Grande Pointe hike in Trois-Rivières
As I write these few lines, it has been a little over a month since we arrived on the island of Guadeloupe. Our arrival turned out to be a little more complicated than expected, especially because of the lockdown. However, since this Wednesday, we’re allowed to go out 10 km around our house, instead of 5 until now. Our new location on Vieux-Fort and this new limit allow us to go further in the discovery of this beautiful island. After the Cascade du Paradis, we are now taking you on a coastal hike: the Sentier de la Grande Pointe, in the commune of Trois-Rivières.
I don’t go back to work until the beginning of October, so we still have some time to enjoy our days, between beaches (but Louis had an ear infection again) and hikes. We alternate, and that’ s also the diversity of Guadeloupe, and especially the island of Basse-Terre. Even if we will have the opportunity to come there surely afterwards, I also know that the weeks and months to come will be similar, and we will only have the weekends to enjoy this beautiful tropical island.
In order to keep developing the Guadeloupe part of our blog, we started looking for a lot of small walks we can do with our family. That’s when I came across this seaside hike several times, reputed to be one of the most beautiful in Guadeloupe, diversified and varied. So here we are for this hike!
The hike is located in the commune of Trois-Rivières, literally less than 15 minutes from our new home. Just next door, there is the famous Archaeological and Botanical Park of the Graved Rocks (in French “Parc archéologique et botanique des Roches Gravées). We can’t visit it yet since it is closed during Covid time. But as soon as it opens, it’s on our list! Anyway, I’ll tell you right now about this hike, here we go!
Regarding more practical aspects of this hike, I invite you to look at the bottom of the page. In the meantime, here is the story of our hike, in pictures, hoping that it will make you want to discover the place!
If you are looking for another nice spot, I suggest you to visit the Pointe des Châteaux in Grande-Terre during 1 or 2 days.
Grande Pointe hike
I have to admit that two attempts were required to finally go on this hike. We had planned to spend the whole day there because, from a practical point of view, we couldn’t park a second car (which we don’t have anyway) at the end of the hike. I’ll tell you more about it down below, but you’ll have no choice but to come back by the same way you came on the way up. So here we are, parked at the Anse Duquery parking lot, ready to go for a family walk, Teo in the baby carrier and Louis already chasing hermit crabs and looking for sticks. Which goes to show it does not take much to a 5-year-old kid to have fun… We walk a hundred meters on the small road on the right which leads to the departure of the hike. We left for approximately 5 km round trip, and I would say between 4 and 5 hours of walk with the children.
We go down along the dirt road that marks the beginning of this walk. The sun isn’t shining. We directly get into a beautiful, shaded forest which allows us to enjoy some freshness. Even if it is quite early (around 9 am, we could not do better with two children!), it is already hot and humid. At the exit of the forest, we have a view over the sea and the surroundings. I know too well this weather on the sea: the one that clearly announces a heavy rain coming in our direction. I have no doubt that we are going to take a big shower! I tell everyone to turn back quickly in order to avoid being soaked early in the morning. Unfortunately, we are not running fast enough on the way back. The rain is falling in big drops, and we are almost soaked from head to toe, even though we’ve been walking for barely 10 minutes. We try to shelter under the dense and thick vegetation of the sector, but nothing can be done, the rain is way too strong. We end up running on the end of road which leads to the parking lot. There is a shelter on the spot where we can dry and wait for the rain to stop. We waited almost one hour before the beautiful weather comes back to say hi!
We start again for this hike, quietly, on a slippery path. So, be careful! At the end of the forest crossing, we go down towards the sea front. It’s not long, but quite a “pain in the ass” between the roots and the slippery rocks. The path takes us to the seaside, where the waves hit against the rocks and pebbles. Fun fact, there are tons of hermit crabs on the bottom of the descent -which amuses Teo, who had a fingertip ripped off an hour before. The weather is clear, the blue sky appears and offers a beautiful view on the Saintes islands.
We must now cross the mouth of the River la Coulisse. On the land side, we can see a pond with beautiful colors. At this place, there is usually a waterfall flowing, but it is dry during our passage. We cross the gully without too much trouble, trying not to sprain an ankle. Nothing too complicated, and you should walk across without getting your feet wet. The path continues in the shade, in the forest, until the Anse de galets. We can feel the tropical atmosphere and we can observe on our left two ponds of fresh water. We are alone, and we fully enjoy this family moment.
At the end of the Anse des galets, we arrive on the first “attraction” of the path. At the foot of a cold-water spring, we find several rocks on which are carved scenes dating from the Amerindian civilization (before Christopher Columbus). According to several sources, Indians from South America lived at that time on the islands of the Greater and Lesser Antilles, including Guadeloupe. There are several traces of petroglyphs of this kind in Guadeloupe. I have to look deeper into the pre-Columbian history of the island to see what is said. We take pleasure in observing the few rocks engraved at the edge of the source. After some research, the most known would symbolize a woman giving birth in the water. The engravings are remarkably well preserved, while knowing that date back to at least 2000 years, at the time of the Arawaks and Karib Indians. I promise, I will look deeper and read about the history of Guadeloupe and the Lesser Antilles.
We follow our path while taking pleasure in observing the wild side of Anse les Galets. We enjoy a nice weather, and we can perfectly observe the Saintes islands in the background and, behind them, the island of Dominica. According to the explanatory panels we can find not far, we could have observed the vestiges of an ancient sugar factory. We can guess from the landscape that there is something around, but everything is completely covered by vegetation, and it is impossible to observe either the sugar factory or the remains of the water mill.
The path continues in the forest. The walk is really pleasant and alternates between passages on the seaside, in the forest, observation of the remains. It is very diversified! The path leads us to the remains of an old windmill. According to the information, it is the only mill of this type visible on Basse-Terre. It was removed from the vegetation (Ficus citrifolia tree that surrounded it, also known as giant bearded fig) and restored in 2010. This mill, used for crushing sugar cane, was already reported on maps in 1772.
We continue our route, alternating systematically between passages in shaded forest and passages on the seaside. We go along the beautiful Anse Ravabotte, a small pebble beach located at the edge of the path. We keep going until we arrive at the famous gunpowder factory located at the back of the Battery of the Grande Pointe. It is an old building remarkably well preserved, and which was used to store ammunition and powder. Going forward about ten meters, we come face to face with the famous battery. Present, as indicated on the signs, on the King’s maps from 1775, it was a military zone used to control and monitor the passages in the Canal des Saintes. The area has been restored and it is now possible to see two cannons in good condition. From here, the view over the Saintes is superb. On this subject, we wrote a full guide to help you explore the island of Terre-de-Bas in this archipelago.
The trail follows now the rocky coastline exposed to the east winds and the Atlantic Ocean hitting the cliffs. Just look at the direction in which the local trees and shrubs grow! The area is in full sun, so it is better to leave early to avoid the heat. The viewpoints on the surroundings are really beautiful, always with the Saintes in the background and the Dominica in the distance. We cross some fishermen exposed to the strong winds blowing. Notable fact, all the vegetation is really lying down, almost horizontally, since the wind blows so much here. We continue the trail until we reach Anse Grande Ravine, which marks the end of the hike. Always beautiful panoramas in the surroundings! If it was possible for you to leave a second car here, then you are done! As for us, we have no choice but to turn back with the kids and settle in a shady spot at the edge of the windy seaside path. We now have a bite to eat over here.
The trip back will be done without too much difficulty. We change carriers with Melanie since I take Teo in the baby carrier for the return trip. It must be said that the trail does not really present any difficulty, except for the passage of the Coulisse river mouth, at the very beginning. We will take time to rest at the foot of the dry waterfall during our passage. We can observe there a beautiful green turquoise basin in which we can find (I think) small crayfish. I will have to come back around here because we can just go up the axis of the river and discover a series of beautiful basins, perfect for swimming. Further upstream, we can observe a beautiful waterfall of 7m high. Here are the details of this walk (in french).
I’m coming to the end of this walk. I hope you enjoyed it. I leave you now with the practical aspects!
The walk of the Sentier de la Grande Pointe in summary
- Difficulties: No particular difficulty, flat and well maintained trail, beware of the sun on the last part. No need for a hiking guide.
- Duration: 2h30 one way – Count 4h return trip
- Length: 2,7 km (one way) – 5,5 km (if round trip)
- Type: Round trip (or only one way if you leave your car at the end)
- Ideal: Bring a picnic
- Season: Early in the morning, dry season preferred
- What to bring: raincoat, hiking shoes, mosquito repellent
The map below allows you to visualize the path of the “Sentier de la Grande Pointe” that we just talked about. By navigating on the map, you can also see other hikes that we have done or plan to do in Guadeloupe. We also wrote a full page dedicated to hiking in Guadeloupe.
You can also download the GPS route of the Sentier de la Grande Pointe (.gpx) to integrate in your GPS by clicking on the link below:
What to do in the area?
Nearby, there is not so much to do or see. However, I recommend going to the beautiful beach of Grande Anse, about 10 minutes drive from here. In Trois-Rivières, there is also the Parc Archéologique et Botanique des Roches Gravées. I haven’t been there yet as I write these few lines, but it won’t be long before we do!
Here is what you need to know about hiking at the Grande Pointe Trail.
How to get to the Sentier de la Grande Pointe and find your way around?
Even if I say it over and over, you will obviously have to come to the island of Guadeloupe first. From France, the shortest and cheapest flights are from Paris. It is however possible to find good deals from Lyon, Nantes, Marseille, Bordeaux, or Montpellier. Often, there will be a long wait at the airport, or even an airport switching, but it is always possible, even from the provinces, to find flights for less than 400€ round trip. From outside France, you can come from the US, Miami for example. The cheapest flights are here.
We have been using the Skyscanner flight comparison service for more than 10 years to find the cheapest prices when we travel. You will find a comparison of a very large number of travel agencies and airlines. I invite you to look at this link to find the cheapest dates. Several airlines serve the island of Guadeloupe, namely: Corsair, Air France, and Air Caraïbes. If you want to know more, we wrote a full article explaining how to get to Guadeloupe.
Once on the island, you will need to rent a car for your stay.
For this hike, you’ll have to go to the island of Basse-Terre first. The departure of the hike is from a parking lot. It’s not that easy to find it actually, so here is an itinerary if you come from the North or the East. If you come from the West (Basse-Terre or Saint-Claude), here is another one.
If you have a smartphone, I’ll give you some tips that will make your life easier:
- Download the Maps.me app (Android / Apple) which allows you to access maps of Guadeloupe (and the whole world too, huh!) offline. Here is the starting point of the hike (parking) that I saved and that you can open on Maps.me. The hike is also materialized on the app.
- Download the app “Rando Guadeloupe” (Android / Apple) on which you will find many hiking itineraries to do on the island, including the Sentier de la Grande Pointe. As usual, the application works with an internet connection, but you can download the map offline. It is a classic way to discover Guadeloupe,
- Here is also the complete hike on the Wikilocs website.
Where to sleep around the hike?
There are a lot of possibilities to spend the night in the area, and especially in Trois-Rivières. There is something for everyone (Airbnb, villa, hotel, etc.). Here are some ideas:
- BEL Z ‘IGUANE, a beautiful vacation villa on Trois-Rivières, in a very pleasant setting,
- Le Jardin Malanga, a splendid hotel in a dreamlike setting. And it’s just a stone’s throw from our house!
- The Lodge Les Bananes Vertes, a little “Ecolabel” wonder out in the country!
If you live in the area and know of any good lodging recommendations, don’t hesitate to leave a comment.
That’s it, it’s already the end of this walk at the Sentier de la Grande Pointe in Trois-Rivières. We really loved it and we only met few hikers! I hope this little story has made you want to go for a walk. It is really a beautiful walk to do, and the key word would be “varied”. It changes completely from the usual paths in the middle of the rain forest to see rivers or waterfalls. Here, you will discover different landscapes (beaches, rocky cliffs, forest) and you will enjoy discovering the history of the island of Guadeloupe, both recent and ancient. If you have half a day to spend in the area, it is a very good choice in my opinion. It’s great to do with children or a baby.
For your trip to Guadeloupe, if you are in the area, you should go for a walk at the Bassin Bleu. We had such a good time there, a beautiful waterfall in a very beautiful setting, perfect for swimming in a heavenly place. According to us, one of the greats of the island of Basse-Terre.
See you soon,