The Caribbean is lousy with tall palms, turquoise water and gorgeous beaches, but the island nation of St. Lucia offers something a bit unique.
For starters, you can actually jump in the old rental car and motor to the world’s only drive-in volcano. Located near the resort town of Soufriere, the famous Sulphur Springs are a site to behold, and a dangerous site at that. Water and tar can boil hotter than 200 degrees and the rising steam is even hotter.
In fact, I was slightly troubled to learn scientists expect this dormant volcano to erupt in the next 100 years, possibly wiping out most of St. Lucia. Here’s hoping it doesn’t happen during my trip.
Amazingly, just a few hundred yards downstream from these hellish burning pits, you’ll find tourists leisurely taking mud baths and frolicking in the springs. The water is still hot, but 45 degrees Celsius doesn’t tend to prompt blood curdling screams.
Not far away, is another fascinating volcanic site, that is, if you can stand the smell.
The famous Piton Mountains are the national symbol of St. Lucia, and it’s hard to believe such a beautiful serene venue, can smell so truly vile. While standing right in the middle of this still active volcano, I found myself choking on the overpowering smell of very rotten eggs caused by the sulphur. Still, it’s worth plugging your nose and enjoying the gorgeous view of the peaks of Piton Bay and the bubbling mud pools.
St. Lucia’s local beer is also called Piton named after the mountains, so after a hard day at the peaks I paid tribute by downing a cold one … or three.