The Pitons#4 in Best Things To Do in St. Lucia
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Rising tall from the sea and covered in emerald-colored vegetation, these volcanic plugs (or land formations made out of volcanic materials) are the most iconic sight in all of St. Lucia. Situated between the towns of Soufrière and Choiseul, Gros Piton and its smaller sibling, Petit Piton, are easy to spot from many points in the southwest.
Travelers frequently gush about just how perfect the fraternal twin peaks are to gaze at or hike through. Those who took the hike loved the beauty of the trails and said the views at the top were breathtaking, with some describing their experience as unforgettable. Despite there being two peaks available for climbing, locals caution against hiking Petit Piton unless you are a pro climber, as the trail is incredibly steep. Though it is still a strenuous venture, many visitors choose to hike Gros Piton. Travelers who considered themselves to be in good shape reported struggling thanks to the uneven rocks, but said the sense of accomplishment in completing the hike was worth the journey. Whatever time of day you venture out, remember this is the humid, hot Caribbean, so bring plenty of drinking water. For reference, guides advise carrying no less than 1 ½ liters on the hike. You'll also want to set aside about four to five hours for the hike.
For those who aren't interested in breaking a major sweat, some travelers recommended taking a boat out onto the water for great views of The Pitons. A few travelers even suggested snorkeling, saying there is plenty of colorful sea life populating the waters near the peaks.
Though it's not legally required that you hire a guide for the hike, it's highly recommended. If you're not staying in Soufriere, booking a daytrip excursion that includes transportation, a licensed guide and entry fees may be the most convenient option. Spencer Ambrose Tours receives praise from past visitors. If you don't book through a tour operator, you'll pay a $50 permit fee and be automatically matched with a local guide at the entrance.
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#1 Pigeon Island National Landmark
Pigeon Island can appeal to an eclectic mix of travelers. You could get a history lesson about the landmark's previous occupants (including a pirate with a wooden leg) or learn more about the formation of the man-made causeway that currently connects the island to the mainland. You could also attend a concert (this is the site of the annual St. Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival) or explore 18th-century military ruins, including Fort Rodney, which affords panoramic views of the ocean and Rodney Bay. There are also two beaches and a few restaurants situated within the 44-acre national landmark.
Recent travelers highly recommended a trip to Pigeon Island. Many were fascinated by the history of the area, with informational signs posted throughout the area. Others raved about Fort Rodney, saying views at the end of the hike – which some found to be a bit strenuous – were well worth the climb. There are also some uncrowded beaches, which many visitors enjoyed. Travelers recommend going early in the morning as the lack of visitors made it feel like they had the whole island to themselves.
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