Climbing a volcano may sound like an extreme adventure, but in the Guadeloupe Islands in the Caribbean, there’s an active volcano that people can actually hike, and it’s an experience that may wow you.
Designated a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1992, the Guadeloupe National Park boasts more than 30 waterfalls and over 250 miles of hiking trails, many suitable for the novice hiker.
We hiked with Laurence Barret, a guide with Vert Intense who has been leading travelers into the rainforest here for over 20 years. Her specialty is hiking the highest peak in the Lesser Antilles, La Soufrière Volcano. For eco-enthusiasts, hiking up to La Soufriere is an exercise for all senses, especially your sense of smell. While at the base you’ll find exotic plants and flowers, higher up the ambience changes to sweeping clouds and the air may smell of sulfur.
It’s rare when La Soufriere’s dome isn’t covered in smoke or gas, though we did get a few windows of clarity, when the views of the dome and the sea were spectacular, only to disappear once again with the sweep of a cloud.
Back down below, enjoy your free spa experience. Bring or wear your bathing suit on this hike in order to take advantage of soaking in La Soufriere’s hot springs.