie Bay Resort is nearby. Plus, this is one of the prime locations on Dominica for sea turtle nesting.

  • 08 of 10

    Salisbury

    Tamarind Tree Resort, Dominica
    ••• Tamarind Tree Resort, Dominica. Photo © TripAdvisor

    Three richly biodiverse reefs make this an ideal beach for snorkeling and diving right offshore, and the friendly beach bar is an added plus. On Dominica's west coast near the town of Salisbury. The East Carib Dive center is located on the beach, and the Tamarind Tree Hotel and Restaurant are close by.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Scotts Head

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    ••• Scott's Head Beach, Dominica. © Discover Dominica Tourism Authority

    This narrow beach comprises the link between the Caribbean's only "tied island" -- a peninsula connected to the mainland only by a spit or sandbar. The result is a unique location where you can paddle between the Atlantic and Caribbean oceans at high tide. The beach itself is rocky and not much to linger over, but in addition to the kayaking and great snorkeling it's just steps from the restaurants and bars of Scotts Head Village.

  • 10 of 10

    Hampstead Beach

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    ••• Hampstead Beach, Dominica. © Dominica Tourism Authority

    You'll need a 4-wheel-drive vehicle to navigate the rough, mile-long path to this beach near Calibishie, but your reward will be lots of privacy and a classically "Caribbean" style beach with golden sands, calm waters. The groves of coconut trees, white mangrove, wild almond and sea grape provide nice shade for a picnic (but watch for falling coconuts!). 

    No four-wheeler? Try nearly Turtle Bay, which is easier to access and almost as pretty and uncrowded.