For every Caribbean-bound client who enjoys lying on the beach for seven days straight, there’s another one who gets antsy when not participating in challenging physical activities. Active travelers can be accommodated with the addition of a Caribbean mountain climbing excursion to their vacation itinerary.
Mount Liamuiga, St. Kitts
One of the most dramatic and eye-catching climbing experiences can be found on St. Kitts’ Mount Liamuiga, which soars 3,792 feet. The wow factor is supplied by the outlook from the summit, which offers sea views of numerous neighboring islands. Hikers are further rewarded when they peer down from the crater rim to a volcanic lake. The roundtrip hike takes about five hours and requires a guide.
Gros Piton, St. Lucia
One of the most glorious sights in the Caribbean is St. Lucia’s UNESCO-protected twin Pitons, two volcanic spires that rise high above the sea. At 2,619 feet, Gros Piton is the taller of the two, and its ascent is open to climbers. Depending on climbers’ fitness levels, the roundtrip hike typically takes about four hours. Awesome vistas await at the top, including a bird’s-eye perspective of the islands of Martinique and St. Vincent.
Clients also have the option of taking the less daunting Tet Paul Nature Trail. This is a 45-minute walk along an ascending trail that leads to a lookout station affording marvelous views of the Pitons and Jalousie Bay.
Pico Duarte, Dominican Republic
Pico Duarte is more than 10,000 feet above sea level, earning it the title of highest peak in the Caribbean. Hiking to the top and then back down is an approximately 30-mile trip in the company of guides and mules (mules carry equipment — and sometimes the hikers themselves). The big reward is camping out below the summit and then making the final climb to the peak in the hours before dawn. Here, hikers will be rewarded with sunrise ocean vistas if the sky is clear.
Morne Diablotins, Dominica
Dominica is a nature lover’s delight, and it has a 4,447-foot-high active volcano available for exploration. Hikers should schedule six hours for the trek to Morne Diablotin’s summit and back, which takes them through rainforest terrain and then up the slopes of the volcano. To settle any nerves, travel advisors can inform clients that the last eruption of the “Little Devil” was some 30,000 years ago.
La Soufriere, St. Vincent
St. Vincent’s La Soufriere is an active volcano that last blew its top in 1979. The peak soars 4,049 feet, and the hike to the top and back takes about five hours and features a rainforest and rocky streams. Once hikers reach the peak, they’ll take in awe-inspiring sea views. The icing on the cake is the panorama from the rim of the volcano into a crater studded with tropical vegetation.