No trip to St Lucia would be complete without going near or indeed up the two peaks that most define St Lucia. These twin pointed volcanic peaks rise side by side mid way down the Caribbean coast. They are part of the walls of a volcanic cone that blew itself apart an estimated 40,000 years ago. If you fancy climbing up Gros Piton be warned, climbing it is hard work and requires plenty of puff! We can arrange this trip for you, just ask reception.
Named by the French after the whiff of sulphur (don't let this put you off!) Soufriere is St Lucia's oldest town. A 60-minute drive south of Castries, the road takes you over a fantastic winding journey through the rainforest, with ferns that hang over the road. The town, which still has a few nice old wooden Creole buildings, sits midway down the Caribbean coast of the island just north of the distinctive Pitons and is a perfect starting point to visit the sulphur springs, Diamond FallsSoufriere Estate and of course The Pitons.
Just inland from Soufrière, in the middle of the dramatic tropical gardens are the Diamond Falls. The water is full of minerals that have slowly discoloured the riverbed orange and it is these minerals that have therapeutic qualities. So much so that in 1784 King Louis XVI of France ordered the building of the baths for the French troops so they could benefit from the therapeutic waters. This beautiful waterfall is approximately 17 metres in height and is a mixture of rainwater and volcanism fed by the Sulphur Springs. The flow of water varies at different times of year but is always spectacular.
Castries is the capital of St Lucia and lies in the north-west of the island. Not much of the attractive original wooden architecture remains unfortunately as the city has changed over the years, but there is a small clutch of wooden buildings near the city's centre, Derek Walcott Square, which has been named in honour of St Lucia's Nobel Laureate for Literature. The Cathedral, also set on the Square, is a modern building but has some charm inside. A visit to the Central Market is definitely worth it, to see the groaning tables of tropical fruits and other goods and the lively carry-on of local business.