DIY-Climbing an Active Volcano: La Soufrière

LA SOUFRIÈRE FAST FACTS:

  • Pronounced as [soo-fryer]
  • La Soufrière is an active volcano known as the highest peak at 1234 m (4049 ft) in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
  • The earliest recorded eruption was in March 26, 1718 and the last one was in April 1979 with no known casualties.
  • The forest’s physical structure and vegetation changes as you go higher.
  • There are three major forest types on Soufrière: Montane Rain Forest, Palm Brake and Elfin Woodland.

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Yup, it’s gonna be foggy up there!

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WHAT TO BRING:
1. A good pair of hiking/ tennis shoes. We passed by a lot of broken shoe soles along the way.
2. 2 to 3L of water per person and some snacks.
3. Sunscreen. I got sunburned even if the trail was covered by trees.
4. Wear dry-fit top and light clothing.
5. Small towel and wet tissue.
6. Backpack. I carried a shoulder bag and it was annoying. I had to shift it between my left and right arm.
7. Camera.

DIY LA SOUFRIÈRE VOLCANO:

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Climbing the La Soufrière Volcano is one of the mainstream activities that you can do in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. It only takes a 45-minute drive from its capital, Kingstown.

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We never expected to go on a hiking trip during our stay in St. Vincent. We were not prepared at all. Our hosts mentioned about their recent adventure to the La Soufrière and we were motivated to try it out considering we are already there. They were nice enough to drive us to its location for a discounted price of 15 US per person, back and forth. We started hiking around 11:00am and followed the well-known Rabacca Trail passing by several bamboo groves, varieties of plants and lava trails.

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Lava trail

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We met several tourists along the way, too. It took us a 2-hour hike going to the peak with a lot of short stops for pictures and water break. We reached the summit around 1:00 PM, but it was already covered with clouds. I didn’t appreciate the view from the top anymore because the clouds were too strong and we need to balance ourselves not to fall.

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View at the peak
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Tired and happy faces from the top before our big day!

It was still a big achievement for us even if everything was white and cold from up there.

Going down took us another 2 hours and a slippery track. We had to pick up some long sticks to help us balance.

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On our way down

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If you are planning to climb the La Soufrière, I suggest that you plan your trip ahead and ask for a tour guide since they know all the important and hidden areas in the volcano.  There was supposed to be a lake near the crater, however, we didn’t have the chance to go there because we can’t see the path anymore.

If you want to DIY like what we did, it’s also not a problem, after all, you just need to follow the trail… And wish for a nice weather! 🙂

Location: St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Opening time: 7:00am to 5:00pm
Entrance fee: FREE

Source:
Wikipedia
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