The most challenging beach hike in Dominica resembles something that one might see in an Indiana Jones movie rather than a scenic destination. At least, until one reaches the bottom and realizes that all the work was abundantly worth it. This black sand beach, known as Wavine Cyrique, meaning 'Secret Beach,' is arguably one of the most scenic in Dominica.

Those vacationing near Rosalie should go with an experienced guide due to the unique nature of the trail to get there, and it's well worth it. Not only does the black sand beach serve as a dramatic setting for the oceanside cliffs around it, but there happens to be a waterfall at the bottom, as well.

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Take heed: This trek is not for the faint of heart.

The Challenge Of Hiking Wavine Cyrique

Many people who have hiked this trail encourage the hiring of an experienced guide. While this trail is rated as 'difficult,' it might be doable for those in top athletic condition but will prove challenging for the average hiker. The combination of ropes and ladders, combined with terrain that's fought with tree roots, rocks, and occasionally slippery make it one of the most challenging hikes on the island. Additionally, the hike is short - but if a hiker happens to get into trouble on the way up or down, extra time should be accounted for. The hike should be started no later than 2 PM, according to BestTime2Travel, in order to have enough daylight to complete.

How Long Does The Hike To Wavine Cyrique Take?

It takes roughly 30 minutes to hike Wavine Cyrique for hikers who are in good shape. However, hikers should set aside at least 45 minutes to an hour in order to complete it the first time, due to unfamiliarity with the terrain and rope ladders. This hike is not one that's lengthy but it is one that requires several technical skills in order to traverse.

When Is the Best Time To Hike?

Since the trail is one that's off the beaten path and not traversed regularly by tourists, there's a pretty good chance it will be quiet any time of the week. The main thing to remember is that hikers will want to have enough daylight to traverse the cliffs, so starting in the morning is the best option. Additionally, hikers should check the tide reports, as low tide is the best (and safest) time to visit this secret beach. If it has rained recently or looks like it will, this hike should be avoided altogether.

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Finding The Trail And Reaching Wavine Cyrique

Finding the trailhead to this beach is pretty easy, and it's not remote to the point where travelers will be struggling to find the path. For those in search of a guide, one can be found at the Tourist Office in Roseau, or through registered taxi drivers - many of whom are registered guides, as well. They will be able to bring hikers to the start of the trailhead, so there's no need to find it alone.

Once hikers have arrived at the trailhead, it's only about a 10 to 15-minute walk through tropical woodlands to reach the cliffs. Along the way, hikers can admire stunning views of the ocean, as well as the Morne Micotrin and Morne Trois mountains. This, alone, is a good place to stop for those who are not confident in their climbing abilities. However, for those who are, the next section - rope ladders and steep cliff hiking - lie ahead.

The rope ladder is there to provide support on the way down the first cliff face, with an additional rope to the side for added support. After this somewhat harrowing point, the rest of the hike is mainly traversing a narrow cliff trail in order to reach the bottom of the beach. The hike up will likely be more challenging, but at least at this point, hikers will know exactly what they're in for!

At the bottom, the waterfall ahead is a breathtaking sight. The sheer cliffs behind it frame the cascade perfectly, making for a great photo-op. Since the beach is rarely crowded, if ever, there will be more than enough room for hikers to pop a squat to appreciate the beauty that exists all around them.

  • Note: Be wary of the strong currents if the tides are high.

This hike is definitely one for the books and while experienced hikers might choose to go without a guide, it is definitely more helpful to have one along. The effort is well worth the payoff, especially when it comes to stunning island views like this - and a secret beach, home to a secret waterfall.

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