Every island by nature has natural attractions: No matter where you go, you'll find lots of water sports and most likely good hiking. But if you're mainly seeking nature activities that don't involve water, choose wisely.

Puerto Rico

, one of the Caribbean's largest islands, has lakes, rivers, a rain forest, and wide-open spaces with an array of activities. Hikers and mountain bikers head to

El Yunque

, a national forest, and regular bikers traverse the parts of oceanside Road 466 that remain free of development. Horseback riding is popular, and there are a number of ranches from which to choose.

A bioluminescent bay lights up at night in

Bahia Mosquito



, a Puerto Rican island that until recently was a U.S. military base. The island also has a huge underground river system that makes for great spelunking.


also is relatively large and has natural attractions that are easily accessible. The lush

Blue Mountains

, famous for coffee growing, attract hikers and birders, although guided tours are recommended. Six hundred steps lead to the top of

Dunn's River Falls

, which are best visited when the cruise ships are gone. Rivers, rain forest, mountains and plains offer several ways to enjoy nature. There also are river rafting, canopy tours and horseback riding.

Birders will be thrilled by the more than 400 species in

Trinidad and Tobago

. Again, the islands are large by Caribbean standards, with pristine rain forests, lowlands, savannas and swamps.

Four small islands have less variety but some distinctive features.

St. Eustatius

is a tiny island with only 2,700 residents, and one of the major attractions is hiking to an extinct volcano filled with a rain forest.


doesn't have many great beaches, but it has one,

Champagne Beach

, where steam vents from an offshore volcano create bubbly water - hence the name. The island also has done a great job protecting its rain forest. Among its other natural attractions: waterfalls and geothermal springs.


doesn't have beaches, but you'll find a lovely, lightly touristed island with mountains and a variety of flora and fauna. The capital is in the crater of an extinct volcano, and you walk 400 steps from the town to the sea.


is known for biking, plus hiking trails, rivers and waterfalls. It also offers canyoning, a sport that involves sliding down rivers that flow through canyons.

Nature lovers should also check out

St. Kitts


St. Lucia




St. Vincent

and the


, and


. For those who enjoy seeing nature by car,


is a great place for driving through hilly terrain and through sugarcane fields.


has long been a quiet, lush, mountainous island, but it became even quieter after a 1995 volcanic eruption. Nature enthusiasts will find lots to explore and a rare place to observe the effects of a relatively recent major eruption.

Two-thirds of

St. John

is national parkland. Need we say more?