Photo: Darryl Brooks/Shutterstock

The 'Nature Island of the Caribbean' Is Getting Its First International Airport

Dominica Beaches and Islands Airports + Flying
by Katie Scott Aiton Mar 27, 2024

It’s looking like Dominica will get an international airport by 2026, and this will be game-changer for visitors. The project, costing north of $1 billion, will welcome international flights from around the world — a stark contrast to the facilities at the current airport, Douglas-Charles Airport, which mainly handles domestic flights and around 60,000 passengers per year through the three gates. Dominica International Airport has been in the planning stages for several years. The new airport is being built on a 500-acre site. On completion, the runways will facilitate planes from local Caribbean airports and the US and Europe.

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Often overlooked for other islands, Dominica is one of the best-kept secrets of the Caribbean. It’s commonly referred to as “Nature Island,” and the first people who inhabited the island, the Kalinago people, clearly lived in tandem with nature. And they do so still today. Those who came later to build a life here are held to similar standards of respect for the land and ocean — and every living thing in between. This makes Dominica a very special place.

And it’s not just the natural heritage of bountiful lush rainforests, national parks, volcanic peaks, marine reserves, and natural hot springs that draw visitors, the friendly locals are welcoming, and the general vibe here is horizontally laid-back. That said, hoteliers and restauranteurs take hospitality seriously on the island. Across Dominica, you’ll find some of the very best luxury hotels in the Caribbean. These businesses blend world-class service and amenities with sustainability practices that support the local community and the environment.

Glassy Point, East Coast of Dominica, West Indies

Photo: Darryl Brooks/Shutterstock

Getting to Dominica, however, often includes a connecting domestic flight from neighboring islands like St Lucia. Samuel Johnson, CEO of the Dominica International Airport Development Company, told Skift that improving air connectivity is the final piece of the puzzle for the tourism industry of the island. Johnson explains that it’s all very well having the best hotels and jaw-dropping scenery, if the flight connections are not fluid and people have a difficult journey, it can cause “friction.” And that’s the last thing the people of Dominica want for visitors.

With its new airport, Dominica is looking to attract more tourists to its shores. The good news is the island already has a natural playground for visitors to enjoy and a handful of excellent all-inclusive luxury resorts.

It’s also one of the top ten destinations for diving in the world. Catering to all experience levels — from calm shallows teeming with macro life to adrenaline-pumping drift dives and wall dives — Dominica’s volcanic landscapes extend below the surface, creating a wonderland of pinnacles, coral reefs, and marine life. Snorkelers will also enjoy Champagne Reef, a volcanic reef constantly bubbling with champagne-like effervescence due to the escaping volcanic gases.

Sperm whale off the coast of Roseau, Dominica, in the Caribbean Sea

Photo: Russ Heinl/Shutterstock

Hiking in Dominica is also plentiful, with trails ranging from easy waterfall hikes to challenging climbs that lead you through lush rainforests, past boiling lakes, volcanic peaks, and hidden hot springs, all offering breathtaking views and the chance to spot rare wildlife. Come December to April, the island attracts humpback whales which can be spotted from the coast. But year round you’ll see sperm whales. Dominica’s deep waters come close to the shore allowing for close encounters with these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat.

The island’s beautiful landscapes offer a natural backdrop to a handful of dreamy all-inclusive hotels.


One of the best, Secret Bay, sits on a cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea. The six-star rainforest resort’s award-winning ultra-luxury villas are constructed from sustainably sourced Guyanese hardwood and Red Cedar. They feature private plunge pools, on-call concierge, gourmet chefs, free-standing tubs, and pillow hammocks.


Another superb option is the InterContinental Dominica Cabrits Resort & Spa. The beachfront resort is located in Portsmouth, and offers a luxurious yet secluded getaway, perfect for eco-conscious travelers. The resort’s spacious rooms come with balconies or terraces offering stunning views of either the Cabrits National Park or the Caribbean Sea. Upgraded suites even come with private plunge pools for an extra opulent touch. The international brand is committed to eco-conscious practices and supports the local community. The four-star is a smidge more affordable than Secret Bay and is ideal for those traveling with a family.

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