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…

Your Guide to the Caribbean - - Contents -

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.

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