Dominica Takes Center Stage As an SI Swimsuit 2023 Hot-Spot Destination

This Eastern Caribbean island is an absolute must to check off your travel bucket list.


The SI Swimsuit team traveled to Dominica for its 2023 issue with rookies Melissa Wood-Tepperberg and Sixtine, as well as franchise favorites like Leyna Bloom, Yumi Nu and Christen Harper.

Located in the heart of the eastern portion of the Caribbean between Guadeloupe and Martinique, Dominica is known for its natural beauty. The island is a hot spot for diving, hiking and whale watching, and it’s also a prime location for relaxation.

While the island’s first inhabitants came from South America around 3,100 B.C., the British and French fought to claim the island for years before Dominica became an independent nation in 1978.

Photographer Yu Tsai was awed by his surroundings. “[It was] simply breathtaking: a symphony of sights and sounds that evoked a sense of awe and wonder within me,” he said. “The pristine beaches, the mesmerizing sunsets and the lush jungle were just some of the elements that made this island a true photographer’s haven. The landscapes were cinematic, the colors vibrant and the textures simply divine.”

The SI Swimsuit team on set in Dominica. From left to right: Yu Tsai, MJ Day, Melissa Wood-Tepperberg, Sevan Kalayjian, Joanna Giunta and Margot Zamet.

Whether you choose to explore the natural beauty of Dominica’s rainforests, mountains, rivers, waterfalls or volcanoes, it’s sure to be an unforgettable vacation.

How to get to Dominica

Yoga Jungle Bay Vista

Yoga Jungle Bay Vista.

When traveling by air, visitors can fly directly to Dominica from Miami via American Airlines. International travelers from Europe can get to the island through airline hubs in Antigua, Barbados, Martinique, St. Maarten, Puerto Rico, Guadeloupe and Trinidad.

If traveling by sea, vacationers can get to Dominica by taking the L’Express des îles ferry service from Guadeloupe, Martinique or St. Lucia. Visitors may also choose to get to the island on the Val Ferry, which departs from both Guadeloupe and Martinique.

When scheduling your travel plans, keep in mind that the high season is between November and April—but that’s also cruise season, so the island is highly populated during this time.

If you’re hoping to avoid crowds (and wish to score a more economically-priced trip), consider planning your vacation for the shoulder season of May through October. While intermittent rainfall is expected regularly between the months of June and November, the island’s annual temperature averages around 81° F—rain or shine!

If you’re interested in enriching yourself in local culture on your trip, consider visiting in early November, as the third day of the month is the island nation’s Independence Day.

Where to stay in Dominica

InterContinental Dominica Cabrits Resort & Spa

Offering a luxurious travel experience, this Portsmouth resort offers gourmet restaurants, a swim-up pool bar and opulent accommodations.

Jungle Bay Dominica

Located in Soufriere, Jungle Bay includes private cabanas, yoga and wellness packages, award-winning dining and more.

Rosalie Bay Eco Resort and Spa

This “eco-boutique” in Rosalie offers natural beauty while being eco-friendly: think wind turbines and solar panels and farm-to-table meals.



Where to eat in Dominica 

Be sure to enjoy Dominica’s local culture through its cuisine. Many restaurants on the island offer farm-to-table fare, including signature creole cuisine dishes and fresh tropical fruits, vegetables, local fish, herbs and spices.

Keepin’ It Real

Known for its lobster dishes, this is a great place for fresh fish and seafood served beachside. It’s also a great wonderful venue for catching a sunset.

Palisades Restaurant at Fort Young Hotel

Another spot for incredible views, Palisades serves excellent seafood and island favorites using locally-sourced ingredients.

Zeb and Zepis Bistro

Known for its incredible atmosphere, this restaurant boasts authentic Caribbean food, as well as French and international influences.

Chez Wen

This Caribbean eatery offers a great seafood boil and is located in the scenic village of Scotts Head.

Lacou Melrose House

One of the oldest buildings in Roseau, this restaurant is known for its French-Canadian fusion cuisine and farm-to-table offerings.



What to do in Dominica 

There’s no shortage of things to explore on the island, whether you enjoy hiking, wish to see wildlife or just want to relax.

Champagne Reef

A great location for those who enjoy snorkeling and diving, Champagne Reef offers unlimited underwater sights, including marine life like parrotfish, sea horses, octopi and more.

Emerald Pool

Cool off on a warm day with a visit to Emerald Pool, part of Morne Trois Piton National Park. Take in the waterfall before you hop in the water for a quick swim.

Diving in Dominica.

Diving in Dominica.

Trafalgar Falls

These twin waterfalls require a brief walk to get to, but you’ll see plenty of beauty along the way before you get to the viewing platform.

Wotten Waven Hot Springs

After a strenuous hike, treat your sore muscles to a dip in these natural hot sulfur springs or relax in the open-air mud pool.

Trafalgar Falls

Trafalgar Falls.

The best beaches in Dominica

Whether you wish to relax on the sand or enjoy a picnic by the water, be sure to check out these must-see beaches.

Hampstead Beach

One of the most picturesque beaches on the island, Hampstead Beach offers shimmering sands and plenty of wildlife, including several species of turtles. If you’re a movie buff, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest was filmed on this beach. It’s a great spot for a picnic.

Mero Beach

A great location if you’re looking to go from the beach to the bar, this natural beauty is surrounded by numerous pubs and restaurants. Mero Beach offers gorgeous black sand, while the water is warm and calm.

Purple Turtle Beach

This beach offers just about everything. It’s ideal for parties, family picnics and yachting, and is often a popular location for live music. It’s also located near a number of historical sites, including Fort Shirley and Douglas Bay.

Bubble Beach Spa

Want to indulge in some self-care on your trip? Head to this beach spa, which is known for its warm, bubbling waters and offers the region’s largest collection of natural sulfur spas.

Dominica Beach

A beach in Dominica.

Cara O’Bleness


Cara is a trending news writer/editor for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit. A passionate writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience in print and online media, she loves storytelling and believes that words have the power to change the world. Prior to joining the team, Cara worked as a writer and editor across a number of content verticals, including food, lifestyle, health and wellness, and small business and entrepreneurship. In her free time, Cara loves reading, spending time with her family and making her way through Michigan’s many microbreweries. She is a graduate of Michigan State University's School of Journalism.