St Lucia Sulphur Springs
The St Lucia Sulphur Springs volcano is one of the most well known and most visited St lucia attractions.
The main area of the sulphur springs comprises numerous hot springs, bubbling mud pools and fumaroles (steam vents). The strongly hydrothermally altered clay-rich rocks covers approximately 200 m x 100 m in size. Many of those boiling pools have temperatures 100°C or hotter. Temperatures of up to 172°C have been recorded.
The springs are part of a large 3.5 X 5 km wide caldera called Qualibou. this is the Soufriere Volcanic Centre which formed approximately 32-39,000 years ago.
St. Lucia’s famous volcanic peaks, the Pitons, are two large lava domes that formed much earlier, about 200-300,000 years ago. They are part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The last eruption of the st lucia volcano was in 1766. This eruption was a steam-blast eruption, which occurs when magma heats ground or surface water. The extreme temperature of the magma causes near-instantaneous evaporation to steam. The result is an explosion of steam, water, ash, rock, and volcanic bombs. Occasionally, the island experiences shallow depth volcanic earthquakes near the st lucia sulphur springs.
Several studies have been carried out over the past 50 years to investigate the geothermal energy potential of Sulphur Springs. To date, however, no attempt at exploitation has been made.
The healing properties of the mineral water are known to detoxify the body and help heal mosquito bites, sun burns, eczema, arthritis, sore joints, and more.
Read more about about the geology of soufriere
Other Hot Springs & Waterfalls
Apart from the volcano, there are several other hot springs containing sulphur water in and around Soufriere.
The Sapphire Waterfall & Trail, at the entrance of the Sulphur Springs volcano, is a 30 minute hike to a beautiful warm waterfall in a forest clearing. There is also a man-made “hot tub” where you can soak, and enjoy natural mud and clay packs. During the busy season, there is usually someone at the road waiting to show you the way. But it’s best to call ahead to arrange a visit – this site is family-owned by Jahrod and his brother.
New Jerusalem springs is another small family owned site with two warm water pools and one cold pool next to a river surrounded by lugh tropical vegetation. The scenic walk along the river takes about 10 minutes, restrooms and changing rooms are provided.
Pitons Waterfall is a man made pool built around a small natural spring. The uphill hike is about 10 – 15 minutes.
Diamond Waterfall has one of the oldest baths on the island. Adjoining the historic baths once used by Louis XIV and his soldiers, there are two modern pools with clear warm water. It is not allowed to bathe under the sulphur waterfall.
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