Colorful Diamond Waterfall is the highlight of St. Lucia’s Diamond Botanical Gardens. Other attractions in the gardens include a signed nature trail and mineral pools for soaking away pains and stress.
The gardens are on the historical Soufrière Estate which was given to Philippe Devaux in 1713 by French King Louis XIV. Devaux developed his 2,000-acre land grant into a thriving sugar plantation. In 1784 King Louis XVI built mineral baths on the plantation as therapeutic soaking pools for the French military troops that were stationed there.
Today the estate is a major heritage site and popular tourist attraction. The Botanical Gardens sit in a natural gorge created by the collapsed crater known as “the drive-in volcano.” A groomed path leads through the lush, shaded garden to Diamond Waterfall and the mineral baths. The waterfall contains a mix of volcanic minerals that create a multihued cascade as it tumbles through lush foliage and over a 55 ft/17 m rock face.
The original baths have been restored and three additional pools have been added. Locals and many visitors claim the warm-to-hot water helps soothe the pain of sore muscles and chronic arthritis. You can use the changing rooms and pay a fee ($) to steep in the communal pool. A slightly higher fee allows you to soak in one of the private pools.