Trek the Waitukubuli National Trail Dominica

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28
10 Nights / 11 Days
Roseau
Melville

Starting in Roseau and ending in Melville, the tour Trek The Waitukubuli National Trail Dominica is a guided trekking trip that takes 11 days. You will travel through Colihaut, Pont Casse, Castle Bruce and 9 other destinations in Dominica.

Day 01: Arrive Roseau
Upon arrival in Dominica you will be met and transferred to the hotel. Welcome dinner and overnight at the Hotel.

Day 02: Scotts Head to Soufriere – Segment 1 of the trail
After breakfast there is a short presentation that will cover an orientation of the island and introduction to this adventure. Following this, a 20- minute transfer will get us to the Soufriere Estate and the starting point of your Dominica adventure. Today’s trek will combine walking in the back country and along the coast line along old estate trails and surfaced roadway for a total walking time of approximately 3 hours. This traverses one of the more volcanic areas of the island, once well known for large scale sugarcane, citrus and cocoa production – today overgrown and wild, with a few cultivated fruit trees. En route this provides glimpses of local fauna and fauna, heritage and village life through the communities of Soufriere, Gallion, and Scotts Head, and spectacular vistas of the Soufriere – Scotts Head Marine Reserve, before ending at the Scotts Head point. The adventure starts at the center of the southern village of Soufriere and continues east along the main road leading to the Sulphur Springs area – going past village life that includes houses, the school and playing field, and an animal farm. Beyond the sulphur springs the road deteriorates into a stony access, providing some insight into conditions in times of estate operations. Throughout fruit and other trees dwarf the access. We continue along an old (circular) estate track through scrub vegetation and farmlands that eventually connects with the main surfaced roadway that leads to the mountain community of Gallion. Gallion is perched over the main highway connecting the south western-most communities of Soufriere and Scotts Head, and this vantage offers excellent views of the Caribbean Sea and the local marine reserve. From here we follow the old local village access that dips down to the main southern roadway along a series of switch backs, and then continue along the coastline to Scotts Head. At Scotts Head we encounter the local fishermen at the narrow isthmus that separates the Caribbean and Atlantic, and visit the view point at Scotts Head.
Next we continue to the Champagne Beach for snorkeling – explore a local marine ecosystem dotted with champagne bubbles, swim with colorful fish and an assortment of coral and sponge life.

Overnight at the Hotel.

Time – 4.5 hours
Distance – 7.5 km
Cumulative height gain – 250 metres and descent – 300 metres – peaking altitude of 300 m

Day 03: Boiling Lake and Titou Gorge exploration
The world’s largest boiling lake is actually a flooded fumarole, a crack through which gases escape from the molten lava below, rather than a volcanic crater. The natural basin of the Boiling Lake collects the rainfall from the surrounding hills and from two small streams which empty into the lake. The water seeps through the porous bottom to the hot lava below where it is trapped and heated to boiling point. The lake is about 60 meters across. The trek to the lake is through lush forest, over sharp ridges, and crosses volcanic rivers, streams and boiling mud. The streams vary in colour from normal clear water to milky blue, black, white, yellow and orange. Steam and sulphur fumes increase the closer you get. The trail itself is approximately eight miles long, and is a three-hour walk each way. This amount of time should be allowed for. On our return we stop at the Titou Gorge to cool off. Little Throat is the literal translation for Titou Gorge – a narrow ravine carved into the rocks by the river. This breath-taking upstream swim through this cave-like setting lit by rays of sunlight streaking through the forest is absolutely astounding and refreshing! At the top of the gorge is a small waterfall. This exploration is done with the use of life vests.

Overnight at hotel.

Time – 7 hours
Degree of Difficulty – Strenuous

Day 04: Hot Springs & Caribbean Cooking Experience
Today is our first opportunity to get off the trail and enjoy the softer side of Dominica. We start with a visit to beautiful hot springs – a perfect opportunity to slow down and enjoy the picturesque landscapes and exotic flora and fauna. Enjoy the hot pools before continuing onto our Cooking Caribbean adventure – a unique food experience where you will have a chance to participate in our local cuisine. This is an authentic and hands-on culinary experience at a family home in the foothills of Morne Anglais. Have fun while we share our colourful stories served with a helping or two of herb infused rum. Cook in our purpose built kitchen set amid lush tropical gardens and enjoy great views. Learn how herbs and fresh organic products are used in Caribbean cuisine as you experience a slice of local life. A food and family lifestyle experience much lauded by experts, Cooking Caribbean is unique, sassy, and great tasting.

Overnight Petite Pradis or similar.

Day 05: Middleham Waterfall – Segment 4 of the trail
The route covers part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Morne Trois Pitons National Park, and showcases in a very real way primary and secondary rainforest, as provides living instruction on biodiversity as well as watershed management. The National Park was inscribed in 1998 and awarded because of its rich bio diversity and flora and fauna. Part of this section is associated with a period of Dominica’s history 100 years ago when many British investors came to Dominica to open up coffee, cocoa and citrus estates in the interior of the island. Many of these attempts failed and the land went back to forest. A highlight along this route will be a short detour to visit the 250 ft. high Middleham Waterfall, Dominica’s tallest. For the adventurous, this provides for a (very cold) swim. From there the trail disappears for a jungle adventure through thick rainforest and forest swamp lands with river crossings, and some rock scrambling, and opportunities for viewing tropical flora and fauna. The segment ends in Pont Casse.

Time – Whole Day

Distance – 12km

Day 06: The rural and wild East Coast – Delices and Petite Soufriere
This day-long adventure will feature the east coast and (wild) Atlantic side of Dominica. This side of the island has traditionally been agricultural and is deeply rooted in culture. Today your first stop will be in the village of Soufriere. En route you drive through the Morne Trois Pitons National Park UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as other rural communities that have traditionally survived on agriculture and agro processing. These communities have not been exposed to receiving visitors and tourism, and have been struggling with their livelihoods since the passage of Hurricane Maria when their crops and means of processing cassava and bay oil were destroyed. From the village there is the option to do a 2 hour walk along an old estate trail, once used by the Kalinago Indians and still used by farmers today. Fantastic views of the raging Atlantic and the rugged landscapes await. Alternatively, you can opt for a vehicle transfer retracing your route for part of the way, and then continuing onto the deep south east to the old Rosalie Estate where you encounter the roaring Atlantic. At Rosalie you have lunch, and then continue on a siteseeing tour to the deep south eastern community of Delices, to Zion Valley. Named by the Rastafarian community who live in the area, this small homestead sits on the banks of the White River and the Jack River and there is the opportunity to enjoy a swim in the cool refreshing river. With luck we may get to meet Moses a very colourful character, who has much to share about his life and local experiences. Weather permitting we do an up river trek to visit either the Sari Sari or the Victoria Waterfalls. After a long day we return to our accommodation near Castle Bruce Beach.

Day 07: Trek Kalinago Territory to Hatten Garden – Segment 6 of the trail
Today we introduce you to Dominica’s indigenous people, the Kalinago. This easterly-most segment of the Waitukubuli National Trail – best described as being an open living museum, provides deep insight into the culture and lifestyles of the Kalinago people while providing stunning vistas of the rugged Atlantic coastline. At approximately 13 km long, this segment can be completed in about 6.5 hours. Encounters with the locals are continuous – the first in the hamlet of Sineku in the vicinity of the Les Calier Tete Chien attraction, and the others as the trail slithers between forests and the hamlets along old trails and surfaced roadway – first Mahaut River, then onto Gaulette River and then St. Cyr (pronounced Sen si). Some of these trails are perched on thin ledges above the roaring Atlantic. The terrain is undulating, climbing and dipping gently along most of the segment – never climbing higher than 100 metres above sea level, though some of these short ascents can be steep in areas. This segment goes through very little forest vegetation, and this hike can be taxing because of the lack of shade – hikers should use a broad brimmed hat and carry loads of bottled water. Along the hamlets are small craft shops and friendly Kalinago, all waiting to say hello. Highlights include agricultural farms, a local shrine, a community cemetery, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Kalinago Barana Aute – a tourism facility showcasing things-Kalinago. At the Kalinago Barana Aute we offer hikers the option to end the hike, and spend the afternoon experiencing the KBA. For those who may want to continue the hike to the end of the segment, from the hamlet of Bataca there is the 1.5 km-long walk up to Horseback Ridge – a 250 metre altitude climb that comes at the end of a long and possibly hot day. This ascent and steep descent (that follows) into the Pagua Valley is another of the challenging sections of this strenuous hike. This last 1.5 hours stretch over the final 4 km of the segment, ends at the Pagua River and provides an excellent opportunity for a well-earned cooling dip in the refreshing Pagua River. From here we return to our hotel where you spend a quiet night.

Time – 4.5 hours
Distance – 7 km
Cumulative height gain of 350 metres and descent of 400 metres

Day 08: Colihaut Heights to Bourne – Segments 10 and part of Segment 11 of the trail
Today promises to be a challenging day – hiking along a combination of segments 10 and part of Segment 11 for an approximate distance of 12 km and trekking time of 5 hours through lush forest. Segment 10 follows an old agricultural road and is generally all flat and at 6.7 km requires just about 3 hours for completion. Segment 11 features sections of the Northern Forest Reserves and the last section of the walk is bumpy as the trail dips into the area through which the Picard River flows.

From our accommodation there is a 20 minute transfer to the village of Colihaut, followed by an off-road transfer along the rocky farm road to the heights of Colihaut and the trail head of Segment 10. The trek features a mix of old and abandoned farm and estate roads, and opens up sections of the Northern Forest Reserve providing excellent opportunities for sighting the Jaco and Sisserou Parrots and other fauna in their undisturbed habitats. Towering forest species, old estate roads, farm lands and citrus orchards in the Syndicate Valley and Visitor Reception centre, dry river courses, spectacular dry forest stands and choruses of singing birds await the hikers today. The route ends along the heart of the commercial area of Portsmouth at the Ros Castle rest area, from where we are able to trek back to our accommodation.

Time – Whole Day
Distance – 12km
Cumulative height gain of 300m and descent of 700m

Day 09: Penville to Portsmouth – Segment 13 & 14 of the trail
The day begins with a 40 minute transfer from the Sister Sea Lodge to the small hamlet of Delaford – the official start of Segment 13. Enroute we pass through the Soufriere area which provides spectacular vistas of the neighboring islands. We are also able to stop at the Cold Soufriere and visit the cold sulphur springs. Today promises to feature a day like no other, and will explore the last 2 segments of the trail – segment 13 by land, and segment 14 by sea, while offering views of the neighboring French islands to the north. Segment 13 is along volcanic terrain and is through dry forest. It is one of the oldest and most frequently used and maintained routes, and though undulating makes for a very easy hike. At 7 km it is one of the shorter segments requiring just about 3 hours for completion. Once the main route connecting the communities of the northern end of Dominica, the overland part of the day follows the volcanic terrain along the narrow shelf through a period of history spanning the Kalinago and French migrants who controlled large estates. En route, spectacular views of the neighbouring islands of Guadeloupe, Marie Galante, and Les Saintes, and the remains of Grand Fond Village tell the tale of a village abandoned – a sign of changing fortunes and economics. Cana Heritage Park the site of an Amerindian village, an early missionary site of the Capuchin Order and a military signal station is the entrance to the village of Capuchin. Buffet home-cooked lunch at Capuchin breaks the routine. From here we continue by car along Segment 14 through the villages of Clifton, Cottage, Tane Tane before ending at the Cabrits National Park and spectacular views of the Prince Rupert and Douglas Bays.

Time – 5 hours
Distance – 14 km

Cumulative height gain of 675m and descent of 600m

Day 10: Indian River boat trip, Fort Shirley & Beach
Your day begins with a short transfer to the pier of the Indian River, up which we will have a guided rowboating tour to explore the mangroves and wildlife. For bird watchers or nature-lovers this 90 minute rowing boat-trip up the Indian River is perfect. Glide through the mangroves and wetlands of this brackish river with your personal guide who will tell you everything about the incredible flora and fauna en route. Next we have a short transfer to Fort Shirley, a large 18th-century British garrison which once housed 600 soldiers and located upon the twin hills of the Cabrits (which towers over the town of Portsmouth). This site provides important examples of 18th century defense systems, as well as excellent panoramic viewing of Prince Rupert Bay and the town, and is a perfect location for a picnic lunch. From here a gentle 20 minute walk will take us to the beach, where we spend the rest of the afternoon….the perfect end to our 11-day Dominica adventure! From here a short transfer to hotel.

Day 11: Drive to Melville airport where trip concludes
After breakfast there is a 30 minute transfer to the Melville Hall Airport, where the trip arrangements conclude.

City Nights Hotels
Roseau 02 Rosalie Bay Eco Resort & Spa
Wotten Waven 03 Le petit paradis
Rosalie 05 Rosalie Forest Eco Lodge

Includes:
– Meeting and assistance by our representative.
– 10 nights accommodation as per program
– Meals: Breakfasts, Lunch & Dinners
– All activities as per mentioned in the program
– All present government taxes.

• International Flights.
• Personal Expenses.
• Camera / Video Camera Fees.
• Medical Aid.
• Tips.
• Travel Insurance.

• Accommodation in good hotels.

• Check-in / out time is 12 noon at most of the hotels.

• Extension to other places is also possible with a minimal extra cost. – Additional nights are available at each place with minimal supplement.

• A visa is required and must be obtained prior to your departure from your Country.

• If quoted hotel is not available, we will provide one of a similar category and standard.

• Small deviations in the tour program are sometimes necessary, depending on weather, road conditions, flight schedules and room availability.

• In case the government changes presently applicable taxes, increase in airlines prices, fuel surcharge our rates will need to be adjusted accordingly.

• In Asia, there is no relevance between the distance and time of travelling, as it depends upon the condition of the roads and congestion of the traffic.

• While every effort will be made to maintain the itinerary, in view of local strikes etc that are beyond our control all schedule and itineraries are subject to last moment changes.

• Clients must be fully insured, as the company cannot accept liability for loss or damage to client’s property, medical emergencies or any other loss suffered by them whilst on tour.

• In Case of issuing Domestic or International air tickets, SGV is not responsible for any refund if the flight is delayed or cancelled, as it is the responsibility of airline.

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