Table of Contents
- 1 Soufriere day trip
- 2 Diamond Botanical Gardens St. Lucia
- 3 St. Lucia volcano tour: Drive in Volcano
- 4 The Tet Paul Nature Trail, third stop Soufriere day trip
- 5 Soufriere city visit – not to miss!
- 6 Finish at a local eco-farm and chocolate factory
- 7 Gallery Soufriere day trip
Many of the things to do in St. Lucia are around the former capital Soufriere. So, a Soufriere day trip is a must do from either Castries or Vieux Fort and definitely if you stay in Soufriere. The famous St. Lucia Drive in Volcano with its sulfur mud baths is located there. If you like nature the Diamond Botanical Gardens and the Tet Paul Nature Hiking Trail are a must see as well. There are a few other places of interest which I’ll summarize in this St. Lucia Soufriere tour itinerary.
Soufriere day trip
St. Lucia is small but getting to Soufriere will take about 90 minutes. I was lucky to stay at Jade Mountain Resort which is a hotel like no other and located just outside of Soufriere. This saved me some driving time. You can either hire a car yourself like I did or book with Joe Knows St. Lucia which my friend recommended. If you want to go to Soufriere by boat that is also an option as it’s a famous St. Lucia boat tour. In that case you need to book it in advance.
Antigua, St. Lucia and Barbados: Caribbean island-hopping itinerary
I recommend starting a St. Lucia day trip to Soufriere at the botanical gardens, then go to the volcano and have lunch after. After lunch do the hiking trail and end at an eco-farm and see how chocolate is made or you can just hit the beach. Make sure to arrive at the botanical gardens when they open at 10AM.
Diamond Botanical Gardens St. Lucia
The St. Lucia Botanical Gardens, or also called Diamond Botanical Gardens, are on a beautiful estate which has over 300 years of history. In 1713 King Louis XIV of France gave 2000 acres to the Devaux brothers. They constructed the mineral baths in 1784 on the site of the botanical gardens. The troops of King Louis XVI of France used the baths to recover from battle. During the revolution most buildings got destroyed but in the 20th century it was rebuilt for private use. Today the gardens are a must visit in St. Lucia including the baths, nature trails and the best St. Lucia waterfall. The entrance fee is just 7 USD.
The nature trail at the botanical gardens goes up all the way to the old watermill. It’s interesting to see this old building which is perfectly restored. While walking the nature trail I heard a humming sound. A hummingbird! I didn’t bring my correct camera lenses as I didn’t know beforehand about the St. Lucia hummingbird, but I was able to get it on a photo. I walked around the trails for about an hour until I arrived at the Diamond Waterfall.
The Diamond Falls are amongst the best waterfalls in St. Lucia. The Diamond River flows from the nearby sulfur springs at the drive-in volcano. Of course, it’s a small waterfall compared to the Iguacu Falls in Argentina but at 17 meters it’s still a nice place to visit. This is because the rocks change color due to all the minerals in the water. After a few photographs I continued back to the entrance as I didn’t go bathing in the mineral baths.
Mineral volcano baths
At the Diamond Falls Mineral Baths & Spa you can take a bath in the healing waters. As I mentioned I chose to not bath in the mineral baths because I would take a mud bath at the drive-in volcano. Doing both seemed a bit much minerals for me. If you prefer clear water over mud I highly recommend bathing here. There are changing rooms and a restaurant as well. If you do, then visit the volcano first before going to the gardens as you can take lunch there as well.
Antigua, St. Lucia and Barbados: Caribbean island-hopping itinerary
St. Lucia volcano tour: Drive in Volcano
The St. Lucia drive in volcano is said to be the only drive in volcano in the world. It’s probably true but it’s not like you drive into the volcano. I found it honestly more a marketing name but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t interesting. On the contrary it was a lovely visit.
The Soufriere Volcano (Sulphur Springs) erupted for the last time over 200 years ago. Today it’s a dormant volcano and a big tourist attraction especially for the mud baths. Make sure to add this volcano tour to your Soufriere day trip; you don’t want to miss this. The entrance fee is 11 USD nad a visit takes 60-90 minutes maximum.
Sulfur mud bath St. Lucia
The sulfur mud bath in St. Lucia is probably one of the most famous in the world. I highly recommend taking this bath even if you don’t believe the minerals have any effect. It’s just a fun thing to do. There are changing rooms available and showers to wash the mud after. Happy bathing!
Next up are the sulphur springs of the Soufriere volcano. The road passes the sulphur springs to a viewing platform. It isn’t allowed anymore to get up close to the springs due to an accident several years ago. I know from experience that a volcano can be dangerous. Read about my Ijen Volcano experience in Indonesia to find out why.
I didn’t spend much time there as the area is small and the volcano is dormant. This wasn’t the case when I visited the active volcano on Tanna Island, Vanuatu. There I watched the eruptions for several hours! I decided to skip lunch and just pickup some snacks before hiking the Tet Paul Nature Trail.
The Tet Paul Nature Trail, third stop Soufriere day trip
The Tet Paul Nature Trail is a beautiful hiking trail including the Stairway to Heaven. You can have lunch at the picknick area if you want. Entrance fee is just 10 USD which helps maintain the trail.
Hiking Tet Paul Nature Trail
The Tet Paul Nature Trail an easy trail but does have a small climb. A round trip without stops takes about 45 minutes so the length isn’t that long. You’ll discover local vegetation, a eco-farm, local traditions at the house but the best off all are the views.
I was a bit unlucky as it started to become very cloudy and halfway the trail it started to rain. It wasn’t possible to see Martinique or St. Vincent in a distance as it was simply to cloudy. Luckily, I had a great view on the Pitons which are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hiking in the rain isn’t fun so I hiked the whole trail in just under an hour. The Tet Paul Scenic Trail is for sure one of the best things to do in St. Lucia.
Soufriere city visit – not to miss!
I continued to Soufriere to see the waterfront and walk a bit through town. As weather wasn’t nice, I gave up after 10 minutes. Soufriere is a nice town, with a cathedral at the center and lovely colonial style buildings. I actually returned the next day to explore a bit more of the town but still 30 minutes will do.
Finish at a local eco-farm and chocolate factory
I finished the day at the eco-farm maintained by the Jade Mountain Resort. They gave a tour of the farm and after the visit I joined a small tour at the chocolate factory which is on the premise of the resort. If you’re not staying there you can do a similar tour called The Tree to Bar Experience at Boucan Estate by Hotel Chocolat which runs daily. Do reserve a spot in advance.
I hope this Soufriere day trip itinerary helps you plan your trip. If you like to start earlier, you can do so by visiting the Tet Paul Nature Trail first. It opens already at 8AM and it might be less hot that early for a hike as well. If you want to know where to stay on St. Lucia, then check out my Jade Mountain Resort hotel review. It’s for sure St. Lucia’s best resort.
Read my Antigua, St. Lucia and Barbados island hopping itinerary if you want to combine other islands in your trip. You can also go island hopping the Dutch Caribbean. There are so many more island nations in the Caribbean that I’ll have to return in the near future to explore more.Stay tuned for more stories and subscribe to the newsletter or follow CTB on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram including Instagram stories; on all social media you can find CTB @christravelblog) to get updated information.
Did you visit Soufriere in St. Lucia too or do you have questions? Please leave a comment at the bottom of the page. Love to hear from you!