Hiking in the Caribbean
Although the Caribbean is probably mostly associated with white stretches of soft sandy beaches lapped at by blue waters, that is not all there is to experience; there are many superb places in the region where you can go trekking. Many tourists when coming to the Caribbean take to the water to discover the wonders below the surface, but if you take the time to go hiking, you will be able to explore the lush and tropical interiors of these islands. Hiking in this tropical location is becoming increasingly popular, and as a result more trails and officially marked pathways are being developed by the authorities on many islands.
So, if you’re planning for the Caribbean cheap holidays include this on your holiday itinerary for a healthier fun and more exciting traveling experience. Here are some pointers on where to go if you want to take in some of the spectacular hiking in this area.
Images by Liam Quinn used under the Creative Commons license.
Some tips on the terrain
Hikers can experience all sorts of different walks on the islands. Coastal walks can seem simple enough with little more than beaches and coves to negotiate, but some areas can be quite hilly and have large cliffs. Furthermore, trails often run through forested areas so well is essential – think hiking boots for men and women, rather than sandals or flip-flops. Although some sections of pathway will follow the old roads that used to lead out to the old colonial plantations, many are trickier to navigate on because they can be somewhat overgrown. It’s also worth noting that each Caribbean government has different laws about hiking trails. Make sure you stick to the designated trails and don’t stray onto private land.
Images by Patrick Nouhailler used under the Creative Commons license.
Pico Duarte, Dominican Republic
There is a challenging 10,000 feet trail that leads to the peak of Pico Duarte, but the views that reward you at the top are magnificent. Usually completed over a couple of days, it is best undertaken as part of a team. Park rangers are often available to help hikers find their way when trekking up the mountain.
Grand Etang National Park, Grenada
Hikers can take part in guided treks in this wonderful park, full of fascinating birdlife. Walking around Grand Etang Lake is a pleasant walk which does not need a vast amount of trekking experience. However, if you’re looking for something tougher, take the trail up to Mount Qua Qua you’ll find it much more challenging.
Nevis Peak, Nevis
With an ascent of over 3,232 feet, Nevis Peak is one of the most attractive triangular-shaped volcanoes in the world. It takes about three hours to reach the summit, depending on how hot it is, but some sections of the trail require you to negotiate extremely steep sections which will require more scrambling than trekking.
Gros Piton, St Lucia
This mountain trek takes the average hiker about four hours to ascend and descend in a circular trail. There are guided tours, but the pathways are not too difficult to navigate. However, if you suffer from a bit of vertigo, be warned, there are some dizzying heights and sharp slopes on some of these trails.
Asa Wright Nature Centre, Trinidad
With a number of trails that cut through rainforest, Trinidad’s hiking area affords walkers with some spectacular scenery and access to the exotic wildlife on the island. Among the highlights are the wonderful hummingbirds. These colorful birds are best spotted by hiking deep into the rainforest of the nature centre.
There we go, our list of excellent hikes for the keen walkers; lying the beach and soaking in those rays will feel better earned after a trek, Caribbean Islands awaits for you.