St Lucia is most famous for its UNESCO world heritage Pitons, Gros and Petit Piton. Those seeking a challenge can hike with a local guide to the top of Gros Piton reaching the dizzying heights of 2619 feet above sea level with spectacular views.
When hiking Gros Piton, an early start is highly recommend; firstly to avoid the midday heat and secondly to be the first to reach the top! You will be taken by private car from your hotel in the south of the island at around 6.15am to Fond Gens Libre, a remote settlement dating back to the 1700s and which played a large part in the slave rebellion of 1748 where refuge was sought on the mountain. Fond Gen Libres is the home to the foot of Gros Piton and the local community provide experienced guides with whom you must hike the Piton with.
Volcanic stones make the pathway for the first quarter of the hike and the middle section natural steps created by the lush vegetation. Hikers are rewarded along the way with views of St. Vincent twenty miles away at the first quarter marker and as you reach the half way mark there is an incredible view of Petit Piton. As you reach the peak views over the old capital Soufriere, Vieux Fort and the village of Choiseul are breathtaking.
Most guests would be able to hike the Piton which can take between 90 minutes to 3 hours each way depending on level of fitness. Plenty of water, hiking or sports shoes and a camera should be taken along.
On arrival back in Fond Gens Libres you can choose to enjoy a local meal such as Roti or salt fish and green banana or head back to your hotel for a well deserved rest and much needed shower!
St Lucia, Caribbean