Best Hikes in the Caribbean
From first time visitors to the region or inter-Caribbean tourists, there’s a tendency to think of the Caribbean as all about the beaches. There are a lot of great outdoor activities other than laying on the sand or splashing in the surf.
Here are six of the best hikes around the region.
Gros Pitons, St Lucia
The striking Pitons Mountains stretching up into the sky over St Lucia are a World Heritage Site. The second highest peak, Gros Piton, is one of the best hikes around ascending through the rainforest and volcanic boulders, offering a magnificent view from the summit with the island of Martinique in the distance. If you can reach the top that is.
Mount Liamuiga, St Kitts
Formerly known as Mount Misery, the dormant volcano of Mount Liamuiga on the island of St Kitts, the island’s highest point, is anything but misery for hiking lovers. The ascent is a steep and rigorous hike through lush tropical rainforest but the amazing views and getting to stand on the rim of a half-mile-wide volcanic crater is worth it.
La Soufriere, St Vincent
The impressive dome of the La Soufriere Volcano can be accessed from both the leeward and windward coasts of St Vincent. The trail starting from Rabacca on the windward coast is the most popular route to the top; it passes through banana plantations before reaching the trailhead which then takes you through beautiful forests before reaching the edge of the volcanic crater.
Blue Mountain Peak, Jamaica
Leaving the beaches and the jerk pork behind, outdoor enthusiasts will find The Blue Mountain Peak Trail a wonderful excursion. This trail has a number of different starting points, but the final ascent from Portland Gap is a 5.6 km (3.5 miles) hike uphill. The journey up to the famous Blue Mountain Peak passes through hillside farms growing coffee and vegetables and through stunning natural forests filled with interesting flora and fauna. The Elfin Wood forest near the peak is a particularly beautiful.
Mastic Trail, Grand Cayman
This 200-year-old path wends its way through a mangrove swamp and wooded area that some of Cayman’s rarest and most colourful plant life call home. There is also a variety of interesting wildlife to be seen along the trail. The National Trust for the Cayman Islands offers guided tours or visitors can take the hike on their own.
Concord Falls, Grenada
One hike that will reveal three lovely waterfalls, what’s not to love? The lowest of the falls is the easiest to hike to with a paved road taking you almost all the way to the water. Heading towards Au Coin, the second falls, hikers will cross an old nutmeg plantation before plunging into tropical forest For those up to something more strenuous, head for Fontainebleau, the third and most difficult falls to reach, which thunders 65 feet down into a pool.