3 Best Sights in Northeast Coast, Dominica

Hampstead Beach

This isolated gold-black-speckled sandy shoreline on the northeast coast actually encompasses three bays divided into two beaches. The Red River meets the sea at Hampstead Beach I—this is where Johnny Depp was chased by natives in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. The palm tree–lined Hampstead Beach II is on the sheltered and calm Batibou Bay. A 4x4 is the preferred mode of transportation to get here—or be prepared to hike in from the road. Both beaches ooze with charm and are worth the effort. Amenities: none. Best for: solitude; swimming.

Kalinago Territory

In 1903, after centuries of conflict, the Caribbean's first settlers—the Kalinago (Caribs)—were granted approximately 3,700 acres of land on the island's remote, mountainous, northeast coast. Here a hardened lava formation, L'Escalier Tête Chien (Snake's Staircase), runs down into the Atlantic. The name is derived from a snake whose head resembles that of a dog. The ocean alongside Kalinago Territory is particularly fierce, and the shore is full of countless coves and inlets. According to tribal legend, every night the nearby Londonderry Islets transform into grand canoes to take the spirits of the dead out to sea.

A chief administers the Kalinago Territory, where about 3,000 Carib descendants reside. The reservation's Catholic church in Salybia has a canoe as its altar, which was designed by Dr. Lennox Honychurch, a local historian, author, and artist.

The Kalinago people are mostly farmers and fishermen. Others are entrepreneurs who have opened restaurants, guesthouses, and little shops that offer exquisite handmade baskets and other crafts. The Kalinago have retained their knowledge of basket weaving, wood carving, and canoe building through generations. They fashion long, elegant canoes from the trunk of a single gommier tree.

L'Anse Tortue

On the northeast coast, this isolated, golden-sand beach with dabs of black is also known as Turtle Bay. It is a favorite for egg-laying turtles and for those who want seclusion without having to drive all the way out to Hampstead Beach. Sitting on a cove just past Woodford Hill, it's an easy, although sometimes steep, walk down from the road. There is no sign marking the trail or the beach, but it starts just across the road from a brown-building snack shop with Fanta signs. This is another BYOBC (bring your own beach chair) beach with no amenities. Its charm is its solitude and beauty. Amenities: none. Best for: solitude.

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