Highs & Lows

With its dense rain­forests and warm trop­i­cal weather, the Caribbean is the ul­ti­mate ad­ven­ture play­ground – and all you need is a T-shirt, shorts and train­ers!

Your Guide to the Caribbean - - Contents -

What do you fancy to­day? A morn­ing hike up a moun­tain, fol­lowed by a re­fresh­ing dip in the sea? A lazy glide down a river? Or an ad­ven­ture ex­plor­ing a cave?

St Kitts is one of the few places in the world where the rain­for­est is in­creas­ing in size due to the end of su­gar pro­duc­tion – a quar­ter of this highly scenic is­land is pro­tected. Greg’s Sa­faris runs hikes and tours by 4x4 ve­hi­cle into its green and moun­tain­ous in­te­rior. You’ll be ac­com­pa­nied by a knowl­edge­able lo­cal guide and en­joy an ‘ex­otic is­land pic­nic’.

An­other top des­ti­na­tion for lovers of mighty trees and muddy jun­gle is the Unesco-world-her­itage-site listed Main Ridge For­est Re­serve on Tobago, which has been a con­ser­va­tion zone since 1776 and is the old­est pro­tected rain­for­est in the west­ern hemi­sphere. Cov­er­ing al­most 10,000 acres (4,046 hectares) across the is­land’s cen­tral spine, its 3.1 mile (5km) Gilpin Trail is the most pop­u­lar hike.

Hid­den depths

If you like to dis­cover a se­cret spot, then head for The Quill, a dor­mant vol­cano on St. Eus­tatius that rises to 1,971ft (601m) – af­ter a 45-minute climb through the for­est, you’ll reach the crater rim where you can peer down at the en­chanted green world be­low. Fans of canyon­ing should make for Mar­tinique, where lo­cal op­er­a­tor Trop­i­canyon of­fers ‘dives’ for be­gin­ners aged 10 and over, as well as more ex­treme chal­lenges on the south­ern side of its mighty vol­cano, Mount Pelée. Or if you like to com­bine a sweaty hike through the rain­for­est with a cool­ing massage in a thun­der­ing wa­ter­fall, fol­low the trail to the Seven Sis­ters Falls in Gre­nada, which is part of the Grand Etang Na­tional Park and For­est Re­serve.

Drift­ing along

Pre­fer to kick back? Then try glid­ing down the Rio Grande near Port An­to­nio in Ja­maica on a 25ft (7.6m) long bam­boo raft poled by a skilled cap­tain – ro­man­tics should book a trip by moon­light.

In Bar­ba­dos, the Carlisle Bay Marine Park, with six wrecks to ex­plore, is a good choice for novice divers, while the more ex­pe­ri­enced should head to the blue holes of An­dros in The Ba­hamas for a mys­ti­cal un­der­wa­ter mo­ment. Ex­cel­lent free snorkelling is avail­able from the beaches of Cu­raçao, and Gibbs Cay in Turks & Caicos is home to friendly south­ern rays. Tobago Cays in The Gre­nadines is a di­vine spot to swim with tur­tles and you can also do this on a boat trip to Mon­key Point on Guana Is­land in the Bri­tish Vir­gin Is­lands.

Or why not dis­cover the ethe­real bi­o­lu­mi­nes­cent nightlife of Tobago by pad­dle­board or kayak? Although it faces tough com­pe­ti­tion from the mag­i­cal bi­o­lu­mi­nes­cent nightlife in Puerto Mos­quito (Mos­quito Bay), on the south­ern shore of the is­land of Vieques in Puerto Rico, which was de­clared the bright­est recorded in the world by the book of Guin­ness­worl­drecords2008. Rad­i­cal Sports Tobago ar­ranges trips to the Bon Ac­cord La­goon, where you can gaze at these glit­ter­ing or­gan­isms that look like un­der­wa­ter stars. •

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