Petit Piton, St Lucia
Two of the iconic mountains on the Caribbean island of St Lucia are also the elements of one of the best walks in the world. Gros and Petit Piton overshadow St Lucia with their twin peaks and are two cones of volcanic rock.
Although they feature in almost every tourist brochure of St Lucia few people actually climb them. From the summit are spectacular views across St Lucia and also over to neighbouring Martinique. From the historic town of Soufriere the trail up Gros Piton begins and snakes upwards through tropical vegetation.
There is a lot of diverse wildlife to be seen including birdlife. Walkers may be lucky and spot the St Lucia Black Finch or the red necked pigeon. Local farms are alongside the trail and there are woodmen burning charcoal. The first major view point across the ocean is where a lot of people turn back.
The trail does get steeper and harder but a view from Gros Piton is worth the climb and the effort in the tropical heat. With a descent to the bars and hotels below, what better way to end the day than with a Caribbean cocktail as the sun goes down.