Saint Lucia is an Eastern Caribbean island nation with a pair of dramatically tapered mountains, the Pitons, on its west coast. Its coast is home to volcanic beaches, reef-diving sites, luxury resorts and fishing villages. Trails in the interior rain forest lead to waterfalls like the 15m-high Toraille, which pours over a cliff into a garden. The capital, Castries, is a popular cruise port. [Google]
Location: Caribbean Sea
Population: 178,015 (2016)
Ethnic Groups: Black (African), Mixed, and Indians.
Language: English, French, and Saint Lucian Creole
Currency: East Caribbean Dollar
The Gros and Petit Pitons are two volcanic plugs that were created many years ago from magma hardening within a vent in an active volcano. That’s the ‘scientific’ description, to a layman like myself, they are magnificent twin mountains that once you see them, you will never forget them.
In 2004, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) made the pitons a World Heritage Site.
This site, off the Soufriere-Vieux Fort Highway in Saint Lucia is the location of the monument denoting the pitons as a World Heritage Site. You can see one of the pitons in the background.
La Croix Maingot traffic sign in St. Lucia showing some of the more popular towns on the island.
This natural landmark was featured in the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Since I have never watched any of those movies, I had to check on YouTube to confirm for myself. After watching the clip on YouTube, I am still not sure. Aarrgghh!
This is a scenic view of Marigot Bay from the Soufriere-Vieux Fort Highway. You can still see the natural arch in the background.
The Sulphur Springs is the ‘world’s only drive-in volcano’; it is located on the southwestern side of the island, near Soufriere. The volcano is considered dormant and hasn’t erupted since the 1700s.
The first thing you notice when you get close to the volcano is the overwhelming smell of Sulphur. I liken the odor to rotten eggs. I asked my tour guide if the gas being emitted was toxic, and she assured me that it wasn’t. She did tell me of an incident in Montserrat where several persons were killed after inhaling poisonous fumes from a volcano.
I wasn’t able to get as close to the volcanic activity as I would have liked and maybe that was for the best. According to my tour guide, visitors were once able to walk inside the volcano. One day that came to an end when a tour guide named Gabriel fell into one of the craters. He suffered severe burns to the lower parts of his body and since then guests aren’t allowed in the volcano. I was happy to learn that Gabriel recovered and is now a fisherman.
The volcano might be dormant, but there is some activity in the small craters. You can see the steam hovering over the cavities as the liquid bubbles like boiling water in a pot.
In this video my tour guide gives some information on the the volcano and the formation of the pitons.
In this longer video you can see a closeup view of the activity in the volcanic craters. You also get to hear me and my tour guide talk. She also provides more information on the volcano.
Tourists enjoying the mud baths at Sulphur Springs. People come from all over the world to bathe in the ‘mud’ at Sulphur Springs. The ‘mud’ is believed to have healing properties and can help with a variety of ailments from sun burns, to eczema, and arthritis.
In this candid photo, a local man is seen enjoying a waterfall from a spring near the volcano with his daughter. The nearby volcano heats the water in the spring.
Anse La Raye is a fishing village in the Anse La Raye Quarter on the west coast of the island. The town got its name from the rays (fish) that are found in the bay. The English translation of ‘Anse La Raye’ is ‘Bay of Rays’. On Fridays the villagers host a Fish Fry on a street near the beach.
The Diamond Botanical Gardens, Mineral Baths and Waterfall is a portion on the 2000 acres of land granted to 3 Devaux brothers by King Louis XIV of France in 1713 in recognition of their service to ‘Crown and Country.’
In 1928, the owner of Soufriere Estate and Diamond baths, Andre du Boulay excavated the site and restored 2 baths out of the original 12, that had been destroyed by the ‘Brigands’ during the French revolution.