Hiking Grande Piton, St. Lucia

This is a hike we did in 2011, climbing one of the world famous peaks of the Pitons in St. Lucia. The pitons where the reason why we came to St. Lucia. I have seen many pictures and I had to see them myself!
View onto Soufriere and the Pitons from the road
We had a long curfy ride with a  taxi from our apartment in Gros Islet to Soufriere which is at the foot of the mountains. After Soufriere, it is just a short distance to the village of Fond Gens Libre, where you will find the trailhead to Grande Piton. You can see it on the map:
You can get guides for the tour in this village. The hike can be done without a guide since the trail is just going straight up to the summit. But since the village lives from the this income, we gladly hired a guide.  The village is well taken care of, at the beginning of the trail is a pretty little park.
So we started with our guide and our taxi driver who has never been on the Piton. He decided to come along.
At the beginning of the trail are many big rocks to climb up, further up is more soft forest soil and tree roots. The ascent is steep from the beginning to the end, on  the other side the route is very short. Nothing to worry about if you don't do hiking for the first time.
Lenght of trail: 2 km, altitude gain: 490m

The view was not as good as expected since many tries are blocking the view. Only towards the south is a clear view.

Grande Piton and Petite Piton. Only Grande Piton can be climed on a trail.
The trailhead in Fond Gens Libre

The beginning of the trail is characterized by this boulders

Maybe the best view during the ascent. Looking towards Petite Piton.

The trail close to the summit

The view from the summit towards the southern end of St. Lucia.