Chasing Waterfalls – Everything You Need To Know About St Lucia’s Waterfalls & Hot Mineral Baths
Chasing Waterfalls – Everything You Need To Know About St Lucia’s Waterfalls & Hot Mineral Baths

Chasing Waterfalls – Everything You Need To Know About St Lucia’s Waterfalls & Hot Mineral Baths

There’s nothing like washing off the sticky summer heat, or the stress of the life you just left behind, in a waterfall and lazing in the warm pools beneath. In the past I’ve said that “a waterfall is a waterfall” but I stand here converted – waterfalls out here in the Saint Lucian rainforest are just different. Here’s my guide – everything you need to know about St Lucia’s waterfalls because if there’s anywhere you should go chasing waterfalls, it’s here.

Given the opportunity, I implore you to visit them all as each has its own charm, and personally, I can never get enough of this island’s jungle-meet-water vibes. But, if time is tight here is my guide to the differences between the main falls and baths and which to prioritise.

Piton Waterfall

Inside the Petit Piton Waterfall

Round up: chilled, highly convenient and a budget friendly option

A falls that is often overlooked by tourists, this is a stellar spot right by the Petit Piton and the sulphur springs at the Soufriere volcano. This is the perfect place to refresh and recharge after your hike, or do as the locals do and come for an impromptu afternoon bathe or visit at night under the canopy of the trees and the stars.

There is a small cave in the waterfall, allowing you to take a seat in the waterfall itself. Volcano-warmed water takes a 30 foot drop to two man-made but aesthetically pleasing pools below, with a third pool on site funnelled with jaccuzi-hot water – all the while surrounded by tall tall trees and rich rainforest, it is impossible not to achieve maximum chill here. 

Pitons Falls is a gorgeous spot, I only wish we had time to come back at night. 

HOW TO GET THERE: Take the short and very well maintained path down from the dedicated carpark just outside Soufirere, through the rainforest that surrounds the waterfall. The walk is clear, easy and beautiful – lined with thick foliage and bright flowers. No need for a guide.

Price: Around $8 ECD/$3 USD + free parking – making it a great budget friendly option!

Sapphire Waterfall and Jungle Spa

Round up: My favourite – well worth the hike for a secluded dip in paradise

Sapphire Falls is intimate, natural and secluded. The most remote on my list, hike your way through 30-40 minutes of thick, steep rainforest and this beauty will creep up on you out of nowhere. The forest ascent suddenly turns to a well tended garden and next thing you know, you are at Sapphire, where the mineral water falls cascade down the rock forming a chain of warm mineral pools at your feet.

The property is managed by two brothers who have turned this natural beauty into a stripped back rustic spa. Entrance includes access to the waterfall, mineral pools, sulphur water baths, fresh fruit and clay mask. 

We didn’t pass a soul on our journey up, and we had the place to ourselves for several hours. It felt like our little section of paradise, just for us. You won’t be rushed either – we spent a full morning hanging out here. If you can, take your time, relax and absorb your surroundings.

HOW TO GET THERE. The trail is fairly steep but well maintained. It’s better to have a guide or local show you the way.

Price: There are no signs stating the price but expect to spend roughly 30-40 USD for the full experience.

New Jerusalem Baths

Round up: A good afternoon filler, the perfect option for a soothing dip with minimal effort and organisation

New Jerusulem Baths is a trio of man-made hot and cold baths set into a cliff near the river in the middle of untouched forest, fed by the hot springs that are heated by the volcano itself. This is a local hotspot, with many Lucians swearing by a weekly visit to keep the skin, body and mind in check. I agree – what better way to soak than while being surrounded by a rainbow of tropical plants under the canopy of banana trees. While you are relaxing in the water, look down at the forest below or watch the hummingbirds feed from the banana blossom on the bank.

The plants surrounding this bath are stunning but the baths here are probably the least finessed (save for Diamond Falls, see below) as they are concrete baths, bamboo-funnelled with water from the hot springs. However, it is one of the few places on the island that is genuinely convenient, requiring next to no effort, prior organisation or transport to visit. The walk there is also worth it in and of itself.

HOW TO GET THERE: The baths are at the end of an easy but stunning walk through the rainforest, just outside of the very charming town Soufriere.

Price: 7US$. There is a small booth by the baths, if nobody is there on arrival they will come and collect the fee from you later on.

Sulphur Springs and DRIVE THROUGH VOLCANO!

Round up – Hella touristy but really good fun. Cover yourself in mud. Paint yourself like the warrior you are inside or doodle on yourself/your companions to your heart’s content

Sulphur Springs Mud Bath

Saint Lucia is famed for the world’s only drive through volcano!

The quintessential St Lucian experience, this spot offers you drive-in volcano, sulphur springs and mud baths. You have the chance to cover yourself in the mineral rich mud before washing it off in a jacuzzi-hot mineral bath (I’d choose the first one as the water is freshest) fed by water coming straight from the volcano which… you are sitting in the middle of! 

A quick exfoliation and ta-da! Witness your skin transform silky-smooth as soft as a baby’s bottom.

The locals swear by the healing benefits of having a regular mud bath. Rich in minerals, it is said to help with blood circulation, skin detoxification and purification, removal of blackheads, blemishes, eczema and has anti-ageing properties!

Healing or not, I can attest that it gives a 10/10 exfoliation, eased my aches and pains and you should not, I repeat, should not go home without one. 

You can take a short walk to look down on springs that bubble out the side of the volcano, as the sulphur menacingly spurts up out of the rock and – full disclosure – stenches out the entire place. These are sulphur springs and have a fragrance like potent rotten egg. But don’t worry, this will fade. Luckily, you will leave with all of the baby soft exfoliated skin and none of this unique scent.

Top tip – You will literally be covered in mud from head to toe. Don’t wear jewellery you are precious about, pack a dark towel and wear an old or dark coloured swimsuit.

This is understandably one of the most popular destinations in Saint Lucia and gets busy (especially on cruise ship days) so come early or late in the day. Any local working the tourist circuit will be able to tell you which days the cruise ships are coming.

HOW TO GET THERE – No walking necessary, this one is pretty accessible from the volcano car park. Join a tour or take a 5-10 minute drive from Soufriere town. 

Price – from 10US$ for entrance (including mud), more for a guided tour.

Diamond Waterfalls & Hot Spring Baths at the Botanical Gardens

Diamond Waterfalls

Round up: A worthy destination on your St Lucia itinerary for the Botanical Gardens themselves but this ranks low on my falls-fest hit list

Diamond Falls and its mineral baths lie at the back of the beautiful Diamond Botanical Gardens – more on this here. 

The pool below is bordered with brightly coloured foliage and exotic flowers, and the minerals from the rock cause the waterfall to change colour.. hence the name!

While these gardens are certainly worth an amble, Diamond Falls rank low on my list. They are nice to look at but I won’t be writing home about these purely because you can’t get up close or swim here. 

Now, the hot spring baths. Don’t get your hopes up about these baths… these are disappointing, borderline ugly man-made square baths filled with mineral water funnelled from the rainforest, situated on the side of the walkway to the waterfall.

Think less natural jungle discovery, more western garden centre/public swimming pool albeit with nicer surroundings. Go to any of the options above for a leisurely natural bath and a more picturesque setting to accompany it.

HOW TO GET THERE: Diamond Falls is part of the Botanical Gardens, a very easy walk from Soufriere town centre. More on the Botanical Gardens and Soufriere town here.

Price – S$7 / EC$17.50 with extra US$7 – EC$17.50 for the baths.

After the falls…

Saint Lucia has no shortage of stunning places to visit and things to do, check out my top 10!

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