There are many attraction awaiting you in Soufriere…
The Falls, Soufriere, St Lucia
In addition to its fabulous setting, Soufriere is the gateway to one of St. Lucia's most interesting natural attractions -- the magnificent Diamond Falls, the lowest of the six waterfalls that tumble down the mountain from the volcano.
The privately-owned Diamond Falls and Mineral Baths, less than a mile east of Soufriere, are part of the Soufriere Estate dating from 1713. The Baths, originally built in 1784, were restored by Mrs. Joan Devaux in the 1980s, with some of the original 18th century baths still in use. At the entrance, a narrow path edged with tropical flowers and shaded by stately palms leads to the bathhouse and a series of pools, each a different temperature. Beyond are the falls roaring out of a mineral-streaked gorge and spilling through the gardens into the pools. A tour of the gardens is approximately 45 minutes.
This strenuous 3½-hour hike will take you through the heart of the tropical island into Edmund Forest Reserve on the western side of the island, to experience some of nature’s pristine opportunities. Numerous plants, such as bromeliads, orchids, mushrooms, lianas and others can be seen attached to their hosts, sitting on large buttress roots or branches on the spongy forest or even cascading the sides of the trail. Continue westward for a magnificent view of Mt Gimie, St Lucia’s highest peak.
This trail is within the 19,000 acres of Central Rainforest Reserve; six miles East of Soufriere at the foot of the highest mountain, Mt. Gimie. The Enbas Saut Trail is a 2.5 miles (5 km) cut trail - remote, wild and unbelievably scenic, with a combination of rainforest, cloud forest, elfin woodlands and wildlife. Birds common to the area include the St. Lucian parrot, the St. Lucia black finch, the blue-hooded euphonia and mountain whistler.
Piton Canarie, Piton Troumassee and Mount Gimie stand predominantly not too far from the trail. Enbas Saut when translated to English means "below the falls". Thus the trail is most famous for its two cascading waterfalls and pools at the head of the Troumassee river. You'll walk down on solid ground as well as scores of wooden steps before reaching the waterfall and natural pool that's a popular swimming spot.
The hike is approximately 60 minutes.
At 250 years old, Fond Doux Holiday Plantation is one of the oldest working plantations in the Caribbean. The Plantation is a 19th century colonial plantation hotel set in nature amidst the lush, tropical foliage of St Lucia’s breadbasket, historical centre and world heritage site, Soufriere. St Lucia’s majestic Pitons form the backdrop to this rustic, ecological plantation hotel which effortlessly marries old world colonial with modern amenities in nature’s richest surroundings. Imbued with a magical ambience, Fond Doux Plantation estate is ensconced in verdant tropical gardens, and surrounded by one of Soufriere’s most active agricultural plantations. The French colonial estate house overlooks lush green gardens and original colonial cocoa racks and is minutes away from one of nature’s wonders, the Pitons World Heritage site. Luxurious, historical and architecturally intriguing the Fond Doux Holiday Plantation is a journey back in time and closer to nature. Come enjoy the 30 minute tour of the plantation.v
The Gros Piton Nature Trail offers a great opportunity to conquer the majestic gros piton. The nature trail starts from the community of Fond Gens Libre which means ‘Valley of the Free People’. Brigands, or black freedom-fighters, used the area as a secure haven during the slave rebellion of 1748. The tour commences at the Interpretation Center with exhibits of rare vegetation and birds found along the trail.
The first half of the trail is for everyone to enjoy! The base of the trail winds around the mountain at a gradual slope. Magnificent views of the ocean and the Choiseul Village can be seen to the East. Several Brigand sites and the Anse L'lvrogne Canyon can be visited in the first section. Caves, tunnels, rock shelters, camps, signal stations, look-outs and landing sites make the tour interesting and mystical.
The second half of the trail involves a steep ascent to the summit of Gros Piton and is intended for the more adventurous hiker. Approximate time: 4 hours round trip.
St Lucia's oldest French Creole Estate
This working estate, growing cocoa, coconuts and manioc, is open to tourists who want to see traditional agriculture methods or ride horses around the 250 acre property. Guides show how coconuts are opened, roasted and sent off to be made into margarine, soaps, oil and animal feed. Cocoa is fermented, dried on racks in the sun, oiled, polished through the art of dancing on them, crushed and then formed into chocolate sticks. Manioc roots are grated, squeezed of excess water, dried over a fire and turned into farina and tapioca pudding also called kassava. The grounds also house a re-creation of a farm worker’s village.
Come explore this enchanted historical plantation! A garden setting unparalleled to any other!
Just a short bus ride from the town of Soufrière, heading towards Fond St. Jacques, New Jerusalem Warm Baths is a welcomed retreat for sore muscles and a tired physique. If you decide to walk from town to the entrance of New Jerusalem, it is about a 30 minute walk. There is absolutely no level of difficulty to this hidden treasure, aside from a short ten-minute walk from the main road entryway back to the baths.
The baths are locally owned and managed. There are two warm baths that are equipped with seating areas and three different temperatures of water flowing from bamboo faucets from above. The pressure creates a nice warm body massage on aching muscles. This is not a crowded, nor a touristy location, so you will enjoy relative privacy and solitude.
The 2,909-ha site near 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 sulphurous fumeroles 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 molluscs, 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 areas of dry forest and wet elfin woodland on the summits. At least 148 plant species have been recorded on Gros Piton, 97 on Petit Piton and the intervening ridge, among them eight rare tree species. 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.
There is no telling why this waterfall is called piton falls. The water from it does not come from the world famous pitons; however, it may be because it is on the way to Petit Piton.
But who knows, many things in Soufriere are associated with these pitons. You can get there when you’re on your way to the Jalousie Plantation Resort. The water is always warm and refreshing no matter what time of the day you go there. The water comes from about 30 feet in the air and falls into a pool where people normally bathe.
The setting of Rabot Estate is jaw-droppingly beautiful. In front of you the twin Pitons emerge symmetrically from the Caribbean Sea. Behind you the rainforest stretches into the distance, studded with the gigantic peaks of Mount Gimie and plunging valleys. Right behind you is the Soufrière volcano and Sulphur Springs. The rich and fertile volcanic soil, high altitude (c.1000ft above sea level) and rainforest water create a unique environment (terroir) in which to grow cocoa.
The estate is divided into 16 different cortès or areas of terroir, with evocative names steeped in history, such as L’ Hermitage, Ti Jardin, Marcial, Mathilde and Rameau. The cocoa trees of Rabot Estate are primarily Trinitario species rich in Criollo genes, which give exceptionally fine cocoa. The Purist bar range showcases the chocolate made twice a year from the harvest.
Phone: 758.459.7686 / 459.5726 / 459.7200
The Caribbean's only drive-in volcano
The well-known Sulphur Springs in Saint Lucia is the hottest and most active geothermal area in the Lesser Antilles. The park is approximately 45 hectares and is billed as the Caribbean’s only drive-in volcano. A walk through the crater takes you past pools and hot springs bubbling and belching with sulphur-laden steam. Just outside the Springs, you can bathe in the warm sulphuric pools, reputed for its soothing effects. The Sulphur Springs forms part of the story of the creation of the entire Caribbean basin.
The main area of Sulphur Springs comprises numerous hot springs, bubbling mud pools and fumaroles (steam vents) in an area of strongly hydrothermally altered clay-rich rock approximately 200 m x 100 m in size. Many fumaroles have temperatures 100°C or hotter, and temperatures of up to 172°C have been recorded. Numerous studies have been carried out over the past 50 years to investigate the geothermal energy potential of Sulphur Springs, to date, however, no attempt at exploitation has been made.
Geothermal systems such as Sulphur Springs form when rainwater seeps into the ground where it is heated by hot rock. The hot water becomes buoyant, and rises back to the surface along cracks. In some places the water is heated so much that it rises as steam. The heat source for the Sulphur Springs geothermal system is probably the cooling magma body responsible for the young volcanism of the Soufrière Volcanic Centre.
The Come take a 30-minute tour of the Sulphur Springs Park – St. Lucia’s premier tourist attraction!
Phone: 758.720.1779 / 459.7200
Gateway to Heaven
The Tet Paul Nature Trail is nestled on six acres of lush, verdant land in the farming community of Chateau Belair. The trail is located in the Piton Management Area, Saint Lucia’s World Heritage Site. Hiking the trail is like soaring heavenward on a beautiful, natural staircase. The hike is rated easy to moderate and is roughly 45 minutes long. The trail boasts some of the most spectacular views of the South of the island, the Jalousie Bay, Petit Piton and Gros Piton as well as Martinique and St. Vincent on clear days. The first stop is at the Kaye Kassav (Cassava Hut) where the Amerindian traditional art of farine and cassava production can be learned. The gentle ascent features nature at its best with a variety of exotic fruit trees, (e.g. guava, soursop, avocado) as well as medicinal plants and trees. The Traditional House takes visitors back in time to how our fore-fathers lived. The Tet Paul Nature Trail is undoubtedly the gateway to heaven.
The Picnic Area is ideal for families and groups. Be sure to walk with your camera to capture the breathtaking views!
Near the town of Soufriere, just a stone's throw from the scenic main road, which passes through the community of Fond St. Jacques, a breathtaking waterfall gushes 50 feet over a cliff side and cascades into a pool at the centre of a charmingly landscaped garden.
A nature trail with quaint bridges and walkways leads you through the lush greens and dazzling colours of this tropical paradise. You can take a refreshing bath under the waterfall, and on days when the force of the water is not too strong, you can enjoy an invigorating back and shoulder massage under the falls. Changing rooms are nearby, as well as a seating area for picnics. Toraille Falls is one of the easier waterfalls to visit given that there is proper signage leading to the site as well as a fairly roomy car park. After getting through the entrance hut and paying the entrance fee, you can walk the short distance for a dip in the man-modified plunge pool or kill more time walking around the small botanical garden on the property. The falls itself might be around 7 to 10m tall.
To get here from Soufriere, take the Sir Arthur Lewis Street (the same one that leads to the Diamond Botanical Garden turnoff as well as Fond St Jacques and the Edmund Forest Reserve) until you see the car park and sign for this attraction near the bridge.