With abundant sand and sunshine, the Caribbean is a great destination for a relaxing vacation. But if you’re the type of traveler who loves outdoor activities, you’ll find plenty of opportunities for adventure, too.
Here are some examples:
Dunn’s River Falls, near the resort area of Ocho Rios, is one of Jamaica’s most breathtaking natural wonders. It’ll take you about an hour to climb to the top of the cascading waterfall and the farther up you go, the more majestic the view. There are several spots along the way where you can stop and swim in natural pools. At the summit, you’ll find lush garden trails. If you’d rather stay dry, you can take a walking trail alongside the falls.
Belize, on the eastern coast of Central America, is home to the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere, with 180 miles and hundreds of small islands to explore. It’s a great destination for snorkeling. Whether you’re a beginner or advanced, you’ll be fascinated by the spectacular coral and variety of marine life, including more than 500 species of fish and several species of sea turtles.
In Puerto Rico, you can immerse yourself in nature while exploring the trails of the El Yunque tropical rainforest. There are routes for hikers of every ability level. The Caimitillo Trail is perfect for families with young children. You’ll find picnic tables, giant fern trees, wildflowers and streams. The secluded El Toro Wilderness Trail, which takes you to the highest point in the rainforest, is steep and challenging, with rocks and fallen trees to climb over.
The island of Grenada is home to a unique attraction: the world’s first underwater sculpture park, accessible by snorkeling or scuba diving. It was created in 2006 by Jason deCaires Taylor, a British artist, environmentalist and photographer. The 75 works are located in sand patches and gullies between natural rock formations, and they attract a stunning variety of marine life. Subjects include a circle of life-size figures of children, a graceful young diver and a man cycling on the side of the reef.
Bioluminescent Bay, off of Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands, is the place to see a natural phenomenon known as the Northern Lights of the Caribbean. You can reach the spot, off of picturesque Rum Point, on a nighttime kayak tour. The show comes from microscopic plants floating in the water that shoot off bursts of light when they’re disturbed. It’s a spectacle that occurs in just 10 other places worldwide.
The Dominican Republic is a great destination for tackling new adventures outdoors, both on and off the water. On the Atlantic coast, Playa Cabarete, also known as Kite Beach, is a hub for sailing, windsurfing and kiteboarding. Paragliding above the Dominican Republic’s mountain towns of Jarabacoa and Constanza will give you an unparalleled view. You’ll fly over mountain peaks, gushing waterfalls, fields and villages.
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