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Updated: Feb 9, 2023


Drive-In Volcano St Lucia Sulphur Springs Tour Review In The Great Wide Travel Blog

Sulphur Springs in St. Lucia


For one of the most unique experiences in the world, head to Sulphur Springs in St. Lucia to see a dormant volcano that you can drive right up to, followed by a mineral mud bath just down the road that is believed to have medicinal properties.


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Where is Sulphur Springs?

Sulphur Springs is located in the southwestern region of the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, a short drive southeast from the town of Soufriere. Soufriere is the former capital of the island and was actually named as such because it’s French for “sulphur mine”, which shows you just how significant Sulphur Springs is in the region.


There is no specific address for Sulphur Springs, so you can find it using the map below:



How to Get to Sulphur Springs

Sulphur Springs touts itself as the ‘world’s only drive-in volcano’, so a car (or access from a car) seems necessary. Technically, you could hike there from Soufriere, It’s a 4km (just under 2.5 miles) walk from the city, so it’s definitely do-able, but cars can be rented in Soufriere and taxis are plentiful.


If you book a half-day or day-long tour through Sulphur Springs, all transportation will be included, regardless of where you are starting from on the island. If you’re visiting St. Lucia via cruise ship, this is definitely the best way to go! Learn more about these tours in the Tickets section of this article below.


Although public transit minibuses are a main source of transportation for the locals on the island, Google Maps does not recognize them and we cannot find any kind of schedule or map for them online. We don’t recommend trying to use public transit if you are visiting the island on a time crunch (aka on a cruise), but if you’re staying on the island, I bet a hotel concierge or Airbnb host could help you figure it out.


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Tickets and Tours for Sulphur Springs

The easiest way to ensure entry into Sulphur Springs is to book a tour through one of the many companies on St. Lucia, one of which is Sulphur Springs itself. These will range from $89-$149 per person, depending on what extra activities they’re offering. However, something that they don’t advertise is that you can actually just go to Sulphur Springs as a walk-in and pay an entry fee when you get there.


Ticket options offered directly by Sulphur Springs include:

  • Walk-in Entry (no reservations): $9 - $12 per person. Sulphur Springs does not list this as an option on their website and we cannot speak from personal experience doing walk-ins, but multiple sources from Trip Advisor and other travel blogs have shown us that walk-ins are, in fact, allowed there. However, exact pricing and what it includes differs depending on the source of the information. There may be separate pricing for the volcano vs the mud bath, and there may be separate pricing for self-guided tours vs having one of their local guides, if that’s even an option without a reservation. We wish that Sulphur Springs would make all of it more clear on their website, but I’m sure they are just trying to push visitors to book one of their tours, listed below.

  • Half Day Tour: $100 per person. This includes transportation to and from Sulphur Springs from anywhere on the island, a guided tour of the volcano, a mineral mud bath, and a visit to a nearby waterfall.

  • Land & Sea Tour (full day): $150 per person. Includes everything in the half day tour, plus a boat tour with a snorkeling stop (gear provided) and views of the Pitons, and a local Creole lunch.

  • Private Tour: $165 per person. It is unclear how long these private tours are, if there is a minimum number of people required, and exactly what they include, but they appear to be very similar to the full day tour.


If you are staying on the island, you’ll have to weigh the pros and cons of booking a tour vs renting a car and going on your own. If you’re staying in Soufriere, you’d probably save a bunch of money by going as a walk-in, but if you’re staying in Castries or somewhere else on the island, you may want to consider a tour through Sulphur Springs, as it can be a great value, but you will not be in charge of your own schedule or be able to make other stops along the way.


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History of Sulphur Springs

Here’s a quick history lesson about how Sulphur Springs came to be:

  • Sulphur Springs emerged from a weak spot in the crust of an enormous collapsed volcanic crater approximately 300,000 years ago.

  • The most recent volcanic eruption from the Sulphur Springs, recorded as a minor explosion, occurred in 1776, so the volcano is now considered to be dormant, but yes, it could theoretically erupt again someday.

  • Between 1836 and 1840, Sulphur Springs became a mine, with the first year seeing over 540 tons of sulphur exported.

  • The smell of sulfur is like rotten eggs, so yes, the area still has that odor. You’ll definitely notice it when you arrive, but after a while, you won’t notice it at all.

  • The water coming out of the spring is black because of a natural chemical reaction between the high content of sulfur and iron.

  • The water located at the center of the springs still boils at roughly 212° Fahrenheit (100 Celsius) creating large plumes of steam.

  • Up until the mid-1990s, tourists could just walk right up to the edge of the springs, with no barriers between you and giant plumes of hot steam. Unfortunately, a local tour guide fell through some weak crust and suffered second degree burns up past his waist, so they built a viewing platform a few hundred feet away, which is where you can view the volcano from now.

  • It’s considered to be the “world’s only drive-in volcano” because it doesn’t require any hiking to see it like it would to see other places like it around the world.

  • Approximately 200,000 people visit Sulphur Springs every year now, making it the most popular tourist attraction in St. Lucia.


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Our Experience

Since we were in St. Lucia on Phoebe’s 30th birthday, we chose to do a private full day Land & Sea Tour through Sulphur Springs, and all 10 of our friends that were on the Royal Caribbean cruise with us decided to join us! She wanted to see the Pitons as she started the next decade of her life, so we didn’t mind splurging a little for the special occasion. The tour was great, including snorkeling, a boat tour, lunch at a local restaurant, visiting an amazing waterfall, and the Sulphur Springs volcano and mud bath. We have another article coming very soon about the full tour, but for the purpose of this article, you do not have to book a big tour like that to enjoy Sulphur Springs. Make sure you’re signed up for our newsletter (see bottom of page) so you’ll be notified when that next article comes out!



Our tour boat docked in Soufriere, which, in French, literally means, ‘sulphur mine’, due to the proximity of the town to Sulphur Springs. The 12 of us piled into a white van taxi and we were off to see the “world’s only drive-in volcano”. After maybe 15 minutes in the van, we were there! There are some merchants at the entrance selling local wares and Piton Lager beer, the local brew. We grabbed a couple beers and I managed to snag a bar of sulfur soap that is ‘ideal for skin blemishes, eczema, acne, liver spots, & mosquito bites’.


Since we had pre-booked our whole day through Sulphur Springs, they had a tour guide there waiting for us. With beers in our hands, he led us as we walked around to the different viewing areas and told us a brief history of the area. He even pointed out the ruins of former business ventures that attempted to harness the geothermal energy of the springs, most of which closed due to lack of funding. On the second viewing platform, we were able to see Gabriel’s Hole, which is where the tour fell through in the mid-90s. Don’t worry, everyone has to keep their distance from there now, so it is totally safe.


Sulphur Springs Review St Lucia Drive-In Volcano Tour In The Great Wide Travel Blog

You will have to walk up and down some stairs and a hill for the best views of the volcano, but our tour guide was patient as one member of our group has bad knees and had to take it slow. The volcano does NOT look like what you would expect a “volcano” to look like. You don’t see active, glowing lava, but instead you see a giant crater with steam escaping from holes in the earth, as well as small geysers of boiling water and mud.


The Springs stink, obviously, but you get used to it pretty quickly. The tour guide was very informative and friendly, and he delivered us back to our tour guides in the van. We quickly grabbed small bottles filled with the local rum punch from the same place we got our beers, which is a very casual little hut at the entrance to the volcano. We even saw some wild chickens and cats roaming freely around the area.


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Just a few hundred yards down the road in the van, we arrived at the mud baths, where our driver acted as our tour guide. He took us to an area away from everyone else who was there, then gathered the mud in buckets for us. Wearing swimsuits, we all slathered the light-grey mud all over our bodies while our tour guide used Phoebe’s phone to take pictures and videos of us. Purposefully rubbing mud all over your body is such a weird experience, but the mud baths are extremely popular due to the belief that the sulphuric mud has healing purposes for your skin. Our guide told us that some locals will come to the mud baths once a day to take advantage of the rejuvenating qualities.


Once the light mud dried on our skin, our guide gave us a smaller amount of darker mud, which he told us is really just for fun to make decorations on your skin on top of the light mud. Of course, many funny doodles were made. The tour guide asked if he could do the decoration for Phoebe, as the birthday girl, so he gave her a necklace and a simple design down her arms, then took pictures of the whole group together, which we are so glad to have!


Pro Tip: Sulphur Springs recommends that you wear a dark-colored swimsuit when you visit because this dark mud can sometimes stain lighter colors.



After all the mud dried, he told us it was time to get in the water, which runs down from the volcano and pools in man-made “hot tubs”, if you will. The water is constantly running, like a stream, and is still extremely hot, even that far down. Our guide told us that the water gets cooler the farther down you go, and we ended up going all the way down to the last one, which is still about 110°F. It’s still really hot, but it washes off the mud and adds to the rejuvenation process.


Pro Tip: Make sure you take your own towel when you go to do the mud bath! They do not provide them for you.


After the mud bath, we continued on our tour that included another rinse off at a nearby waterfall, which was much colder water, but more on that in the next article.


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Our Verdict

Sulphur Springs is the only place in the world where you can drive right up to a volcano and the mud baths were such a fun experience to do with friends! Between the unique geographical features, the absolutely incredible jungle landscape, and the fun mud baths, we highly recommend seeking out a trip to St. Lucia and visiting Sulphur Springs!


Drive-In Volcano St Lucia Tour Of Sulphur Springs Review In The Great Wide Travel Blog

Quick Reference Guide

What

Where

How to Get There

Booking a tour is recommended, but you can also take a taxi or rent a car to get there on your own. There is no specific information online about public transportation routes and schedules in St. Lucia, although we know they have minibuses that the locals regularly use. Unless you’re spending at least a few days on the island, we recommend sticking to tours, taxis, and rental cars.

Time Commitment

The tour we took was an all-day affair, but if you head in on your own, you will probably spend around 2 hours exploring the volcano and taking a mud bath.

Cost

Walk-in entry fee to Sulphur Springs is $9-$12, according to what we’ve seen in our online research. We booked an all-day tour directly through Sulphur Springs, which was $150 per person and included a bunch of other activities.

Reservation Info

Reservations are only offered through tours, and there are a ton of tour companies in St. Lucia that offer visits to Sulphur Springs. To book a tour directly with Sulphur Springs (like we did), visit their website.

Our Verdict

This is a fun and unique experience, regardless of if you just go here or book it as part of a bigger tour with other activities. All of our friends had a great time and Phoebe was happy to spend her 30th birthday getting a therapeutic mud bath in St. Lucia!


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Travel Writer Adam Neubauer For In The Great Wide Travel Blog


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In The Great Wide Travel Lifestyle Blog Phoebe and Adam at the Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh, Scotland

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