Say St. Kitts and images of white sandy beaches, swaying palms and turquoise blue waters come to mind. Ready to go off-beach and really see what the island is all about? Let me introduce you to Mt. Liamuiga – a 3000 ft volcano. She hasn’t breathed fire for almost 2000 years, but a hike to the rim proves she’s still as mighty as ever.
After a winding drive through St. Kitts, we started our 2-3 hour trek upwards. The first hour passed easily beneath banyan trees and more vines than Tarzan could ever hope to swing. Our guide, who hikes the volcano 3-4 times a week, pointed out which plants can save a life and which ones can end one.
He told us about the mongoose, brought over by the English to control the snake population. What the Brits didn’t know is that mongoose also have a taste for tropical bird eggs, which explained the eerie quiet as we hiked. No parrots or tropical birds on the island, but plenty of mongoose.
As we neared the rim, the slope pitched dramatically and the chit chat changed to determined concentration. At points it felt as if we were climbing straight up, grasping at roots and trunks to keep us from falling backward.