The drive-in volcano on St Lucia

One of the Windward Islands in the Caribbean, Saint Lucia has rather a chequered history, having been ruled by both the French and the English many times over, so that whilst many of its place names are French, and its official language is English most people speak Creole, which is a cross between French and various African languages.

Saint Lucia is a volcanic island, so is more mountainous than most other Caribbean islands.  The best known landmark on the island is the Pitons, comprised of Gros Piton and Petite Piton, two steep-sided volcanic plugs which rise impressively near the towns of Soufriere and Choiseul on the south western coast of the island.  They are so adored locally that the local beer is named after them.

Near Soufriere is the St Lucia volcano, which forms part of St Lucia Sulphur Springs, and area of intense geothermal activity.

Unlike most volcanos, the crater of this one is very easy to reach.  In fact, it is so accessible that locals proudly proclaim it as the world’s only drive-in volcano. Although there are signs of activity going on, for example the boiling mud, water and steam that emerge from the crater, there is some disagreement about whether or not the St Lucia volcano is dormant, or whether it is getting ready to erupt.

According to some scientists, St Lucia is supposed to erupt in around 100 years and if it does the impact of it would probably wipe out about three quarters of St Lucia. The water here boils at 100 centigrade (212 F)  but the super heated steam is much hotter at 171 C (340 F).

The caldera is believed to be connected to the ocean because of increase reaction during a full moon which causes high tides.

There is a very strong smell of sulphur that comes out of it. The smell is weak during the day but can be very strong at nights. You can smell it for miles away at nights but the locals believe it to be a good thing, for they believe that if the smell goes away, then that would mean that there is going to be a volcanic eruption.

1 comment to The drive-in volcano on St Lucia

  • Lucia attraction that is fun for the whole family is taking a trip to Sulfur Springs to see the world s only drive-in volcano. Plan a day during your to view the sights of the volcano and learn some of the history that goes along with it!

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