The Best Hikes Part 1
Locals have done it for centuries, but hiking and walking are still in their infancy for tourists. That's changing thanks to a new emphasis on ecotourism.
Where To Go
When To Go
Where To Stay
What It Costs
What To Do
What To Pack
Flora & Fauna
Their level of difficulty ranges from Level 1 (anyone capable of ambulatory movement should be able to enjoy this hike) to Level 5 (a gut buster).
A pleasant walk I took during a dry period may be a hellish nightmare in the rainy season when hiking trails are slick and slippery. The same considerations apply to the city walks, which will be affected by the company you keep and how well you interact with the locals.
Be sure to carry the proper supplies using this checklist. Check here for a listing of Caribbean hiking & walking guides, contacts & resources.
No walk is ever exactly the same twice. And that's the fun of it.
Best of the Best
1) Dominica: Valley of Desolation and Boiling Lake Hike A 7-hour roundtrip marathon up and down the mountains of Dominica to what seems like a prehistoric setting from the beginning of time. Sulfur crystals color the ground, steam vents through cracks in the earth and streams run black. The Boiling Lake is one of the world's largest. Tough and memorable, there's nothing like this hike anywhere. Far and away the Caribbean 's best hike, but get into condition for this one. Take a guide. At least one tourist has died on the trail. Level 5 difficulty.
2) Guadeloupe: La Soufriere Volcano Hike Much less effort required to climb to the summit of an active volcano whose last major eruption was in 1976. Vegetation was destroyed but it ' s now coming back. A stunning display of all the colors of green. A naturalist guide is essential to appreciate this hike. Level 3-4 difficulty to reach the summit.