Just fifteen minutes from Calabash Mountain Villa is Soufriere, a fishing town, once the French capital, with a rich and, at times, tumultuous history. Many of the structures in this quaint seaside town are over 100 years old, and the people are proud of their heritage – a mix of French, English, Amerindian and African cultures. There are many local tours available here: by land, sea, and air – for those looking to see and learn more. Also, ask at our desk about the tours that Calabash Mountain Villa has to help you enjoy your stay in St. Lucia.
The island’s west coast is dotted with fishing villages and pristine beaches. Whale and dolphin watching is popular and Soufriere boasts one of the most spectacular coral reefs for guided snorkeling as well as glass-bottom boat tours.
Near the town square of Soufriere, you’ll want to stop at Soufriere’s Market Place by the sea, a farmers’ market selling meat, fish, fruit and locally grown “ground provisions” (potatoes, yams, dasheen, carrots, etc.). The market is a great place to speak to local Lucians and discover hidden treasures of the island.
In Soufriere and around the island, local artisans display their crafts in street-side stands and shops.
Every now and then, one has to break from the daily grind, away from the “usual” and do something different. Julian and I did just that one weekend. We went to tour Fond Doux Resort & Plantation. It is right in the Soufriere Quarter of St. Lucia, not far from us (at Calabash Mountain Villa.) We drive past Fond Doux when we go to Soufriere using the west coast road. In the local patois, “Fond Doux” means “sweet valley.” It was sweet – providing us with a challenging walking trail through their forest area (what a workout!) and peaceful and beautiful garden paths after the trail.
Our guide, Phillip Paul, did an excellent job of making sure we enjoyed our visit. We did not realize the trail would be as challenging as it was, but it was worth it. The further we went along the trail (all up hill) the thicker the growth was. We saw lots of trees and rocks/boulders. The trail was quite challenging, just before we got to the highlight of our hike. (Now realize that I’m short and the biggest challenge for me was the “big step ups” we encountered. I would not have made it, but for Julian and Phillip.) Along the way we saw lots of interesting and beautiful trees, plants and all manner of rocks.
We finally got to a plateau, and while I was catching my breath and regaining my composure, Julian was commenting on the awesome view. When I looked up – there was the Gros Piton, a view of Sugar Beach Resort at the foot of the mountain, with the very blue Caribbean Sea as the backdrop. Awesome! We took lots of pictures and decided we were not about to proceed up the trail, but we would head back down. Little did I know the trip up was not the hardest part! Heading back down, I had a firm grip on Phillip’s hand. (Julian needed both of his hands free to negotiate back down, though at one point it took them both to keep me upright.) Big steps up were doable; the big steps down were only possible for this short person, with assistance! (Tip: If you choose to do this hike, wear athletic shoes, preferably ones that tie, not slip-ons.)
The best part of our visit to Fond Doux, for me, was walking the paths around the cottages area. Beautiful! Peaceful! The gardens grow all kinds of exotic flowers. They also grow food items, which are prepared and served in their restaurants. Fond Doux takes eco-tourism seriously. Overall, this tour of Fond Doux was an excellent way to regenerate for the coming week.
Superman Falls (also known as Tanzanite Heights Waterfall) is located near the town of Soufriere and next to Morne Coubarile Estate. It is such a beautiful waterfall it was featured in the Superman movie where Superman had to find a flower that was from this waterfall area to save his love. It is a beautiful waterfall where people can wade in the waters and benefit from the mineral-rich waters and the mud from the pool.
The Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens & Waterfall has been a popular attraction since 1983. It includes flowering bushes and shrubs of every type and color that were planted around the existing trees. The tropical climate makes this an all-year-round spectacular attraction. The gardens have been given multiple awards as a beautiful and alluring retreat from the outside world. The Gardens provide a peaceful and serene environment that is able to calm the spirit of those who visit. Its beauty is awe-inspiring.
This six-acre multi-award winning tourism site, is an attractive, alluring and peaceful retreat from the outside world. You will enjoy the beauty and sultry warmth of the tropics while walking through the lush vegetation.
You will also enjoy this breathtaking waterfall and the hot mineral springs that fill the historical baths with age-old medicinal waters.
The Diamond Falls & Botanical Gardens is both a historic and a naturally beautiful site. A haven for birds and insects, which gives one a true nature experience not to be duplicated anywhere within the Caribbean.
Located on the Fond St. Jacques Road (across the valley from Calabash Mountain Villa) is where you will find this beautiful Waterfall and Garden. The waterfall is about 50 feet tall and collects in a wading pool for visitors. So be sure to bring your swimsuit or other appropriate garbs so you can enjoy the pool.
Surrounding the waterfall/pool is a beautiful garden that visitors will find lush and full of tropical plants in a relaxing atmosphere. This easy to find and beautiful site, is one of the more popular such sites in St. Lucia. Other amenities include changing rooms and seating for picnics.
This organization has focused on putting together tours that highlight the Island’s nature, history and culture. The historical attractions include estate tours such as Mamiku Gardens, which focus on beautiful botanical gardens; coastal beauty such as Fond d’Or, the relaxed setting of Balenbouche, and interesting cocoa production as seen at Fond Doux Plantation. The distinctive lifestyles can be seen at Fond Labtisab and Lucian Country Life. Nature tours include Latille waterfall,Tete Paul nature trail with views of Anse des Piton and turtle watching on Grand Anse Beach. Two other very popular tours are The Sulphur Springs, a natural phenomenon of bubbling hot mineral water; and The Gros Piton climb, which is a clear challenge that combines the physical challenge of the climb and the natural beauty of nature found on the mountain.
The Forestry Department controls the lush, fertile, interior of St. Lucia. Any adventures into the interior of the island and forest trips must be accompanied by a guide.The Union Nature Trail is a short walk that also includes a mini-zoo that is great for children; Piton Flora has sections of trees native to the area; Millet bird sanctuary provides a perfect opportunity to see the St. Lucian Parrot; Barre deL’isle offers a diverse botanical species and awesome views; and trails at Edmund’s Forest, Des Cartiers, and En Bas Saus venture into the heart of the rainforests.
This site includes a beautifully designed tropical garden, cultivated around a picturesque waterfall, amidst an intriguing plantation history that includes the 18th century mineral baths.
This adventure offers a fast-paced way to engage the lush greenness of this area and commune with the natural rainforest canopy. You experience a combination of a beautiful gondola ride and the exhilaration of ziplining.
This quaint, hideaway community is found in a turnoff on the way down the Soufriere Hill from the west coast. This small community is virtually untouched by development, making it a perfect look back in time and what many consider to be “a little piece of paradise hidden in the bosom of Soufriere.” There is a two mile road that takes you to the community, but it is not made for two-way traffic. The Bouton Combined School is at the end of the road that brings you there. Two trails, one on each side of the school, lead to pristine beaches on the Caribbean Sea. Wherever you are in Bouton, the twittering birds are the noisiest sounds around.
You can find many exotic fruits (including mangoes), cashew nuts and Soursop in this community. The small population of this community has the side benefit of making the sole primary school there have a low student teacher ratio, which has enhanced instruction at the school. If you visit this community you will see people at home tending to everyday chores, kids playing games and biking, men congregating at the rum shop for a game of dominoes. If you visit Bouton you will see the heart of St. Lucia.
Mountain climbing creates mental images of steep mountains that are extraordinarily hard to climb for most people. Suggesting it is easy would not be honest; but it does not have to be like what you have seen in motion pictures of harrowing mountain climbing. The Pitons (Gros Piton and Petite Piton) are indeed a challenging proposition, but if you are in fairly good shape, you should be able to master the climb. You are advised to get a guide who can show you how to make the climb and assist you with the climb when necessary.
Calabash Mountain Villa has had a lot of guests who took the challenge to "go climb a mountain." We always advise doing the climb with a guide. This picture is of one of our guests who took the challenge with her husband. When it was all over, they were exhilarated that they took the challenge, accomplished the hike, and were very worn out. But the smile of accomplishment did not leave their faces!
All of our guests who have climbed a mountain, have done so with a guide. They are glad they did and we are glad they did. We always recommend doing the climb with a guide!
An awesome setting for a destination wedding in St. Lucia; something many brides to be would love to have. There are many different locations that are just as awesome as this one. For those who are thinking about a destination wedding, St. Lucia is certainly a place to consider.