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Dominica Day Trip To The Emerald Pool & Kalinago Barana Aute

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Emerald Pool and Kalinago Barana Aute Day Trip

You can’t visit Dominica without making your way to the Emerald Pool for a hike and a swim. Nature’s island is ready to be explored and we have hired a driver to take us from Portsmouth to Roseau in the south via two important Dominica stops. The Emerald Pool is all about nature, while our first stop is about man. Specifically, we will be stopping at Kalinago Barana Aute, a model village of the last remaining indigenous people of the Caribbean, the Kalinago. History, culture and nature all in one day.

So refreshing in the Emerald Pool

While you can book group tours through local operators and at your hotel we have hired a private driver just for us. Check with your hotel to see if they can recommend someone. If you are lucky you will get Mr Oris Campbell who was our driver. Not only was he our driver but he was also a wealth of knowledge about the area and he also knew the best places to stop for photos and to meet some of the local people.

Amazing view from the eastern side of Dominica

One such stop on our way to Kalinago Barana Aute was at a private home that had a market stall out front. Everything for sale was made by the family that lived here. Normally a booming trade, business is down since Hurricane Maria swept through the area. A few of us did our part and picked up a few souvenirs while we talked with the family.

Private home and market stall on our way to Kalinago

Items for sale made by the local Kalinago people of Dominica

The matriarch of the family even invited me into her home to see what she was cooking. Damn, it smelled good! Seriously the nicest people ever.

Soup is on the stove

It is not that far to our first destination. The Kalinago Barana Aute is located within what is called the Carib Territory. Established in 1903 by the British colonial rulers for the original indigenous people. The Kalinago had had most of their lands taken from them by the 1760’s and so most had moved to the eastern shores of the island in the territory they now call home.

At Kalinago Barana Aute in Dominica

We step into the Interpretive Centre where our guide gives us a brief background on the Kalinago people, the history of the territory and a what we can expect to see when we tour the village.

Welcome briefing at the Kalinago Barana Aute interpretive centre

When we walk through the site you can really see the devastation from the hurricane. So much has to be rebuilt so we are really only seeing a bare-bones version of the site.

A hut is being rebuilt at Kalinago Barana Aute after Hurricane Maria

It is amazing to hear the stories of the Kalinago people in a place where they used to live. How all the building materials they needed were just a short walk away. Homes were kept small but there is a large gathering hall which today is used for many feasts and performances.

Gathering place for the Kalinago people

We pay our respects to our hosts and bid them farewell as we load back into our vehicle. Our next stop is Dominica’s famous Emerald Pool.

Oops, we can’t forget lunch. Oris stops at Islet View Restaurant on the Castle Bruce Highway. True to its name the views are spectacular.

The view from Island View Restaurant

You’ll come for the view but it’s the food that will bring you back. There is a little bit of everything on the plate. This was the lunch special and included chicken, beef, salad, rice and beans, plantain chips and taro root buns.

Lunch is served at Island View Restaurant in Dominica

Ok, now we are off to the Emerald Pool. Located within the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Morne Trois Piton National Park the hike to the pool is quite easy and should only take about 15 to 20 minutes max. While the trail is easy it does have some steep steps so be careful.

Trail to the Emerald Pool

Hiking down to the Emerald Pool

Once you reach the bottom you may not want to leave. I hope you wore your bathing suit. We did, and I immediately waded into the pool. So refreshing and invigorating. I even tried to make my way under the waterfall.

The Emerald Pool in Dominica

So refreshing in the Emerald Pool

Sadly our day trip is nearing its end. After hiking back up to the top we dry off and with Oris at the helm, we make our way to Roseau and the Fort Young Hotel where we will be staying for a couple of nights.

No matter where you are on the Island both Kalinago Barana Aute and the Emerald Pool are accessible day trip options. We did both including two stops. Don’t let the distance fool you into thinking it’s a short drive. The roads are narrow and I highly recommend you book a driver. Let him or her worry about the roads while you enjoy the sights of Dominica.

Map of day trip in Dominica

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Disclosure: General

Thank you to Discover Dominica for inviting and hosting me on this post-hurricane tour. While my stays and adventures were all hosted my views and opinions are 100% my own.


About Author

Marc Smith is a former event planner turned vagabond adventurer. He loves strong Americano's, great wine, cold beer and zip lining over tree tops. Formerly of Vancouver, most of Marc's time when not travelling is in Canada's largest city, Toronto. Follow along on his nomad adventures and discover places to stay, things to do and where to eat & drink as he explores the world one city and region at a time.

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