Added by Michael Gabbert
Hike the most iconic sight of St. Lucia.
The pitons are the iconic symbols of St. Lucia. Located at the southwest part of the island, Gros Piton and Petit Piton rise dramatically out of the Caribbean Sea. At 2619 Feet, Gros Piot is both taller and far less technically challenging than its sister piton. It’s a can't-miss hike if you ever find yourself on St. Lucia.
To get to the hike, head to village of Fond Gens Libre (it's toward the southeast side of the Piton and between the towns of Soufriere and Choiseul). Once here you’ll be seeking the interpretive center. You’ll have to pay a $30 entrance fee and will be set-up with a guide for the hike as well. Note: guides are ready to go as early as 6:30/7 am and don’t require a reservation.
In total the hike is 3.2 miles with 2200 vertical feet. It starts off innocent enough with minimal elevation through mango trees. Its also quite sunny during the first quarter of the hike, but after that the hike will be under the shade of the canopy until you reach the peak.
At about the halfway point of the hike up (from a timing perspective) you run across a stunning lookout of Petite Piton. This marks the end of the “easy” portion of the hike. In fact, our guide told us that many people decide to turn around here. Fear not, while the remaining hike is quite strenuous, its doable if you’re in shape and have ever hiked before. This section is significantly more vertical with rocks, boulders and steep stairs in which you’ll be navigating all the way to the peak.
Once at the top there are two viewpoints. The first looks over the southern part of the island. The other, which is another 10 minutes across the top of the mountain gives you eye-level views of Petit Piton with the Caribbean Sea as its background. Both are well worth the short but strenuous hike you've just completed. In total the hike will take anywhere from 2.5 to 4 hrs depending on how fit you are and how quickly you're able to tackle the hike.
Expert tip: Bring a bottle or two of Piton Beer with you on the hike. There’s nothing better than drinking a Piton on the top of a Piton. Trust me.
- Hiking Shoes
- Appropriate Clothing
- Water (at least 1.5L)
- Piton Beer
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