The St Lucia volcano, also known as Sulphur Springs, is only 10 minutes from Serrana Villa and is said to be the only drive-in volcano in the entire world. The last minor eruption was in the late 1700's and included only steam, rather than magma and ash.
In the 1830's, some 760 tons of sulphur was mined and exported from the volcano. While there are clear signs of activity, including boiling mud and water as well as escaping steam, the volcano is a dormant one.
There are many pots of water in Sulphur Springs that are above the boiling point. Due to minerals such as carbon, magnesium, copper oxide, iron, sulfur, and calcium oxide, the water has many different colors at the surface.
The caldera is believed to be connected to the ocean because there is an increased reaction during a full moon resulting in higher than usual tides. While all of the islands in the eastern Caribbean are linked via a volcanic arc, Sulphur Springs is unique because the water has therapeutic qualities. In fact, you will find that there are many people who bathe there in order to get rid of skin blemishes and other ailments!
Walking around in the crater at Sulphur Springs is now prohibited after one of the area's guides fell into waist-deep boiling water while jumping up and down on the crater. He suffered severe burns from the waist down and new regulations were put into place to protect the safety of the area's visitors.
There is a very strong smell of sulfur that comes out of Sulphur Springs. The aroma is weak during the day, but can grow to be very strong during the St. Lucia nights. While you can smell the volcano from miles away at night, this is actually a good thing. If the smell were to go away, it would be a sign that an eruption was on the horizon!
Sulphur Springs is located in Soufriere. The people of Soufriere take great pride in having the world's only drive-in volcano at their doorsteps. For many people, in fact, this is quite literally true, as there are many people who live right at the perimeter of the craters!