Hiking Gros Piton in Saint Lucia

Hiking Gros Piton mountain in Saint Lucia is one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had to date. A must-do on the island of Saint Lucia, hiking Gros Piton provides world famous views of the island and of the Caribbean sea.

view of Petit Piton from hiking up Gros Piton

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Saint Lucia’s Famous Pitons

The Pitons are a set of dual volcanic mountains located in southwest Saint Lucia. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Piton mountains are the most famous attraction on Saint Lucia and the most photographed spot in the Caribbean.

The two Pitons do not sit next to one another. Rather, they’re separated by Jalousie Bay and its picturesque beach.

Just north of Petite Piton is Soufriere Bay and the town of Soufriere. Home to the world’s only drive in volcano, Soufriere is worth a visit, too. I’d recommend visiting the sulphur springs to experience the volcano, then sailing through Soufriere Bay. Visitors can snorkel in the inlets with the Pitons rising up above.

To truly experience the Pitons and Saint Lucia, though, you have to hike.

Experiences hikers and climbers can technically scale either Piton with a guide, though the Saint Lucian government only sanctions hiking Gros Piton. Gros Piton stands shortly higher than Petite Piton at 2,619 feet above sea lever. It overlooks Soufriere, Viex Fort, Choiseul, and the island of Saint Vincent. The views showcase Saint Lucia’s famous fishing villages, colored roofs, and lush landscape.

view of saint lucia after hiking to the top of gros piton

Related: Our Saint Lucia Destination Wedding

Hiking Gros Piton Mountain

A visit to Saint Lucia isn’t complete without hiking Gros Piton.

The relatively moderate hike to the top of Gros Piton provides some of the most amazing views of Saint Lucia and of the Caribbean Sea.

How Long Do I Need to Hike Gros Piton?

Most resorts and cruise ships offer day excursions to the Pitons, as a day trip is sufficient for the hike. You have plenty of time to venture out and be back in time to lounge around with a Piton beer or two!

In total, traversing to the other side of the island, completing our hike, and getting back to the resort wasn’t more than an eight hour day. We took our time and enjoyed the views, too.

How Difficult is the Hike?

The first half of the trail is fairly easy to moderate, depending on your hiking experience. The latter half, which features natural steps and steeper, rockier terrain, is significantly more difficult. The trail is not so difficult, however, that we needed actual hiking gear.

Parts of the trail are steep and slippery, though parts of flat and easy. I hesitate to label it as difficult, while we love hiking, we’re not that experienced with more strenuous mountain climbs.

a section of the gros piton hiking trail

Booking Tours and Hiking With a Local Guide

The best options for hiking Gros Piton are to book an organized tour or navigate your way to the Pitons and hire a local guide to take you to the top.

Day tours will typically include transportation, a local hiking guide, all associated fees, and sometimes lunch. Though we hired a driver through our resort, then a local guide at the trail head, the price differential was negligible. Paying for our driver, hiking fees, and guide amounted to almost the same as booking a tour.

Are you wondering if you need to hire a hiking guide? A guide is technically not a legal requirement, but it’s highly recommended and nearly impossible to get on the trail without one. Local hiking guides ensure you stay on the trail and don’t become disoriented. They’re familiar with the local plant life and terrain, as well as obscure trails and secret vantage points on the mountain.

Logistics

If you’re considering navigating to the Pitons solo, here’s the best way:

The Gros Piton Nature Trail begins in the small town of Fond Gen Libre, where you can obtain your hiking guide. Public buses cannot access the beginning of the hike so most visitors opt for a private cab/local driver. This is where going on your own can get expensive.

Entry to the Gros Piton trail is about $50 USD per person and the center is open daily until about 2pm.

What to Wear and Bring

Sneakers and comfortable clothing were sufficient. I would have preferred moisture wicking clothing, but we were okay in cotton shirts.

It goes without saying that you’ll want to take water and maybe a snack. The hike isn’t so long that you’ll need energy bars or chews, though. At the base of the trail, you can purchase water.

…and a Piton beer after your hike back down! Because you earned it!

looking up at the saint lucia landscape

Final Thoughts on Hiking Gros Piton

You can’t take a trip to Saint Lucia without hiking Gros Piton. A true once in a lifetime experience, completing this hike was on our bucket list for a long time. Since our first trip to Saint Lucia, where we first saw the Pitons rise out of the sea, we made it a goal to return and climb to the top. Doing so is one of the best experiences of my life to date!

As you ascend Gros Piton, Petite Piton is pretty much next to you. Having the sister mountain beside you for a good portion of the hike puts everything into perspective as you’re progressing to the summit. When you reach the top, the views are unlike any other. Small villages and tropical landscapes blend into one another with the bright blue Caribbean sea sitting behind the island.

It’s all truly unforgettable.

Don’t Want to Lose These Gros Piton Hiking Tips? Save Them for Later and Pin it Here:

hiking gros piton

Have you been to Saint Lucia or hiked Gros Piton? What are some of your favorite hikes around the world?

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