mount-liamuiga-crater-st-kitts

The Crater of Mount Liamuiga

We expected a walk in the park. After all, who would have thought that there was an amazing adventure awaiting us on the tiny island nation of St. Kitts? When we think of the Caribbean, we picture vacationers sitting at the pool bar, drinking margaritas and never leaving the beach.  This was not the case when we went to the Marriott Resort as part of their Blog from Paradise promotion.

St. Kitts is a destination for people that want to experience the true flavour of the islands. People that want to get off the resort and sample life in the Caribbean while not venturing too far out of their comfort zone. St. Kitts has it all. Beaches, rainforests, parties and beauty.

But what surprised us most of all was Mount Liamuiga.

Standing 1166 metres (3792 feet) high, this dormant volcano is an excellent hike through the jungle.

mount-liamuiga-gregs-safaris-st-kitts

Our transportation to Mount Liamuiga

We awoke to a clear and sunny day at the St. kitts Marriott where we met our guide Dion from Greg’s Safaris.  The hour long drive to the other side of the island was delightful as we bounced along in the back of the truck dodging other cars, goats and families walking along the side of the road.  This beautiful drive treated us to gorgeous views of the St. Kitts coastline with a mandatory stop at Black Rocks. A stunning cluster of jagged black rocks on the Caribbean Sea created by the lava flow of Mount Liamuiga’s last eruption 1600 years ago.

black-rocks-st-kitts

Black Lava Rocks from Liamuiga Eruption

We didn’t have long to linger though because this sleeping giant was waiting for us to conquer her.

Mount Liamuiga gets its name from the original name of the island of St. Kitts. It means “fertile island.” A very appropriate name indeed, as the area surrounding the mountain is a thick and lush rainforest filled with exotic trees, plants, dripping water and plenty of spiders.

rainforest-mount-liamuiga-st-kittsspiders-rainforest-st-kitts-volcano

-

-

-

-

-

-

It wasn’t always so serene on this island however. Back in the 1600′s thousands of Carib Indians were massacred by the French and English who combined their efforts to defeat an uprising from native islanders.  Devestating the entire tribe. The few survivors either fled the island for safer grounds or ran to higher ground and committed suicide by jumping into the volcano’s deep crater.

It was for this reason the English renamed it Mount Misery.

Centuries later, peace and stability have returned to St. Kitts and the mountain now bears it’s original name. Mount Liaguima.

st-kitts-volcano-mount-liamuiga

Our Climbing Group at the Crater of the Volcano

Loaded with our packed lunch courtesy of the Marriott, we started the climb following our trusty guide Dion.  He filled our heads with facts and information about the mountains history and environment while entertaining us with his fun sense of humour and hearty laugh.

Education on Vacation

Every plant and tree has a purpose and use.  From lighting the sap from a tree to use as a torch to trapping fresh water in the Viper tree to drink. You really can find everything that you need in the rainforest.  There are trees that make canoes, trees that are used for foundations of houses, trees that won’t burn because their sap continuously flows putting out the fire and trees that supply valuable leaves to be used as medicine.  Dion had extensive knowledge of the use of every plant.

As far as guides go that we have used, Dion was among the best!

mount-liamuiga-vegetation-st-kitts

This tree won't burn down, It pumps sap to the burning area to keep the fire from spreading

st-kitts-mount-liamuiga-vegetation

Viper Tree, stores water and is used to communicate by the echo it makes when hit

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

The Climb

It wasn’t only an educational hike, it was a rigorous climb.

Mount Liaguima is a steep trail through the jungle where we climb over roots, fallen logs, giant boulders and slippery trails.  It is a true and authentic rainforest hike.  The trails are narrow and unkept and the jungle surrounds you every step of the way.

mount-liamuiga-trail-hike

-hiking-trail-st-kitts-volcano

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

We were surprised just how tough this climb was.  Nearer to the top, you need to scramble over large rocks making sure to hold on to solid roots or at places even attached ropes.  It is a fun climb for experienced hikers, but it could be too much for people that have never ventured out into the jungle before. Dion said that many people decide to turn back at the half way point.

Remember, this is a tropical island, people don’t come here normally to hike volcanos and if they are not used to the outdoors, they may find it to be a bit much. But for the regular hiker, this is not a scary or demanding climb. It is simply a lot of fun taking part in an amazing 5 hour hike.

We made it to the top in time for the clouds to part and show us a clear view of Devils Tooth. The tallest point on the crater.  You need to snap your pictures quickly as the clouds continuously roll in and out engulfing the peak in a white haze.

Devils-tooth-mount-liamuiga

Devil's Tooth

After spending some time taking in the glorious view, we set off for another scramble up some rocks to enjoy our snacks and take a much needed rest before the climb down.

st-kitts-mount-liamuiga-volcano

Perched on the side of Devil’s Tooth, we sat on rocks and took in the jungle views.  It was a perfect day. The humidity was low, the weather was warm and the sun was shining. We couldn’t have been more lucky during our hike up to the crater of Mount Liamuiga.  If you ever find yourself in The West Indies at the Eastern end of the Caribbean, make sure to take a trip over to St. Kitts and Nevis and give this wonderful hike a try. You won’t be disappointed.

You may also like

From our partners
Leave a comment

15 Comments

  1. Pingback: Fresh From Twitter

  2. Earl

    That’s excellent that you ended up exploring with Greg’s Safaris! Although, I’m not surprised that Marriott set you up with them as that operation is definitely the best on St. Kitts.

    Glad you enjoyed this wonderful hike!!
    .-= Earl´s last blog ..Do You Shave Your Underarms Too =-.

  3. Pingback: Ziplining in St. Kitts with Sky Safaris | The Planet D: Around the World Adventure Couple

  4. Laura

    Looks like a lot of fun. I hiked Nyiragongo Volcano in DR Congo back in May. It was such a tough hike but incredibly worth it. Lovely photos!

  5. Frencheska

    Definitely great stuffs you got there, wish to visit that too, so nice surprise for you. I miss traveling and hiking, still I feel the excitement in our Mount Taal in Philippines..

  6. Pingback: Our St. Kitt's Zip Line Video Adventure in Paradise

  7. Peter Davey

    Did this climb in 1957 when the top 500 meters was loose volcanic ash. It was very hard going then. There was a small wooden track which was used,we were told, to lower sick people from the rim into the blue lake which had formed in the crater.It erupted sometime later.

    1. debndave Post author

      Wow Peter, that must have been amazing. I think that St Kitts is one of the few islands in the Caribbean that you wil probably still recognize. It doesn’t have a lot of development yet which makes it all the more appealing. I can’t believe that they used to lower sick peope into the crater lake. What an amazing memory. Have you ever gone back?

  8. Donald

    You didn’t hike the peak, Mt Liamuiga (~3800 ft), you hiked up to ~2800 ft on the crater rim! just to let you know.

  9. Sarah Taylor

    About how long was the hike? We are cruising to the island soon and I would love to do this. We will only be in port from 10-6, which I don't think is enough time.

    1. debndave Post author

      Sorry I missed this. Yes, I don’t think that you will have enough time to get to the other side of the island, climb and be back down. But it’s worth a shot to check out.

  10. BPG Godbout

    We hiked the volcano trail today. My wife and I are in our 50′s and were very fortunate to link up with a guide (thru Marriott) named ONeil. He is excellent cant recommend him more highly. 4 stars. He met us at 830. We were at the trailhead in his SUV by 930. We are both experienced hikers and made it to the summit in 2 hours. Awesome climb. Many reaches and slippery rocks A guide like ONeill is an absolute must. We took the requisite breaks. He describes the local vegetation during the ascent. The views into the crater are awesome. Spent 40 minutes on top before our 1 1/2 hr decent Just as we started down we were treated to a rare moment of viewing the verdant green monkey in a tree just above the trail. What a priceless experience! ! This hike is for the experienced hiker who works out on a weekly basis. Very doable if you are in shape! Find ONeill thru Marriotts tour desk. Enjoy!
    Bpg

Comments are closed.