Soufrière is a quarter on the Southwest coast of Saint Lucia in the West Indies. Soufrière was the former capital of Saint Lucia during times of French rule. It is now a small sleepy fishing port with an emerging tourism industry. It boasts several attractions including a "drive-in" volcano, the Diamond Botanical Gardens with waterfall (briefly featured in the Superman II movie) and historic mineral baths, plus the nearby beaches of Anse Chastanet to the north and Malgretout to the south.
The nearby plantation at Anse Mamin formerly Malmaison was at one time owned by Gaspard-Joseph Tascher de La Pagerie father of Josephine de Beauharnais. Although the exact locale of her birth has been the subject of dispute by historians -notable figures such as Henry H Breen, Mayor of Castries and Mme. Darlas Delomel, her childhood friend claim she was born in St Lucia, then baptized at five weeks in Martinique- it is certain that the Empress spent much of her childhood on her father's plantation.
Framing the town to the south are the picturesque Pitons - comprising the Gros Piton and Petit Piton. They rise directly up from the coral reef beds and form part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The region is popular for snorkeling and scuba diving.
- The Pitons: Gros Piton and Petit Piton are two giant volcanic plugs located south of Soufrière and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Sulfur springs: Soufrière is located within the caldera of the dormant Qualibou volcano and the area is geothermally active. Marketed as a drive-through volcano, there are numerous hot springs and fumaroles.
- Soufrière Estate: Also known as Diamond Estate, this is an old colonial estate that is home to a botanical garden, sulphur baths and Diamond Falls.
- Fond Doux Estate: A working plantation where cacao is still processed.
- St Lucia's Rainforest: There are several rainforest trails in the area with spectacular views, abundant wildlife and several waterfalls such as the Enbas Saut Falls.
- Anse Chastanet: A resort with a beautiful beach and there are several trails along the coast.
Piton Valley, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site near Soufrière
Malgretout Beach, looking north towards Soufrière
The Pitons at Soufrière
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- Diamond Botanical Gardens. "Diamond Botanical Gardens".
- Fond Doux Estate. "Fond Doux Estate".
- St Lucia Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Forestry and Fisheries. "Homepage".
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