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“Stunning Views”
Review of Pitons

Pitons
Experience for Yourself
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$121.00*
and up
Pirates' Day Cruise Adventure from St Lucia
Ranked #3 of 168 things to do in St. Lucia
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: A spectacular landmark of St. Lucia visible for miles, Petit Piton and Gros Piton are twin volcanic spires majestically soaring out of the sea with waves crashing around their bases.
Fort Worth, Texas
Level Contributor
29 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Stunning Views”
Reviewed December 5, 2013

Out of our group of 3 only one of us made it all the way to the top of Gros Piton. However, none of us regret going on the hike. We started the hike at the village and were assigned Mervin as our guide. He gave a brief explanation of what to expect and the different resting spots and then we took off on the hike. Mervin set a very vigorous pace. I think he was trying to get us to set a record on how quickly he could get us to the top.

The first quarter of the trail is the "easy" part. It is very rough terrain that is covered with rocks and roots. So you have to pay close attention to your footing, and Mervin was basically jogging along the trail and the rest of us were struggling desperately to keep up. So it is only "easy" in comparison to the rest of the trail. Once we reached the quarter mark we were allowed to rest only long enough to take a few pictures of the view of the beach below.

The next quarter of the trail gets a little rockier and a little steeper. Still it wouldn't have been that bad except for the pace Mervin was setting. He would walk really far ahead and then wait on us to become visible and then run ahead. At the half way mark there is a bench to rest at and a great view of Petit Piton. Again we were only allowed to rest about a minute, just long enough to snap a few photos before Mervin took off again.

The last half of the hike gets even more challenging. The rocks sort of make very tall stairs that you climb up. Yes at times you are more or less crawling on all fours to climb up the rocks. It was during this stretch that two of the three decided to stop. The one person that made it to top took some photos of the amazing views and was allowed to rest a few minutes before climbing down. And no surprise Mervin basically ran down the mountain with the one person who made it to the top struggling to keep up.

The two of us that quit at the. Rested for about 5 minutes and then slowly hiked down. The hike down was really enjoyable going at our own pace. We actually started to notice the scenery and the wildlife. There were a few spots that we stopped to take pictures at that offered fantastic views that we failed to notice on the way up. There is even a small waterfall that is visible from the trail (somewhere between the start of the trail and the 1/4 mark) that we all missed on the way up. I really think all three of us could have easily made it to the top if we would have went at a little slower pace. We spent so much energy trying to keep up with Mervin's ridiculously fast pace at the beginning that there was no energy left for the end.

Some tips:
1. Spray yourself with insect replant and bring it along to the reapply. The mosquitoes were bad. We were glad we did this. We met one girl on the trail who probably had over 20 bites on her arms alone.
2. Set your own pace. Don't try to keep up with the guide. The guides say it is 3-4 hour hike round trip. I think for the person who is in good shape it should be more like a 4-6 hour hike.
3. Bring a snack. The hike is very physically demanding and a power bar or two helps keep your body fueled.
3. Bring lots of water. We each had 1.5 liters and ended up buying another smaller bottle from a guy that sells them at the quarter mark.
4. Bring a change of clothes. You will be soaked in sweat when you are done.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
Thank agwood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Louisville, Kentucky
Level Contributor
1,040 reviews
579 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 433 helpful votes
“Nature's Marvel”
Reviewed December 4, 2013

You can't visit St. Lucia without going to the Pitons. At our age we could not even consider making the climb. We did however, go to the base just to have the experience of looking up at the marvelous site of the two volcanos. If you are young I would urge you to take the climb. I has been described as an experience of a lifetime.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
Thank Richard F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florida
Level Contributor
84 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
“Wish I could have made it to the top!”
Reviewed December 2, 2013

We hiked Gros Piton with a guide named Shane from the village right at the base of the Piton. The guides are required and included in the $30 entry fee, however if you really want to hike up alone, you can go halfway up with your guide and then go the rest of the way by yourself. I would not go alone after hiking this trail- some parts are extremely steep and rocky and god forbid if you twisted an ankle, you really need help getting down.
For the first quarter of the hike I was ok but Shane was climbing and hiking at break-neck speed and I kept falling behind. I could barely catch my breath as he kept going farther and farther ahead of me. I reached the quarter point and was awarded with a great view of the beach below though. Some tourists coming from private yachts will moor at this beach and hire a local to be their own guide, but this is not advised. These guides are not certified nor do they contribute anything to the local communities, whereas if you get a guide from the actual village it helps everyone out. It is also illegal for outsiders to pose as guides as well, so best not chance it.
After the 30 second rest at this quarter mark, again we were hiking at top speed and I could barely catch my breath. At this point some of the trail was almost completely vertical and I had to get on all fours at one point to hoist myself above the rocks. By the time we reached the halfway point, I had had it and couldn’t go any further. My boyfriend decided to go to the top with the guide while I stayed behind at the halfway point. The view here was spectacular and it was nice just taking it all in and admiring the hummingbirds and finches flying by. You get a great view of Petit Piton here, and while I was waiting I counted 4 rainbows. I also had some groups walk past me and one other lady decided to stay behind at the halfway mark because she was feeling dizzy.
My boyfriend made it to the top and said he almost passed out from the hike, but the views of the island made it worth it. There is also a large mango tree up at the top and apparently they are going to try to start a campsite at the summit as well.
It took my boyfriend about 1.5 hrs to reach the top from the halfway mark. So altogether, the hike took about 3.5 hours, roundtrip. I do believe that if I had a guide who walked at a slower pace and allowed us to catch our breath, then BOTH of us would have definitely made it to the top. It was a shame that our guide was moving so fast and I could barely keep up. I feel like if you're going to pay money, you should at least be able to go at a comfortable pace.
At the bottom of the trail there are showers, bathrooms and shampoo/soap for purchase if needed. There are also fresh and exotic fruits for sale that were really cheap- try the apples with salt. I know it sounds crazy but it was actually tasty! You can also buy shirts too.
So, some things noting-
1. Even if you are in tip top shape, this hike is rough. My boyfriend did the insanity workout for 30 days prior to this trip and still almost passed out. Getting a guide that hikes slower will help though
2. People with short legs will struggle more on this hike. Some rocks were as high as the length of my leg, so at some points you’ll literally be rock climbing
3. Bring TONS of water, bug spray, and extra clothes- your shirt will be completely soaked through with sweat by the end. Bring your own shampoo and soap too so you can take a quick shower at the end of the trail.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank threelittlefish856
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. John's, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Challenging and Rewarding if you are in good shape!”
Reviewed November 29, 2013

This is not a hike, it is a climb. Most reviews start this way for a reason! You should be in average or better shape and be prepared to sweat. I am 37yr old female, I workout vigorously 3-4 times a week and consider myself in good shape. My climbing companions, 7 of them, range varied but I would say we were all fairly active between 30-65yrs old. We all made it, but for some it was very very tough. The Moderate rating for the first 1/2 to 3/4 of the hike is a bit silly as it is 95% rough terrain with boulders and roots to manoeuvre, it really should be listed as "challenging" the last bit, after you pass the point of no return is a series of stairs made of roots and rocks and they are mostly 34"-36" or higher. This part of the climb is straight up. It absolutely poured rain on us from 1/4 of the way up and we all wished for a sweater or something to put on as we were actually chilly. Pack for all weather in your backpack. Good shoes are a must also as the rains made rocks treacherously slippery.

They are strictly regulated now too. You NEED a guide and at least 1 for every 4 persons. Also, the guides would not take us without 1 litre of water minimum each. (on a hot day you will need at least that & probably a snack or two!)

All the above into consideration, I LOVED doing this climb. It was one of the highlights of my trip. The views from the top aren't mind blowing (and it was rather foggy for us) but the entire trail is quite pretty and the mango tree is really a sight. If you like a bit of challenge, this is definitely for you.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank NAZIEMANIS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Climbing the Gros Piton”
Reviewed November 27, 2013

We hiked the piton Nov 2013. This is not a hike to me it was a climb. You are forced to hire a guide which costs $60 a person! But good thing we did. My boyfriend can climb and is quite smart, but you really need someone if you haven't done this more than twice, at least. It is steep and at some times strenuous. But if you are at all physically fit you can do it. get good rest and no drinkikng the night before. And you will feel accomplished once done. It took us 90 minutes up and 90 down. Just take it slow at your pace and easily done.We came across an older couple almost at the top! (i amd 32) It poured rain on our way up, but really wasn't too bad. Just a bit more careful and going down was way easier! You can go half and come back down. but after paying i made it to the top! It was cloudy so we didn't have a great view. Also ask before if you are adventurous you can climb over to the other peak once you are on top for an even better view. Our guide never suggested

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
Thank meghan h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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