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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.


My most recent beach review was of Napier’s White Sand Beach, at Point Baptiste, Calibishie. In it, I mentioned that it was near the beautiful Black Sand Beach and in fact could be reached by walking paths. Therefore, I’ll give you a view of the Black Sand Beach and a few descriptive paragraphs this time around.

Black Sand Beach is nestled in a cove bounded on the west by the cliffs that overlook Napier’s Beach and by Red Rocks on the east. It is reached by trails, with the decent made fairly easy by well-cut steps.

The beach is tiny, and the off wave will wash over it, so you can’t lie out on it. It is sunny in mid-day from May to August when the sun passes to the north of overhead. You might think that the black sand in the sun would be too hot to walk on barefoot, but because it is constantly wet by the sea, the beach sand is cool.

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Even our miniature schnauzer dog “Ranger” enjoys the Black Sand Beach. Ranger is a smart dog, that’s why when his not on the beach, he is shows-off his 16 tricks to the kids in the nearby community (Calibishie and Paix Bouche) schools.

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Another interesting thing about this sand is its texture and weight. I don’t know its geologic composition, but it is jet black, very fine and smooth, not at all sticky, and quite dense. Incidentally, there are some beaches, Woodford Hill, or one, that have places where black sand like this can be found an inch or two below the white sand in some spots.

It’s possible to enter the sea for a dip at one end of the tiny beach, and there are interesting corals for snorkeling at the other end. But even if you don’t swim or snorkel, Black Sand Beach is worth visiting juts to drink in the visual beauty. Coconut palms shade the beach, the contrast between the black sand and the red rocks is visually striking, and the gorgeous blue sea breaks onto the coral, the red rocks, and cliffs nearby, providing not only sights but a sound track as well for any nature lover.

Getting To Black Sand Beach

The easiest route to Black Sand Beach is as follows: Turn off left onto the Point Baptiste road as you take the main road from Calibishie towards Melville Hall Airport. Take the left fork in the Point Baptiste road at the top of the hill. Continue past the last house and onto the dirt road, which curves to the right and ends in a meadow. Park at the end of the dirt road and look for a pathway that heads towards the sea. Take the first turn to the right on the pathway, and follow the path you’ve taken. It will go downhill and across a flat rock area, from which you can see Red Rocks on your left as you face the sea. Take up the path again as it enters the bush and proceed slightly uphill. You will come to the Napier grave sites. Look for a trail heading down to the sea from there; it leads directly down to the Black Sand Beach.

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Note: This post was guest blogged by Dan Tanner of Dan and Ruth Tanner dot com

It seems I have created a monster, 👿 soon after I published the video post about the golden sand beach in Woodford Hill. My good friend Dan Tanner couldn’t help himself and have decided to write reviews on some of the best and worse beaches on Dominica Island. First up Batibou Beach.

Batibou Beach is on the Atlantic-side of the island is one of the broadest and widest of all beaches in Dominica. A stream goes down to it, but it’s a small stream, so the water tends not to cloud after rainstorms (and one swims, but seldom snorkels Atlantic-side anyhow). Because this part of Dominica’s Atlantic side is a “shelf? where the coastline runs east-west, the breakers are mostly gentle and fun to play in. And the beach’s slope is quite gradual without drop-off, so you can wade in a good distance from the shore. At Batibou you’ll find plenty of shade trees and sandy spots for picnicking, too. Just don’t sit under a coconut tree!

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Is Batibou perfection?

Well, that depends on your definition of “perfect? Batibou is not within walking distance of any lodging. It can be very difficult for the first-time visitor to locate, and from the roadside entrance, the walk down is a tough half-hour trek or a very harrowing drive – and don’t even think of driving down unless you have a 4WD vehicle with high ground clearance and there’s not been any recent heavy rain. Of course, those attributes make for “perfection” if you definition connotes “unspoiled” and “isolated”. The isolation also has served well to make Batibou virtually litter-free, which is always a plus. But there’s one more thing that, unfortunately, must be said: Tourists should not go to Batibou alone.

Isolated-Good

The isolation permits a few “bad apples” to prey upon unaccompanied tourists and rob them. You will be quite safe if you take a Dominican with you – and if you make friends in a town or village you can always find someone eager to go to the beach with you. My wife and I are fond of Batibou. We always take friends to the beach with us – heck, going to the beach is more fun that way, especially if children are brought along, we think. And we’ve never been bothered, but we have heard of many who went alone and were. And let’s be honest, your unguarded possessions aren’t very safe at those beaches by the hotels on the “developed” islands.

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Find Batibou Beach

Follow the main road from Portsmouth toward Melville Hall Airport. Pass the Bense bus stop; there the main road takes a sharp uphill left turn immediately after a bridge, and stay on the main road. Later, there will be an intersection sign, and then the new concrete road from Bense joins the main road, coming in from the right. A bit further on you will see an abandoned yellow church and weeded-over burial ground on the left. Just a few hundred yards past that there is a dirt track on the left – that is the track down to Batibou Beach.

So, go to Batibou Beach if you can, is our advice. Bring your picnic, because there are no “services” at this beautiful, wild-looking natural spot, and please remember to carry out everything you’ve carried in. Enjoy!

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