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The drive-in Soufriere volcano and its sulphurous springs

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Posted on Wed, Nov 12 2014 19:46:59

soufriere volcanoLa Soufriere Sulphur Springs are located on the territory of Saint Lucia, in the vicinity of an ancient Pitons mountains. In the triangle of Petit Piton, Gros Piton and Morne Bonin volcanoes, there is a crater that emits hot steam, bubbling sulphurous mud and mineralized water, thereby forming the famous springs. This location is known as the only “drive-in” volcano it the world – the road to the springs goes right up to and through the crater.

The steam emanating from the springs is saturated with a mixture of iron, calcium oxide, copper oxide, sulphur, carbon and magnesium, which leaves green stains on the surrounding rocks and permeates the air with a pungent smell of rotten eggs.  Although this might sound scary, the molten lava is not a part of this chemical mix and is totally safe. At the springs you walk behind a wooden fence, which would not save your life if the volcano decided to erupt. However, Soufriere volcano is dormant since the late 18th century, unlike its namesake on the island of Montserrat. The wooden fences were constructed because of an incident when a couple of guides fell into the crater.

A few hundred meters down the springs, the water temperature reaches about 45 degrees Celsius, which is a safe temperature to go and take a mud bath. These mud baths are full of minerals and healing properties, which have therapeutic qualities for the skin.

Gallery: The drive-in Soufriere volcano's sulphurous springs

 

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Read more about Saint Lucia off the beaten path

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