The U.S. National Parks system is one of the most admired in the world, and the Caribbean is home to some of the world’s most beautiful national parks, the caribbean parks including the U.S. Virgin Islands National Park and the El Yunque rainforest. There are so many great parks where you can enjoy a variety of activities. Whether you prefer hiking to waterfalls, snorkeling pristine reefs, or wandering the streets of historic Caribbean port cities, you’ll find something to enjoy at these parks.
Virgin Islands National Park, St.John, one of the finest caribbean parks
Take a hike on scenic trails, explore sugar plantation ruins and snorkel along an underwater trail in this pristine nature park. It covers much of Saint John, so you’ll have plenty of opportunity to enjoy nature.
The Virgin Islands National Park is located on the island of St. John and covers a total land area of 2,800 hectares. The Virgin Islands National Park encompasses a variety of natural habitats, including tropical bays, coral reefs, stunning beaches, mangrove swamps, and forested hills. There are many different trails in the park for hikers to explore, and you can learn about Caribbean history at an 18th-century plantation or take in the sun on one of the park’s white-sand beaches. There are plenty of things to do in Virgin Islands National Park.
You can explore the park’s many trails and attractions, or relax in one of the park’s beautiful beaches. Visit some of the park’s hiking trails. For a full day of hiking, you can choose from a dozen hikes with distances of 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) or less, or you can string several shorter hikes together.
If you’re looking for a fun activity to do in and around the water, head to Cinnamon Bay. There you can enjoy swimming, kayaking, and fishing. Hire a kayak, paddle boat, surfboard or sailboat and hit the beach and waves. One of the most notable beaches in the park is Trunk Bay, which has soft, white sand, clear water and excellent facilities.
If you’re looking for a place to relax and take in the sights and sounds of the beach, consider renting a comfortable beach chair or snorkeling gear. Take a moment to read the underwater plaques while you float by colorful coral and fish. They provide additional information about the marine life in the area. Another popular park location is the Annaberg Plantation, which produced sugar, molasses, and rum in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Follow the trail of information, which leads past the ruins of the old factory, windmill, and slave lodgings, and features signs that share historic details.
If you want to enjoy a peaceful walk through Francis Bay Park or a fascinating tour of the Reef Bay Valley, choose a bird watching stroll or join a ranger-led tour. Participants can see ancient rock carvings while hiking through the rainforest. Some tours end with a trip back to the Cruz Bay Visitor Center on the boat. The Virgin Islands National Park is open 24/7, 365 days a year.
The visitor center is open Monday through Saturday, with the exception of Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. To visit Trunk Bay at the park, you will need to pay an entrance fee. The facilities at Trunk Bay open in the morning and stay open until mid afternoon.
El Yunque National Forest, Puerto Rico, one of the finest caribbean parks
This tropical rainforest is a great place to hike, with stunning views of mountain peaks and cascading waterfalls. El Yungue is the only tropical rainforest located in the United States National Forest System. It covers approximately 11,300 hectares (28,000 acres) in northeastern Puerto Rico. There are plenty of photo opportunities and stunning views to be had in this park, with waterfalls, exotic plants and wildlife.
El Yunque National Forest is home to a great variety of native plants and animals, including twenty different species of trees that are found nowhere else in the world. This is a great place for nature lovers, hikers, and birdwatchers. Or, if you just want to pack a picnic and relax, this is a great escape from the city.
This area is best seen by car, allowing you to visit the entire park and discover its many different attractions. Arrive at the visitor center to learn about the history of the park and the many species that live there. Rangers offer guided rainforest walks that take one hour, providing a great introduction to the park. Take your time exploring the park to find the many trails and lookout points. If you’re looking for a good spot to take in the views of the La Cola waterfalls, a lookout point is a better option.
It’s also a great spot to take photos, especially if the weather is nice. To reach the base of the falls, hike the path that departs from the lookout. The El Portal Rainforest Center is a great place to explore the ecosystems that live amongst the treetops. You’ll walk 197 feet (60 meters) aboveground, gaining a unique perspective on the plants and animals that live there.
If you’re looking for a lookout point in the forest, the Yokahu Observation Tower is a great option. It’s a cylindrical structure that towers over the trees, making it an easy spot to see far into the forest. To get great views of the National Forest and the ocean beyond, climb to the top of Mount Tamalpais. El Yunque National Forest is located in eastern Puerto Rico, about 60 kilometers east of San Juan.
The forest can be reached by car, and it is not serviced by public transportation. However, some chartered tours offer trips to the forest. The forest is open to the public daily, but a pass is required for camping and other activities. At the visitor center, maps, guides, and other information can be found about the area.
Christiansted National Historic Site, St.Croix, one of the finest caribbean parks
Visiting national park units can help you learn about your environment and make some great memories. Every trip has a preparatory phase, an experience itself, and a reflection phase. We recently reflected on our visit to the US Virgin Islands, and in particular our visit to Christiansted National Historic Site on the island of St. Croix. This was one of our favorite trips to the United States. There are many great places to stay when in the islands – many of them are English-speaking, you don’t need a passport, and you can spend US dollars! Many Caribbean locations have stunning scenery, but it’s not as easy as it seems.
We recently reflected on our visit to the US Virgin Islands, and in particular our visit to Christiansted National Historic Site on the island of Saint Croix. One of our most memorable vacations was in the United States. There are many great places to stay in the islands – the English-speaking islands are perfect for visitors without a passport, and US dollars are the currency of choice. Many Caribbean locations have the same beautiful scenery, but it is much easier to live in the States.
St. Croix is a popular cruise ship destination, but there are many other places to visit on the island. The deserted beaches of a place have a lot to offer visitors, from peaceful walks to interesting history. The Christiansted National Historic Site preserves the history of Denmark’s sovereignty over the island of Saint Croix.
The Danish West India & Guinea Company first took possession of the island of St. Thomas in 1672, and later the island of St. Johns in 1717. The colonists on St. Croix discovered that the island was well-suited to growing sugar and its sheltered harbor made it an advantageous trading spot. The town of Christiansted was named after King Christiansted VI, who offered settlers 150-acre plantations in the hopes of creating a sugar industry. These plantations attracted many settlers, who made rum in the town’s distilleries. Although the population is around 10,000 people, 90% of them are slaves.
The fort at Christiansted, built between 1738 and 1749 on the ruins of an old French fort, helped protect residents and commerce from slave revolts and marauders. You can visit the fort today and explore the old cannons. A breathtaking view of the harbor awaits you. There are several other historic structures on the 7+ acre site, including a historic house, a barn, and a cemetery.
You can visit the Steeple Building, the first Lutheran church on the island, and the Scale House, built in 1856, which was a bustling center for trade. Here, they weighed “heads” of sugar and “puncheons” of rum before shipping them off the island. Other buildings you may see in the area include the Customs House (built in 1842), Danish West India & Guinea Company Warehouse (built in 1749), and Government House (built in 1747). All three buildings are excellent examples of Danish architecture.