The Caribbean island of Saint Lucia is home to some of the most stunning landscapes in the world. Among these, the Pitons reign supreme. These twin volcanic peaks are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular attraction for tourists. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie looking to conquer the peaks or a nature lover seeking tranquil beauty, the Pitons have something to offer everyone.

A Glimpse into the Pitons

Beautiful view of Petit Piton mountain on St Lucia island in Caribbean

The Pitons, located in the southwestern region of Saint Lucia, are more than just picturesque mountains. They’re a symbol of the island’s volcanic origin and a testament to the forces of nature. The two peaks, Gros Piton and Petit Piton, are volcanic plugs (dormant) and are situated in separate communities on the island.

In recognition of their unique geological and biological features, the Pitons were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004. Their sublime beauty has also inspired local businesses. For instance, the Windward and Leeward Brewery in Saint Lucia named a refreshing light beer after the Pitons.

Where Are the Pitons Located?

The Pitons are nestled in the southern part of Saint Lucia, near the towns of Soufriere and Choiseul. Gros Piton is situated in Soufrière, while Petit Piton is a little way off in Choiseul.

Distinct Characteristics of Gros Piton and Petit Piton

Everything You Need To Know about The Pitons In Saint Lucia
Gros and Petit Pitons near village Soufriere on Caribbean island St Lucia – tropical and paradise landscape scenery on Saint Lucia

Although the Pitons are neighbors along the island’s coast, they’re not identical twins. Gros Piton stands tall at 2,619ft, while Petit Piton reaches 2,461ft. Gros Piton, being wider and more navigable, is the popular choice for excursions. Petit Piton, on the other hand, is rarely climbed due to its steep, unmarked trail. Climbing Petit Piton requires special permissions and guides, hence it’s not usually offered by tour companies.

Experiencing the Pitons: Land, Sea, or Air

Where is Saint Lucia Located?
St Lucia Caribbean, woman on vacation at the tropical Island of Saint Lucia Caribbean ocean

There are numerous ways to explore the Pitons while in Saint Lucia. For the adventurous, a trek up Gros Piton offers an exhilarating experience. Day tours provide opportunities to enjoy the surrounding areas and the enchanting view of this natural landmark.

For a unique perspective, consider a Catamaran Cruise. This sea tour allows you to approach the Pitons from the ocean, offering amazing photo opportunities.

For an unforgettable view, a helicopter tour provides a bird’s eye view of the majestic twin peaks.

Best Views of the Pitons

Everything You Need To Know about The Pitons In Saint Lucia
A view towards Soufriere Bay, St Lucia with the Pitons in the distance

Heading south from Soufriere, you can enjoy a magnificent view of the Pitons rising from the ocean. Southern beaches like Sugar Beach provide breathtaking vistas. Hiking trails near the peaks are also excellent vantage points. A leisurely Catamaran Cruise offers a close-up view of these majestic peaks.

If you’re a diving enthusiast, you can snorkel or scuba dive at the base of the Pitons.

Climbing and Hiking the Pitons

Everything You Need To Know about The Pitons In Saint Lucia
couple hiking in the mountains Saint Lucia Caribbean, nature trail in the jungle of Saint Lucia with a look at the huge Pitons mountains

Hiking up the Pitons, especially Gros Piton, is a popular activity in Saint Lucia. The hike can take 3 to 6 hours each way, so comfort is essential. Wear comfortable footwear, bring sunblock, and carry water. It’s best to start the hike early in the morning when it’s cooler. A tour guide is highly recommended for this excursion.

The Gros Piton Trail

The Gros Piton Trail is about 3.2 miles long and is rated as challenging. The trail offers many sights and sounds, including colorful wildflowers, along with various animal and plant species.

Sights Along the Gros Piton Trail

The climb to the summit of Gros Piton offers views of the ocean, rest stops to take in the ambiance, and glimpses of the nearby island of Saint Vincent. The Interpretive Center in Fond Gens Libre is the starting point for the Gros Piton hike.

Preparing for the Gros Piton Hike

When planning your hike up Gros Piton, pack essentials like a camera, sunscreen, towel, insect repellent, swimwear, and cash. Leave any jewelry at home to prevent losing it during the hike.

Getting to the Pitons

You can book an excursion to explore the Pitons through your resort, which usually includes transfers. Alternatively, you can organize a taxi ride or rent a car.

Staying Near the Pitons

While the Pitons are in the South of Saint Lucia, the northern part of the island is recommended for travelers who enjoy nightlife. The North has the best beaches, restaurants, hotels, and all-inclusive resorts. A scenic drive of 60 to 90 minutes takes you from north to south.

Pitons Excursions with Sandals Resorts

Sandals Resorts, in partnership with Island Routes, offers guests the best local experiences on the island. They provide helicopter airport transfers, the Piton Sunset Snorkel Cruise, and the Saint Lucia Sunset Evening Party Cruise.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you hike the Pitons in St Lucia?

Yes, you can climb Gros Piton whether or not you have climbing experience.

Can you climb Petit Piton?

While it’s possible to climb Petit Piton, it’s not advisable without a guide and special permissions.

Is the volcano in Saint Lucia active?

Saint Lucia is a volcanic island, but there have been no reports of volcanic activity for many years.

A Must-See Attraction in Saint Lucia

The Pitons are a must-see attraction in Saint Lucia. Their awe-inspiring beauty, coupled with the myriad of activities they offer, make them a highlight of any trip to the island.


Whether you’re hiking up Gros Piton, cruising past on a catamaran, or simply gazing up at them from the beach, the Pitons are an unforgettable part of the Saint Lucia experience.

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