Keeping up with all the Soufrieres in the Caribbean is not easy.
There’s a La Soufriere in Guadeloupe and one in St Vincent. There are the Soufriere Hills in Montserrat and then there’s the well known Soufriere Sulphur Springs in St. Lucia, commonly referred to as a drive-in volcano.
This is a slight misnomer, however, as visitors are only allowed to view the solfatara from afar as it sputters away in the distance. Apparently, the cautionary distance is due to an incident where a guide fell through the surface into the boiling waters and was badly burned. Since then, visitors have been confined to the viewing galleries.
To me, the Sulphur Springs feel like a tourist trap. Everyone has a guide and you have to sit through a short film on the springs and an exhibition on how they came into being. At the main viewing galleries there are vendors such as “Sunshine Bob” who try and sell trinkets to visitors.
There’s no bathing in any of the pools and visitors can just see steam rising and some bubbling mud. For a real volcanic experience, hike to the Boiling Lake and the Valley of Desolation in Dominica.
Julian has written articles on Middle Eastern and European architecture for the US magazine Skipping Stones. He has written travel articles that were published in The Toronto Globe and Mail, Fate Magazine, National Catholic Register, and Northwest Travel. Julian has also written articles for the In The Know Traveler, Go Nomad, InTravelmag, and Go World Travel websites. He has also taken many photographs that have appeared in travel guides by National Geographic, Thomas Cook and The Rough Guides. Examples of his work can be found at http://www.photographersdirect.com/sellers/details.asp?portfolio=13734
You couldn’t use the mud? The hotel I’m staying at this summer has trips up there, and they have you slather the mud on then bathe in the waterfall?
Well there’s no waterfall at the Sulphur Springs and the mud is very hot; I think you might be going to the nearby Diamond Botanical Gardens, where there is a waterfall and some baths. The gardens are on the edge of Soufriere town.