The Best Mountain Trails in the Caribbean Islands

The Caribbean Islands are wide­ly con­sid­ered a par­adise for any­one look­ing to spend their days lying on a sandy beach sur­round­ed by palm trees and an ocean breeze. If you’re not the loung­ing type, don’t wor­ry, there are plen­ty of high-alti­tude hikes to keep you busy here, too.

You won’t find a moun­tain on the scale of Ever­est, but here are a few that’ll keep you in the game if you get tired of clean­ing sand out of your shoes.

Mt Lia­muiga, St. Kitts
The 3,972-foot moun­tain tucked away in the north­ern regions of St. Kitts was once nick­named Mt. Mis­ery. The name is some­what of a mis­nomer because there’s absolute­ly noth­ing mis­er­able about it. The two-hour hike to the top is lined with ficus trees and lush rain­for­est and, though steep, is man­age­able for even the most ama­teur of climbers. Once you reach the top you’ll find your­self stand­ing on the rim of a vol­canic crater with a per­fect view of the sur­round­ing islands.


La Soufriére, St Vincent
Anoth­er vol­cano in the Caribbean, La Soufriére is still incred­i­bly active with the most recent erup­tion occur­ring in 1979. The low­er half of the climb will take you through rain­forests and streams. Once you get to the sec­ond half, how­ev­er, be pre­pared to scale rocky out­crops of hard­ened lava before reach­ing the 4,049ft sum­mit. Add a few extra hours on to your trip for descend­ing down into the crater itself.


Nevis Peak, Nevis
Those look­ing for a bit of a chal­lenge should scale their way up the mud­dy slopes of Nevis Peak. Slight­ly on the small­er side, the vol­canic moun­tain stands at 3,232ft—but don’t let that fool you. You’ll spend three hours tra­vers­ing steep out­crops of rocks and pulling your­self up ropes and tree roots to scram­ble your way to the peak. Nevis is often hailed as one of the most beau­ti­ful islands of the Caribbean, and it’s cer­tain­ly one of the green­est, so trust us when we say it’s worth the trip.


Gros Piton, St. Lucia
It’s vir­tu­al­ly impos­si­ble to see St. Lucia’s twin Piton moun­tains tow­er­ing in the dis­tance and not want to climb them. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, only one of them is actu­al­ly legal to ascend. Petit Piton is the steep­est, but unsafe for climbers accord­ing to the local gov­ern­ment. Luck­i­ly, Gros Piton is enough of a chal­lenge in itself. The 2,615ft peak can take upwards of six hours to sum­mit, depend­ing on how often you stop and take in the sights. You’re also required to take a guide along with you, just to be safe. Sup­pos­ed­ly, one-fifth the peo­ple to attempt the climb nev­er reach the top.



Pico Duarte, Domini­can Republic
Per­haps the only true climb for moun­taineers in the Caribbean, Pico Duarte is a mas­sive, 30-mile hike to the peak of a 10,000ft moun­tain. The guid­ed trip will take two days to com­plete, with the help of a pack mule, over vary­ing ter­rain con­sist­ing of flat, rocky ter­rain and pine forests. Your reward for mak­ing it to the top are spec­tac­u­lar views of the north­ern and south­ern ocean waters as far as the eye can see.


Pico Turquino, Cuba
Now that Cuba is read­i­ly acces­si­ble to most Amer­i­cans, you might con­sid­er giv­ing it’s tallest Peak, Pico Turquino, a try. The moun­tain is the home of Fidel Castro’s army and stands proud­ly at almost 6,500ft. You’ll have to take a guide with you, and pay a stan­dard fee, but it’s worth it to catch a glimpse of some of the rare wildlife that lives along the trail to the top. The trail resides with­in Sier­ra Maes­tra Nation­al Park and many of the ani­mals here are endan­gered, so watch your step as you ascend.