Free enamel pin when you buy any two Atlas Obscura products. Shop now.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Owia Salt Pond

Natural Caribbean swimming pool ringed by bizarrely artistic lava rock formations. 

At the north end of the Southern Caribbean island of St. Vincent, near the small fishing town of Owia, is one of the island’s most unique and hidden natural features: Owia Salt Pond. The “pond” itself was formed when lava from the erupting Soufriere volcano met the sea and rapidly cooled, forming a small bowl at the water’s edge.

Waves regularly break over the lava rock that forms the edge of the bowl, keeping the water level of this natural swimming pool high. The lava rock that surrounds the salt pond has been eroded into fantastic shapes by the waves. The entire experience is like swimming in a crystal-clear tropical pool, surrounded by an abstract sculpture garden. There are small cliffs to jump off and deep spots to dive into. Occasionally, fish (and even jellyfish) are washed into the pool by incoming waves.

The government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines has plans to develop the Owia Salt pond as a tourist site, but for now the only development is a staircase leading down to the coast from a small parking lot on a cliff high above.

Know Before You Go

From the capital, Kingstown, travel counter-clockwise on the ring road to the village of Owia. Below the cliffs that surround the village itself, on the coast, you will find the salt pond.

Contributed by
rtfield
Edited by