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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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