Update July 2022: It seems that part of the trail to Wavine Cyrique is inaccessible at the moment due to destruction after the last hurricane. The only way to reach it right now would probably be by private boat. I’ll try and keep an eye on the situation and post here once it’s accessible again.
I’m calling it: Wavine Cyrique is my favourite waterfall on Dominica – and that means some tough competition. Why would I pick this one above taller and arguably more impressive cascades like Middleham Falls or Victoria Falls? Well, in this case location is key: Wavine Cyrique falls freely down a sheer cliff into the waves of the Atlantic Ocean on a beautiful black sand beach backed by tropical palm trees. Do you get the picture? Reaching the falls is no easy feat, though, and certainly requires you to be fit and free of vertigo. Check out everything you need to know about hiking to Wavine Cyrique in this guide.
How to get to the trailhead
The trail to Wavine Cyrique starts east of the village Riviere Cyrique on Dominica’s southeastern coast. The village can easily be reached by foot from Rosalie or from the camps and lodges near the Clarke’s River. If you’re travelling from Roseau, you can take a minibus from Kennedy Avenue near the Arawak Cultural Centre going in direction of Rosalie. Once you’re in Riviere Cyrique, you’ll have to take a signposted residential road east to the coast that branches off the main road in the northern part of the tiny village.
Do I need a guide?
I didn’t take one but unless you’re absolutely confident in your abilities, I would recommend going with a guide. Getting to the waterfall requires you to climb down portions of the rockface via ladders and ropes and is not for the faint-hearted. You could ask about guides at your accommodation or ask Nicodemus, who lives in a wooden house near the trailhead, to tag along. If you decide to do it yourself, definitely tell people at the place you’re staying at, where you plan to go and when you plan to return, just in case.
When to go?
Because the way there is so adventurous, there’s no risk of running into droves of cruise ship tourists, so I would say that you can go whenever you feel like it. I went around 11am and was completely on my own during the whole trip. Just make sure, you still have enough daylight to make it back up again (it doesn’t take long but it’s best not to rush).
How long does the hike take?
It took me about half an hour each way. Again, it’s not a long hike, just a challenging one. Plan enough time to enjoy the waterfall and beautiful beach.
How much does it cost?
Nothing at all – it’s one of many fantastic free attractions on the island.
Description of the hike
Once you’ve reached the trailhead, follow the path for about 10 to 15 minutes through the trees and occasionally stop to enjoy the view of the sea in the east and to Morne Micotrin and Morne Trois Pitons mountains to the West. Eventually, you’ll reach the top of a cliff – this is where the tricky section of the hike starts. With the help of a series of ropes you’ll have to climb down some very steep sections of earth and rock. Sometimes, I actually found holding on to treeroots and branches more helpful than the ropes. Just make sure that they are really strongly connected to the trees!
At one point, you’ll have to use a a ropeladder to climb down a vertical section of rock. Take your time and use the rope that is fixed beside the ladder to get safely to its bottom. Take a deep breath – the toughest part is over. Follow the trail until you reach the ocean, where you have to turn left and continue along the shore until you reach the waterfall at the northern end of the beach.
The location is stunning with the sheer cliff to your left, the Atlantic Ocean to your right, lush vegetation in your back and the waterfall right in front of you. The singular fly in the ointment is that swimming here is strongly discouraged due to strong undercurrents. Still, it`s a fantastic place to hang around for a while and let the beauty of the surroundings sink in, before starting on the adventurous return trip.
Other hikes in the vicinity
Victoria Falls, further south near Delices make for another great hike in southeastern Dominica.
Also, check out my list of the 5 most beautiful waterfalls on Dominica.