Dominica Ecotourism: The Boiling Lake of Morne Trois Pitons National Park


The famous destination for Dominica ecotourism, the Boiling Lake, is located in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park, which was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1998 (the first in the Lesser Antilles of the Caribbean islands).

Dominica Ecotourism: Close Up of the Boiling Lake
The Boiling Lake
Courtesy of Jean & Nathalie
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The lake is one of the favorite tourist attractions in Dominica, and is located just east (6.5 miles or 10.5 kilometers) of the Dominican capital of Roseau. This Dominica ecotourism destination is a flooded volcanic crater, (actually a fumarole), and is filled with bubbling water. The water itself has a gray-blue tinge gives the lake a slightly surreal feeling. Usually, the lake is shrouded with a vapor cloud, adding to the mysterious feeling.

In the past, this Dominica ecotourism "hot spot" (pun intended!) has had water temperature measured between 180 to 197°F (82 to 91.5°C) along its outer perimeter.

While the size of the Boiling Lake varies, it has been measured to be as deep as 195 feet (59 meters) and 200 feet across (60 meters), making it the second largest thermally active lake in the world. However, there are times when the lake shrinks in size quite significantly. In fact, the lake had nearly disappeared in June 2006, but has since refilled and is bubbling away.

Dominica Ecotourism: Insects Near the Boiling Lake
Close Up View of Nature in Dominica
Courtesy of Antoine Hubert
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There is no road leading through the national park to get to the boiling lake. People who want to visit this spectacular destination have to hike about three hours in each direction (about 7 miles or 11 kilometers round trip) to visit this remote location. Most excursions to this area start around 8 or 8:30 AM to make sure that you return before dark.

One of the key benefits of the long hike, especially for those interested in the environment and ecotourism, is the ability to interact with nature and see the large variety of plants, animals and insects. In fact, the flora and fauna are so breathtaking, Dominica was chosen as the primary set of Disney's Pirate's of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.

Dominica Ecotourism: The Boiling Lake From a Distance
Approaching the Boiling Lake
Courtesy of Jean & Nathalie
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The hike itself is a humid and muddy hike through the rain forest, with one river crossing (meaning you will wade through the river). Be sure to wear comfortable but sturdy hiking shoes, and do not forget your camera (and somewhere dry to keep it). As with any strenuous hike in humid conditions, be sure to bring plenty of water to stay hydrated.

It is important to note, however, that those who have made the trek to this Dominica ecotourism destination have almost unanimously agreed that it is well worth the effort. It is definitely one of the must see tourist attractions in Dominica and one of the most unique attractions in the Caribbean islands.

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