I had spent four days surrounded by water.
On it. In it. Gazing out at it as I lay sprawled on a beach.
Why should I be surprised? I did choose a Caribbean cruise, and this means magical days in the embrace of clear blue waters. This likely is the primary reason most people choose (just as I had) a Caribbean itinerary. I cruised with a group of active friends on a Southern Caribbean voyage on Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas, and we certainly aimed to enjoy our time on the sands and splashing about in the sea.
But, after four straight days of it, we needed a change of pace. Plus, the islands we visit on Caribbean cruises have plenty of other natural wonders to attract thrill-seekers.
So, after snorkeling here, hanging at the beaches there, and a couple of days at sea playing in the pools and on the surfing simulator, we opted for a hike in Curaçao’s Shete Boka National Park to explore the stunning limestone bluffs and caves. The hike is easy, but we enjoyed spending time in a more remote and rugged place away from the crowds. Waves crash against the coastline and into the caves, and centuries of the water action has created beautiful blowholes that burst forth from the ground as mini geysers and waterfalls. The park is filled with seabirds that glide through the long inlets that form the coastal region and winding trails and viewing platforms that overlook the cliffside to the sea.
The five-hour hiking tour on sun-splashed Curaçao was simply thrilling. If you’re a cruiser who loves to mix things up with some challenging activities that stray off the main beach-bound path, you can seek out these best hiking and biking excursions in the Caribbean. They’re sure to get your adrenaline pumping and will likely leave you sweat-soaked but smiling.
The Place: Belize
The Experience: Jungle biking at Bacab Eco-Park. You ride a trail alongside the Belize River in fairly dense jungle, with the chance to spot howler monkeys, iguanas, and exotic birds as you pedal in this wild environment filled with lush plant life.
The Details: Several major lines have a version of this tour, offering this moderately challenging excursion on their cruises to Belize, and the bike ride is about one hour. The tour often includes a lunch and free time at the adventure park, which offers a pool area.
The Place: Nevis
The Experience: Mountain biking, hiking, and climbing. Nevis is a gem of a destination, with amazing pristine wilderness, and its residents are among the top biking enthusiasts in the Caribbean. Luxury cruise lines like Crystal Cruises, Silversea Cruises, and Windstar Cruises make calls in Nevis, and you can find bike tours that fit all ability levels.
The Details: Nevis Adventure Tours (nevisadventuretours.com) offers biking and hiking tours up Nevis Peak (3,232 feet), as well as waterfall hikes through the jungle and plantation ruins. Its cycling tours explore the island, going through the village of….
By John Roberts
Photo:Matt Freeman/Active Caribbean Travel