Christopher Columbus discovered the island in 1500 on his third voyage, now St. Lucia is as an island nation part of the Lesser Antilles and a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. The symbols of the island are the twin Pitons in the south of the island. These two inactive volcanoes Gros Piton and Petit Piton are on the list of the UNESCO World Natural Heritage.
We explore the island for a day when “our” Sea Cloud II stops in the bay of Soufrière. Early in the morning after a short swim we cross over to the southwest coast of the island with small boats.
Wonderful exotic trees
From Soufriere we drive by bus to the Diamond Botanicac Gardens. Beside the beautiful plants the amazing park also hosts a big waterfall and offers the opportunity to take a bath in health-giving mineral water.
The Diamond Waterfall is one of the most colorful waterfalls of the whole Caribbean! Because of the volcanic soil the water is full of minerals so that it shimmers in all colors, when it falls down the cliff. The natural platform in front of the waterfall is actually a very popular photo spot!
Here and there is some art …
… and countless tropical plants. The Botanical Garden was founded in 1983 by Mrs. Joan Devaux. She sat the first plants – from hibiscus on Heliconia “Sexy Pink” to the toxic “Castor Oil Tree”, a miracle tree from which the castor oil is harvested.
Worth a trip: The historic cocoa plantation
As on many other Caribbean Islands, cocoa was one of the main exports of St. Lucia and we visit an old cocoa plantation. First of all a beautiful hummingbird flies over the colorful hedge.
The plantation is spacious and the historic buildings are well preserved. In a small hall they show how the cocoa beans will be roasted and sorted.
Next door fresh coconuts are cleaved. The coconut water is wonderfully refreshing and the fresh coconut meat tastes much better than at home on the market.
What a smell: The sulfur springs
Finally, we stop at the strong-smelling sulfur springs at the extinct volcano. The ground simmers everywhere and since several years tourists are only allowed to have a look at the boiling hot springs from a safe distance.