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"Life's an Adventure"
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This month's reader photos have it all—inspiring locales, great composition, and travel tips to take you there.
Reader Photo Album


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Patagonia's Cerro Torre
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See photos of Patagonia's otherworldly Cerro Torre from the climb that bagged one of alpine climbing's greatest prizes.
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The Caribbean's Wild Side: St. Vincent
The sports you love, set in the destinations you crave. Here are nine tropical escapes that scream action.  Text by Tom Clynes

THE BAHAMAS  | PANAMA  |  DOMINICA  |  HONDURAS  |  ST. LUCIA  
ST. VINCENT  |  SABA  |  DOMINICAN REPUBLIC  |  GRENADA

ST. VINCENT
Trek the Other Side of La Soufrière

On a northern approach to St. Vincent, an anchor island in the Grenadines chain, it's hard to miss the verdant, sloping flanks of 4,048-foot (1,234-meter) La Soufrière volcano. Though the island is prized for its beautiful black-sand beaches and critter-spotting dives, it's at this point that you realize there's more to be done: This crater must be climbed.

The dynamic topography of this 130-square-mile (337-square-kilometer) volcanic hotbed helped the island realize its potential for land-based pursuits—great mountain biking, waterfall-hopping, and hiking. A two-hour trek up La Soufrière's windward trail courses through a canopy of bamboo trees, past strangler figs and spider orchids, and onto the rim of a sulfur-spewing caldera that stretches a mile (1.6 kilometers) across and is over 1,350 feet (411 meters) deep. "This is not a place you want to be if you are afraid of heights," says HazEco Tours guide Clint Hazell, who has led more than 1,800 trips to La Soufrière's summit. "But if you want a spectacular view, it is a nice piece of heaven up there."

Next, trek around the top, put on gloves, and lower yourself into the crater for a mineral mud bath via ropes set by seismic researchers. If you're feeling hardy, descend toward Chateaubelair Bay via the western (leeward) trail—an 11-mile (18-kilometer) route on which the flora has flourished since La Soufrière's last eruption (spring 1979). Rinse off at one of several cooling waterfalls along the way. Prearrange for a boat back to Petit Byahaut, a 50-acre (20-hectare) eco-retreat just past Buccament Bay, where a swaying hammock awaits.
 
WHAT TO DO
Hiking
HazEco Tours sets up treks ($70 for a full day; www.hazecotours.com) on both the windward and leeward sides of La Soufrière.
Biking
Sailor's Wilderness Tours ($60; +1 784 457 1712) has day-long mountain biking trips.
 
WHERE TO STAY
Petit Byahaut ($390; www.outahere.com/petitbyahaut), nestled in a cove reachable only by boat, has large cabins, solar-powered lighting, and meals served outside, overlooking the ocean.
 
GETTING AROUND
Car rentals, which can be expensive ($60 a day; www.avis.com), are available in Kingstown. Speedway Bike & Scooter Rental has mopeds and scooters ($25 a day; +1 784 456 4894).

THE BAHAMAS  | PANAMA  |  DOMINICA  |  HONDURAS  |  ST. LUCIA  
ST. VINCENT  |  SABA  |  DOMINICAN REPUBLIC  |  GRENADA

Photo: March Cover


Pick up the March 2006 issue for more secrets of the Southwest, nine Caribbean adventures, the best gear for runners, and our World Class outfitter trips.

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