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Salisbury, also known by its Creole name of Barroui, Baroui or Bawi (pronounced ‘bah-wee’), is situated on the west coast of the Caribbean island of Dominica, known for its mountainous landscape, natural hot springs and lush tropical rainforests. At only 290 square miles, it is perfect to be explored from coast to coast with a Salisbury rental car.
There are only two airports in Dominica, the larger of which is Douglas-Charles Airport, formerly known as Melville Hall Airport, two miles northwest of Marigot and three miles south of Wesley. A Salisbury hire car can take you to Salisbury in an hour and 10 minutes driving between two large forest reserves.
With Salisbury located in the centre of the west coast of Dominica, the island can be walked from Scotts Head in the south (an hour by car) to Cappuchin in the northernmost tip (also an hour by car) in four hours along the Waitukubuli National Trail. The trail passes through the Morne Diablotins mountain (a half-hour drive), the highest in Dominica, the slopes of which are a natural habitat for parrots. Further north, in the Cabrits National Park, visit Fort Shirley (35 minutes by car), for a glimpse into the Caribbean’s colonial history. The fort was built in the 18th century as a British military outpost. In May/June every year it becomes venue to the Jazz 'n Creole festival.
The rocky Salisbury beach, half a mile from Salisbury, is one of the quietest and most distinctive beaches on the island with three coral reefs you can visit.
With a Salisbury hire car, you can easily explore both the east and west coasts of Dominica.
On the west coast, Roseau, Dominica’s capital, is a half-hour drive away. Enjoy the coloured timber houses and its botanical gardens. The Morne Trois Pitons National Park, a Unesco World Heritage Site, is situated to the east of Roseau. In the heart of the park the 200-foot-wide geothermal Boiling Lake bubbles away like a gigantic pot of water on a stove and is covered in steam. For experienced hikers, there is a steep 12-mile, eight-hour hike leading to it. Portsmouth, at the northwestern tip, is less than half an hour away. Take the popular boat ride down the Indian river to admire the local fauna and flora.
On the east coast, Wesley is an hour-and-a-quarter drive through the north of the island, and, Rosalie, with its well-known Rosalie Bay, under an hour. When crossing the island from west to east, stop by the Emerald Pool (40 minutes by car), a waterfall grotto surrounded by magnificent vegetation. The shimmering green water will be inviting you for a dip.
Dominicans drive on the left. You must be over 18 to drive, but for car hire the minimum age is 21-23 with premium rates for under-25s. You also need a local driving licence, which can be obtained from your car hire company for about US$12. Carry it always along with your insurance, passport and car registration papers.
The speed limit on open roads is 50mph and in town, up to 31mph. There are no toll roads. Tolerated alcohol levels are lower than in many countries. To avoid fines, do
The terrain in Dominica is very hilly and roads are narrow and curvy. If you are prone to motion sickness, it might be best to take an antiemetic before travelling. Road conditions can be hazardous. Watch out for potholes, rocks on rainy days, and beware of livestock roaming in the middle of the road.
Feeling excited about planning a visit to Salisbury and the rest of Dominica? Check out this city guide and use the Expedia search tool to help you find the best car hire, flight and hotel and research the best attractions and activities.
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