Arrival Briefing
Part 1

There are 2 airports, one quite far from Roseau.

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Area: Just 29 miles long and 16 miles wide, covering an area of 289.5 square miles.

Language: English is the official language. A Creole and French patois are widely spoken, especially in the outlying areas.

Population: About 71,000, of which 20,000 live around the capital city of Roseau (pronounced “ROSE-oh”). About 3,000 Caribs live in their 3,700-acre Territory in the northeastern part.

Time Zone: Atlantic Standard Time, one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time.

Rainy Season: Rainfall varies considerably, from 50 inches on the coast to over 300 inches in the interior. The wettest months are July to October. The driest period is from January through April.

Documents: U.S. and Canadian citizens need only proof of citizenship; passports are required of everyone else. All arrivals are expected to have an on-going or return ticket.

Currency: The Eastern Caribbean Dollar, which is worth about US$2.67. Banks are open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday and until 5 p.m. on Friday.

Electrical Current: 220/240 volts, 50 cycle.

Getting There: There are 2 airports. Melville Hall is 38 miles from Roseau while Canefield is just 3 miles from the city. Tiny Dominica is not yet on many air routes. American Eagle ( flies direct to Melville Hall from San Juan. American Airlines ( ) also flies via San Juan into Antigua. From Antigua, Barbados and St. Lucia, LIAT ( connects to both Melville Hall and Canefield airports. Check out other airlines at

In addition, L'Express Des Iles, a high-speed catamaran, connects Dominica to Guadeloupe , Martinique and St. Lucia .

Getting Around: Rental cars are readily available in Roseau but not at Melville Hall airport itself. It's US$16 by taxi from the airport to Roseau's rental car companies. Traveling the roads on your own is normally not difficult. However, there are few road signs, so a good map is essential. It's also necessary to buy a local driving permit. Driving is technically on the left, although the locals seem to prefer driving fast and straight down the middle of the road.

Traveling off the roads without a local guide can be almost impossible. Minibuses run from point to point but their schedules aren't synchronized enough to use them to explore the island in a single day. The Old Market is the terminus for traveling south; the West Bridge for traveling north.      

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