We’ve often wondered, can you climb the pitons in St Lucia? We’ll find out the answer and tell you about all the other ways you could explore this two behemoths.
Some questions have dogged humanity for years like: “what’s the meaning of life?” or “do unicorns exist?”. But today we’ll put rumour to bed and answer the question, can you climb the Pitons in St Lucia?
In this blog we’ll take a look at whether you can summit the twin peaks which dominate the paradise island’s skyline.
But we’ll also go through all the other ways you can explore these must-visit’s in the Caribbean.
So, can you climb the Pitons?
The answer is, yes! You can.
Well, that was easy, on to the next mystery.
We joke, of course, but yes you certainly can climb the pitons in St Lucia. However, before you start dusting off your harness and grappling hook, it’s really more of a hike than a ‘climb’.
In fact, the hike up to the top of Gros Piton is one of the best things you can do on your trip. But, to expand this a little, let’s go into more detail on the Pitons.
What are the Pitons?
Chances are if you’ve been, or just seen pictures of St Lucia, you’ll have seen the Pitons. They are the two mountainous peaks you can see spiking up out of the island.
While they are volcanic plugs, it’s widely believed that they are dormant after the last known activity was recorded back in the 1700s.
Known as Gros Piton and Petit Piton, Gros being the larger of the two. The spiney mounts have achieved cult status in St Lucia. As well as garnering UNESCO World Heritage status in 2004.
One little know fact about St Lucia and the famous volcanos is, although they look next to each other in pictures, they’re actually in two different parts of the country. Gros Piton resides in Soufrière, whereas Petit Piton is in Choiseul. But how are you able to climb, or hike, them?
How do you climb them?
The Pitons are a draw for tourists coming to St Lucia from all over the world. So it’s pretty simple to get an excursion booked in with your resort to climb Gros Piton.
While you don’t need any specialist climbing experience to take it on, the hike can take around 2 hours to summit the peak. So, stretch off and make sure you have plenty of water handy.
However, if you do choose to take on the Pitons you’ll be richly rewarded with some spectacular views at the top.
If you book the tour through your resort, you will be taken via bus from your hotel to the village at the head of the trail. From here your guide will take you up, up and away on your intrepid quest for the summit.
Do you need a guide?
You can climb the pitons without a guide. But we’d definitely recommend having one. The tracks can get dicey up there, especially at altitude and on Petit Piton which isn’t as accessible as it’s lofty brother.
The guides are brilliant, not only will the tell you all about the stunning flora and fauna you pass along the way. They also take you on the best route up the volcano, ensuring you get the five-star experience at the top.
After all, the last thing you want to do is schlep up a massive hill for a couple of hours and not see a special view.
What are the best ways to explore the Pitons?
Like we said, the Pitons are a huge tourism point for St Lucia and their UNESCO status only encourages interest. With that in mind, tour operators are being increasingly creative when it comes to exploring the peaks.
So other than on your tootsies how else can you experience the grandeur of the spiney twins?
By helicopter to be exact. It may be a little pricey but, if you’ve got the reddies, taking an overhead look at the peaks is unforgettable.
Tours are generally 30-minutes long and you’ll also get a bid’s eye view of the incredible St Lucia coastline. You may even be treated to unique perspectives like Soufrière volcano from the sky.
When Alice explored St Lucia during COVID, she was treated to a catamaran tour of the mountains. While water taxis will ferry you back and forth to the Pitons, Alice’s catamaran journey showed her a stunning view of the peaks from the water.
As part of a catamaran tour you can also experience the stellar dive and snorkelling sites at the foot of the hills.
You can also experience the magic of the Pitons from the seat of an ATV. The Thrill & Chill: Round the Island Tour takes you on an all-out nine-hour excursion around the top sites in St Lucia.
Undoubtedly a great way to see the island on a whistle-stop tour. However, if you’re looking for all-things Pitons, it may not be the one for you.
So what do you think?
Ready to don your walking boots and start scaling the mountains?
If so we can point you in the direction of some other great things to do in Rodney Bay. But, if you click the button below, we can also show you how to really get your money’s worth by experiencing three resorts for the price of one in St Lucia.
Sounds like that helicopter tour just got a little closer.