Farms & Ranches
The Caribbean’s scenery is not just phenomenally pretty to look at; the land also yields a rich bounty of produce. Here are six ways to discover more…
Belcampo Belize, Belize
Set on a rainforestclad ridge within a 12,000-acre (4,856 hectare) private reserve near Punta Gorda, this family friendly working estate and luxury ecolodge offers numerous activities, from chocolate-making and fly fishing to visiting a spice farm. Birdlife is rich here, with hummingbirds, toucans and the rare ornate hawk-eagle flying overhead, and sporty types can keep in shape by mountain biking, kayaking, horseriding and following six miles (9.6km) of scenic hiking trails.
Be a cowboy (or cowgirl) in Martinique
Martinique has a couple of ranches sure to bring out the cowboy (or cowgirl) in its guests. The familyowned Black Horse Ranch is set in 33 acres of protected natural reserve in Les Trois-îlets, five miles from the capital, Fort-de-france. Horse riding through a landscape of forests, cane fields, rivers and mountains is one of the activities offered. Other activities on the ranch include hiking and golf and trail rides are also available at Ranch Jack, with trails that head out into the countryside and forest and offer great views of l’anse à l’âne.
Clifton Mount Coffee Estate, Jamaica
The oldest working coffee estate in Jamaica, Clifton Mount sits 5,000ft (1,524m) high in the UNESCO World Heritage Site-listed Blue Mountains, near St Catherine’s Peak. Tours of this private farm can be arranged through the nearby Strawberry Hill Hotel – guests can get there on a three-hour walk or join a weekend ‘Jamaica on a Platter’ package that also visits local gardens, a coffee roasting plant and Kingston’s Coronation Market.
Morne Coubaril Estate, Saint Lucia
Want to enjoy nature with a few thrills thrown in? This one-stop ‘historical adventure park’ near Soufrière mixes activities such as zip-lining and horseback riding with tours exploring a 280-acre (113 hectare) estate that produces cocoa, coffee, copra and tropical fruits. It’s also home to replica historic dwellings and you can watch sugar cane being put through a mulepowered mill. A tasty creole buffet lunch is available and a well-stocked gift shop sells sweets, spices and goodenough-to-eat beauty treatments made with estate produce.
Dadawana Ranch, Guyana
Located in the remote southern savannah bordering the Rupununi River, this working cattle ranch is the largest in Guyana, covering some 1,700 square miles (4,402 sq km). Guests can join the vacqueros (cowboys) that ride the land, camping out overnight and watching as they muster steers and tame wild horses. Meals are hearty – barbecued meats washed down with Guyanese rum – and accommodation is offered in heritage wooden buildings set on stilts that date from the 1920s.
Belmont Estate, Grenada
Dating back to the early 17th century, the fertile fields of the Belmont Estate in St Patrick have been variously used to grow coffee, sugar, cotton, cocoa, nutmegs and bananas. Now home to an engaging agri-tourism project, visitors can take a tour to find out about native plants and their uses, and visit a fascinating heritage museum. You can also meet some resident animals and enjoy a delicious Caribbean lunch prepared with ingredients such as goats’ cheese, coconut, papaya, root vegetables and of course, Grenada’s famous spices.