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My husband, 10 1/2 year old, 13 year old and I just hiked the Gros Piton last week while on spring break. I'm so glad we booked with Viator. From pick up, through the hike, and back to the drop off at our hotel, it was the perfect excursion! The gentleman who picked us up from the hotel and I'm kicking myself because I don't remember his name! was amazing. He was so nice, and incredibly knowledgeable about all things St. Lucia. Through our questions and conversations, he told us about the current government, upcoming elections, the economy, culture, everything! He had no problem stopping for us whenever we saw a photo opportunity, and likewise pulled over to jump out and show us his favorite sites. He picked cocoa pods and let us taste the kernels inside citrus-like, handed us tamarind pods and soursop fruits, showed us cashews growing in the trees, pointed out nutmeg and cinnamon trees and explained how bananas grow. And then gave my son his only can of lemon lime soda flavored with nutmeg and Angostura bitters. He delivered us to the amazing Simone who was our guide for the hike mandatory. Simone made certain we had the recommended water for each of us available AND reasonably priced in the welcome center and then gave us a brief history of the area, and an overview of what to expect from the hike. The only restrooms on the trail were here and were very clean. We rented walking sticks for 1, but found out well into the hike that they would have been worth 50! The hike was strenuous for those of us in fairly decent shape, but breaks were very welcome. Sunscreen, hats, and snacks are a must, as are very sturdy shoes. The climb is about 1200 feet over 3.5 miles, and then back down. We did it in about 4 1/2 hours. There were no crowds, which was great, and we only passed a few other small groups on the way up and down. The views from several points on the trail and from the top totally make it worth visiting this World Heritage Site.
Wow! Great hike. Seriously a challenge. Do not go unless you are in great shape! We loved it but can honestly say that it was one of the tougher hikes we completed. We run, lift ,play sports, etc and still a great challenge. Some of our party made it 1/4 of the way. Bring lots of water.
Christopher T USA
This was a great trip and definitely worth doing. What a different way to see St. Lucia! Along the trail there are many fabulous views, and the view from the top is incredible. The hike, however, is definitely advanced. You hike straight up for about two and a half hours over rocks and steep pathways. Make sure to take plenty of water and energy snacks!
Ren United States of ...
This is a very challenging hike. The view at the top is not as great as what you will see about halfway up.
Joe K USA
This is a very, very challenging hike, but the reward upon finishing is fantastic and well worth the effort. The views are postcard perfect. The trail is very well marked, however, you are required to have a "guide". I think this is just so locals can make money, but I don't really have a problem with that. However, our guide basically led us up the trail, but did not share much information. I learned more about the trail and the mountain by reading about it before we even arrived in St. Lucia. There are some really good photo spots along the trail, including an incredible view of Petit Piton at the 1/2 mark. While the hike itself is pretty fantastic, it can be a very long drive (1.5-2 hrs) from areas of Castries or further north. It is a very winding and twisty road. Our tour driver never stopped for lunch, as listed, which was a huge negative since we were starving after hiking. At $130, this tour is way overpriced(especially without lunch), but if you are a hiker and you want great views, it might be worth the money.
The drive to the Pitons from the North of St.Lucia is great! Sit back and enjoy the view and conversation with your driver. The hike is a good workout. I found it harder coming down than going up. Be prepared and check your weather. If it is cloudy you will get to the top and see nothing which was my view on this day!. However, my problem was with my guide. He was completely disinterested and spent the majority of his time on his cell phone. This did not make the hike enjoyable. At the half way point, he told me to go and he would catch up. So I did and he never caught up to me. I reached the top without him. He stayed with me on the way down and again spent most of his time on his phone and made no effort to have a conversation with me.
On the return ride, my drive, his companion and myself had a great time. We stopped for food at the local restaurant and enjoyed some beer together. Then, we stopped at the best photo points, and of course the Cassava shop for bread and seams. If you have not tried this, ask you drive to stop for you.
I think if I were to do this again, I would not bother booking a tour but going on my own. That is book a taxi, pay the hike fee and be on my way. It is probably much cheaper.
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