From the cradle of human existence, through the voyages of Greeks and Phoenicians, continuing with expanding Spanish Empire up to the modern times, exploration has always played a crucial role in developing a civilization and searching of new places.
Snorkeling and hiking – both modern recreational activities – contain the same energy that had lain underneath the human urge to explore and see something new. Millennia ago, these human endeavours had different goals – to find new sources of food and water. Now, the innate human trait to run, jump and move in general manifests as sports and recreation.
Coincidentally, at the beginning of the Age of Discovery it was the Caribbean that the first explorers, settles and traders came into contact – the very place that recreational activities such as snorkeling and hiking among many others are very popular and easily available during vacation. Of course, varying from island to island, one can do other things such as sightseeing or simple going to the beach.
The Caribbean is one of, if not, the most diverse places on the planet in terms of demography, geology and its eco systems. The region consists of the Caribbean Sea and hundreds of islands in the sea and bordering it. Some were created as a result of volcanic activities and others by deposition of various sedimentary rocks. As far as peoples are concerned, they trace back their ancestry from all corners of the world including Africa, Europe, Asia and naturally both Americas. To add up, warm climate, shallow waters and diverse terrain gave rise to one of the richest and most colorful flora and fauna ever encountered in one place.
The islands had been established as tourist destinations as early as the beginning of the 19th century, and rapid global development in general and popularization of tourism after the World War II found a fertile ground in the Caribbean.
Aruba, Curacao, Antigua, Cuba and Puerto Rico are just some of the famous island names. One can say that tourism simply flourishes across the region and there are few spots some of the 25 million tourists a year did not reach. The Lesser Antilles consist of two dozen greater and numerous small islands and cays and host great variety of spots adequate for snorkeling. Hiking is very popular on the mountainous islands and in combination with vast green forests and rainforests there are many trails throughout the region. However, in terms of the specific recreational activities you can perform in combination with one another there are only several islands that rightfully fit the description. Saint Lucia, Saba, Dominica and Cuba are the most suitable places for combining beach activities and snorkeling with visiting the hinterland on a hiking tour.
Saint Lucia, a small Francophone nation, is part of the Lesser Antilles. This volcanic island dominated by its forest makes a perfect place to spend some time in nature, walk along many trails and admire Gros Piton and Petit Piton, two of the islands famous natural landmarks. A perfect snorkeling spot is located exactly next to these two mountain peaks covered with thick vegetation.
Saba consists almost entirely of a potentially active volcano dramatically rising from the ocean. Although its steep cliffs from almost all sides rendered creation of beaches impossible, the island is a hidden gem in terms of both hiking and diving. Surrounding waters being part of the local marine national park give snorkelers great opportunity to observe the exceptionally rich marine life.
Dominica is another volcanic island in the Caribbean. Long hiking trails pass through a rainforest that covers mostly mountainous terrain. Sandy beaches are scarce, but there are some in the northern part of the island. The island is a perfect for both scuba diving and snorkeling and is mostly oriented toward ecotourism.
As far as Cuba is concerned, this is where our story becomes interesting. To say that the biggest island in the Caribbean offers a lot is an understatement. It is diverse in many aspects such as geography, ethnicities, wildlife and architecture. Additionally, when it comes to tourism this diversity has a great positive impact on everything being done by people visiting. The list of what is offered to us as tourist is endless.
Apart from staying in one of the seaside resorts, going to the beach, drinking cocktails and having fun with your family and friends, you can also choose from various recreational activities you can do before or after the beach. Hiking, snorkeling, scuba diving, bird watching, sightseeing, safari and diving are just some of the many worth mentioning. In a word, there is something amusing for everybody.
Snorkeling and hiking, two popular recreational activities are highly recommended while in Cuba. There are several well organized tours that can make your vacation truly memorable.
Snorkeling. Since shallow and warm Caribbean waters around Cuba gave rise to a rich flora and fauna world under the sea, simple breathing apparatus, such as snorkel, allows us to give this wonderful realm a closer look. Various coral species in the seas around Cuba has lived in symbiosis with other animals and plants for millennia. In search of food or shelter this colorful world moves in front of your eyes while diving or snorkeling.
EcoCuba Pro’s Caribbean Snorkeling daily tour takes you on a memorable adventure visiting Fiesta Campesina and traveling next to the Zapata Swamp before you reach two wonderful snorkeling spots. Cueva de los Peces gives you the opportunity both to relax and enjoy warm upper layers of water and to dive deeper into the 70m deep sinkhole. Moreover, at Punta Perdiz unique snorkeling adventure is guaranteed. The beach runs parallel with a coral reef teeming with tropical fish and other sea creatures.
The other tour is called Isla Paraiso Varadero. On this tour you will visit a postcardlike paradise-on-earth island and have the unique opportunity to roam the ocean in search of tropical wildlife. The other part of the tour comprises of the hiking tour along the Nature Trail.
Hiking. From the sandy beaches we are moving toward the countryside and interior in general. Hiking can be considered a part of a broader movement envisaged in ecotourism. It implies visiting intact nature without damaging or changing it. Additionally, being on such a tour the trail will often lead you into a thick wooded area. Being among trees and walking surrounded by lush vegetation creates a sense of calmness and peacefulness, and is also considered immensely healthy.
Havana – Trinidad: Ecotourism Trekking Adventure is a name of a well designed versatile hiking plan covering many pristine natural spots. EcoCuba Pro ensured that visiting several Cuban parks, trails and cities would be an unforgettable experience. Accompanied by a cocktail or two a day you will also be acquainted with astonishing colonial architecture of several Cuban cities and have time to enjoy some of the most beautiful beaches as well.
In conclusion, hiking and snorkeling in the Caribbean will lead you through the enthralling world of nature. It is of great value that the tours of Cuba give you fulfilling time and let you both relax at the beach and have recreational activities as well. Furthermore, if you have never thought of yourself as an adventurer or explorer here you will definitely become one.