Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Caribbean Islands
Reload this Page >

Pregnant woman hiking the Pitons & the rainforest in St. Lucia

Pregnant woman hiking the Pitons & the rainforest in St. Lucia

Mar 11th, 2007, 12:07 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 14
Pregnant woman hiking the Pitons & the rainforest in St. Lucia

In a follow up to my earlier question, are pregnant women allowed to go on the tours to the rainforest, waterfalls and the volcano in Soufriere? My wife will be in her 2nd trimester when we go to St. Lucia and she would like to be able to do these things as long as it is okay for her and the tours allow it. Also, we don't know how strenuous the hikes up the Pitons are and we needed some advise and recommendations?

travel99 is offline  
Mar 11th, 2007, 12:36 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 383
I wouldn't think there would be a problem with the tours to the volcano or the waterfall/botanical gardens,since the tours there are really just walking (some stairs at the volcano), and were not very strenuous.

I did not do the Piton hike. I've heard that it is pretty difficult if you are not in really good shape. I believe it takes around 4 - 5 hours roundtrip depending on one's fitness level, and a guide is required for the hike. With the heat and humidity factored in, it probably would be very difficult to do while pregnant except for someone who has maintained a really ambitious fitness program throughout pregnancy.

I am providing a link to one of the tour companies, Sunlink: http://www.sunlinktours.com/default.htm

They have a note on at least one of their tours, a rainforest walk, indicating: "This tour is not suitable for pregnant women, or persons with heart conditions."

There definitely are tours that you can take that will allow you to see the beauty of the island without being too strenuous or dangerous. The "Land and Sea" tours drive through the rainforest areas with some stops and also have stops at the volcano, botanical gardens, etc.
beachdreams3 is offline  
Mar 11th, 2007, 01:13 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 997
I don't think there are "pregnancy police" anywhere you might travel.

I do think these questions are better posed to your wife's MD. Only she/he can advise properly.

We have no way of knowing your wife's age, general health/fitness level, or whether she might be considered at risk for any activity.

We offer opinions on travel destinations here. We would be fools to offer medical advice. Consult the medical expert who knows your wife.

I don't mean to sound harsh....just trying to give you the best advice.

Good luck !

MarionCK is offline  
Mar 11th, 2007, 06:38 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 527
Dear travel99,
I would definitely say the volcano and botanical walks are fine for a pregnant person (I have 2 children so I know from experience). They are pretty much a flat walk along a wide non strenuous trail. If your wife has any scent issues from pregnancy, she might want to skip the volcano walk as it smells of sulfur.

We also did the rainforest hike. I recommend she doesnít do this, as there are many, many steps and steep hills involved. At this point she is probably beginning to get ďfront heavyĒ and may lose her balance, which could turn into disaster being in the middle of the rainforest without car access there-I donít even see how a helicopter could get in there. So that may be one to avoid.

My husband did the hike up the Pitit Peton. Let me tell you, do not even attempt this with someone who is pregnant! We went a few years ago when we were in our late 20ís and both in great physical shape. It was one of the most strenuous things Iíve done (other than hiking the Napali Coast in Kauai, HI). Itís literally like rock climbing up the piton, only youíre grabbing onto the roots of the trees above you with your hands and pulling yourself straight up-much of the hike is at a 90 degree angle. I was so sore for a couple days afterwards! I canít imagine trying to do that with a belly as your body is against the side of the mountain! Coming down I went down backwards too, like how a baby would go down stairs, belly to the mountain. It was nuts!!! Definitely a thrill if youíre not afraid of heights (donít ask why I did this-I was trying to overcome my phobia of heights-it didnít work too well!). We made it up to the shoulder of the pitet piton. Very few make it to the very top, as when you reach the shoulder you have to grab a rope that is hanging down a rock wall and pull yourself up it. Not quite our speed when youíre already what seems like at the top of the world! I was sad we climbed for 3 hours up and didnít make it to the summit, but we still had beautiful views of Soufriere and the Stonefield villas where we stayed right below from the shoulder. Our guide was a local who lived at the bottom of the piton and was great! Would you believe he hiked it in BARE FEET? I recommend doing this, but definitely not if your pregnant. I could barely make it not pregnant and in good shape.

Our friends opted to do the Gros Piton hike, and said it wasnít bad. It was stairs all the way up, and pretty easy to make it to the top, although Iíd talk to someone whoís done it before trying it. Again, Iíd worry though about the balance/pregnancy thing. Iím not sure if you have children already, but it can throw you off when you try doing certain activities. Iíd probably just avoid the piton hikes to be safe.

There are plenty of other fun things to do on the island that would be safer for that. Do take a water taxi or day trip out around the island. And do try Fish Fry and Anse la Raye on Friday night-itís so much fun, with the biggest lobsters youíve ever seen! Please let me know if you have any more questions. Have a wonderful time!!! Ps-a great beach to check out is Jalousieís beach in between the pitons. And I highly recommend Stonefield villas too
kellybeaches is offline  
Mar 11th, 2007, 10:07 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 14
I appreciate all of your inputs, especially Kellybeaches. I think we'll do some easy hikes and take your advise and ignore the Pitons (at least for my wife). Especially since this our first pregnancy, we'll take it easy on the island. Most of our time is going to be spent at the Sandals relaxing. Again, we appreciate your suggestions.
travel99 is offline  
Mar 12th, 2007, 09:19 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,532
I agree with Marionck: every pregnancy is different and even very healthy women may have problematic pregnancies so IMO, I would not try to second guess your obstetrician. How strenuous the trail is also depends on the weather and time of that day. As someone who has had an unexpected early delivery due to over-exertion, unless you'd like to birth a St. Lucian citizen, I'd be careful regarding activities.
Tuxedocat is offline  
Mar 31st, 2007, 01:46 AM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 25
I grew up in St Lucia and regularly go back there on holiday as my family still lives on the island. I did the Gros Piton climb a few years back just before my 39th birthday - I was reasonably fit but not superfit. I must say the view from the top was amazing! BUT I would definitely not consider it suitable for a pregnant friend! I found coming down as hard as going up and had pains in my knees for a few days after! Ended up feeling 79 instead of 39!!!
St. Lucia has plenty of beautiful scenery and easier walks/hikes... I'm sure you'll have a great time but stick to admiring the pitons from the sea or the beach!
lizjc is offline  
Apr 17th, 2007, 06:09 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 14
Does anyone know if Sandals in St. Lucia has a booth at the airport in Vieux Fort so you can get free transportation to the resort? Or do you just have to call them when you arrive to get picked up?
travel99 is offline  
May 21st, 2007, 07:00 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 42
Last time I was at the airport there was a Sandals rep there with a sign for arriving passengers. They were then transported via airconditioned minivan to the resort. Hope this helps!
Caribbean_Lover is offline  
May 21st, 2007, 07:02 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 42
Also, would not recommend the Piton Hike if you are pregnant but there are walks of "Level 1" difficulty through the rainforest that give you a chance to experience it. Level 3 is the most difficult. I did Level 2 four years ago and that involved a bit of climing down ropes by waterfalls and it was easy to lose your footing if wet. Like a previous poster I was hanging on to tree roots for dear life. The hardest part was the 1.5 hour climb back up the trail as I was very tired. I wouldn't have missed it for anything though, a greate experience.
Caribbean_Lover is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:08 AM.