St Lucia Botanical Gardens
The two most famous st lucia botanical gardens are Diamond Falls in Soufriere, and Mamiku Gardens on the East Coast. You can visit a number of other tropical st lucia gardens and estates around the island, for example Balenbouche, Fond Doux, Lushan Country Life, and Coubaril. These offer some of the same vegetation but may not have the same diversity or level of interpretation.
Mamiku St Lucia botanical gardens is located in the community of Praslin, near the Latille waterfall and the Descartiers Rainforest Trail. It is about a 45 Minute drive from Balenbouche Estate. The entrance is right along the main road. The Historical Gardens of Madame de Micoud (Mamiku) are set in 12 acres of natural woodlands. They offer a colorful variety of gardens. Some on hilltops, some tucked away in the forest, including an orchid garden and medicinal herb garden. An abundance of birds, butterflies and Tropical Flowers continually surprise the visitor. Once the scene of fierce battles, like many other st lucia plantations, the gardens are now filled with tranquility and beauty. You can hike up to a viewing point overlooking Praslin Bay. At the small interpretation center and refreshment bar, you can view a collection of artifacts from the plantation period
The gardens are the only Caribbean garden ranked (#4) among Headwater’s Top 10 Spring Gardens (2011) and is also highly rated on tripadvisor. The property is also a popular venue for weddings, cruise ships and school groups. However, most days, you will find just a few visitors, and the layout of the site diffuse any larger groups that might occasionally come through.
Diamond Falls is St Lucia’s the oldest of st lucia botanical gardens, dating back to the late 1700’s. It is just a 5 minute drive or 10 minute walk from the town of Soufriere.
The Diamond Falls Botanical garden is mostly shaded and has a lot of old growth and a large diversity of plants and trees. The trail takes about 30 – 45 minutes, and leads to a sulphurous waterfall gushing over orange, yellow and black rocks. Years ago it was possible to bathe under the waterfall; this is no longer allowed. The baths were built for French soldiers in the 1700’s. Adjacent to the original baths are more modern chlorinated plunge pools where you can bathe for an additional fee. The entrance fee is US$ 7 for adults, half price for children. The free lance tour guides are optional. The best time to visit this popular attraction is in the early morning to avoid the crowds and see more birds.
You may also be interested in our article on St Lucia Estates, many of which have very beautiful gardens.
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