Mount Liamuiga: a 1-Day St Kitts Volcano Hike Anyone Can Do

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Chances are, you don’t know a lot about St. Kitts.  It’s a curveball island: the one that none of your friends have ever been to and one that gets overlooked in favor of postcard perfect beaches.  But this oddball is enjoyable precisely because it’s different: the St. Kitts volcano hike up Mount Liamuiga is like nothing else in the Caribbean.  I was certainly unprepared for how much I would enjoy my time on the island and how much I’d enjoy a chance to return.

St. Kitts

St. Kitts is a lush and green island, providing a great excuse to head inland instead of spending all your time on the beach.  With plenty of rolling hills, sugarcane plantations, and tropical rainforest, there’s no shortage of day hikes on the island.  The favorite, of course, is hiking to the crater rim of Mt. Liamuiga, a challenging trek to volcanic origins.

Joining a St Kitts Volcano Hike

Even though my sister and I were only in St. Kitt’s for the day (on a cruise stop), that’s plenty of time to complete the Mount Liamuiga volcano tour, as long as you have a guide to show you the way.  

Meeting our guide, we started the trip with a quick island tour on our way to the trailhead.  Although we saw some city sights in Basseterre, I was more enamored with some of the scenic views, which were gorgeous in all directions.

Beautiful mountain views in St Kitts

We made a few other stops, including the gardens at Romney Manor-Caribelle Batik and some old sugar mill ruins, but to be honest, I was getting a little anxious to get a chance to hike!

And hike we did.  

Mount Liamuiga may not be in the Rockies, the Alps, or the Andes, but it is the highest point in the Leeward Islands, at 3,792 feet above sea level.  

The trail is steep, and in some places, slippery, but from a hiker’s point of view, I didn’t think it was too bad.  I was definitely intrigued by some of the cool vegetation and mega tree roots, and had a little fun playing Tarzan.

Vine Swinging

The Hard Part of Hiking Mount Liamuiga

The last 10% (by distance) of the hike is by far the most strenuous part of the climb.  There’s some rock scrambling involved to get to the best views, sometimes on narrow ledges.

The hike was definitely not for anyone afraid of heights!  But the views from the top were truly incredible, with the volcano crater in one direction and the gorgeous ocean off to the other side.

The hike back down wasn’t as easy as it looked, since you had to be careful with your footing, but we made it back down.

Before calling it a day, our guide showed us a few of his favorite things, letting us check out black volcanic boulders and taste fresh sugar cane.

But most of all, I was impressed with how stunning Liamuiga is in the background, rising up out of the island.  It’s native meaning of “fertile land” seemed quite appropriate.Advertisement

st kitts volcano

As with all good hikes, your physical effort should always be rewarded — it’s vacation after all!  If you’re spending the night, you’ll have time for a refreshing swim and a cold drink at St. Kitts Marriott Resort.

st kitts marriott

Overall, St. Kitts may seem like that curveball island, but that ball was hit right out of the park!  What a beautiful island it is and a great opportunity to stay and relax for awhile.  Pamper your sore muscles at the spa, play a game of golf, and visit the nearby beach while you’re at it.

My St Kitts volcano hike and climbing Mount Liamuiga was a perfect surprise, and a highlight of my Caribbean adventures.

Details on the One Day St Kitts Volcano Tour

The tour itself is about six hours — that’s about four hours of hiking, plus a mini island tour, transportation to/from the trailhead, and a lunch break (included).  That fits in quite nicely to cruise ship stops and even better if you’re spending the night!

You WILL get hot and sweaty.  Although it's not terribly long, it's definitely steep -- and St Kitts weather is usually hot and muggy.  I'd recommend wearing gym shorts and a t-shirt that's made from technical fabric (I wore a cotton t-shirt, which was a bad idea).  A polyester blend or sporty fabrics will make you feel much better!  Don't forget sneakers or hiking boots with good traction for the steep slippery parts.

Pack a reusable water bottle and sunscreen, too.  If you're flying, I like solid sunscreen sticks because they don't count toward your liquid allowance and they don't leak all over your day bag.  

--> Book Your St Kitts Volcano Hike Today <--

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8 thoughts on “Mount Liamuiga: a 1-Day St Kitts Volcano Hike Anyone Can Do”

  1. It’s interesting that you enjoyed St Kitts so much. I was just there in January on my first cruise and I came away with the opposite view. We felt like we were intruding on the locals and they seemed to make sure we knew it. It joined a very short list of ‘not again’ locations we have been to. Perhaps I should move it up to ‘probationary’ after reading your report.

    1. @Jason, It’s really hard to judge an island (whether positive or negative) based on an 8-10 hour visit. I enjoyed my specific tour very much, but that might just mean that I picked an activity and guide that melded well with my interests, and it’s quite possible that you just didn’t find the part of the island that would have fit you best. And it’s equally as possible that St. Kitt’s is just not for you. I had the same issue with my Barbados port stop. My solution? I won’t fly there specifically for a vacation, but if it pops up on another cruise itinerary for a day, I’d give it another shot and see if my opinion changes after a second visit.

      I tend to trust my first impressions, but I’ll be experimenting a little in December. I’ve got a short stopover (roughly 24 hours) in Madrid – a city I didn’t particularly enjoy when I visited previously. A ton of other people LOVE that city, so I’m going in with an open mind. Maybe I’ll end up loving it this time. After all, I have a different companion, a different time of year, and a different set of activities to look forward to. If I still don’t love it, no harm done. Not everyone will love every location (just the same as not everyone has the same hobbies or interests), but luckily the world has plenty of other places to explore if St. Kitt’s isn’t for you.

  2. I agree with you and don’t get me wrong, I am very glad I went to St Kitts only because I got to experience somewhere new. I was just surprised by your take. I am actually in complete agreement with you on Barbados, so I look forward to seeing what you have to say about St Martin and San Juan Old Town.

  3. Do you think there is enough activities to justify 7 days on this island. That Marriott deal is great but 7 days is a long time on a small island for a restless person. I cannot only sit on a beach for 1 days and then I need to be out and about.

    1. @HeavenlyJane, It may be a small island but it offers quite a bit to do. Here’s a sample of how to spend 8 days/7 nights on St. Kitts:
      Day 1 – Arrive & Island Tour to get your bearings
      Day 2 – Historical attractions like Brimstone Fortress, Romney House, and the old sugar railway
      Day 3 – Intro to scuba class (St. Kitts has great diving, in particular shipwreck dives) or snorkeling
      Day 4 – Day trip to sister island of Nevis (45 minutes by ferry) for Hermitage Plantation, hot springs, beaches, hiking
      Day 5 – Ziplining, ATV rides, and mountain biking
      Day 6 – Water activities like flyboarding, kitesurfing, sailing, paddleboarding, and more
      Day 7 – Hike Mount Liamuiga (or another rainforest trail)
      Day 8 – Recover from the hike at the resort pool, beach, spa, or golf course and fly home

      Add in shopping, rum tastings, spotting monkeys, and repeat activities (you could spend all week just diving), and yes, I think there’s plenty to do for 7 nights.

  4. Hi Becky, do you by chance remember the name of your guide, or what tour company he worked for? We’re on St. Kitts for another few days, & want to get up the volcano. I’m only seeing a few names out there, & looking for options – especially since we’d prefer to not be in a group.

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