Titou Gorge and Hiking the Boiling Lake
Dominica Travel Blog› entry 4 of 4 › view all entries
After meeting my guide and driving up to the trail head, we set out on our hike. Hiking to the boiling lake starts from the bottom of the village of Laudat. Following a path alongside huge hydro pipes, you end up at the Titou Gorge, which is so amazing. This is the gorge in Pirates of the Caribbean II that the crew jumps into after rolling down the hill in the bone cages. It is such a cool site. It was formed apparently by volcanic splitting and has walls fifty foot high. I snapped a couple of pics and we headed on up the path, making plans to swim in the gorge on our return.
The first part of the trail is gentle as it winds along the mountainside towards Morne Nichols which is 3,500 ft.
We sat down to have a well deserved rest after what seemed like endless stairs on the trail, and had a snack and a water break. I took several photos as the view was quite spectacular. After about ten minutes, we headed on, descending steeply into the Valley of Desolation, which I didn’t find desolate at all. The landscape is alive with water as well as grey mud bubbling, gurgling, and boiling from the earth. Steam rises from several places and dissipates into the air. There is a strong smell of sulphur lingering in the air.
Heading out of the Valley of Desolation, we passed by gray pools fed by hot springs creating natural hot tubs. I was too excited to get to the lake to stop and have a soak, and so we continued on. We were soon hiking through paths flanked by low but thick shrubbery as we were getting closer to the Boiling Lake. We hiked through a valley with now familiar sites of volcanic activity, like that of the Valley of Desolation. After climbing one last steep ridge, I was so excited to peer into such a natural phenomenon as the Boiling Lake on Dominica--the world’s second largest. This was the one of the biggest draws for me to visit the island in the first place and I was not disappointed. It was spectacular, with heavy steam rising up from its surface.
The lake is about 200 feet across with 100 ft rock walls and true to its name, boiling in the middle. The water is between 180 and 197 degrees F!! The depth of the lake is about 200 ft. After having some lunch, then snapping some photos, my guide and I headed back toward the trail head where we had started the hike nearly three hours before.
When we arrived back to the Titou Gorge, I took a short rest under the roof of the changing area/ local hangout where there was a lady peddling a table of local crafts. Then it was time to take a swim in the chillingly cold water between the cave-like walls. My guide told me about a cool little water fall at the end of the gorge, so even though the water was freezing, and I am not a big fan of cold water, I was determined to make it to the end.
I swam past several local kids laughing and playing in the water, and a few tourists as well, and shortly came to the waterfall my guide had told me about.