A trip to Guadeloupe must inevitably include a stop in this region. Here, at the Chutes du Carbet site, you combine the volcano indirectly, the falls and the rainforest, three key things to see.
The view of the volcano is not at its best, but to have access to the volcano, it takes 3 hours of brisk walking round trip. So, it’s not for everyone and in addition, it’s conditional on the weather. The volcano is not of the lava type and, therefore, although the eruption is relatively recent, in 1976, there were no natural traces of this event. There are certainly exhausts and places for natural hot baths, but no devastating marks or visible activities to explore other than the fumes.
The waters of the Grand Carbet river tumble down the east wall of the Soufrière volcano in three stages. It is, therefore, 3 separate falls that combine 245 meters (804ft) of total drop. Sulfurous water purifies and clarifies as it descends.
Each of the three falls has particular access and limits. Earthquakes, cyclones and the volcano itself have and can trouble this site. In fact, some facilities and access were greatly affected by the earthquake of 2004 and the torrential rains of 2009.
Near Capesterre-Belle-Eau in the Guadeloupe National Park, even the easiest waterfalls are worth seeing. At the second falls, it is possible to observe the highest one upstream.
The first falls are 115 meters (377ft) high. To get close to it, you just need a little time, 3 hours there and back. Be well-shod because the path is steep and some passages are in the water. Be careful, the rain may cause flash floods and make the course impassable. People had to be rescued by helicopter in August 2022. Be aware that the basin no longer exists following the landslide and rain of 2009. You will find red-orange rocks because of the sulfurous water.
The second falls are the most touristy. At 110 meters (361ft) high, it is a pity that it is no longer possible to swim there. The 2004 earthquake forced the community to close access to the foot of the falls for safety reasons. For a small entrance fee, you can walk through the luxurious rainforest and reach a tiny observation platform. Trails are marked if you want to go further into the forest. Parking is free.
Finally, the third falls are only 20 meters (66ft) high but is the one with the strongest flow of the three. On the other hand, since a landslide, access to these falls has been completely closed.
If you want to explore other areas around, the Grand Étang trail is an option. The family circuit is relatively easy where we find exotic plants in a lush forest. It’s on the path that takes us to the second falls if you’re up for it.
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