These Islands Let You Experience The Great Outdoors 'Caribbean Style'
Photo Credit: TN

Photo Credit: TN

These Islands Let You Experience The Great Outdoors 'Caribbean Style'

havana , Cuba , Dominica , Guadeloupe , Saba , St Kitts , St Lucia , St. Vincent and the Grenadines , Trinidad and Tobago
Spencer Jones
Spencer Jones May 5, 2022

The Great Outdoors has a very different face when you’re in a Caribbean environment. Verdant rain forests, sandy coves, exotic flora and fauna- it’s a world apart from the concrete jungle. While you can hike just about anywhere in the Caribbean, some islands offer trails and mountains which are especially strenuous. Your legs may have some choice words for you as you’re walking and climbing, but nature rewards you with breathtaking views that no camera can adequately capture.

If you’re new to hiking or don’t know the terrain, hire a licensed guide. That way, you’ll be safe and you’ll be supporting a local business. Guides are often from the island themselves, and their costs often include basic snacks and water. The last thing you want is to be hungry and dehydrated in the oppressive heat.

Grab your sunblock, camera and boots and check out these Caribbean islands for a hiking adventure.

1. Dominica

The Nature Island of Dominica isn’t interested in being polished like the larger, more well- known Caribbean islands. She caters to the adventure- seekers who want to get their hands dirty.

Check out the Boiling Lake Trail where you can get up close (just not too close) to the second- largest boiling lake in the world. Some have dared to swim in it when the water is lukewarm but this is strongly discouraged.

There’s also Waitukubuli National Trail, Titou Gorge Trail (you can add in canoeing here) and Morne Anglais Mountain Trail, just to name a few.

According to Discover Dominica, the island “is a verdant tapestry of lush rain forests, towering mountains, rushing rivers, welcoming waterfalls, and volcanic wonders—everything you need to rejuvenate your mind and body.”

2. St. Lucia

If you look at most pictures of St. Lucia, you’ll likely see The Pitons, two volcanic (but dormant) plugs shooting out of the sea towards the heavens. Small wonder they are an UNESCO World Heritage site!

Gros Piton is 2,461 feet and Petit Piton is 2,619 feet. Whether you walk around them or climb them, it’s a life-changing, majestic experience.

While a guide isn’t legally required, it’s recommended that you hire one.

3. Saba

Saba measures 5 square miles and you can get there from St. Martin via a short flight or by ferry.

There’s plenty of classic Caribbean charm packed into this small stretch of paradise.

According to Saba Tourism, “hiking is a rewarding experience-the nature above the waterline is as unique and varied as that which lies below.”

Go to Mt. Scenery, the highest point in all of the Dutch kingdom. If you climb this bad boy, your legs will be on fire, since most of it is straight up.

Check out Zion’s Hill, also called Hell’s Gate. There, you’ll find Crispin Trail, which takes roughly two hours to finish. At the end, you can feast your eyes on the coastline.

4. St. Kitts and Nevis

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by St. Kitts Tourism (@stkittstourism)

This small, dual-island nation is worth adding to your list and offers great hiking.

Mount Liamuiga is the highest peak on St. Kitts and takes the average hiker 4-6 hours to complete.

Active Caribbean Travel describes the trail that cuts through Mount Liamuiga as having a “mild but gradual incline,” and a lot of exposed trees roots. Take care when navigating these so that you don’t fall on your face.

There’s also Nevis Peak which is much more treacherous than it appears, especially after rainfall. One hiker described his experience climbing it with a friend and no guide, in spite of being told it wasn’t safe.

In the end, they both arrived at the summit safely; narrowly avoiding edges where they could have dropped.

 

5. Guadeloupe Islands

Originally called Karukera by the Arawaks, this archipelago was under the rule of several European countries, before France made a permanent stamp there.

La Soufrière is part of Guadeloupe National Park. If you want to be treated to a killer sunrise, get up early and hike to the top in about two hours.

According to Explore France, “volcanic gases and sulphurous vapors make you feel like you’re in Jurassic Park.”

La Soufrière hasn’t erupted since the late 1970s, but it doesn’t hurt to be cautious.

6. Trinidad and Tobago

 

Trinidad and Tobago beckon hikers from beginners to the most experienced.

According to Discover Trinidad and Tobago, Edith Falls Hike “reveals a broad range of local flora and fauna, culminating in a breath-taking view of the 250-foot falls.” This only take 30 minutes to finish and is perfect for newbie hikers.

Need more of a challenge? El Tucuche is the second highest peak in the northern range of Trinidad, and by all accounts, it’s not for the faint of heart.

What’s more, it consists of two peaks, and you’ll want to wear proper hiking boots to conquer them.

7. St. Vincent and The Grenadines

There are many things called “Soufriere” in the volcanic regions of the French Caribbean. This translates to “sulphur in the air.”

St. Vincent’s La Soufriere is for those with endurance. The Rabacca Trail brings you to the edge of the volcano’s crater, and you are required to have a licensed guide.

For something equally scenic but less physically taxing, head to the Vermont Nature Trails.  It’s approximately 5 miles from the capital city of Kingstown.

While there, you might glimpse the green herron, a rare species of parrot.

8. Dominican Republic

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Jean Carlos (@jeancarlos04s)

Want to see Salto de la Jalda, the tallest waterfall in the Dominican Republic? It’s about six miles one way and is mostly flat. You likely won’t have to worry about a ton of tourists here.

At the top of El Mogote, you’ll see amazing views of the Jarabacoa Valley. The hike up this mountain only takes a few hours, but be careful if it has recently rained.

If you’re interested in learning more about DR, check out our feature here.

9. Cuba

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Las Terrazas Cuba (@lasterrazas_cuba)

The largest Caribbean island has a capital that is frozen in the 1950s. But if you need a break from the classic cars zipping around and the energy of Havana, head to the trails.

Viñales National Park is an UNESCO World Heritage Site and it has trails that weave past caves and former tobacco plantations. It’s advised that you bring snacks since there isn’t really anywhere nearby to get them.

Las Terrazas is great for a day trip, since it’s just an hour drive from Havana. Take your pick from a collection of trails and enjoy the bird watching.

10. Jamaica

The Blue Mountains of Jamaica are known for the coffee. But the drop-dead views at the summit (which is 7402 feet above sea level) are not to be missed.

The great thing about this mountain range is that it has trails for all fitness levels. You can walk through Holywell National Park, which has trails that take no more than an hour to finish.

For intermediate climbers, check out Catherine’s Peak. According to The Culture Trip, you’ll need a permit for this, which you can get from one of the soldiers at the guard post.

Finally, the hike to the Blue Mountain Peak is beautiful. Camping is possible with a permit and it’s recommended that you bring a waterproof jacket.

How To Make Multiple Streams Of Income Across Several Continents

Travel Noire,World Hue