st lucia grand piton

Adventure Beyond the Beach: Top 5 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:

The Pitons & Rainforests of, St Lucia

grand piton saint luciaThe Pitons are twin peaks that can be enjoyed from afar – stunning as they jut up from the ocean to reach 2,530 feet, and we love the views from the top looking out at the land and sea below. The hike is incredibly steep and not for the faint of heart, but guests who reach the top say it’s worth the sweat. Alternately, let Windstar plan your St. Lucia hike in advance by booking the popular St. Lucia: Rainforest Hike & River Pool shore excursion to one of the islands beautiful rainforests where wildlife and culture unfold into a multitude of “photo ops,” including a drive through various small island communities to arrive at one of the flattest lines of the rainforest. Enjoy a nearly 2-mile hike with the chance to view some of the 23 species of birds on the island, including St. Lucia’s National Bird – the St. Lucian Parrot.  As if it could not get any better, you will have an opportunity to taste local seasonal fruits and juices and take a cool and relaxing dip in a natural river pool.

Man-O-War, Tobago

Hiking in Tobago’s rainforest is a must, and our favorite 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.

Morne Trois Pitons National Park World Heritage Site, Dominica

Trafalgar_Falls_at_Morne_Trois_Pitons_National_ParkDon your swimsuit, sunscreen and sturdy shoes for this rare adventure through the wet and rugged side of Dominica. Our unique Wet & Rugged Dominica hiking tour is curated by Windstar’s destination experts who boast decades of combined travel tour planning experience. Your adventure traverses Dominica’s mountainous interior and the Morne Trois Pitons National Park World Heritage Site, skirts the slopes of steaming rainforests, crosses countless rivers and dramatic gorges, and offers spectacular breathtaking panoramas. Arriving by coach at Fresh Water Lake, often drenched in mist and tranquility, your 90-minute hike along a thin roller-coaster-loop-trail with dramatic ridges provides beautiful panoramas of the lake and surrounding area.  Then, journey further inland to Boeri Lake and a 2-hour (return) hike along hilly and stony terrain through thick rainforest. The trail to this mountain crater is wild and full of bright colored blooms, pristine vegetation and surface streams. Chirping birds fuel this already energetic walk. At the lake hikers enjoy a brief rest to recharge before heading back to your tour vehicle followed by a picnic lunch. Finally, this adventure heads to the Titou Gorge for a short swim (wearing a life vest for safety) through a narrow opening to a waterfall that is guaranteed to provide an adrenalin rush you’ll not soon forget. Return to your waiting yacht knowing you have just checked off a surprise bucket list achievement sure to be shared with family and friends.

Gorda Peak National Park, Virgin Gorda

Gorda Peak National Park View From SummitWhen 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 at Gun Creek.  That way you can be sure to be back in time for the popular Beach BBQ “Island Experience” on Prickly Pear Island, offered complimentary and exclusively to Windstar guests.

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, all found on Wind Surf’s Classic Caribbean itinerary.

“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.


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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