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.
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.
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.
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 mainly…hotels.
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 Jamaica: One Love Trail, Reservoir Dam
Diamant Beach, Martinique
Magen’s Bay, St. Thomas
Grace Bay Beach, Turks (Providenciales)
Best Coastal Roads for Running Best ‘Unique’ Runs in the Caribbean
Barbados: 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
Below, our 20 favorite runs in the Caribbean (not in order).