June 27, 2017

5 Great Caribbean Hikes with Kids

puerto rico waterfallSpring Break is just around the corner, and I’m sure that many of you have family trips to the Caribbean in the works. You’ll no doubt do the usual snorkeling, glass-bottom boating and beachcombing, but if you can, take time for a hike.

Many of the islands in the Caribbean have wonderful jungles and rainforests that are perfect for family hikes. Take a look at five hikes worth checking into:

Nevis: Head to Peak Heaven, a short drive away from the island’s capital of Charlestown. You’ll find a number of guided hikes of varying length and difficulty by reservation. Go for the amazing views and a wonderful children’s playground. Try lunch or dinner at the Coral Pot restaurant for authentic local fare.

St. Lucia: Kids will love taking a guided hike through the St. Lucia National Rainforest, particularly along the Barre De L’isle Trail, which is not especially strenuous for young people. The walk is two hours but the panoramic views from four lookout points along the trail will be well worth the trek.

Puerto Rico: Last year, we took our kids to Puerto Rico and spent some time hiking in the El Yunque National Forest with our oldest daughter (age 8). Try an easy hike on La Mina Trail to La Mina Falls, then pick up Big Tree Trail to get back to the main road. Go early in the day for light crowds.

St. John: Take a guided hike on Reef Bay Trail with a park ranger who can educate you about plants and trees, share the history of the Reef Bay Plantation and talk about petroglyphs on the rocks at the bottom of the trail. Take a boat from the beach at Reef Bay back to the visitors center to save an uphill climb.

Grenada: Head to Grand Etang National Park & Forest Reserve, then take a hike around Grand Etang Lake. Take in the rainforest, look out for mona monkeys and take a picnic lunch to cap off your day. Consider hiring a private guide to make the most of your time walking through jungle and past waterfalls.

If you plan to take a hike, I do have a few tips to keep in mind. Hike hands-free (i.e., take a backpack for bottled water, a towel, etc.), wear comfortable shoes and go early in the day before the crowds descend on the trails. You may also want to wear your swimsuits since you never know when you’ll come across a waterfall begging for you to jump in.

Photo Credit: lenoralsg

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