Located in the Eastern Caribbean, St. Lucia is a beautiful island nation with volcanic beaches lining its shoreline and the Pitons on its west coast. Trails in the island’s interior lead to waterfalls. St. Lucia is a popular tourist destination, and there are several luxury resorts on the island. Castries, the capital, is a popular Caribbean cruise port.
One of St. Lucia’s top attractions is Sulphur Springs, also known as the “world’s only drive in volcano.” Located near Soufrière in the southwestern part of the island, the Soufrière Volcano last erupted in the 1700s. Today, it is considered to be a dormant volcano. The water at the center of the springs boils at about 340 Fahrenheit (170 Celsius), and it is possible to drive up right to the edge of the springs. A few hundred yards downstream from the springs, the water temperature is cool enough for people to enjoy a hot mud bath, about 110 Fahrenheit (45 Celsius). These mud baths are believed by some to have medicinal properties, and they attract people from all over the world who hope to heal a variety of conditions, such as eczema, arthritis, sore joints and sun burns.
Another popular St. Lucia attraction that is also located in Soufrière is St. Lucia Botanical Gardens, also known as the Diamond Botanical Gardens, which is the oldest botanical garden on the island and home to the Diamond Waterfall, which has been described as one of St. Lucia’s natural wonders. Encompassing six acres, the botanical garden is a haven for birds and insects and features an abundance of tropical flora. What makes the Diamond Waterfall truly unique is the fact that it is probably the most colorful waterfall in the Caribbean. That’s because its waters have a high mineral content. Its stream is a mixture of rain water and volcanism fed by the Sulphur Springs. Minerals that are found in the water include sulphur, magnesium, iron, manganese, calcium and copper sulphate, all contributing to the kaleidoscope of colors that make up the rock face behind the waterfall. A well-maintained path winds through the botanical garden, making it a popular tourist attraction.
The Tet Paul Nature Trail is a popular destination among hiking enthusiasts. Located just 10 minutes from Soufrière, the trail features spectacular views. From the majestic Pitons and Jalousie Bay on St. Lucia’s south shore, to the far away neighbor islands of Martinique and St. Vincent, you can enjoy many fantastic photo opportunities along the way. The hike itself is considered easy to moderate and is great for solo travelers and families alike. Another popular hiking destination are the Pitons, which are two volcanic mountains. Gros Piton rises 2,619 feet (798 m) above sea level, and together with Petit Piton (2,461 ft / 739 m), the two mountains are the hallmark of St. Lucia’s western coast. While it is possible to hike up both mountains, only Gros Piton is legally sanctioned by St. Lucia’s government. Petit Piton is very steep and more dangerous. Gros Piton, on the other hand, is still a challenging hike, but it is considered as not too difficult for most hikers. From the peak, you can see a vast portion of the island.