7 Great Hikes to Take in the Caribbean
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Discover The Best Hikes to take on Vacations in The Caribbean
Most travelers who visit the Caribbean do so with the intention of finding a beautiful beach to relax during their stay. Of course, there is no shortage of great beaches, but for those who prefer to be a little more active on vacation, the Caribbean can also offer surprisingly good hiking options. If you want to stretch your legs a bit and explore an island on foot, here are five of our favorite trails to help you add a touch of adventure to your visit. Each offers a fantastic setting and gives you the opportunity to explore a side of the islands that you didn't even know existed.
1. The Waitukubuli National Trail, Dominica
At nearly 115 miles along the island of Dominica, the Waitukubuli National Trail is easily the best long-distance hike in the entire Caribbean. The route is divided into 14 different segments, each with a different start and end point. This allows hikers to take any of the individual routes or cover the entire trail, if they are adventurous enough to travel its length from one end to the other.
The Waitukubuli Trail traverses a wide variety of environments and terrain along the way, including farmland, rainforests, and tropical mountainous regions. Highlights include impressive waterfalls, hot springs, caves, and other natural wonders, with the route going in and out of local villages from time to time. These small towns are excellent places to refuel, giving hikers a chance to grab more food and fresh water for the hike. And if the time is right, some also have basic places to spend the night.
2. Guanapo Gorge, Trinidad
For a hike that begins with a wonderful hike through enchanted scenery, but offers an even better payoff as it unfolds, try the Guanapo Gorge on the island of Trinidad. The journey itself takes only a few hours to complete, beginning with a walk through the rainforest that eventually reaches a steep-walled canyon. The imposing gorge that has been carved out of solid rock for centuries by the Guanapo River.
After walking through the gorge, you will find yourself walking, and sometimes swimming, through a series of pools and streams as you ascend up the valley to the source of Guanapo. The cool, refreshing waters provide a welcome relief from the generally wet conditions, but this is a hike that is definitely worth the effort. Just be sure to wear a bathing suit and water shoes, because you will definitely get wet on the way. On the other hand, this is a big part of the fun.
3. Virgin Islands National Park, St. John
Most people don't know this, but more than two-thirds of the island of St. John is, in fact, designated as part of the Virgin Islands National Park. It earned this distinction for its stellar natural beauty and rich history, which includes civilizations that have connections to the place dating back over a thousand years. The park has more than twenty trails, most of which are not particularly long. But they stretch across the island in a variety of different directions, allowing visitors to explore much of it on foot.
These routes run through dense tropical forests, pristine beaches, and up and downhills. Along the way, hikers will discover long-abandoned sugar plantations and sugar mills, hidden shacks, and small shacks that once served as slave quarters. A walk here is a bit like walking through history, with some vivid reminders of the Caribbean's troubled past.
4. The Pitons, St. Lucia
The island of Saint Lucia is home to the twin peaks of Gros Piton and Petit Piton, both accessible on foot for the adventurous traveler. At 769 feet tall, Gros Piton is the tallest, but the easiest, of the two peaks to hike. The route takes around 4-5 hours to complete, with the trail crossing tropical forests and scaling large boulders along the way. During the busiest times of the year, the summit can get a bit crowded, as it is not a particularly large terrain to begin with. But the views from the top are absolutely spectacular, so it's worth queuing up to take that all-important selfie.
5. Nevis Peak, Nevis
For a really challenging hike, try the hike to the top of Nevis Peak, on the island of Nevis. At 3,232 feet tall, the mountain is not particularly high, nor is altitude a major concern. But when you consider the fact that the hike begins near sea level and ends about three hours later at the summit, you begin to understand why it is considered one of the most difficult hikes in the entire region.
The trail to the top has hikers scaling rocks and tree roots every now and then, and also requires the occasional rope climb. But the payoff is a breathtaking view from the top and a sense of real satisfaction with what you've accomplished.
6. Shirley Heights, Antigua
There is much to love when visiting Antiqua, including some great opportunities to explore the local trails on foot. One of the best of these trails is the hike to the top of Shirley Heights, which offers some of the best views on the entire island. This historic lookout offers panoramas that must be seen to be believed, with incredible views of English and Falmouth Harbors below.
The hiking trail to the summit begins at English Harbor and cuts through the rainforest and volcanoes along the way. It's not a particularly difficult hike, but the payoff is still great when you're at the top. This is a popular spot for tourists and sunsets, with a restaurant and bar nearby that help complete the experience.
7. La Soufriere, St. Vincent
Get off the best-known path, literally and figuratively, on the island of São Vicente, where you will find La Soufriere, an active volcano that allows a good walk. The trail to the top is 9 miles long and requires a climb of over 2,800 feet, but the payoff comes in the form of great views and a sense of accomplishment. The trailhead runs along a beach and continually ascends from there to the top, where travelers can really feel the heat from the volcanic activity underground. Besides marveling at the geothermal activity, don't forget to take a look. As the lush tropical jungle subsides, the beauty of the Caribbean Sea in all directions.
We hope you enjoy watching this video about Awesome Places to Hike in the Caribbean
Source: Kash Panda
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