A little fisherman village at the very Southern point of the Dominica island is a community of only 700 people living their peaceful lives while tourist minibuses from the cruise ships thoseau storm across their main alley to take their passengers for a climb up the Scotts Head peninsula. To get there you have to cross a narrow strip of rocks that divides two seas: Atlantic to the South and Caribbean to North – or West. Right in font of this once a little defence fort sea drops some 2 km deep making it a perfect spot for whales and dolphins to stop by. Unfortunately, we did not see any, but climbed to the top just in good time before the tourist buses arrived…
Scotts Head Village is very different from Dominica’s capitol Roseau. Little fishermen villages may seem alike, but Scotts Head has unique circumstances due to the strong influence of powerful Atlantic ocean. You can really feel the force of winds of the big ocean here. While we stayed in the village for a couple of nights the power went out. Having no electricity in such tropical heat requires some patience and resourcefulness. Traveller’s basic necessity – flashlight – came into good use!
The otherwise tranquil bay area is stunning with turquoise color water, coral reefs for snorkling and several dive sites on the deeper parts. No white sand beach really here either, but smooth round little rocks and sand in water. Close is the famous Champagne beach; however, neughbouring village of Soufriére has its own Bubble Beach. As the island is volcanic, there are sulphur springs and natural hot tubs around the island due to geothermal activity. Bubble Beach is a bubbling spot on the bay. As you get in, it really is hot on the sides, a bit cooler in the center! If too hot, you can always get of the divided area and dip into the turquoise water to cool off… if you can, since that too is some +25 degrees Celcius!
One especially interesting feature that the nature in Dominica offers is a poisonous tree manchineel, also called as the Death Apple. This coastally grown tree is so poisonous, that its leaves, skin, wood or fruit cannot even be touched, burned or let alone eaten – or it certainly will be your last one!
As intriguing as this little village is, surroundings and locations has made it an interesting site to movies too. Popular movie serie of Pirates of the Caribbean has been filmed on many sites in Dominica. Scotts Head was a site for several scenes just a few years ago – on water and between mountain peaks! National Wai’tukubuli nature hiking trail segment 1 leaves right on top of the village. To get to the start you climb a good uphill road first. Segment 1 is apparently partly closed (inDec 2016) as landslides due to a hurricane have occured. You can catcht segment 2 start from Soufriére, and instead, walk along the beautiful bay area from Scotts Head village to Soufriére.
Why stay in Scotts Head? Why not? If you are looking for a lively town, stay in Roseau. But then again, if you are really looking for big city vibe or shopping, you’re on a wrong island. Village is easily accessible with minibuses for a day trip too – about a 30 minute and 10 km ride from Roseau. But if you want some peace and quiet with stunning views and nature’s wonders, stay in Scott’s Head. With two small restaurants and a couple of snack kiosks and accommodation possibilities, a small grocery store in neighbouring Soufriére and everybody greeting you as you stroll on the tiny streets and alleys makes a perfect stay for a couple of days.