Dominica: The Boiling Lake

January 12, 2012 by

Day Trips, Local Recommendations, Sightseeing, Things To Do

Boiling Lake

UNESCO World Heritage Site, Boiling Lake, in Dominica. Photo courtesy of Antoine Hubert via Flickr.

Double, double, toil and trouble. Dominica travel, volcanic bubble.

Enjoy hot springs? How about visiting the 2nd-largest in the world? Dominica’s Boiling Lake is exactly what it sounds like: a lake that is boiling in the middle. Even closer to shore, the temperature can loiter somewhere around 190 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Morne Trois Pitons (Three Peak Mountain) National Park has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997, and it has more than just the Boiling Lake. There’s also a Valley of Desolation (yes, that’s really the name), and waterfalls, geysers and gorges galore.

The vapor – in this case sulphurous steam – coming off the milky water makes the whole thing awfully reminiscent of a gigantic witch’s brew or rock concert of some sort. It’s a great photo-op and also a cool destination to have at the end of an 8-mile hike (the journey will take around three hours each way from the village of Laudat, and you’ll need a guide), but be prepared to plug your nose.

Also, the lake has had a tendency of late to dry out into nothing but muddiness, so check the status before you go if your heart is set on seeing it in full bubble.

Nutcases do occasionally attempt a quick dip, but that is when the water is lower, cooler, and… well, not boiling. Swimming is definitely not recommended, especially because the earth’s forces are quite unpredictable. Even if the water reaches a low enough temperature to try it, one never knows what exactly is going on under there.

Even standing at the viewpoint ledge, you’ll feel the power! You can bathe in the mountain’s little springs and pools, though – just be careful of the cliffs and slippery rocks.

- Natalie Grant

Planning a trip? Browse Viator’s Caribbean tours and things to do, Caribbean attractions and Caribbean travel recommendations.

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