The diversified landscape of the Caribbean islands gives travelers the opportunity to partake in all sorts of adventures. If you have had your fair share of time soaking up the sun on the white sand beaches, why not head to the mountains? SomeoftheCaribbean’s best kept secrets areitsuntouchedrainforests and hiking trails, perfect for those who seek the rewarding mix of exertion and relaxation.
1. Gros Piton, Saint Lucia: The looming twin peaks in Saint Lucia are pretty hard to miss. Petit Piton rises over 2400 feet and is the steeper of the two, while Gros Piton rises 2619 feet above sea level and is legal to hike. To hike Gros Piton, visitors should be accompanied by a guide. At its summit, enjoy stunning views of Saint Lucia and sights of Martinique and Saint Vincent in the distance.
2. La Soufriére, Saint Vincent: Climbing this active volcano is no easy feat! La Soufriére reaches 4049 feet, with its lower half comprised of rainforests and the top half made up of rocky outcrops. In order to reach the summit, be prepared to scale some hardened lava.
3. Waitukubuli National Trail, Dominica: Dominica is arguably the most nature-abundant island in the Caribbean, and its 115-mile long Waitukubuli National Trail is sure to please adventurers all of types. Split into 14 hikeable segments, visitors can choose from paved roads and footpaths to rocky surfaces and suspension bridges. With Dominica's 600+ species of flora and fauna, hikers are sure to encounter some wildlife along the way.
4. PicoDuarte, Dominican Republic: Pico Duarte stands at over 10,000 feet, making it the tallest mountain in the Caribbean. The flat, sometimes rocky terrain covered in pine forests can be reminiscent of the great American west, but the ocean views from the summit confirm that you are still in the Caribbean. Plan on spending 2 days to complete this 30 mile round trip hike.
5. Kaieteur National Park, Guyana: Turn your adventure up a notch from Pico Duarte and embark on an overland trek to Kaieteur Falls in Kaieteur National Park. Kaieteur Falls is known to be one of the largest single drop waterfalls in the world. To get to it, hikers must traverse through the pristine Amazonian rainforest by land, water and foot. Hiking to the Kaieteur Plateau, 1800 feet above sea level, takes climbers approximately 3-5 days.
Note: While these are our top 5 trails, there are many other mountains and hikes that deserve recognition, including:
* Mount Liamuiga, Saint Kitts
* Nevis Peak, Nevis
* La Soufriere, Guadeloupe
* Pico Turquino, Cuba
* Mount Pelee, Martinique
* Blue Mountains, Jamaica
* El Yunque National Forest, Puerto Rico