Dominica's Northwest Attractions
Portsmouth, Dominica's second largest town is found in the northwest along with national parks, mountains and river cruises.
Cabrits National Park
Cabrits National Park is 1,313ac/525ha of protected tropical forests and volcanic-sand beaches located on a peninsula just north of Portsmouth.The park also encompasses the surrounding coast and coral reefs, and Dominica's largest swamp.Contained within the park is Fort Shirley, the location of an English garrison which includes hiking trails.Snorkelers use the water off the park.
Fort Shirley was a large 18th C British garrison which once housed 600 soldiers. Some of the fort's stone ruins have been partially reconstructed; others are half-hidden in the jungle and can be explored.Views of Prince Rupert Bay are seen from the ruins of the Officer's Quarters where there is a small museum.Closed in 1854, Fort Shirley was briefly used in the 1870's and the 1920's as a hospital and quarantine station and later as an agricultural center.
Cabrits Cruise-Ship Port
Ships dock at the wooden pier of the Cabrits Cruise-Ship Port, the only cruise-ship terminal in the Caribbean within a national park.Films about Dominica, its history and attractions are shown inside the open-air 18th C West Indian-style pavilion.Paths lead from the pavilion into the surrounding park.
Portsmouth, Dominica's second-largest town, is situated in Dominica's north-west on Prince Rupert Bay.Columbus entered the bay during his fourth voyage to the New World in 1504.A market is held here twice a week with local fruits and spices for sale.There is a small colorful monument dedicated to Lord Cathcart and a line of shipwrecks piled up in the shallow waters behind the police station.
Glanvillia Swamp, Glanvillia
Glanvillia Swamp is an important wetland and one of the best bird-watching spots on Dominica.The village is famous for being the home of two of the oldest women in the world who both lived to be over 120 years old.
At Indian River native canoes can be taken through the mangroves.This river flows into the prime bird watching territory of Glanvilla Swamp.
Sandy Beach is a 2mi/3km stretch of sand and coconut trees fringing Douglas Bay and Prince Rupert Bay.
Northern Forest Reserve
Dominica's Northern Forest Reserve is a large area encompassing 22,000ac/8,800ha of land including the 4,747ft/1,424m Morne Diablotin, Dominica's highest peak.The main habitat of Dominica's two endangered parrot species is in the eastern section of the reserve.
Morne Diablotin National Park
Morne Diablotin, Dominica's tallest peak at an elevation of 4,747 ft/1,424m can be reached after a day's hiking through natural scenery which affords panoramic vistas of the island.The mountain is now the center piece of Morne Diablotin National Park which was established to protect this area.
The area of the Syndicate Estate is the best spot to see two endangered parrot species: the Red-necked or Jaco parrot and the Imperial or Sisserou parrot.The Sisserou is Dominica's national bird.
Morne Aux Diables
Morne Aux Diables rises behind the dark sand beach of Douglas Bay. A rigorous hike leads to the top of this scenic mountain of 2,826ft/848m.
Dublanc is a fishing village on Dominica's west coast.
St Joseph, Dominica
St Joseph, a simple fishing village is located behind a small black-sand beach.