Volcanos, Waterfalls, and Jungles

June 12, 2014 No Comments

St. Lucia’s legendary Sulphur Springs Park is a 113-acre fantasyland located within the Piton World Heritage Site. The geological playground is home to the world’s only drive-in volcano. A road leads into the seven-acre remnant of a volcanic crater that last erupted in 1766, which is where a walking tour through mystical hot springs, bubbling mud pools, and steam vents called fumaroles begins. The mineral-laced waters flowing throughout the park are touted for their healing properties that can reduce stress and alleviate skin ailments.

Next to the park’s entrance, the Black Water Pool area boasts an open-air hot-water pool, sitting area, showers, and changing rooms. Visitors can stick their toes in or submerge their whole body into the 101.6-degree waters. Nearby, the small, intimate Pool of Love is fed with mineral water that emerges from beneath the earth’s surface at a warm 88.3 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens and Mineral Baths, part of the two-thousand-acre Soufrière Estate, is a natural wonder within the rainforest. The lowest of six waterfalls that trickle from Sulphur Springs down the mountain, Diamond Falls is arguably the most colorful waterfall in the Caribbean region. The mineral-rich water shimmers in a brilliant kaleidoscope of oranges, blues, and purples as it pours downstream.

For those who prefer to sit back and relax while taking in the island’s splendors, the Rainforest Aerial Tram is calling. In the heights of St. Lucia’s forest reserve, sixteen open-air gondolas glide through the jungle. A nature interpreter points out giant ferns and showy heliconia and identifies the calls and feathers of the varied birdlife. Embark on an excursion into the Lushan Country Life and remember an earlier time when “connecting” meant linking with nature, not a network.

If the greens are calling, the best option is to head to the St. Lucia Golf Resort & Country Club, the official home of the International PGA. The par-71 course sits at the northern tip of the island, overlooking the place where the Caribbean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean.

Cruise along the rugged west coast to the historic town of Soufriere, where the volcanic pitons rise dramatically from the sea. Enjoy zip-line thrills along with breathtaking views of St. Lucia’s most famous natural attractions.

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Cruise to St. Lucia’s iconic geological landmarks: the towering volcanic formations of Gros Piton and Petit Piton, a most dramatic sight from a boat. On the return to Castries, take a swim before cruising into historic Marigot Bay.

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Discover monuments, key landmarks, tropical scenery, traditional farming communities, and gorgeous panoramic vistas in Castries and northern St. Lucia on a narrated scenic drive. The route takes you through the capital and across a mountain ridge on back roads that deliver breathtaking views of both the Caribbean and Atlantic.

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