Docking in St. Lucia, I would do morning desk hours to help cruisers get the most out of their day. The number one question is “How to Get to the Pitons from Cruise Port’.
Here is the answer:
You can get to the Pitons by Helicopter, Boat, and by Road from the Cruise ship port Castries.
BY BOAT is a spectacular way to travel to the Pitons; there are several ways to travel by boat; see below for more information. The trip will be 30-40 minutes flat out or enjoy a slower boat cruise down the west coast by Catamaran.
BY ROAD – If you take a taxi/shuttle bus and drive straight there without stopping to take in the view, the journey should be 75 to 90 minutes, subject to traffic.
HELICOPTER – a 30-minute flight that will whisk you all around the island, taking in a stunning aerial view of The Pitons. The Soufriere Volcano, fishing villages, and idyllic bays along the coastline.
BY BOAT – The whole of the West coast is gorgeous, and as the Piton’s come into view, it’s like the cherry on top of the cake. If you want to include some beach and snorkeling, this is the perfect way to travel to the Pitons and do it all via the Western Coastline.
Most boat trips are around 5-6 hours and include a few stops. Joe Knows, Herod’s, and Spencer Ambrose are all good. Spencer makes a beach break boat trip, cruising straight down to Jalousie beach between the Pitons. The trip includes lunch, drinks, coolers, and a return boat cruise back. Includes a stop for the bat cave through Marigot Bay and the Lady Slipper arch. Years ago, I made the trip by Catamaran, which was amazing; it was my first time on a Catamaran, and what a relaxing way to sail along the west coast to the Pitons.
Or you don’t have to book a Catamaran tour; you can book the Water Taxi; try Solomon; he does several excellent tours, and it is advisable to book on their website; see below their website link.
Solomon offers the best for less. Round trip transportation from the cruise terminal/Resort to Sugar Beach (which is just around the corner from the Pitons) and back. It’s about a 30 minutes water taxi ride from the cruise terminal down the west coast to Sugar Beach. It’s a great way to discover St.Lucia in a short time visit. Solomon does some other tours; check out his website. Solomon-Saintlucia | Solomon Water Taxi and Tours in Saint Lucia (solomon-saintlucia.com)
Take a taxi/shuttle bus and drive straight there without stopping; the journey should be 75 to 90 minutes. Take this option if you are not bothered about going to a beach, snorkeling, etc.
Some tour operators provide a round trip half-day tour, and the drive down is 75-90 minutes one way. To comfortably take in the Pitons, you’re looking at about a 4-hour trip. Check if the quoted price is for both of you. If your Taxi driver says, it’s $60, confirm that it is for the taxi or per person. Sometimes they are talking per person and your thinking that’s the price for the whole taxi.
The best way to see them would be to take a taxi to the Tet Paul Nature Trail. It is a really short/simple walk with the most incredible views of the Pitons. Access to the trail is very cheap, and the taxi would be the major expense. No matter what way you choose to see the Pitons, the taxi will be the most expensive part.
The Pitons are surrounded by lush vegetation in a stunning location. If you ask, your driver will know all the different viewpoints, each one as good as the previous. Bear in mind that stopping to take photos will add extra time to your trip. Traveling by road is a great way to see the Pitons.
The helicopter is awesome, a 15 or 30-minute flight that will whisk you all around the island, taking in a stunning aerial view of The Pitons. You will see the Soufriere Volcano, fishing villages, and idyllic bays along the coastline. There is only one company to contact, and that is St. Lucia Helicopters.
Below are the details on the short 15-minute flight:
- Flight time; approx. 15 minutes
- Capacity; 6 passengers
- Flight time(s); On-demand, daylight hours only.
- Views; Marigot Bay, West Coast Shoreline (reefs), the Pitons, the Rainforest, and the Soufriere Volcano. Infants (Under 2 years old) fly free.
- Infants; (Under 2 years old) fly free.
- Children; (2 – 12 years old) receive a 10% discount (This applies only to reservations booked directly with St. Lucia Helicopters)
- Price; $190 US per person (one way) (this was correct as per their website at the time of writing this blog)
Here is a great short video explaining all about St. Lucia Helicopters.
The Helicopter pad is in Pointe Seraphine, Castries, where your ships dock. If you dock over on La Place Carenage, you will need to leave plenty of time to get across to Pointe Seraphine, which is only over the bay. There are water taxis to get you across the bay. The Cruise Port Terminal in Pointe Seraphine is a 20-minute leisurely walk (under 1 mile) along the waterfront from La Place Carenage.
More information regarding The Pitons.
The pitons are the symbol of St. Lucia and are designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It would be best if you always went with a guide. Make sure you have the right footwear for hiking, climbing, and scrambling.
The town of Soufriere includes the Pitons, two volcanic spires rising side by side from the sea (770 m and 743 m high respectively), linked by the Piton Mitan ridge. The volcanic complex includes a geothermal field with sulfurous fumaroles and hot springs. Coral reefs cover almost 60% of the site’s marine area. A survey has revealed 168 species of finfish, 60 species of cnidaria, including corals, eight mollusks, 14 sponges, 11 echinoderms, 15 arthropods, and eight annelid worms. The dominant terrestrial vegetation is tropical moist forest grading to subtropical wet forest, with small dry forest and wet elfin woodland on the summits. The Gros Piton is home to some 27 bird species (five of them endemic), three indigenous rodents, one opossum, three bats, eight reptiles, and three amphibians.
SIX THINGS TO DO IN ST. LUCIA
St Lucia Catamaran Day Sailing:
Sail along the west coast of St. Lucia aboard a catamaran for a full-day excursion. Visit some of the island’s highlights, like Sulphur Springs, the region’s only drive-in volcano. See the majestic Pitons, looming 2,000 feet (600 meters) over the coast, and stop at the Diamond Botanical Gardens to view the waterfalls. Enjoy a buffet lunch, return to the Catamaran for a relaxing swim in the Caribbean’s tropical waters.
Rainforest Adventures and Aerial Tram and Zipline:
Explore St Lucia’s rainforest via aerial tram and zipline. You can book half-day and full-day eco-adventure, a guided nature tour that allows a bird’s eye view of the lush tropical forest. Clip into a harness to zoom through a 10-zipline canopy tour. Hike through the rainforest accompanied by an expert adventure guide.
Tax & Duty-Free shopping:
The best shopping is on Pointe Seraphine. Walk down the gangway you’ll see a lovely outdoor, open-air shopping experience from Tax & duty-free watches and Jewelry.
Pigeon Island National:
Park Pigeon Island is a 44-acre islet located in Gros Islet in the northern region of Saint Lucia. Originally isolated from the country in the Caribbean Sea. The island was artificially joined to the western coast of the mainland in 1972 by a man-made causeway. Built from dirt excavated to form the Rodney Bay Marina. Great for nature lovers and hikers.
Splash Island Water Park:
On the Northwest coast of St. Lucia, on the famous Reduit Beach. Splash Island is the Caribbean’s first open-water sports park. Opening in August 2015. It is located in front of the multi-award-winning Bay Gardens Beach Resort & Spa located in Rodney Bay Village, Gros Islet, St. Lucia.
The Pitons are two towering volcanic plugs, volcanic spires in St. Lucia. These iconic twin peaks are called Gros Piton and Petit Piton; they dominate the island’s scenery, soaring 2,000 feet from the sea on the southwest Soufrière corner. Designated a World Heritage Site and the surrounding Pitons Management Area, these volcanic spires take every first-time visitor’s breath away.
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