Morne Coubaril Sugar Mill Tour - St Lucia Colonial Past
Duration: Half Day
Most visitors book a holiday in St Lucia to enjoy the sun, sea and breathtaking natural beauty of the Caribbean, but for those who want to delve into the island’s history, a wealth of fascinating heritage and cultural sites are just waiting to be explored. This excursion will give you a glimpse of St Lucia’s rich colonial past as we take a tour of the early 18th century Morne Coubaril Estate in the picturesque town of Soufriere
Dating back to 1713, Morne Coubaril Estate was the first major estate to be established in St Lucia. The 250-acre working plantation is set within 2000 acres of land that was given to the Deveaux family by French King Louis XIV at this time. Today the estate mainly harvests crops such as cocoa, manioc and copra (dried coconut), although cotton, coffee and sugarcane have all been produced here in the past, depending on what was needed economically. There are also many different types of fruits growing on the plantation, including pineapple, guava, papaya and breadfruit, as well as vegetables such as potatoes and dasheen.
A 90-minute tour of the estate will enable you to step back in time and learn all about 18th century plantation life whilst experiencing traditional agricultural methods first hand. Your knowledgeable guide will show you how coconuts are opened, roasted and turned into copra before being processed into everyday items such as soap, sun tan lotion and cooking oil, and how cocoa is fermented, dried on racks in the sun and crushed into powder to make cocoa sticks before being made into chocolate. These fascinating traditional methods will help you understand the origins and processes behind many of your household items.
Morne Coubaril Estate also houses a restaurant, museum and a reconstructed West Indian Village, which is made entirely from wood and surrounded by beautiful tropical vegetation. Here you can see traditional houses of the Carib Indians and African slaves who worked on the plantation years ago. You will also be able to take a walk along a track that was originally built for mule-carts used on the estate, and this will lead you to a 19th century animal mill which is still used to crush sugarcane today.
Various activities such as horseback riding, jeep tours and organized hikes to the nearby Coubaril Falls are also available for visitors, although advance booking is recommended. Not to be missed, Morne Coubaril Estate offers a fascinating authentic experience for the whole family to enjoy.
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