Caribbean Cascades: Trafalgar Falls, Dominica

This double drop waterfall is an island favorite, and it offers more than just a view


Dominica’s towering peaks harvest abundant rainfall from clouds that form when easterly trade winds contact the slopes. This precipitation creates an abundance of tumbling streams and waterfalls, and the island boasts more than a dozen significant cataracts in all. Trafalgar Falls is a favorite, not only for scenic charm, but also accessibility. Located within the Morne Trois Pitons National Park, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is an easy 10-minute walk from a parking area. The path winds through lush foliage and beds of giant ferns to a viewing platform overlooking the falls. There are two drops. The upper fall, nicknamed “The Father,” plunges down a boulder-strewn ravine where warm sulfur waters bubble up to create natural hot pools in the waterway below. Just a few yards farther along, the waters take a second and even more dramatic plunge over the lower falls, known as “The Mother.”

An aquamarine pool at the base of this drop is a favorite with swimmers who make the scramble down from the viewing area over a collection of giant boulders. As one of Dominica’s leading attractions, Trafalgar Falls is a favorite day trip for cruise ship passengers. If you are staying on island, you might want to visit later in the afternoon, after the shuttle buses have packed up. By then, there’s a good chance you’ll have the falls and the hot pools to yourself, and if you linger till dusk, the fireflies come out to light the jungle.