St. KittsHike a Dormant Volcano
BASE CAMP: Rawlins Plantation Hotel
ACTIVITY: Climb a jungle-covered caldera
Nevis has its four seasons, Anguilla has its St. Regis, and St. Kitts has . . . well, Saturday night karaoke at Mr. X's Shiggidy Shack is pretty great. St. Kitts's unfabulousness, relative to some of its ultraposh Leeward Islands neighbors, is part of what makes it so appealing—and why you should visit now, before the inevitable infinity pools and faux-Balinese spas arrive. This winter more frequent direct flights from American Airlines and Delta will make the island easier to get to—and developers already have plans to build on the beach-rich southeast peninsula, which until recently had only one major road.
GAME PLAN: For now, head to the lush north, where the Rawlins Plantation Hotel, a restored country house on a 17th-century sugarcane plantation, will put you squarely in St. Kitts's best hiking region. Cloud-shrouded Mount Liamuiga, a 3,792-foot (1,156-meter) dormant volcano, is just out the door. Though signage is spotty, you can make the two-to-three-hour hike to the summit on your own, or join a guide, such as fifth-generation Kittitian Greg Pereira. The payoff? A view into the mile-wide, green-carpeted crater at the summit. There are ropes if you'd care to descend the thousand-foot (305-meter) caldera wall, but Pereira warns, "The last time I did it, the rope broke. Luckily a tree stopped my fall."
THE VITALS: Rawlins Plantation Hotel ($405; www.rawlinsplantation.com). Greg's Safaris offers full-day hikes up Mount Liamuiga ($90 per person; gregssafaris.com).
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