St.lucia Pitons The two Pitons are of course the most photographed landmark on the island.
The Gross Piton is easier climbed with well established tours that provide transportation to the "Interpretive centre"( a small welcome center of sorts with descriptions and models of the local geography, geology and plant life).
The park service mandates that guides be used when climbing this peak. The guides are park service employees that are professional, informative and fun to hike with. The climb averages 2 hours to the summit and rewards those that make it with spectacular views of the island and the Petit Piton. This is a hike, not a climb and although strenuous does not require any special skills or present much exposure or danger.
The Petit is quite different in that there is no welcome center or even a marked trailhead for that matter. Although no guide is mandatory on this peak, you would be well served finding a local that knows the route. The climb does have some primitive fixed ropes and does present some exposure. The summit is a much smaller area, but has even better views.
“Just saw the magical Pitons....” Fresh off of a cruise ship, we had no idea what we would do on St. Lucia. Much to our good fortune, a Islelander guide ( in a very clean, new, attractive car with seat belts & A/C) named Ian drove up. We asked him to take us to the beach, but asked what else was there to do on St. Lucia. After agreeing on a fair price ( for 3 hours) Ian, who speaks perfect English, by the way, took us to every beautiful and interesting site on his island, of which he is incredibly proud. His tour was full off facts, information, humor and anecdotes & funny stories about this island & island life. He is a good man who loves his family and work. The Pitons were the last attraction & were in my opinion, like looking at the face of God, so magical, beautiful, and because of the mist that drifted past as we got up close (LaDera Resort bar kisses the Pitons, insist on a stop there) they were even a bit erie. Much to our surprise, Ian spent not 3 but 5 hours with us that flew by. I promised him that I would put his company number on Trip Advisor so that he would never have to wait for work again, it would come to him (758) 486-1561. This island will make you want to forget your life & live there! The islelander Guides are truly your island friends. I would recommend them to anyone. ..Kerry and Burt Cal.
Gros Piton climb
My husband and I climbed Gros Piton on the first day of our vacation in November 2008. Our guide, Shane, was excellent, pointing out local interest along the way, including his personal tree of life he was growing and providing a little "lover's rock" to accompany us on the downward trip.
He mentioned that you can have lunch waiting in the village if you ask before you go up and I would strongly recommend this as we were starving by the time we got to the bottom.
The hike itself is as people describe, about twice as hard during the second half of the ascent. It took us 2 hours up and 2 hours down and we are in decent shape and hike occasionally in Colorado. If you have bad knees, the downhill could be very difficult.
We took our camelbaks and this was a lifesaver.
Overall, a highly recommended experience. Not that I'll be doing it again anytime soon!
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