The Dominica Botanic Gardens are a beloved area of green space in the capital of Roseau. Established by the British in 1890, it was originally planted to maintain reserves of the various crops farmers grew on the island. Today the gardens comprise 40 acres along the south edge of the city, situated at the base of Morne Bruce. You can explore an oasis of tropical flora and fauna that is home to more than 50 types of native plants and imported trees. While here, keep your eyes open for the Sisserou Parrot, Dominica’s national bird. In 1979 Hurricane David did considerable damage to the gardens, and you can still see some of the carnage in the form of a bus that was crushed beneath a baobab tree.
The gardens are free and open to the public all day, every day. To get there, simply head east along Valley Rd. toward Windsor Park Stadium—the gate is on the right. If you’re interested in identifying the species you’ll see in the garden, stop by the Forestry, Wildlife & Parks Division just off Valley Road, where you can buy An Illustrated Guide to Dominica’s Botanic Gardens for about $5.