1. From St. Lucia: Majestic Gros Piton Hiking Day Trip
It's only a 4-mile walk up and down the tree-covered symbol of Saint Lucia- that is, up a winding trail that climbs the steep, rain forest-covered slopes of a 2,619 foot volcanic mountain. Periodically, the trees give way to breathtaking vistas of the emerald-green island and the too-blue waters of the Caribbean. Guides are mandatory, but full of knowledge. The caves once used as shelters by freedom fighters of the Brigand war, brightly colored tropical birds and lush vegetation that includes giant gommiers (used to make canoes), the smaller swizzlestick tree ( used to make swizzle sticks) and "peeling tourists" - trees with flaky brown bark that looks painfully familiar to anyone who's fallen asleep on the beach without sunblock.