Seven Great Hikes in the Caribbean - Page 2
|Pitons in St. Lucia, Caribbean (iStockphoto)|
The island ridge known as the Barre de l’Isle is the bony backbone that separates the eastern and western halves of St. Lucia. A 30-minute drive from Castries, the Barre de l’Isle Trail traces the ridge on a moderately easy hike that follows the perimeter of the island’s sumptuous tropical rainforest, with viewpoints along the way that open up to panoramic sea vistas and glimpses of emerald valleys below. Intrepid hikers can continue on for the steep one-hour climb to the summit of Mount Lacombe. Download a self-guided brochure and map from the St. Lucia Forestry Department under “Forestry” at malff.com.
Check out Away.com’s St. Lucia Travel Guide.
Pay no attention to the glitz on parade in high season on St. Barts. The dramatic contours of this celebrated island are far more glamorous than any B-list celeb in a string bikini. St. Barths’ two official hiking trails both lead to beautiful Colombier Beach, overseen by David Rockefeller’s former Jetsons-style home high on a bluff. Stroll the 20-minute trail from Flamands Beach or take to the 40-minute cliff-side trek on a winding goat path to the placid blue cove dotted with sailboats. The beach is the perfect spot for a swim or snorkel in warm Caribbean seas and relaxing after such a satisfying hike.
Check out Away.com’s St. Barths Travel Guide.
Thousands of years of volcanic activity provide the backstory to many a Caribbean hiking holiday. An evergreen seasonal forest blooms like a flower inside the crater of the extinct stratovolcano known as the Quill; it’s located in Quill National Park and is St. Eustatius’ highest point. The park itself is a lush garden of dew-kissed wild orchids, begonias, elephant-ear ferns, and mahogany trees. Of the eight different trails that circle the Quill, the Crater Trail is the challenging 90-minute roundtrip journey that leads hikers from the rim of the Quill into the crater bottom. Go to statiapark.org for trail maps and hike descriptions.
Check out Away.com’s St. Eustatius Travel Guide.
Here’s a nice little urban trek you don’t have to dive into the wilds to access. This steep climb begins in the bustling harbor-side village of Marigot. Exactly 114 stone steps lead up to the ruins of Fort Louis, built by the French on one of the island’s highest hills in 1789. The stone steps start just to the right of L’Oizeau restaurant and lead to a parking lot at the Sous Préfecture (at the foot of the fort). From the top, visitors are rewarded with 180-degree vistas of Marigot, Simpson Bay lagoon, and most of the St. Maarten coast, with the island of Anguilla in the background.
Check out Away.com’s St. Maarten Travel Guide.