Fort Shirley#6 in Best Things To Do in Dominica
Price & Hours
The Cabrits National Park shelters a few swamps, coral reefs and wetlands near the town of Portsmouth. The park is best known as the site of Fort Shirley though, an 18th-century stronghold with spectacular views down to the Prince Rupert Bay and the remains of a volcanic crater on Dominica's northwest coast. Fort Shirley also holds the distinction of being a UNESCO World Heritage site for its unique history, which includes a mutiny of African slave soldiers. Recent visitors said that Fort Shirley has signs explaining its history, but they still recommend talking with one of the on-site guides who are around the site (although they are sometimes difficult to find, according to visitors).
Most people who visit Dominica do so for the intensive adventure activities, but if you need a down day or have a history enthusiast in your group, consider taking a trip to the site. The park and namely, Fort Shirley, have been undergoing restorations for the past couple years. For a minimal cost of around EC$14 ($5) you can tour the improved grounds and enjoy the scenery. Keep in mind: Fort Shirley is 30 miles north of Roseau, so the taxi ride there can be a bit expensive.
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#1 Trafalgar Falls
Located on the west side of Morne Trois Pitons National Park (around 6 miles from Roseau), the jaw-dropping Trafalgar Falls are two of the most-visited sights on the island. In addition to being incredibly impressive, they're also easily accessible for the most amateur hikers and adventure seekers. The upper waterfall (colloquially referred to as "Father") cascades dramatically from the Trois Pitons River, across the Titou Gorge and empties into hot sulfur springs, while the lower waterfall ("Mother") flows gently from the river into a natural swimming pool.
The park has standard facilities, including bathrooms and a parking lot. Sometimes, young locals loiter around the park entrance or at the base of the falls, offering to assist you on your tour of the area. Keep in mind that taking them up on their offer will cost you more than the meager entrance fee to the park, and in the case of the Trafalgar Falls, is probably not necessary. The trek to the waterfalls is only a short walk. If you do decide to purchase a guided tour, be sure to remember to negotiate a fee for the tour before agreeing to one.
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