The Best And Worst of Running in the Caribbean

Tens of millions visit the Caribbean islands annually, to enjoy the sun, magnificent beaches, warm water, and tropical terrain. But finding a good place to run on these islands can sometimes be a challenge: roads tend to be narrow, lacking a decent shoulder/sidewalk, and there isn’t much of an infrastructure of multi-use paths. So, we’ve been hard at work developing running guides for each of the major Caribbean islands – the most scenic and runnable roads, beaches, trails, and paths. To celebrate, here’s our list of ‘Bests’ (and worsts!) for the Caribbean: Best and worst islands for running, and some of our favorites by theme: Beach, Coastal Road, Off-Road Path, and ‘Unique/One-of-A Kind’ runs. Note: We’ve included Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula and nearby islands.

Five Best Islands for Running

Aruba: Recent development in infrastructure has created some great new waterfront paths. Also lots of decent beach running and a huge national park.
Barbados. Nice variety of good beaches for running, some small boardwalks, quieter coastal roads, and accessible hills.
Cayman Islands. Several good beach and coastal road options, several with new sidewalks.
Cozumel. FABULOUS for running, owing to the 65 km cycle path that circles the southern part of the island, much of it with ocean views.
Isla Mujeres. A worth-it running destination if in the Cancun area. Lovely seafront promenade.
Puerto Rico. San Juan is the best city for running in the Caribbean. Beautiful historic center, and numerous waterfront and path running options.

Honorable Mention: US Virgin Islands. Award for the best variety of trail running.

Worst Caribbean Islands for Running

Bahamas. Most exclusive, few public spaces. Not that many waterside roads or paths.
Jamaica. Lots of traffic and congestion. The best routes aren’t that close to the major resort locations.
St. Lucia. A victim of its dramatic (but scenic) geography – since it’s so hilly, running is a real challenge.  Few longer beaches or quiet coastal roads.
Cancun. The beach is good for running, but there aren’t many other scenic options. From the multi-use path in the hotel zone, you see mainy…hotels.
Saint Kitts and Nevis. Both these islands have only one main road, which has no shoulder or sidewalk. The interior is rugged & mountainous.

Best Beaches for Running                               Best Off-Road Paths

Eagle Beach, Aruba                                        Aruba: Palm Beach Sightseeing Path
Cattlewash, Barbados                                    Barbados: Speighstown/Port St. Charles
Carolina Beach, San Juan                             D.R.: Malecón in Puerto Plata, Santo Domingo
Paradise/Palancar Beach, Cozumel           Cuba:  Malecón Havana
Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman             Nassau: Waterfront Path
Punta Cana, DR                                               San Juan: Paseo del Morro
Seven Mile Beach, Jamaica                         Puerto Rico: Paseo Lineal RÍo Bayamón
Diamant Beach, Martinique                          Isla Mujeres. Lovely seafront promenade
Grace Bay Beach, Turks                                 Jamaica: One Love Trail, Reservoir Dam
Magen’s Bay, St. Thomas                                 St. Martin: Great options for trail running

Best Coastal Roads for Running                 Best ‘Unique’ Runs in the Caribbean

Chetumal (Mexico): Waterfront                   Acapulco: Walkway to La Quebrada
: East Coast Road                           Aruba: Hooiberg Challenge
Cayman: Queens Highway                            Cozumel: Run Among the Ruins, Tulum
St. John: Great Cruz Bay Road                     Barbados: Cherry Tree Hill/St. Nicholas Abbey
Turks: West Harbor Buff                                 Samana, D.R.: Bridge to Nowhere
St. Lucia: Bay Rd. to Pigeon Island              Cuba: Tour of Habana Vieja
Eleuthera, Barbados: ‘Narrowest Point on Earch (Glass Bay Bridge)

Below, our 25 favorite runs in the Caribbean (alphabetical order, by island).

Comment on this Route/Share a Photo!

Share your feedback on this route and see that of other Great Runs users. Click on the image icon to upload a photo. And please let us know if there are notes or changes we should incorporate!

Notify of

1 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Norm Dannen Jr
1 year ago

Nice brick path in Oranjestad, Aruba; from the cruise port in town out to the airport and back is 5 miles.