The Extraordinary Dominica Island – A Place of Pirates and Jungles

Amidst the azure waters of the Caribbean Sea, a lush green island untouched by modernity lie in all it’s natural glory. Dominica Island was not on most tourists’ list until a certain movie brought it to spotlight. The island was a prominent place used as a Pirates of The Carribean (POTC) film location, more precisely for the franchise’s second installment “Dead Man’s Chest”.

And there was a good reason as to why the major Disney franchise chose this location for the setting of a legendary pirate’s tale. The island is nicknamed as “The Nature Island” and is said to be the only Caribbean island that Columbus would recognize today if he came back to life. This unchanged location with all its blinding beauty was perfect for a movie set in the 1720s that needed jungles and seas as its main backdrops.

Dominica Island with its famous beach views
Dominica Island with its famous beach views

And fitting to the franchise’s name, Dominica Carribean Island is known to have a real pirate’s background of its own. The island was once used by real pirates in the 16th century as a sort of stopover to replenish their supplies before they were on their way again. There is also a legend about a buried pirate treasure in the island. You can find out more about that in this article.

So for those of you who are looking for inspirations on your next adventure, or if you are a POTC fan looking at the film locations of your favorite pirate movie to visit, then read on below.

Titou Gorge

A scene from Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest where Will Turner and crew hangs in the midst of Titou Gorge
A scene from Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest where Will Turner and crew hangs in the midst of Titou Gorge

Located in Dominica’s Morne Trois Pitons National Park, Titou Gorge is one of the places where POTC: Dead Man’s Chest was filmed. More precisely, it was the location used for the scene where Will Turner and his crew mates are hung in suspending cages between cliffs and where Captain Jack Sparrow is seen rolling down into a gorge in a vine cage. While that does sound very exhilarating to fans of Captain Sparrow, the gorge is enchanting even without the presence of the Disney character.

Sunlight entering through Titou Gorge in Dominica Island
Sunlight entering through Titou Gorge in Dominica Island

Titou Gorge is formed with high cliff walls roofed with dense trees interlacing each other and the blue pools look inviting to swim in. It’s one of the popular places for travelers, POTC fans or not, and jumping into its unpolluted waters is one of the more popular things to do in Dominica between visitors.

High Meadows

The bridge built between the Twin Peaks for Pirates of The Carribean: Dead Man's Chest
The bridge built between the Twin Peaks for Pirates of The Carribean: Dead Man’s Chest

Much of the opening to Dead Man’s Chest was filmed in Dominica’s High Meadow island along with the nearby Twin Peaks. The hilarious yet gripping scenes of Jack Sparrow and the cannibal tribe was filmed in High Meadows. With shots of swinging skeletal cages, Captain Sparrow’s gutsy escape, and the chaos that ensues is all filmed on these two locations.

Luckily there are no cannibal tribe ready to cook the people they worship in real but the set used for filming the scenes are left there for fans and travelers to experience which makes High Meadows and Twin Peaks one of the must-see places in Dominica. It also gives unfiltered views of the Caribbean sea and Soufriere bay.

The island also holds a legend which is fitting to POTC. In 1567, six vessels of a Spanish fleet is said to have been wrecked on the Northwest area of Dominica. It was believed to have carried over 3 million in pesos and the Kalinago Indians, natives of the island, found it and hid it in caves. Till this day, nobody knows where the treasure is buried.

Indian River

The Indian River connecting to the sea as shown in Pirates of The Carribean: Dead Man's Chest
The Indian River connecting to the sea as shown in Pirates of The Carribean: Dead Man’s Chest

The Indian River is named after the Kalinago tribe (Caribbean Indians) who used to live along its banks and would use the river as the main route to the Caribbean Sea. The river played a vital role to their lives as they would transport food for trade with sailors and ships that would come to the Dominican waters, as well as sell goods along the island.

Jack Sparrow and crew rows pirate long boats along the Indian River for the movie
Jack Sparrow and crew rows pirate long boats along the Indian River for the movie

The river became famous after it was used for a scene in Dead Man’s Chest. Gibbs, one of Captain Sparrow’s crew, narrated about their eccentric captain’s curse while they rowed up stream to pay a visit to Tia Dalma. While the structure of the hut in the movie was CGI created, travelers can visit the actual wooden hut which is still left on the location.

The hut of Tia Dalma in Pirates of The Caribbean II still stands in the Indian River
The hut of Tia Dalma in Pirates of The Caribbean II still stands in the Indian River

With a native experienced boatman silently taking you through the waters surrounded by the thick jungle, it almost feels like you’re one of Sparrow’s crew on your way to finding Tia Dalma.

Since this is a pretty popular spot in the island, there are a couple of boat tours to take you around. This Indian River Tour Dominica takes you along the jungle waters as well as a couple of other places on the island.

Hampstead Beach

One of the most popular Dominica beaches, Hampstead Beach is on every travelers list….and for good reason. Hampstead Beach is an adventure on its own as its difficult to find the place. There is only one sign that marks its way to the beach which is can be easily missed. And even if you do find it, the ride up to the beach is a thrilling one with jagged, uneven roads that only an SUV can pass through.

But because it’s not easily attainable, the beach is a sight to see indeed and has grazed the top spot on Caribbean Journal’s list of best black sand beaches in the Caribbean. That’s right, black sand. Almost like the name of POTC’s first movie “Curse of The Black Pearl”.

The iconic running scene was shot at Hampstead Beach in Dominica Island
The iconic running scene was shot at Hampstead Beach in Dominica Island

With a jungle behind and clear blue waters of the sea in front and black sand stretching its shore, Hampstead beach is as picturesque as it could get. Perhaps that’s also the reason it was used in the most iconic scene in Dead Man’s Chest – where Jack Sparrow hilariously, and frantically, runs across the beach as the cannibal tribe chases him.

It was also used as the spot where the always drunk captain, Will Turner and James Norrington had a swordfight between them on the beach’s sands. While that may be the reason a lot of fans visit the place, Hampstead Beach is also known to be an ideal location for extreme adventurers and eco tourists alike.

Advertisement

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s