st lucia

Adventure Beyond the Beach: Top Caribbean Cruise Hikes

You squint at the sun bouncing off turquoise waters and consider using the tiny umbrella in your cocktail as a shield from all the shimmering beauty. It’s almost too much splendor to process in your blissed-out, lounge-chaired state.

Paradise is found on the Caribbean’s hidden beaches; in rum-soaked drops of sweet, fruity goodness; and in lazy days spent with those you love most. The Caribbean knows how to deliver a carefree vacation like this. Again and again, we return to her laid-back yet glamorous harbors and powdery white beaches for a sailing experience we know won’t disappoint.

But have you ever considered (gasp) stepping off the beach? Switching your sarong for a pair of shorts, your Rum Runner for a water bottle, and hitting the trail?

The Caribbean is home to some of the most amazing hiking in all of paradise, and we love sharing our favorite trails with intrepid guests up for the adventure and the unmatched views.

Facebook Fan Michelle L. shared on a recent Cruise Poll on our Facebook page that, “St. Lucia!” is her favorite port in the Caribbean. Read on to find out where to hike on St. Lucia and more.

Adventure Ashore on These Top 5 Hikes in the Caribbean:

Mountravers Nature Trail, Nevis

mountravers nature trail nevis

Experience a nature trail hike along the slopes of Nevis’ slumbering volcano that rises 3,232 feet into the sky. The tropical rainforest along this path encompasses Mountravers Estate. The Estate was once a sugar plantation in the 18th century and was converted to a boutique hotel in the 19th century. You may be lucky to see wild green monkeys as you also listen for tree frogs and bamboo palms blowing in the wind as you hike with your knowledgeable tour guide through the expanses of the once great estate. The trail also offers stunning views of Nevis’ west coast and neighboring islands, perfect for an explorer’s photo.

Cas en Bas Beach Trail, St. Lucia

cas en bas beach trail st lucia

Begin at Cas en Bas Beach and hike up through the hills of Cas en Bas, along the northeastern coastline, allowing you to enjoy unbelievable scenery from beginning to end.  Feel the fresh cool breeze of the Atlantic Ocean and see the waves crashing against the cliffs below.  A hike like no other, this adventure will take you through a cactus valley and up to the peninsula, for a chance to see the neighboring island of Martinique on a clear day and the wild horses roaming on the hillside.

Argyle Waterfalls, Tobago

argyle waterfalls tobago

Hiking in Tobago’s rainforest is a must.  Not only is it the oldest Forest Reserve in the Western Hemisphere, it is also a lush tropical haven rich with plant and wildlife. Our favorite trail is the Argyle Waterfalls Trail, which takes you to the 3-tiered falls where you can swim in the natural pools to cool off from the effort it took to get there, or simply bask in the tranquility of the reserve.

Grand Eden Estate Hiking Trail, St. Lucia

A nature lover’s paradise awaits, as you drive through the town of Soufriere and then into a small community surrounded by lush rainforest. Join a guided hike through the Garden Eden Estate’s well designed natural trails, learning about the flora and fauna. Enjoy sightings of a variety of birds, learn about the medicinal uses of plants along the trail and feel the fresh breeze, as you stop and admire the amazing scenery that surrounds you.  See the island’s most photographed landmark, the Pitons, and the island’s tallest mountain Mount Gimmie.

Gorda peak, Virgin Gorda

gorda peak virgin gorda

When on Virgin Gorda, explore Gorda Peak, one of the last remaining examples of Caribbean dry forest in the region. If you’re lucky, you’ll meet a Virgin Gorda gecko, the world’s smallest lizard. This hiking adventure takes a few hours and if you are interested, check with yacht staff upon boarding, who will be happy to assist and organize transportation (unguided tour, extra cost) to and from the park from where the ship anchors.  That way you can be sure to be back in time for the popular beach barbecue “Island Experience” on Prickly Pear Island, offered complimentarily and exclusively to Windstar guests.

El Yunque National Forest, Puerto Rico

el-yunque-national-forest-puerto-rico

The only tropical rainforest on U.S. soil, this national forest has a great selection of walking and hiking trails. We suggest the San Juan: Rainforest Eco Wonder Tour with Transfer that lets you discover the exotic vegetation of El Yunque with over 240 species of plants and wildlife, waterfalls, streams, and hiking trails that lead to enchanting locations to admire and photograph the flora and fauna. Enjoy the many panoramic vistas along the journey.

Even if you don’t own a backpack, day hikes or leisurely morning strolls are a great way to get in your “10,000 steps a day” while enjoying the lush flora and fauna found on the Caribbean’s garden isles like Barbuda, Dominica, Guadeloupe, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Barthélemy and St. Maarten, found on various Windstar Caribbean itineraries.

“As long as I have Wind Surf to return to, any place is the best, for I know being a passenger on any of Windstar’s cruises is a very special place to be.”

~ Facebook Fan Debbie S.

“Barbuda is my happy place.”

~ Facebook Fan Ben R.

“When you’re on the Windstar ? all of them are good!!!”

~ Facebook Fan Sarah H.E.

 The casually elegant ships of Windstar dock or anchor at many of the Caribbean’s hidden coves and popular harbors, where you can tender from the yacht onto a path to adventure, armed with a handy local map from your Voyage Leader. And don’t fret, you can trek as long or as short as you like – there will always be a cooling cloth and colorful, refreshing beverage waiting for you when you return to your yacht for some much-deserved R&R. No matter how you choose to spend your days, each evening on your yacht comes with world-class cuisine prepared with local ingredients and calypso-flavored nights.

IF YOU GO

Experience Windstar’s Caribbean … 180 Degrees from Ordinary®

There’s no need to wait to book your trip to paradise! Choose your ideal cruise today from nine Classic Caribbean voyages sailing round trip from St. Maarten and visiting the lovely and lush islands of Barbuda, Dominica, St. Lucia, Guadeloupe, St. Kitts, and St. Barthélemy aboard the iconic sailing ship Wind Surf, which hosts a maximum of just 310 guests per cruise.

Pick from weekly departures this coming winter and spring beginning Nov. 30, or select from dozens of other Caribbean cruises on sister ships Wind Star, Star Breeze, Star Legend and Star Pride including San Juan & The Virgin Islands stopping at hot spot Isla Culebra, the popular Jewels of the Windward Islands voyage, that sails into hidden harbors away from the typical course, and Best of the ABC Islands featuring the stylish sister islands of the Caribbean — Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao.

Call your travel agent or Windstar Cruises’ Vacation Planners today at 800-258-7245.

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