Scaling la Grande Soufrière

by hopesfrenzy

One of the biggest draws for us staying on Basse-Terre (and frankly choosing Guadeloupe over other Caribbean islands) was being able to hike up la Grande Soufrière, or “big sulphur outlet” — an active volcano, and the highest peak in all of the Lesser Antilles. Yay!

On our second day we drove south again, grabbing breakfast from a local patisserie in Basse Terre (the town), and then drove up the winding roads to a parking lot. The lot was getting very full, but luckily the trail was fairly empty the entire time.

Our day was relatively foggy, which made for some great pictures, but blocked some views. It was amazing just how different the environment became as we got higher up. Very wet and cold! There were many markers along the way detailing explosions from years past. La Grande Faille stood out to us–a rip through the mountain.

At the top, I have no pictures. It was so wet, so windy, so cold and slippery! We practically ran around the top to see if we could see the volcano part itself (we couldn’t in this weather), and then scrambled back down as fast as we could, soaking from the strong mists.

Near the end of the trail sat a blue door placed against a huge rock. Some kind of altar or place of prayer. It felt like a fairy tale from Ireland or something. Mystical and a little creepy.

After our hike, we needed some relaxation, so we continued south to Trois Rivieres and sat on Plage de Grande Anse (different than the northern Plage de Grande-Anse). I played with the crabs in the setting sun. As we lied there, suddenly massive clouds appeared on the horizon. Stéphane jolted up and pushed us out. It was a good thing because it starting pouring minutes after we got on the road.

Hiking with Stéphane
Location: Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe

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