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Experience Dominica – The Nature Island: Dominica Vacations | Exotic Vacations | Honeymoon Destination

Dominica weekly is a personal weblog about the nature island of Dominica.

veranda view inn in calibishie

Calibishie, on Dominica’s beautiful northeast coast, is fast becoming a favorite tourism haven.

Besides its own beauty and being a friendly village that boasts a nice general store at each end of the road by the bay, a tourist information center, a credit union, an auto rental agency with a full-service automobile repair/maintenance shop, a fishery, a gasoline station and a nice pub, Calibishie is also very close to beautiful natural wonders such as its own bay, Red Rocks, Napier’s black and white sand beaches, Hampstead Beach where scenes from the 1st and 2nd “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies were filmed, Blenheim Bay where the “Rhino’s Horn” from those movies juts from the sea, the Chaudière Plunge Pool in the adjacent village of Bense, and fine hiking.

It has been some time since I last wrote a restaurant review for Dominica Weekly. But now that my wife Ruth and I are retired and living permanently here on the Nature Island, I hope to contribute some reviews more frequently. Incidentally, since my last contributions, two restaurants have (apparently) closed. Kokonutz in Calibishie changed ownership and after a while closed down, it seems for while expansion and renovation proceed. There’s no word when it may re-open. And Silks in Hatton Garden shut abruptly; the telephone and e-mail aren’t answered and there’s a sign at its gate saying simply “closed”. I will let you know if I learn of either of them re-opening.

This review is of the Veranda View Inn & Restaurant in Calibishie. Look for the Veranda View on the main road heading towards Melville Hall Airport on the left not far after you’ve passed the primary school and tourist info center on your right shortly after you’ve gone over the bridge and you reach the bay and enter Calibishie village proper. There is a sign for the Veranda View. Enter through the little black iron gate.

veranda view inn

The Veranda View has been a Calibishie landmark for over 20 years. For over a year now it has been under new, reinvigorating ownership. Your hostess and proprietor is Hermein Kuis. The Veranda View specializes in seafood dishes and wonderful homemade deserts. Both are wonderful. The restaurant serves breakfasts and dinners. It’s a good idea to call ahead, especially if one desires a particular or hard-to-get seafood item. The phone number is 613-9493 (mobile) or 445-8900 (land-line). You can surf to for additional info.

Prices at the Veranda View Restaurant are in the range of what I’d term “tourist moderate”. That is, not the very small price one would expect to pay at a “native” place, but most definitely lower than charged by some of the “tourist traps”. A very nice dinner with drink and desert will set you back about EC$85.

veranda view inn and restaurant

You should bask in the ambience at Veranda View. You can have a drink at your table or the beach bar. There’s usually soft music playing on the stereo. You can step down to cool your feet in the bay. The view is magnificent, with Guadeloupe’s peaks prominent ahead and slightly to the left and Calibishie’s “Devil’s Gate further left. Display tables on the veranda groan under loads of fresh fruit. Shells, coral and sea fans complete the décor. And the garden adjacent to the veranda is lush and beautiful. In season the aroma of jasmine wafts from the garden to the tables.

I recommend the Veranda View for a dinner treat.

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One of the great things about Dominica, if you don’t feel like going to the beach (e.g Prince Rupert Bay or Batibou), you have the option to visit one off the 356 rivers on the island.

One of these is Chaudière, a deep mountain pool in a stream, reached on a trail from the village of Bense. The pool is deep enough to dive into safely from the highest rocks, and one can also enjoy the natural water slide. The water is so swift in the chute that one does not touch the smooth rock at all when sliding.

At Chaudière one can simply bask in the sun on the rocks and enjoy the rainforest canopy greenery and listen above the soothing sound of rushing water for birdcalls; you will occasionally hear – and possibly see – parrots. One can also bathe in the refreshing stream or pool – the rocks at the edge of the pool even provide some convenient seats and footholds.

And, for the adventurous souls, there’s the opportunity to dive or jump into the pool from the high rocks or ride the water chute down into the pool. What fun that is! And how refreshing! The bubbles will massage you and rejuvenate and cool you.

Chaudière (Creole for “pot” pronounced “show-dough”)


Chaudière Is Fun To Get To As Well

If you don’t mind a moderate 15-minute walk from the well-marked parking spot, that is. The trail is well-marked and easy to follow. Actually there are two trails: the old one – which is quite steep, and a newer one that is easier although slightly longer, and the new one is the one that is marked. You’ll have many beautiful vistas over valleys at the start of the trail, and rainforest habitat with flowers, ferns, vanilla vines, etc. on the middle part, and some meadows near the trail’s end just before you each the gorge and stream. You will have to step across some smaller streams and follow the sound of the water chute to get to the Chaudière pool itself.



Although you can get to Chaudière by taking a bus to Bense, you’ll probably want to take a car. Even from the highest point in Bense, it’s a fairly long walk to the parking spot at the trailhead. And, not all busses go up into Bense, and it would be a very long uphill trek from the Bense bus stop on the main road. Here’s how to get to the trailhead by car:

Coming from Portsmouth toward Melville Hall Airport along the main road, you will cross a bridge that has the well-marked Bense bus stop at the far end of the bridge. There’s also a sign there about Chaudière. The main road takes a sharp left, but you’ll turn right and head up into Bense. (If you’re coming from the airport, you can also take the new concrete road into Bense; it’s a left at an intersection sign on the main road).

Follow the road up to the highest point in Bense, which has a phone booth where the Bense road meets the new concrete road. There is one other road at that point, a track that heads along the ridgeline. Follow that track to the trailhead. You’ll know you’re on the right path when you see an experimental farm sign on your left, which also indicates that you’re halfway there. Fortunately, the part of the track that had been most unsettling to drive is now a nice concrete way.

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