Travel

Canouan’s a small island, and while there are plenty of places you can walk, there’s just one proper hiking trail, but we loved it so much, we felt it deserved its own entry. If you’re staying at the Mandarin Oriental, you can go with a guide—the trail is easy to follow, but it’s worth going with someone who can point out the flowers, reptiles, and more you might miss along the way. The trail starts just behind the old casino (a remnant of the island’s short-lived Trump era) and winds up a steep single track through thick forest—you’ll want a good stick for support; there are plenty to choose from at the trailhead—to the top of Mount Royal, the highest point on the island. On the way up you’ll spot orchids, turtles, and giant, tree-climbing hermit crabs. At the top, take a right toward the Mount Royal summit, and decide how far up the jagged boulder you’re willing to scale. You’ve got a stunning view north toward Mustique—but free one hand to take a picture at your own risk. Once you’ve clambered down off the rock (there is no graceful way to do this), head to the other side of the trail. Mount Royal “basecamp” is a broad, flat rock where you can have a seat, enjoy a drink or a snack, and take in the view: The south end of the island uncurls in green below you, and beyond that, out across the impossibly turquoise water, you can see the southern Grenadines—Mayreau, Union Island, Palm Island, Petit St. Vincent—and, on a very clear day, Grenada.

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