St. Lucia is best known for a handful of natural wonders, from the twin peaks, crystal blue waters, naturally heated falls, and of course, the world’s only walk-in volcano. Located in the south of the island is the Sulfur Springs, a derivative of the dormant volcano. Comprised of several hot springs, St. Lucia offers the only mud bath in the West Indies.
I grew to admire this natural phenomenon only in my teenage years. Getting slightly too personal, I suffered from a severe allergy to sulfur as a child. Consequently, I missed out until I was old enough to irresponsibly experiment, ill-prepared (of course). Thankfully, my allergies adjusted as I aged, which established the beginning of reaping the skincare advantages of sulfur and allowing my body to be fully submerged.
I’ve been to the Sulfur Springs dozens of times following my realization that my body would respond in the same way that the typical individuals would. Regardless, this time around was a bit different for two reasons. First, we usually take the boat to the south of the island and navigate from there, and two, this was my first time being there with just my younger sisters. As mentioned previously, this was my first time driving on the island. Though I tend to be hyper-aware and recalled the entry to the springs, the twists and turns directly before the entrance seemed foreign. Of course, the pungent odor of hard-boiled eggs assured me that we were moving in the right direction. We made it.
So, one thing about me, I’m consistently late. No matter what, you can count on me being late. It’s been my New Year’s resolution for a decade, and I’ll work on it again in 2022. ANYWAYS, every Lucian knows that if you’re going to Sulfur Springs, you must go as early as possible. Leaving from the north and having an hour’s drive to Soufrière, we needed to leave quite early to get there. It isn’t advised to be at Sulfur Springs while the sun is out or while it’s been out for an extended period, as the sun heats the mud baths that are already at boiling temperature. Besides, it isn’t nearly as congested since locals bring tourists to visit in the afternoon. For instance, when my mom accompanies my grandmother, they leave the north at roughly 4 am to be there by 5 am. Somehow they always seem to depart earlier, but you get the point. Fully aware, I brought my sisters around 2 pm. Chile, we all knew better. In my defense, we stopped along the way, I got lost, and may or may not have driven in the wrong direction on a one-way street. We were on our own time, so it did not really matter too much.
We arrived in the early afternoon to packed springs and a surprise to the surge of ticket prices for entrance to the volcano. Although we received the local discount, it still was so much more expensive than the years prior, the Covid effect. After making our way down, we had difficulty locating a secure spot for our belongings and an area to bathe in the mud. Minivans offloading groups of visitors filled the space, growing as our time progressed.
Our bodies took longer to acclimate to the heat of the sulfur as it spent hours being heated by the rays of the sun. The four of us got comfortable and found our groove, the relaxing effect set in. We discovered our corner and were not phased by the dozens of people populating the environment. After our bodies got accustomed to the high temperature, we moved to the pails of mud to coat our skin. The locations were not challenging to discover as they were heavily surrounded. As usual, my sisters and I made a friend. Thankfully for us, this friend was also a staff member who provided us with private buckets of both types of mud. We applied the light-colored mud first, as instructed. I relished in my sisters blanketing my problem skin with elements that always kickstart a period of good skin. We shortly followed up with the dark sulfur, then allowed our bodies to marinate and entirely absorb the benefits of the substance. Our bodies dried before we visited the various pools. We then utilized them to remove the artwork from our skin.
We did not stay much longer. The time and memories were valued, but we soon began to feel ill. I’m uncertain if this occurred because of heat exhaustion, rapid temperature changes, or possible empty stomachs. Either way, we unanimously agreed that it was time to go. We exited at the ideal time, considering a rush of individuals were swarming the site on our way out.
Sulphur Springs is an extraordinary adventure that should not be neglected on a trip to the Helen of the West. I strongly recommend visiting as early in the morning as possible on a full stomach, allowing your skin to reap the benefits without any time constraints or fighting for the demand of the mud. An easy 10/10.