If you would like to visit a waterfall in the Northern part of Dominica, check out Bwa Nef Falls! The trailhead to Bwa Nef can be found off of the Northern Link Road between Lower Penville and En Bas/Vielle Case, about 30 minutes drive from Hotel The Champs. There is a sign marking the trail from the main road.
To start the hike, you walk from the main road down towards the river. There you will see the upstream river trail that leads the way to Bwa Nef. During the hike you will be walking around mud, water, rocks, tree roots, foliage etc. so be sure to have appropriate shoes.
It takes about 35 minutes to hike to the waterfall. You will pass banana plantations and thick jungle where you can spot land crabs. The tall waterfall is in a small canyon, tucked away from view until you are right below it. The cascade is almost hidden behind these towering rock walls. Beams of light, coming around boulders wedged between the rock walls above you, shine down through the water. It’s glorious! There is a small little area to ‘swim’ in if you want.
A nice stop on the way could be the cold Sulphur Springs; Unlike most of the springs on Dominica and other Caribbean islands, these are characterized by very cold water which comes as a surprise considering that they are located just next to the active volcano. But apparently, magma layer lies too deep under the ground to heat the water.
Dominica is geologically a very young island and geothermal activity is still present here. Cold Sulphur Springs is one of many sites that confirms it- you can see how water is bubbling not only in the main pool but also in the numerous geysers of different size. It’s just a few hundred meters from the main road and reachable by a well- prepared path.
A Sample “Playlist” to Discovering Dominica
From North to South, East to West, Dominica has so much to explore. At The Champs, taking the traditional bucket list up a notch, presenting a playlist guide to the best of Dominica, with options from easy to extreme.
- Drift down a “River of Dreams”
A river for every day of the year, so why not take a ride. For the easy-going traveler, an Indian River boat ride is the most relaxing choice and it’s only five minutes away flowing through the town of Portsmouth. For the more adventurous, let’s go tubing down the Layou or Pagua Rivers.
- Take a “Misty Mountain” hop (hike)
A must-do on the Caribbean’s most mountainous island is a hike. The Champs is close to Dominica’s tallest peak, Morne Diablotins. The 4 to 6-hour return trek isn’tfor the faint at heart but if that’s your speed we will arrange with certified guides.
- Go chasing “Waterfalls”
Across the length and breadth of Dominica are multiple waterfalls for a very Nature Island experience. Three of our easy favorite choices are Milton (Syndicate) Falls, Chaudière Pool, and Emerald Pool.
- Look out for the “Three Little Birds”
Syndicate Nature Trail within the Morne Diablotins National Park is by far one of the best places to go birdwatching and see Dominica’s indigenous parrots and many of the over 190 species of birds on the island.
- Go “Into the Deep”
We embrace all the water that comes with being at the center of the Caribbean. At the Champs, we organize the best dive excursions with our local dive shops, dive training and certification is also available. If you don’t want to dive, let’s go whale and dolphin watching. Dominica is the whale watching, capital of the Caribbean.
- Lounge next to “Castles made of Sand”
Yes, Dominica has beaches, actually, Portsmouth and surroundings have some of the island’s best beaches. Let our team put together a beach picnic and drive you to Coconut Beach, Picard Beach, Purple Turtle Beach, or Toucarie Beach. All are within 5 to 15 minutes of The Champs.
- Let that “Pony Run”
Exploring Dominica by horse sounds like fun. Take a guided horseback tour along historic forest trails in the Cabrits National Park and end your ride on the beach into the water.
- The lake is boiling “Hot, Hot, Hot”
Dominica is home to the world’s second-largest Boiling Lake. The six-hour guided hike through Valley of Desolation takes you along unique terrains to a world wonder that will take your breath away.
- We are a welcoming “Famalay”
There are so many things to do in Dominica we can’t list them all, but our knowledgeable staff are here to help you find something to suit your tastes, just ask.
The second part of this daytrip includes the famous UNESCO World Heritage Site – Emerald Falls – but lets not forget from last week that after the hike to Salton Falls lunch is now in order.
Turn right out of Salton Falls and after about 2 minutes driving a straight road you will arrive at Pond Casse roundabout. You take the second exit/go straight across it and after about another 3 minutes you will see Zeb Zepis Bistro on your right.
Zeb Zepis Bistro
We’re big fans of this restaurant – a mixture of French and Creole influences; some really delicious and creative locally sourced food. Cash or local cheques only. Closed Mondays.
After lunch you can turn right out of the restaurant and head towards Emerald Falls; you will see a road that turns to your left and the UNESCO World Heritage Site – Emeralf Falls is after on your left, well signposted. But before you get there you will come across a vegetable and fruit stall on the left side of the road known as the Farmacy, the proprietor of which will no doubt introduce you to a fruit or vegetable you’ve never heard of.
Emerald Falls is part of the Morne Trois Pitons National Park. You can buy a one time entrance ticket for $14ECD or $5USD of pay for a week’s pass to many other sites on the island for $33ECD or about $12USD. The path is well paved and walks gently round and down to the beautiful pool and fall of about 50 feet/15 feet.
Emerald Falls and pool
The approach to Emerald Falls
There are a few curio shops at the entrance you may want to check out on your way out. You simply drive back the way you came to The Champs Hotel. We will be waiting to hear all about it. You may wish to stop at the beautiful Mero Beach on your way home if you have time and fancy another swim (you can swim in both Emerald and Salton pools), or just wait for a swim at our pool with a cocktail from the bar.
We can tell you about Mero beach in another blog sometime…
This will take up the majority of your day, so after a delicious breakfast at Hotel the Champs you can drive southbound following the coast past Coulbistrie and Mero and Layou. On the approach to Mahaut, not long after the Rubis petrol station you can turn uphill onto the Warner Road towards Pont Casse .
You will find Salton Waterfalls entrance on your right. If you get to the Pont Casse roundabout you’ve gone too far. This is a privately owned area and the entrance fee is $5EXD per person. You park at the car park at the top then follow a paved road downhill. You can hear the waterfalls from the first turning and the trail soon becomes unpaved and increasingly wild and ‘jungley’.
You will see an array of beautiful plants and flowers of course, and the path gets increasingly steep and sometimes a little slippery – you’ll need more than just flip flops.
The first falls you come to (lower down) is a double set….
Lower falls at Salton
You go back on yourself then up a much steeper path to your right (left when coming downhill)to reach the other waterfall which is much bigger and fall into a great pool for swimming in. Take great care when climbing in as there are slippery rocks
Upper waterfall at Salton
a little cold after a swim
Enjoy and relax ahead of the steep climb back up the hill towards the most delicious French Creole restaurant for lunch…. detailed in the next blog next week along with a few other tips!
Steep climb (the part shown is not rocky) but you should bring better shoes than flip flops