WATERFALLS OF The Windward Islands

One of the wonderful things about island tours, when you are cruising, is the opportunity to see the real highlights of a country.  This was certainly true for us during our recent stay in St. Lucia.  After visiting Rodney Bay and the northern part of this country, Marigot Bay and the central area, we cruised into Anse des Pitons where we picked up a mooring and spent the evening in the cockpit counting our blessings.  As lovely as St. Lucia is, and it is truly a remarkable country, nothing is quite as splendid as the Pitons – two beautiful green peaks that grace the southern end of this island.

 

After settling in and spending a day snorkeling and visiting Jalousie Plantation, which is always a treat, I decided to hire a guide and visit the waterfalls of southern St. Lucia.  I was in for a real treat, I can tell you that.  A lovely Rasta guide first took me to the Toraille Waterfall and Botanical Gardens located just outside of Soufriere on the eastern side.  Nothing had prepared me for the exquisite beauty of the next few hours.  Casilda (left) and Joseph  Hyppolyce own this lovely piece of property, which has been in their family for generations and is a National Heritage Site.  The waterfall actually passed down through Paulina Diddery, who married Joseph’s father so it was a matriarchal inheritance.

 

Joseph had worked at a waterfall site in Guyana and when he returned to St. Lucia and his families’ land noticed the inland falls there, which you cannot see from the road.  After much expense and excavation the family built trails, with the help of Theodore Porspere and his brother, who work as gardeners on the premises today.  The result is a work of beauty.  Upon entering the gardens there are winding pathways that are beautifully kept and with a splendid array of flowering plants that are native to St. Lucia.  The sound of falling water continues getting nearer as you walk the paths until you come upon a lovely tropical waterfall where swimming is allowed.  I had worn my swimsuit under my clothing and enjoyed a delightful and refreshing dip – it was even better than I had imagined.

 

PITON WATERFALL –

 

The Piton Waterfall is comprised of three separate pools that vary in water temperature from hot to tepid and is most healing for the body.  Owned by the Sylvester Family it offers a lovely hike as well and then a herbal swim that will leave you feeling refreshed and rested.  We visited it next and I found that swimming there was also a treat – of a totally different kind.  I enjoyed my visit with one of the Sylvester brothers, who take turns operating the fall tours, and hearing about the history of the falls.  Fifty years ago, when the now seniors were much younger, the family would go to the falls every weekend for picnics and swimming – most enjoyable family outings.  When the tourist trade started really developing in the Pitons, Euratius Sylvester decided to turn the falls into a National Heritage Site and began developing the area.  He built pools at the bottom of the falls and channeled water into two of them while one is directly beneath the falls itself.  Somehow each of these pools is naturally maintained at a different temperature which is delightful for bathing.  I started off in the really hot pool and worked my way to the waterfall itself, which is the coldest.  Had I been getting ready for bed I would have done the opposite.  Whichever way you choose the result is most beneficial to your health.  

 

My guide then took me back to our boat where I had the best afternoon nap in years.  So please put the waterfalls of Southern St. Lucia on your travel agenda – you’ll be glad you did.

 

 

 

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All At Sea - The Caribbean's Waterfront Magazine

Nancy Terrell -- December 2007 Issue

 

Visit the Southern Waterfalls of St. Lucia

 

There are many magical things to see and enjoy for ARC (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers) participants and other sailors arriving in the Caribbean this winter, with St. Lucia being the perfect starting point.  The island is known for its tropical “Rainforest”, some 1,880 feet above sea level; this vision of green encompasses over 19,000 acres with 29 miles of hiking trails where excellent guides lead you to scenic locales.  

 

St. Lucia’s delicious produce is sold at outdoor markets, ideal for provisioning.  You will also want to purchase local crafts such as hand-woven baskets, seed necklaces and other indigenous crafts woven from climbing foot palms and a local hanging root called “aralie”. The taxi drivers of St. Lucia are knowledgeable and gracious—use them when planning your inland trips.  

 

Blessed by an abundance of water, green foliage and mountains, waterfall settings are picture postcard perfect. On my last cruise to this lovely island I decided to hire a guide and visit two waterfalls in southern St. Lucia.  A knowledgeable Rasta guide first took me to the Toraille Waterfall and Botanical Gardens located just outside of Soufriere.  Nothing had prepared me for the exquisite beauty of the next few hours.  Casilda and Joseph Hyppolyce own this superb piece of property, which has been in their family for generations and is a National Heritage Site.  A matriarchal inheritance, the waterfall actually passed down through Paulina Diddery, who married Joseph’s father.

 

Joseph had worked at a waterfall site in Guyana; when he returned to St. Lucia he noticed the inland falls on his family’s land, not seen from the road.  After much expense and excavation the family built trails with the help of Theodore Porspere and his brother, who now maintain the gardens. The result is a work of natural beauty featuring winding pathways and a splendid array of flowering plants native to the island.  The sounds of cascading streams lend soothing tones as you near the waterfall.  I had worn my swimsuit under my clothing and enjoyed a delightful and refreshing dip, even better than I had imagined.

 

The Piton Waterfall is comprised of three separate pools that vary in water temperature from hot to tepid and is most healing for the body.  Owned by the Sylvester Family, it offers a lovely hike followed by an herbal swim that will leave you feeling refreshed and rested. I enjoyed my visit with one of the Sylvester brothers who told me the history of the falls.  Fifty years ago the family would go to the falls every weekend for picnics and swimming—most enjoyable family outings.  When the tourist trade started really developing in the Pitons, Euratius Sylvester decided to turn the falls into a National Heritage Site and began developing the area.  He built pools at the bottom of the falls and channeled water into them - these pools naturally maintain themselves, each at a different temperature, which is delightful for bathing.  I began in the hot pool and worked my way to the waterfall itself, which is the coldest.  My guide then took me back to our boat where I had the best afternoon nap in years.  

 

So put the southern waterfalls on your St. Lucia agenda – you’ll be glad you did.