When you think of the Caribbean you probably think of the beautiful beaches: the white sands, the blue seas and the blazing sun. You probably think about how wonderful it would be to visit any number of the Caribbean islands and just, well, do nothing on the beach all day or rent a villa. However, there is a lot more to this beautiful part of the world than just the beaches, and there is a lot more to do than just sit on the beach all day; there are a plethora of some of the best National parks that the whole world has to offer.
And there is no better place to start than what used to be known as the Caribbean National Forest: the El Yunque National Forest. Located in Puerto Rico, this is a cool, mountainous, and tropical rain forest that plays host to a whole host of different types of wildlife, specifically birds such as the Puerto Rican Today (locally called ‘San Pedrito). You can see these, and much more, by going on one of the Enchanted Island Eco Tours around the area. And you can indulge yourself in even more of the most amazing of natural wonders that the world has to offer by heading to the Christoffel National Park, which is located on the sun-kissed island of Curaçao. You can witness bats fly through the divi-divi trees and see a whole host of other species of animal that cannot be found anywhere else on the island, such as the rare native barn owl known as the Palabrua; you can go on any of the eight hiking trails that all differ in terms of how difficult they are to navigate, all of which lead to Mt. Christoffel; and you can learn of the whole island’s history by checking out the Plantation Savonet.
If it’s capturing a sense of local history that intestates you, then the Jose del Carmen Ramírez National Park in the Dominican Republic is a place to go as it has been recognised as being a National Park for nearly 60 years. The weather in this area varies from being that of the the temperate oceanic to humid, but the annual average means that hiking and camping can most of the time be achieved comfortably. And no National park in the Caribbean would be complete without its own set of wildlife; those that can be found in Carmen Ramírez include the endangered hutias and the cimarron hogs. You can find more information on this inland regions of the Dominican Republic by heading here.
So, the next time you’re planning a trip to the Caribbean, or in fact find yourself in the Caribbean, don’t forget to factor in a visit to any one of the National parks listed above, or any of the many others that can found in this beautiful part of the world. Enriching yourself and becoming at one with nature in the Caribbean is something that cannot be missed; you can miss sunbathing on the beach for one day, at least.
Featured image: Mt. Christoffel