The Caribbean region consists of the islands in the Caribbean Sea, and most of the region is located on the Caribbean Plate. The terrain of the Caribbean islands varies widely. While some are relatively flat and non-volcanic, others feature a rugged, mountainous terrain or have a volcanic origin. A list of the tallest peaks in the entire Caribbean region is provided below.
1. Pico Duarte
Pico Duarte lies in the Dominican Republic and is the highest peak in the Caribbean. The 10,164 ft high mountain is located on the island of Hispaniola, near Lake Enriquillo in the Cordillera Central range. The mountain was first successfully summited in 1851. A system of trails leads to the top of Pico Duarte. The mountain region experiences a climate that is distinct from most of the Caribbean region, as winter temperatures often drop several degrees below freezing at night. Pine forests cover large parts of Pico Duarte’s slopes and shrubs grow as undercover in these pine forests. A number of rare bird species like the Antillean siskin, Hispaniolan crossbill, Hispaniolan amazon, golden swallow are found here. Endangered and endemic mammals, such as the Hispaniolan hutia and the Hispaniolan solenodon, can also be spotted in the forests in this mountain region.
2. Loma Alto de la Bandera
Loma Alto de la Bandera is a 9,324 ft tall mountain located in the Dominican Republic on the island of Hispaniola, and is the second tallest mountain in the Caribbean. The mountain is located within the limits of Valle Nuevo National Park. Loma Alto de la Bandera was mapped and measured between 1916 and 1924. During this time, the country was occupied by the United States. Since the mountain is located close to the nation’s capital of Santo Domingo, its summit is riddled with telecommunication towers, including those which serve the country’s international airport.
3. Pic la Selle
Located in Haiti, Pic la Selle is the second most prominent peak in the region and third highest inn the Caribbean. It has an elevation of 8,793 ft above sea level and a prominence of 8,675 ft. Pic la Selle belongs to the mountain range named Chaîne de la Selle.
4. Pic Macaya
Also known as Macaya Peak, it is Haiti's second tallest peak and has an elevation of 7,700 ft above sea level. Located on the island of Hispaniola, Pic Macaya is part of the Massif de la Hotte range. The peak is only 36 km away from the seaport of Les Cayes and about 195 km away from Haiti’s capital city, Port-au-Prince. The mountain is part of a protected area of the same name, Pic Macaya National Park. The national park has vast areas of dense forests of pine trees and rich biodiversity including many endemics. The Black-capped petrel, an endangered species of bird, nests in this location.
5. Loma Gajo en Medio
Loma Gajo en Medio is the fifth tallest summit in the Caribbean. The mountain has an elevation of 7,477 ft and a prominence of 5,837 ft. The Loma Gajo en Medio is located in the Dominican Republic on the island of Hispaniola. The mountain has been less studied, and hence detailed information about the mountain is unavailable.
6. Blue Mountain Peak
Blue Mountain Peak is located in Jamaica and has an elevation of 7,402 ft. The mountain region is famous as the home Blue Mountain Coffee, which is noted for its mild flavour and lack of bitterness. Tours to the mountain's coffee plantations are popular among tourists visiting the country. Blue Mountain Peak is also a hub for hiking and climbing activities. The hike to the mountain peak along the traditional route is about 10 km, and hikers often climb in the darkness of the night so that they arrive at the summit at sunrise to enjoy the spectacular vista of the surroundings. Coffee communities living near the peak offer a warm welcome to the hikers. When the sky is clear, Cuba can be spotted in the distance. Several varieties of endemic plants also grow on this mountain.
7. Pico Turquino
At an elevation of 6,476 ft, Pico Turquino is the highest peak in Cuba, and the seventh highest in the Caribbean region. The mountain is located in Guamá municipality in the southeastern section of the country. Pico Turquino is located in Turquino National Park, which encompasses an area of 229.38 square km, and is part of the larger Sierra Maestra range. The peak of Pico Turquino is home to a sculpture of Cuban National Hero José Martí.
8. La Grande Soufrière
The 4,813 ft tall La Grande Soufrière is located on the island of Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe, and is the highest peak in the Lesser-Antilles. The mountain is an active volcano, with the last magmatic eruption occurring in about 1580, while more recent eruptions have been phreatic in nature. In 1976, all 72,000 residents of the island were evacuated in fear of a potential eruption. However, the eruption was less severe than estimated and zero fatalities were recorded due to complete evacuation.
9. Morne Diablotins
With an elevation of 4,747 ft, Morne Diablotins is the tallest mountain in Dominica and the ninth tallest in the Caribbean region. It is also the second highest peak in the Lesser Antilles region. The mountain is part of Morne Diablotins National Park. The volcanic mountain erupted about 30,000 years ago, and there is no evidence of an eruption in recent times. The mountain is also the source of the Toulaman River.
10. Mount Pelée
With an elevation of 4,583 ft, Mount Pelée is the tenth highest peak in the Caribbean region. However, Mount Pelée is a volcanic mountain, and became well known after an eruption in 1902 was regarded as the worst volcanic disaster of the twentieth century, as it resulted in 30,000 deaths. Mount Pelée is located in the French Overseas Department of Martinique. Currently, the mountain is in a quiescent state, but the possibility of a future eruption cannot be ruled out.