La Soufriere St Vincent is an active stratovolcano and the highest peak on the island of St Vincent at nearly 4,100 feet. In a nation comprised of over 30 islands that feature stunning beaches, coral reefs, and lush foliage, La Soufriere volcano is one of the most popular attractions. To hike La Soufriere is an unforgettable experience, and a big reason why a good number of international travelers choose to vacation on this island in the Caribbean. The last recorded eruption of the volcano was in 1979, although there were also eruptions in 1902 and 1971. Nowadays, the La Soufriere volcano and the rainforest trails provide some of the most awe-inspiring experiences in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Those people who wish to hike La Soufriere can plan on a challenging three-mile, two-and-a-half hour hike. It is a physical challenge to be sure, but the big payoff comes in the form of the unparalleled, sweeping vistas of the Grenadines, Atlantic Ocean, and the Caribbean Sea when you achieve your goal at the top. The journey at La Soufriere St Vincent begins with a two-hour trip up the eastern coast of St Vincent through Mesopotamia, Georgetown, and acres of fertile and rich crops of bananas, coconuts, and other tropical delights. The trip up the coastal highway ends at the Orange Hill banana and coconut plantation at Rabacca Farms. From here the real journey begins. You will have two opportunities to rest—at the riverbed as well as Jacobs Well.
The beginning of the hike of La Soufriere St Vincent goes through canopies of bamboo before entering to enchanted rainforest trails. As you meander through the tropical trails, you will witness a wide variety of flora and fauna, including gorgeous flowers, tall trees, waterfalls, and expansive vistas of the rolling hills and sea. Once you are up to almost 4,100 feet, you will be at the lip of the volcano’s crater lake, which is a mile long and 1,500 feet deep. There is a remarkable hiking trail that follows along the southern edge of La Soufriere volcano, taking you across some challenging ridges with even more stunning views. From these amazing vantage points you can witness both coasts of St Vincent, Mt. Richmond, and Georgetown on one side, and the crystal blue Caribbean Sea on the other. You will have time to take out lunch and eat at the top of the volcano and you should be sure to bring along your camera or camcorder to capture the breathtaking footage that you are sure to get, no matter what the weather may be, and it is usually perfect.
When you hike La Soufriere you will want to prepare in several ways. The hike is a challenging one, so as with any strenuous outdoor activities, be sure to bring at least two containers of water. It is highly suggested that you hike La Soufriere with an experienced guide, but should you decide to go it alone, make sure to tell someone where you are and carry a map. The experience is far more enjoyable with the aid of a knowledgeable and experienced guide.
Image: St Vincent & The Grenadines Tourist Office