When you imagine jetting off to the Caribbean its usually with a suitcase filled with swimwear, suncream and a few good books to kick back and read, but have you ever thought about hiking in the caribbean? There are some wonderful and varied walks to be done with some of the most beuatiufl scenery and an abudnace of wildlife, there really is more to the Caribbean islands than just the beaches (although these are pretty good!)
Gros Piton, St Lucia
St Lucia is an absolute dream island in the Eastern Caribbean with the twin peaks of the Piton mountains rising up and forming a World Heritage Site.
A four hour round trek of Gros Piton, the second-highest point standing at 2614ft is a perfect way to explore but is by no means an easy route and hikers shouldn’t feel too disappointed if they don’t make it to the top, around one in five of all who try don’t succeed.
From the summit the views across the island and anto Martinque, a neighbouring island are absolutely out of this world.
Be prepared to find lots of others people at the top during peak times.
Blue Mountains, Jamaica
The Eastern side of Jamaica is lush and green and is home to the Blue Mountains National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with its peak standing at 2256m.
Regardless of your fitness levels there are tracks for everyone on and around the Blue Mountains and if you are planning on making it to the top then you may want to pack more layers because the temperature dips dramatically the higer you walk.
For those wanting a more relaxed walking experience choose the Holywell National Park area on the Blue Mountina ridge. You can drive up here and enjoy the day walking the marked trails, having a picnic and even sitting around the fire pits.
If you are hiking in the Caribbean then Dominica has lots of trails to offer. This wet and luscious island has great walking experiences for all levels.
For those wanting a full hiking holiday you could take the Waitukubuli trail which takes around two weeks and covers 115 miles taking in all that this magnificent area has to offer.
A popular six hour round trip is to the steaming boiling lake in Morne Trois Pitons National Park, the lake is quite something to be seen but you will have to endure the sulphur smells.
If you love to climb then tackiling Mount Diablotin will be for you; you’ll climb 1900ft to 4747ft up a sort of wooden, rotting staircase, the air is moist and pretty sweaty and you’ll clamber through plants and tree’s blocking your way. Its a work out but the viws from the top are divine indeed.
There are more than 350km of walking trails in this beautiful paradise with really varied terrain.
To the north you’ll find forest covered land with the Pitones du Carbet and the Pelee Volcano, often giving rise to torrents of waterfalls and really intersting hiking opportunities.
You’ll find the climate hot and humid in these parts which can slow up your walking pace but you’ll be rewarded with simply beautiful scenery and perhaps a dip into a waterfall pool.
To the South you’ll find the beaches and mangroves, a completely contrasting walking experience, with trails primarily following beautiful coastal paths, through mangroves and rocky inlets and be sure to look out for the abundance of marine life in the area.
La SoufriEre, St Vincent
If its a challenge you are after then the La SoufriEre volcano climb will definitely be for you. This is hardcore hiking in the Caribbean, no nice beach strolls here!
The volcano is still active and has erupted many times over the years which adds a certain edge to any hiking trip in the area, so be sure to keep that in mind and know the dangers. If this just gets your adrenaline pumping then you’ll love the climb which begins at Rabacca on the east coast and climbs up through rain, montane and cloud forest before reaching up to an oddly desolate and windy landscape that will truly amaze you.
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