So our next little excursion was not planned at all! Actually, what we ended up doing was something we wanted to do, just not in the way in which it happened! Let me explain…
Mr. Beanstalk forgot to pack sneakers, which meant he didn’t have any appropriate shoes for our hike up Gros Piton. The hike was something we both really wanted to do (er, attempt), so it was decided…a trip into town to buy some shoes was in order!
At our hotel’s beach there were several little water taxis parked in the water, waiting to take guests anywhere they want, any time of the day! So one morning after breakfast, we found a docked boat and headed into the town of Soufriere.
View of our hotel’s beach from the water
This was supposed to be a quick trip, several hours, just enough time to buy some shoes (and maybe some other souvenirs too). As soon as we got off the dock we were greeted by some locals asking where we were going, what we were doing, etc. Mr. B is super friendly, so we stopped and chatted with them. I have to admit, I’m not as social as Mr. B in these types of situations, I always have my guard up (I’ve seen way too many TV shows where these types of innocent interactions turn into something pretty bad).
One of the gentleman was telling us he runs a tour company called Simon Says Tours. The name sounded familiar to me, but I couldn’t place it. He was telling us we just had to see the Diamond Falls Botanical Garden and drive-in volcano! We told him we planned to do the volcano with our hotel—it was actually a very nice spa excursion that took in the volcano and mineral baths and ended with a massage and lunch (a tour I was really looking forward to!).
Simon, the man we were speaking with, said he could take us on the same tour for a lot less and we’d get to see the garden, plus have time for a little shopping afterward (minus lunch and the massage, of course). I will admit, I didn’t want to. I didn’t know the guy. However, Mr. Beanstalk thought it was a great idea (he’s way more adventurous)! I, being the paranoid one, was a little scared and slightly frazzled. I’m a planner. I like to plan everything out in advance so that I’m well prepared and properly dressed, so taking a tour that we hadn’t planned on doing that day through me for a loop!
Plus the whole situation made me uneasy. Here we were getting into a van, alone, with a man (a very friendly man, but still) and his young son. We didn’t know them at all! Anything cold happen to us!
But as soon, as we buckled up and I looked up at the windshield, my nerves were put at ease. I saw several stickers from TripAdvisor saying “St. Lucia’s Best Tour.” That’s when it dawned on me…the tour name sounded familiar because I had read about the company on TripAdvisor! This made me feel so much better! It not only was a legit tour company with countless vans and boats running under the name, but the owner was our personal tour guide for the day!
I have to say, it ended up being a great tour! It was a little strange because it wasn’t pre-planned, so we had no idea what to expect or where exactly we were going, but we had fun nonetheless! Simon took us to the Diamond Botanical Garden and Mineral Bath, where we were met by a young woman who took us on a private tour of the gardens. We spent quite a bit of time here, snapping pictures and learning about the beautiful local flora and fauna.
The water in the stream was dark gray because it contained sulfur from the nearby volcano.
At the back of the garden we got to explore the mineral baths, which patrons still use. We also got to see the Diamond Waterfall, which is a beautiful waterfall that streams from the volcano. Our tour guide told us that a very famous scene from a Superman movie was filmed at the waterfall, which was interesting even though we’d never seen the movie!
Our tour of the garden was over, but the real fun was just beginning! It was time to check out the famous drive-in volcano! Yes, you heard right…St. Lucia is said to be home to the only volcano in the world that you can actually drive through!
Getting out of the car to do some exploring
Notice our necklaces? Mr. B bought them from a street vendor at the volcano. We actually got quite a few souvenirs this way.
As soon as we got near the volcano, you could smell the sulfur in the air. It was strong! It smelled like rotten eggs. We got out of the van for a few pictures and the smell just got worse!
Next up, the sulfur springs! There were a ton of people here because it is a huge tourist attraction! We stripped off our clothes (we luckily wore swimsuits because we planned to stay at the beach once we returned to our hotel) and got into the “bath.”
The pool was super hot. It felt a little weird getting into a pool of dark liquid that you couldn’t see the bottom of. We then headed out of the bath and started to apply the actual sulfur mud bath. Once we were covered in mud, we baked in the sun for a bit so that we could soak up all of the health benefits from the sulfur.
Then it was back into the pool to rinse off. They had showers too, which we used to get the remaining mud off!
Simon dropped us off back in town, and we had just enough time to do some shopping. We found Mr. B some shoes for our hike and then found our water taxi.
On our way back to the hotel, the driver took us by the bat cave, which was this huge sliver-like cave in the side of a mountain. It was filled with thousands of bats!
Bat cave (left) and view of the Pitons from the boat (right)
The captain and the water taxi we took
I would definitely recommend taking advantage of the water taxis if you ever visit St. Lucia. It is a pretty awesome way to see the island.
Also, a trip to the drive-in volcano and sulfur springs is a must! Do check out Simon Says Tours…it was pretty fun and we paid a fraction of what we would’ve paid had we booked the same type of tour through our hotel! However, be very careful talking to strangers.
Miss a honeymoon recap? Catch up on the Beanstalk honeymoon here: