Recently, my husband and I enjoyed a week on the S/V (Sailing Vessel) Mandalay, the sole ship operating in the Sail Windjammer company. The itinerary we chose left from the island of St. Lucia and meandered among several small Caribbean islands before disembarking in Antigua. Rarely on our port stops did we encounter typical tourist traps, but instead came across some of the most beautiful and little-known natural attractions I’ve ever seen.
In touring various lush tropical islands, I decided that the most write-worthy and picturesque parts of the trip were the waterfalls we and experienced the refreshing water. All of the waterfalls featured were found on tours. I highly recommend professional tours of gorgeous tropical islands, unless you are very familiar with where you care to visit.
We started out on St. Lucia, which, in my opinion, is a true gem in the lower Caribbean. Fabulous scenery, a volcano to visit, dipping into a mud bath to make you appear ten years younger and smiling, friendly folks are hallmarks of this beautiful island.
We had a private tour with a local named Cosal, who grew up in St. Lucia and is a true expert on what to see. One of the many places he took us was the Toraille waterfall, near the town of Soufriere. It’s also very close to the semi-active volcano and mud bath… a last chance to wash all the mud off our bodies! The water was a bit bracing, but it was very accessible and for those who venture directly under the waterfall’s spray, they can get a massive shoulder massage!
A towel came in handy and there is a modest fee to enter this area. Outside the entry area you can shop among a few booths that carry local souvenirs and the home-bottled spiced rum that seems to be available across the island.
On the island of Dominica, we signed up for a dedicated waterfall tour. About 15 of boarded a small bus and traveled through the capital city of Roxeau into a rainfall forest area. The first stop was most unique and required a bit of bravery and swimming prowess. We donned “float belts” and stepped into some really chilly water for a swim into a cave-like gorge and to see the waterfall, you must swim to the spot where it empties.
This is the Titou Gorge and as you swim closer to the waterfall, the current can become strong, depending on recent rain. Sure enough, it was not an easy swim to the actual waterfall and I failed to grab hold of the rock walls where the current becomes a problem. Don forged ahead and saw it… I had to rely on fellow explorer’s photos to see all of what I missed. I could hear it, however, and glimpsed its power.
I certainly didn’t miss the next stop on the tour. We visited Trafalger Falls, which consists of a very tall waterfall (the Papa) and a smaller one (the Mama), which had a pool at the bottom. A short walk from where the bus parked led us to a covered area and our first look the two majestic waterfalls.
It was a careful trek over slippery rocks, but I managed to swim around in the pool and frolic in the cool waters. Okay, so much of my “frolic days” are over, but it was an accomplishment to get into the waterfall pool.
My advice? If there is a waterfall nearby, go see it! There are some truly awe-inspiring natural wonders in the world and a Caribbean waterfall ranks in the “must see” category!