3 Mineral Baths in 3 Days in Soufriere St. Lucia

I’m going to be real. Not long before I landed in St. Lucia, I had never really heard that St. Lucia was a country. Like, less than 6 months previous and I would have responded to the topic of ‘St. Lucia’ with a blank stare and trying to remember a mental list of Catholic saints, a topic I also never learned about, being raised agnostic. But with knowledge comes opportunity, and I soon found myself travelling in St. Lucia. And one of my main discoveries on this trip is that St. Lucia is full of ways to bathe yourself! In public! Mineral baths, warm waterfalls, and sulphur mud baths are all part of a trip to ragingly volcanic St. Lucia. And yes, I stripped down for all of them! Here are my 3 natural mineral baths in 3 days in St. Lucia!

Warning: There is a startling amount of pictures of me in a bathing suit in this post.  I just don’t know.

The mineral waters of St. Lucia make for prime opportunities to bath in the beautiful healing water, soak in the sulphuric mud and enjoy a warm waterfall all within easy distance from Soufriere. Check out this blog for 3 natural mineral baths in 3 days in St. Lucia

The Caribbeans Only ‘Drive-In’ Volcano, aka Sulphur Springs

So this is an interesting name for an interesting place. Formally called Sulphur Springs, this stinky nook in the earth is about 3km south of Soufriere. Soufriere is the hub for these kind of hot springs on the West of the island and totally do-able as an excursion from the cruise ships in St. Lucia

The drive-through Volcano is in fact, as they say, a volcano. It is so as it is an area that is exposed to the geothermal elements, with hissing vents of the earths bile steaming out of its pores.

drive in volcano st. lucia caribbean

The colours of the cliffs surrounding the ‘volcano’ range from pinks to yellows and your nose tells no lies when it tells you there is a volcano abound. But shed the idea of a conical mountain to climb. I’m sure back in whatever age there was an eruption on this site, and now we are free to marvel at what would be the inside of the volcano. Like when you cut a baseball open to see what is inside.

Am I the only one who did that as a child? Ok, right. Sure.

geothermal volcano St. Lucia Sulphur Springs

Sulphur Springs really is a ‘drive-in’ volcano. If you had a car, you could drive it right up the viewpoints for this area of geothermal activity, spewing and steaming, and stinky as it is. I of course did not have a car, so I walked to the Sulphur Springs from town (I could have taken the bus, I just didn’t, so don’t feel too sorry for me).

A Mud Bath in St. Lucia

Arriving at Sulphur Springs, you have to choose whether you want to bathe, have a tour, or both. Having just walked an hour uphill in the heat of the Caribbean day, and being slightly cagey to how boring a tour on geology might be, I opted for the bath, straight up.

mud bath at Sulphur Springs St. Lucia

Not your typically bath. After changing into my mismatched bathing suit, first I soaked in basically black water in an 8 by 8-concrete pool. This water is coming from underneath the volcano (I’m merely guessing, I didn’t take the tour) and it is rich with healing minerals of the earth and reaches a skin numbing 38 degrees Celsius! That’s 100 degrees Fahrenheit for all of the Yanks in the audience. It’s a hot hot bath.

bathing in the sulphur water in soufriere st. lucia

Lucky for me, I was ready for a hot bath having ran 5 km earlier than day followed by the 3km walk. After a good soak in the black water to loosen up my pores, I hopped out to be covered head to toe in mud. Note, I was covered. You read that right.

mud bath in st. lucia, travel to st. lucia

There are guys at this place, and seemingly it is their JOB to swathe visitor bodies with mud. Head, shoulders, knees, toes, love handles, sternum. Skin so bare, don’t care!

Don’t worry, I did my own inner thighs.

My first thought was clearly something inappropriate, and then I wondered if these guys were married. This is that mans JOB! He does this every day and gets money for it. I am not a jealous person, but I’m not sure if I would dig my dude being in this line of work. #single.

things to do in St. Lucia mud baths in sulphur springs caribbean

The world is awesome.

best places to visit in St. Lucia

Once I was slathered in mud, which supposedly contained everything that could heal my physical woes, I stood in the sun to bake. Once the mud was all dried up, I jumped back into the steamy black water to rinse off and soak more, emerging like a phoenix from the ash, a phoenix with baby soft skin and very runny mascara.

sulphur springs drive in volcano caribbean

After I changed back into my sweaty clothes, I walked up to the viewpoints to take a look at this ‘volcano’. Reminded of my time in New Zealand, I was taking some photos and getting a good look when a woman asked for my ticket. I gave her my bath ticket. She said I didn’t have a tour ticket so I couldn’t be there. I couldn’t even just look and demand literally no information?

No.

Fine, I wanted to leave anyways.

tourist attractions in St. Lucia

Piton Waterfall, a Warm Water Waterfall

With my lovely experience getting mudded up with St. Lucian earth, I was hooked. While walking to Sulphur Springs I saw a sign for Piton Waterfall, touted as a warm water waterfall. So… a shower?

The next day after my climb up Gros Piton, I was in desperate need for both a shower and some spa treatment, so I hit up this mysterious waterfall. After paying $3USD (a bargain for SL I tell you what, that island is mucho expensiveo), I followed a path leading down towards the sound of falling water. A good sign.

warm waterfall, Piton Waterfall St. lucia tourist attractions

At the bottom of the path was a pool very similar to the poor from the Sulphur Springs, also full of dirty looking warm water, but above it was a legitimate waterfall coming down a rock face. There were a few places to perch underneath the cascading water, so I slowly made my way across the slippery rock.

best sights in st. lucia for tourists

Ever the cynic, I was wonderfully delighted to discover the advertising was true, the water flowing over this rock was indeed nice and warm, probably around 30 degrees and so fresh and clean. The rushing water pelting your body made you feel completely pure. Physically pure, obviously. Not morally.

piton waterfall, st. lucia soufriere tourist activities in st. lucia

On the ride back into town after my natural shower, the rain hit. Hard. And yes, I was riding in the open bed of a pickup truck. Just consider it my second natural shower of the day, fully clothed this time.

best outdoor activities in St. Lucia

Diamond Waterfall and Mineral Baths

Last but not least is the most formal arrangement for bathing in the Soufriere area, at the Diamond Botanical Garden, an easy 10-minute walk from town. The Botanical Garden and Waterfall sit on a swatch of land that has been passed back and forth among rich Europeans for centuries, even King Louis XIV owned it at one point. Apparently Napolean’s wife, Empress Josephine bathed in the pools as a child (Wow, sounds like she had a true hard knock life. Until she married an egomaniacal short man of course).

diamond botanical gardens and diamond waterfall st. lucia

Today the Botanical Gardens are truly exceptional, and are owned by the Devaux family. I don’t think of myself as a big botanical gardens junkie (they might be right up there with geological lectures in my book), but the variety in plants, trees, and flowers was really something. I took many close up pictures of pretty flowers.

Diamond botanical gardens, soufriere st. lucia

Winding my way through the garden, I ended up at the Diamond Waterfall, a 30-meter gush of water that settles momentarily in a pool before being siphoned off to feed the mineral baths. My next destination.

nature activities in st. lucia

There are 5 mineral baths at the Diamond Botanical Garden, two indoor and private, and three outdoors and open for all to see. These pools were definitely more posh than the other baths I had been to in St. Lucia; they were even tiled!

beautiful places in st. lucia

Anyone can use the pools; you just have to pay (more for the indoor pools, privacy has a price). Because I am a needlessly cheap weirdo, I of course went for the outdoors variety, felt out the three pools, and jumped into the warmest. The water was probably the same temperature that the Piton Waterfall had been, so it was not too hot, but warm enough to keep me happy when it started to rain.

Diamond mineral pools st. lucia

I floated around in the 4 feet of water for about 45 minutes before deciding I needed to get my act together to head back into town to catch my boat up North. I was leaving that day and had managed to weasel my way onto the second half of a day cruise instead of into a taxi.

mineral pools in soufriere st. lucia

As I got dressed, it started to rain harder. And then harder. I wandered around the gardens a bit more hoping the rain would let up while I was under the canopy. No such luck.

best things to do in st. lucia

So I just started walking back to town, getting completely drenched all over again. Basically the theme of this blog is “Pay to have a fancy geothermal bath, and then fall victim to a torrential downpour from the sky”.

nature attractions botanical gardens in st. lucia

Side note to anybody who ever rents cars while they are travelling: I know you rented your car for your use, but if you see a lonely looking, drenched traveler walking along the road in the middle of a tropical squall, pick her up. Give her a ride. Especially if you had actually spoken to her at the mineral pools you both just left. It’s not your car; you don’t have to clean it. Have an effing heart.

I did take a walking break half way back to town, seeking refuge on a closed restaurant covered patio. I sat on a bench eating peanuts willing the rain to stop so I wouldn’t slip in the flooded streets and hurt myself. As I am prone to do. The rain eventually subsided enough, and I did make my boat.

flora in st. lucia, places to visit in st. lucia

Mineral Baths in St. Lucia

My overall bathing experience in St. Lucia was incredible. In three days I hit three different bath types and enjoyed all of them. My favorite was surely the waterfall, because you just do not get to stand under a warm waterfall in nature everywhere you go! All of the baths felt great after my hard work of running and hiking; my body thanked me for pampering it by not getting too sore after these physical exertions.

Thanks body!  

And thanks St. Lucia! I may not want to know the details of your geothermal make-up, but I sure appreciate the outputs of it!

***For more things to do in St. Lucia, check out this post from Erika’s Travels about exploring Northern St. Lucia: Marigot Bay and Pigeon Island!

mineral baths hot springs mud baths in st. lucia

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10 thoughts on “3 Mineral Baths in 3 Days in Soufriere St. Lucia

  1. This was a classic Kydd blog post! I laughed. I gasped. I laughed.
    There sure seems to be a whole bunch of fantastic places in St Lucia. It’s for sure somewhere I’d like to visit.

    1. Thanks Mr. Stofer!

      I think you would truly love St. Lucia, it’s fancy for your fancy side, but there are fun things to do for your less fancy side! I thought it was maybe the most beautiful island I’ve ever seen, and we know that is saying a lot. Can’t wait to se more of the Caribbean!

      Cheers,

      Emily Anne

  2. All those bathing options look amazing!
    On a side note, check out the Josephine Bonaparte series by Sandra Gulland. You can also cheat and read up on her on Wikipedia, but the well-researched fictional but based on fact series is a MUST! She was born in the Caribbean, hence the St Lucia reference 🙂

    1. Hi Aubrey,

      I will check out that series, I didn’t really know much about Josephine until I made that joke and then of course I had to check her out. Historians are debating whether she was born in St. Lucia or Martinique, a real nail biter of academia there. The pools in St. Lucia are absolutely fantastic, I of course loved the most rugged of all three, but really appreciated in general that they were open to the public and not merely for the rich spa folks!

      Thanks for the comment, putting that author into my Good reads…now!

      Emily

  3. i appreciated the pic of you in the public pool at the botanical gardens with no one else, almost private without the extra pay. Lovely fantastic photos. enjoyed them all and got your St. Lucia postcard. Will put it on my cupboard to gaze at longingly when Wisconsin has a foot of snow in January. love you.

    1. Darling Anne, I am amazed you already got your postcard, I was expecting you to write sometime next year! Very exciting, good to know! Did I mail that from Jamaica or St. Lucia? St. Lucia was an absolute dream, maybe you and John can go there on an empty nesters vacay in a couple of years! I did feel very classy being in a ‘public’ pool all to myself! Living the dream! Love to you, Emily Anne

  4. Hi Emily,

    Looks delightful! I too was ignorant of St. Lucia’s country status LOL. I figured it a tiny tropical paradise in the Caribbean and knew little else about it. Now I know I can get down and dirty over there through this post. Beautiful images as always and wow is it fun to do a spat type bit, anywhere on earth. I know my wife Kelli would be happier than a pig in slop, in that mud bath 😉 Thanks for sharing!

    Ryan

    1. Hi Ryan,
      Very glad I’m not the only one who didn’t know my Caribbean geography. I typically pride myself on my knowledge of the globe but the last few years of taken me so several places I was completely “Huh? Where?” about! Kyrgyzstan, St. Lucia, right now Curacao, soon Guyana! But I do recommend SL, it would definitely qualify as a paradise to blog from for you and Kelli!

      Cheers, Happy weekend!
      Emily

    1. Thanks Bella,

      St. Lucia is truly gorgeous and I absolutely loved visiting all of these different mineral baths. I took many pictures of flowers, they were all so unique and beautiful! St. Lucia is full of one of a kind spots, flora, and fauna, so much to explore I just didn’t have enough time to see it all!

      Cheers,
      Emily

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