This small town was once the capital of St. Lucia when it was under French rule. It is typical of the fishing villages along the St. Lucian coast. Soufriere is a five minute drive along the hillside or a twenty minute walk from LaBagatelle. Available in town are banks (ATM), bakeries, grocery stores, a fish market, restaurants and many shops for buying souvenirs. The town of Soufriere dates back to the 18th century and offers plenty of activities. It is one of the most visited towns on the island as many natural places of interest are located here. These include the Botanical Gardens, Diamond Mineral Falls, Morne Coubaril Estate, Sulphur Springs and the Drive-in volcano. There are also many adventure tours available including private taxi, helicopter, boat and island tours. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soufri%C3%A8re,_Saint_Luci
Anse Chastanet Beach
Anse Chastanet Beach is a black sand beach with crystal clear water. It is a fifteen minute walk or five minute drive from LaBagatelle and is St. Lucia’s top dive center. Boasting views to 100 feet, the swimming area is also highly recommended for snorkeling. An underwater marine reserve is maintained just off the beach and offers amazing views of colorful fish and coral reefs, just 20-30 feet below the surface. Snorkel and dive equipment rentals and dive trips are available to both beginners and experts. Besides swimming and snorkeling, the beach also offers sunbathing, kayaking, sailing, restrooms and spa facilities. The resort offers weekly passes that allow you to use their water sports, tiki huts and lounge chairs. The beachfront restaurant and bar, which offers lunch and dinner, is perfect if you are looking for that laid back Caribbean vibe. Kayaking, mountain biking and hiking trails are available at Anse Mamin Beach which is just a short walk to the north along the beach. www.ansechastanet.com
Sugar Beach (Jalousie Beach)
Sugar Beach (Jalousie Beach) is located at the base of the Petit Piton and boasts the area’s only white sand beach. This beach also has an underwater marine reserve along the base of the Petit Piton that is perfect for snorkelers. Snorkel equipment and chair rentals are available for visitors as well as an excellent dive shop for scuba diving. The beachfront restaurant serves drinks, salads, sandwiches, hamburgers, etc. Sugar Beach is a twenty minute drive from LaBagatelle or a fifteen minute boat ride from Anse Chastanet Beach. http://www.viceroyhotelsandresorts.com/en/sugarbeach/
Sulphur Springs and the Drive In Volcano – This area is a collapsed caldera of an ancient old volcano that stills releases steam and hot air from deep inside the earth’s crust. Considered to be the world’s only drive in volcano, this is a must see. The Sulphur Springs are next door and provide an opportunity to experience the healing powers of a mineral bath.
Diamond Mineral Falls and the Botanical Gardens
Diamond Mineral Falls and the Botanical Gardens are great for those interested in plants, flowers and fauna. Taking a walk through trails of multi colored crotons, lobster heliconas, ixoras, gingers and numerous varieties of palms lead you to the black warm water mineral falls. Bring your swimsuit and you can relax in the warm and cold tubs. http://diamondstlucia.com/
The Petit and Gros Pitons
The Petit and Gros Pitons are the signature symbols of St. Lucia. You can climb the Gros Piton by way of a guided hike that takes about two – three hours each way. Once at the top, the breathtaking views and sense of accomplishment will make the hike well worth it. Plan on leaving early in the morning and returning mid afternoon. The Petit Piton does not have any maintained trails, is for experienced climbers only and a guide is a must. You need to be in good physical condition to attempt these climbs.
St. Lucia National Rain Forest
The St. Lucia National Rain Forest is the best place for hiking, bird watching and viewing of numerous plants species such as exotic ferns, bromeliads and wild orchids. The full rain forest hike is a good two hours, but at the halfway point you are rewarded with a cooling waterfall that beckons you for a refreshing dip. The drive to the rain forest from LaBagatelle Villa is approximately thirty minutes and is an experience not to be missed as you pass through small mountain villages where you see the REAL St. Lucia.
Castries, the capitol of St. Lucia, is also the island’s largest city. It is a town with lots of history including a century old marketplace, a historic English fort and a large bay that serves as port of call for several cruise lines. There are lots of shops at Point Seraphine and the marketplace offers a variety of goods including spices, fruits, hand woven items and wood carvings.
Marigot Bay, the site of the original 1969 Dr. Doolittle movie, is on the west coast of St. Lucia approx. thirty minutes north of Soufriere. A boat ride provides the most scenic trip as you pass small coastal fishing villages and several snorkeling spots. Marigot Bay has a small beach and is one of the island’s most beautiful locations with several restaurants for lunch or dinner.
Scuba Diving and Snorkeling
Scuba Diving and Snorkeling Dive walls, wrecks or the many reefs surrounding the Soufriere Bay area. The sea abounds with a large variety of fish and sea life including turtles. There are marine reserves at Anse Chastanet and Sugar Beach that offer wonderful snorkeling opportunities. A water taxi can also take you along the coastline and the bottom of the Pitons for amore customized tour. Check out http://www.aadivers.com or http://www.scubastlucia.com
Mourne Coubaril Estate and Zipline
Mourne Coubaril Estate and Zipline Enjoy a wonderful tour of this working plantation that includes making sugar cane syrup and producing cocoa as well as offering a Horseback Riding tour and a Waterfall hike. The best adventure is the ziplining course that includes views of Soufriere, the Caribbean and a close up of the Petit Piton.
Fishing, Whale Watching and Sunset Cruise
Fishing, Whale Watching and Sunset Cruise Enjoy a deep sea fishing charter, see dolphins and whales or relax on a romantic sunset cruise with Mystic Man tours. http://www.mysticmantours.com
Mountain Biking Experience
Mountain Biking Experience a variety of biking trails thru the 600 acre plantation at Anse Mamin. The trails are customized for beginners and experienced riders and there is a skills course for learning or just practicing your riding skills. http://www.bikestlucia.com