When you think of the Caribbean, images of beautiful, unspoiled beaches, glorious sunshine and luxurious all-inclusive resorts will probably come to mind. But there’s much more to this collection of islands than you may expect.
If you’re after a little more adventure when it comes to your next vacation, you won’t be disappointed by the islands of the Caribbean. In fact, these mountainous islands offer some of the most impressive hiking and climbing destinations in the world.
From jaw-dropping dormant volcanoes to wonderful tropical rainforests, there’s so much to explore when you go hiking in the Caribbean that you'll want to book a last-minute vacation today.
Here are five of our top destinations for adventurous travelers looking to hike and climb their way through their next Caribbean escape.
The island of St. Lucia is famed for its twin peaks, known as the Pitons. These are arguably St. Lucia's most famous landmarks, and make it one of the best Caribbean islands for hiking.
The Pitons are regularly described as one of the world’s natural wonders, and have been granted World Heritage Site status. Gros Piton is a mighty 2,614ft high, and people who visit St. Lucia can often be found attempting to conquer its summit.
If you’d like to give it a try, be prepared for an unforgettable four-hour trek, where you’ll find yourself in the midst of some of the most impressive scenery the Caribbean has to offer. A word of warning though, this trek isn’t for the faint hearted. A fifth of climbers who begin the journey don’t reach the top of the peak.
If you do manage it, you’ll be handsomely rewarded with amazing views across to the nearby island of Martinique, another one of many fabulous Caribbean islands with mountains.
The island of Martinique offers some of the best hiking in the Caribbean. Across the island you’ll find no less than 350 kilometers of lush trails and undiscovered paths, through mangroves and coastal pathways, with so much to see and do along the way.
First created by colonists, Martinique’s trails are known locally as ‘traces’, and if you happen to be visiting this stunning Caribbean island, you can’t miss a day out exploring the island on foot. Martinique’s range of hiking trails offer options for all levels, with trails ideal for both the novice and athletic adventurers amongst you.
Home to Pico Duarte, the highest summit in the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic can be found on the island of Hispaniola, the most mountainous Caribbean island.
Adjacent to Haiti, the Dominican Republic is a popular destination for Caribbean travelers, and it’s high up on the list of those looking for a little adventure during their escape in the tropics.
Pico Duarte stands tall at 3,000 meters above sea level, so scaling this monster is a real feat! If you’d like to give it a go, you’ll need to make your way to La Ciénaga de Manabao, where you can prepare for the ascent with the help of local guides.
This 46 kilometer climb up the highest of the Caribbean mountains is best done over two days, giving you time to really appreciate the amazing flora and fauna you’ll encounter along the way. We’d recommend you try this trek in winter (December to March), when temperatures are a little more comfortable.
If you’re looking for a day out that will live long in your memory, you can’t go wrong with a volcano hike. As one of the best islands for hiking, St. Kitts has plenty to offer when it comes to volcano treks.
Despite its diminutive size, St. Kitts really packs a punch when it comes to incredible vacation experiences. It’s one of visitors' favorite Caribbean islands with mountains. One of the best days out we can recommend here is a trek through the lush jungles, to Mount Liamuiga.
Mount Liamuiga is an impressive 1166 meters (3792 feet) high, and climbing it is a demanding, yet intensely rewarding experience in the heart of the rainforest. If you’re an experienced hiker, you might find this one a breeze, but if you’re a novice adventurer be prepared for a challenge.
But don’t be put off - it takes around five hours to reach the top where you’ll be able to feast your eyes on uninterrupted views of the tallest point of the volcano, known as Devil’s Tooth.
Islands with mountains abound in the Caribbean, but we can’t talk about Caribbean adventures without mentioning one of the most famous Caribbean islands: Jamaica. This is one of the biggest islands in the region, so as you might expect it offers plenty to those looking for amazing hiking and climbing experiences.
If you’re looking for an intermediate hike, check out the Blue Mountain Peak Trail. This trail offers amazing views of the island’s landscapes, and it’s also home to the famous Blue Mountain Coffee. Guides are available should you wish to learn more about the surrounding area as you explore.
Another Jamaican hike which comes highly recommended is the Mount Zion Hill Walk. If you take this trail you’ll spend roughly two hours journeying from Montego Bay to Mount Zion, where you’ll find an authentic Jamaican rural village that dates back to 1861.
Make sure you chat with the locals to learn some Jamaican sayings and phrases. If you're feeling extra adventurous, you could find a hike runs along one of the most beautiful caves in Jamaica.
So, have we inspired you to explore the breathtaking islands of the Caribbean on foot?
Make sure you pack your hiking gear, because you won’t want to miss out on the views these treks, climbs and trails have to offer. Your once in a lifetime experience awaits!