La Soufriere, a volcano located on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, is home to some amazing treasures. This historic peak is located in the Guadeloupe National Park, south of Bastet on the island of Saint-Martin. Pack your hiking boots, waterproof windbreaker, water bottle and swimming costume and head out on this winding, wet trail.
What can you expect to see at Soufriere volcano?
Five kilometres from St Cloud, the paved King’s Step Trail begins at Ban Jeanne, where you can swim in a heated volcanic terrace pool. A 30-minute walk will take you to the old Savane à Mulets car park. On a clear day, you can enjoy magnificent views of the valley and surrounding islands.
The Soufriere Dome is accessible via the Chemin des Dames and the journey to the top takes 1 hour 15 minutes. On the way back you can take the Chemin de l’Echelle. After this climb, you should be rested and refreshed. Enjoy a refreshing drink and then relax in the beautiful pool of the Bagni Giall Hotel.
What are the best routes for the hike?
Located as high as 1467 metres above sea level, Soufriere has ruled Guadeloupe for thousands of years. According to volcanologists, the volcano last erupted around 1440 and is still active. An eruption around 1976 forced the inhabitants of southern Basse Terre to move for three months.
La Soufrière is located in Saint-Cloud, Guadeloupe. The starting point is the Bains Jaunes car park, where parking has been free since 2004 because of the earthquakes. More recently, the Savane à Mulets car park has been closed to parking.
What is the walk like?
The walk takes a few hours and starts from the Bains Jaunes. You first follow a paved path through dense rainforest to the foot of the Soufrière de Savane à Mourette. The road then becomes more rugged and the vegetation gradually disappears until you reach the summit of the volcano.
On reaching the summit, you can head towards the “hell holes” where gases form signs of volcanic activity fill the area. For your safety, always pay attention to the signals. The Soufriere volcano is the highest peak in the Caribbean Sea in the Lesser Antilles (an archipelago comprising Martinique and the Grenadines).