La Soufriere Volcano - Hiking in St. Vincent
Duration: Half Day
If you fancy a challenge during your holiday in St Vincent and the Grenadines, this three-mile hike to the summit of La Soufriere Volcano is a must. Not only will you be rewarded with spectacular views from the crater’s edge, but the tour itself will give you a glimpse of the island’s diverse flora and fauna. This unforgettable tour will be a holiday highlight for adventure seekers.
Rising 4048 feet above sea level, the majestic La Soufriere Volcano dominates the north of the island of St Vincent with its awe-inspiring natural beauty. The summit is accessible from either the leeward or windward coasts, and each hiking route offers its own unique highlights. The most popular route starts from the Atlantic coastal highway at Rabacca on the Windward coast. This will lead you through the Orange Hill banana and coconut plantation before reaching the clearly marked foot trail at the start of the hike.
From here, you will begin an exhilarating, two and a half hour trek to the top of La Soufriere, stopping to rest on the way at various points such as Jacobs Well. Throughout the walk you are surrounded by beautiful, unspoilt nature as the trail winds through bamboo groves, lush tropical rainforest and evergreen montane thicket, all of which are inhabited by a diverse variety of wildlife. As you approach the summit of the crater you are enveloped by cloud forest, although this disperses at the top to reveal magnificent, panoramic views of the island and coastline.
Arriving at the ash-strewn rim of this awesome crater, you will be amazed by its immensity. An active lava dome is located at its centre, although La Soufriere hasn’t erupted since 1979. If you’re brave, some tours enable you to descend from the rim down into the crater to take a mineral mud bath. A rope stretches all the way down a steep trail to the crater floor if you just want to walk around and explore down there, but this adds a further two hours or so to your hiking experience. Alternatively, you can just walk around the rim to the Leeward side of the island and admire the beauty of the crater and surrounding landscapes from the top.
A good level of fitness is advised for the trip, and good hiking boots or sturdy trainers are essential. It can be cold at the top when the clouds are low, and showers are frequent, so it is also advisable to bring appropriate clothing for changes in temperature and conditions.
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