When Is the Best Time
The heart of Dominica is one of the wettest places on earth. Showers frequently occur also on this strenuous and long day hike in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park to the Boiling Lake. The best time for hiking on Dominica Island is the drier season from December to May.
Lush rainforest due to the high amount of rain
We visited Dominica in February and checked the weather forecast daily. Just one day during the entire week was fine for hiking to Ti Tou Gorge and Boiling Lake. It is a rough and muddy trail for experienced hikers. Start this hike early. This track takes at least 6 hours without a break. Limited parking close to the trailhead. This is another reason for an early start. Titou Gorge gets busy when cruise ships are at the port of Roseau. This hiking trail is too strenuous to get busy.
Boiling Lake in the distance
The drier season lasts from December until May; however, showers occur frequently in the afternoon. The winter in the northern hemisphere is also the peak tourist season in the Caribbean. The Morne Trois Piton National Park in the heart of Dominica is one of the wettest regions worldwide, with 7 m of rain annually. The climate is humid tropical with day temperatures above 30°C/86°F and overnight lows dropping to 24°C/75°F on average. Usually, the driest month is March, and the wettest is August. From August to October, hurricanes can hit this little Caribbean Island. In September 2017, hurricane Maria devastated 90% of the infrastructure of Dominica. With climate change, hurricanes like this may grow in number in the future.
Watch the different whale species around Dominica, or how about a Caribbean cooking class? Jump into pristine pools, explore a hidden gorge and waterfall on this thrilling canyon adventure. Dominica is just breathtaking!
We travelled together with my brother and loved to stay in a rental holiday home with an outstanding view of the sea. There is limited availability for this kind of accommodation. Check out the most beautiful ones on Dominica and bookmark the link for your next journey.
Best Months to Visit
Location and Tips
Morne Trois Pitons was the first declared National Park in 1975. Since 1997 it is also World Heritage Site status. There is a high concentration of dormant volcanoes in the National Park. Different rainforests occur due to altitude differences, the reason for many different bird species.
Lots of volcanic activity can be seen in the park. The park is full of steaming vents, geysers, sulphur stained rocks, and boiling mud in the Valley of Desolation. The sulphur smells strong and, depending on the wind, intense.
Boiling Lake Hiking Description
The trailhead is at Titou Gorge. The trail is in better conditions than in former times but still rough, muddy, and uneven. The exhausting round trip takes at least 6 hours. First, follow the path into the rainforest along Ti Tou Gorge, which is on the left side. The first third of the track is leading to Breakfast River deep through the rainforest. When reaching the river, you may already smell the sulphur like rotten eggs. Cross the river and continue on the steep ascent to the summit of Mount or Morne Nicholls. This is half of the hike to the lake and the highest point of the entire hike. On clear days (which is rare), you get spectacular views across the Morne Trois Piton National Park. You may see steam rising to the east. This is where the hiking trail leads to Boiling Lake.
The descend to the Valley of Desolation is steep and often slippery. When you reach the bottom, turn left and cross a stream again. Now the track is a bit tricky through the valley, taking roughly half an hour. Take your time here and enjoy all the volcanic activity around you until you reach a forest again. The Valley of Desolation is fascinating. It has streams and bubbling mud.
The rocks are painted in different colours. It is not easy to follow the poorly marked trail. Follow the narrow track and cross the river again. Now the track climbs up again, but soon you will get a first glimpse of the Boiling Lake.
The hike ends at Boiling Lake, a flooded fumarole with a depth of 60m. It is the second biggest of its kind; only one in New Zealand, south of Rotorua, is larger. Already several times, the Boiling Lake run dry for a short period of time.
Packing List for Hiking
- Plenty of water for the long and demanding hike. The humidity is high. There isn't any shop nearby.
- Energy food is needed on this track.
- Light rain protection if showers occur.
- Towel and bath clothes to cool down in the refreshing waters of Ti Tou Gorge.
Birding in the Morne Trois Piton National Park
One of the four existing hummingbirds in Dominica - Purple-throated carib
The rainforest in this National Park is home to many birds. Almost 200 bird species occur in Dominica. The most famous ones are the Sisserou and the Jaco parrot.
Top Tip for Dominica
An adventurous hike not much known is Wavine Cyrique. However, you need climbing experiences and proper shoes for this steep track.