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Caribbean Hiking

Although most people associate the Caribbean with white sand beaches and crystal clear waters, there are many great places to enjoy hikes throughout the region. During a hike on a Caribbean island, tourists can explore a tropical rainforest and observe Caribbean wildlife in its natural habitat. In fact, more people are being drawn to the Caribbean to enjoy the natural wonders that can be observed during a nature hike, so artificial trails are being developed on many islands.

Hikers will have their selection of trails during a Caribbean vacation. Trails cut through rainforests, run up mountains, and follow the historic roads formally used to reach colonial plantations. However, many trails should only be hiked by experienced hikers, and poor weather conditions often cause trail closures. Since each Caribbean government has different rules regarding its hiking trails, tourists should inquire about rules before finalizing a trip.

Here are some popular hiking spots to consider when planning a trip to the islands:

Dominican Republic
After completing the more than 10,000 feet hike up the Pico Duarte, hikers can enjoy magnificent views. However, this hike is not for everyone since it usually takes a couple of days to finish. Park employees are available to answer questions and assist hikers trekking up the mountain.

The picturesque rainforests of Grenada can be explored on many trails cutting through the Grand Etang National Park. Tourists can take advantage of guided tours during their stay on the island. There are a variety of easy trails, such as the one encircling the Grand Etang Lake, and difficult ones, like the trail leading up Mt. Qua Qua, throughout the island.

Puerto Rico
Great views are available after completing the more than 3,000 mile hike up the El Yunque Peak. Trails for inexperienced and experienced hikers run up this mountain. After completing the easy Big Tree Trail hike, the magnificent La Mina Falls are visible.

St. John
The majority of land in St. John has been designed as a national park to protect its picturesque beauty and natural wonders. Tourists can explore the park on the numerous hiking trails intersecting across the park. The Cinnamon Bay trail leads hikers through a colonial plantation where exotic birds and other animals, along with what remains of the plantation, can be observed. Those hiking the Reef Bay Trail will be led across ancient petroglyphs that are still visible. Those interested in a guided tour can find more information at the visitorís center located at Cruz Bay.

St. Lucia
There are plenty of trails for hikers interested in touring the more than 20,000 acre rainforest located on St. Lucia. However, those wanting to hike through the rainforest must first contact the Forestry Department since the government is very protective of the rainforestís natural environment. The Barre de L' isle Forest Reserve trail is ideal for people of all ages and fitness levels, but those seeking a more challenging hike can trek across the Edmund Forest.

St. Martin
Trails leading past a rainforest now designated as a nature preserve, and trails leading up the more than 1,000 foot Paradise Peak can be found on St. Martin. Tourists can schedule to hike a trail leading past guavaberry and mango trees, and the numerous exotic animals and plants located on this island.

Some of the best locations for bird watching is located on Trinidad. Tourists can observe the more than 400 species of birds on the island during hikes at the Asa Wright Nature Center, including the nocturnal oilbird, or along the various trails cutting across the rainforests. Among the species of birds that can be observed along these trails are the islandís distinctive humming birds.


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