Saut d'Acomat in Guadeloupe
I must confess that I am somewhat embarrassed to have been so late in writing my articles about Guadeloupe. Today, I want to share with you about a leisurely walk in the municipality of Pointe-Noire, located on the west coast of Basse-Terre: the Saut d’Acomat. It’s a short hike that’s popular with both tourists and locals. While I say “hike,” it’s really more of a walk. Just like the walk to Bassin Bleu, another short and easier walk, Saut d’Acomat allows you to fully immerse yourself in the lush Guadeloupean rainforest without much difficulty.
In my recently published article about the “Bassin des Amours” in Gourbeyre, I won’t be writing lengthy pages about the location, as I usually do. You might assume it’s because I’m significantly delayed with my writing, but in reality, there isn’t much to say.
So, without further ado, here’s a brief story of this walk that I highly recommend to anyone traveling in Guadeloupe. Oh, I almost forgot: you’ll find all the practical advice about the Saut d’Acomat at the end of the article, as usual. However, I’ve taken a different approach by attempting to answer all the questions that people have about the place.
Discovering the Saut d'Acomat in Pointe-Noire
I won’t explain the entire route and all the details here, as I’ll do so in the practical corner at the end of the article. Nonetheless, I want to note that we’ve visited the site twice since moving here, and each time, I still find it to be a pleasant walk. Thus, planning ahead is necessary, especially as it can get quite crowded.
If you take the famous little road that leads from the main leeward coast road to Saut d’Acomat, you’ll find that the road is generally good, but at the end, it becomes quite narrow, and you’ll need to be cautious, particularly when passing someone. In some areas, only one car can pass at a time. Once you arrive, you may park wherever there’s space available along the road. Depending on what time you arrive, it can be quite challenging to find a spot. As a result, I strongly recommend coming as early as possible and avoiding Wednesdays and weekends, and ideally even school holidays (which are basically during the week and during school days, haha).
After parking, we follow the narrow path leading to the entrance of the Saut d’Acomat trail. A sign clearly indicates the entrance, reminding visitors that jumping and diving into the famous waterfall is strictly prohibited due to past accidents. The initial stretch of the trail is a flat and slippery path, which is typical of hikes in Guadeloupe. It’s crucial to watch your step as there are many roots and rocks, and it’s easy to sprain your feet. To the left, we walk along a temporary gully, enjoying the beautiful surroundings of the rainforest.
Each time we passed by, the path was excessively muddy, and it was evident that the area was heavily irrigated. It is advisable to avoid heading downhill immediately after heavy rainfall. After a five-minute walk, the trail drops steeply, and this is where things get serious, haha. The descent is very steep, and you must grip trees and roots to make it down. In case you’re wondering, yes, it can be done with children. We’ve taken our two little ones, aged two and seven, each time. Especially in the last section, which is really steep, don’t hesitate to turn around and go down in reverse. There is even what appears to be a rope at the end. As you descend, take a moment to appreciate the luxuriant vegetation that surrounds you. It’s still as stunning as it is deep in Guadeloupe.
The descent will take you 15 to 20 minutes at most, depending on your ability to walk on this path and your fear of heights. Once you reach the bottom, you’ll find yourself facing the river. You can catch a glimpse of the Saut d’Acomat, approximately 200 meters to your left. When we visited for the second time, it was very crowded due to the time of day – around 11 o’clock in the morning. I strongly recommend coming early in the morning to fully experience the charm of this place. During our second visit, we were lucky enough to spot a small waterfall cascading down a rock formation to our left. I took the opportunity to set up my tripod and capture some stunning long exposure shots. The atmosphere here is truly exceptional, amidst the lush rainforest. It’s still possible to unwind and relax here, despite the chaos of the outside world!
We will now cross the river (so be prepared to get your feet wet) and head upstream towards the waterfall. Walking or wading in the river will lead you to the famous swimming spot, which is not too complicated to reach. It is important to be mindful of the current, which can be quite powerful, depending on the weather conditions. During our second visit, the water appeared much murkier than the first time. The first time we came back, the water was much more beautiful and transparent. There must have been a lot of recent rain. We are here together with Guillaume, Mélanie’s brother, Amélie, his partner, and Nathan, their son, for our second walk. All of them are enjoying this place. Once you find a seat on one of the rocks, you can decide whether to swim in the river or not. The main pool is here, near a ten meters high waterfall. The atmosphere is truly heavenly for me. The plants in the background behind the waterfall add a certain charm.
During our visit, we saw people going canyoning from the top of the falls, which is a popular activity in the region. I haven’t had the opportunity to try it here in Guadeloupe, but after my experience in Tahiti, I would definitely try it again. Melanie and I have been planning to go on a water hike to the Canyons de Grande Plaine, upstream from this waterfall. We have seen some breathtaking pictures of this place. Compared to our previous adventure in Moustique Canyon, this hike is much grander and more impressive. To get the most out of your visit, take some time to swim there, but be mindful of people coming out of the cliffs. If you’re looking for a more peaceful swim, check out the mini pools downstream. On our second walk in the area, I experimented with some long exposures to improve my photography skills.
We walked back down the river, past our starting point, and a little further on to find a place to eat, as we preferred quieter areas. At this juncture, the location is truly magnificent. If you continue, you will discover tiny beaches with blonde sand that are just adorable. Upon our arrival at lunchtime, the whole area was shaded. Please note that there are no huts nearby, but everything is under shade, so no need to worry. We spent two hours in this idyllic spot, away from the crowds who were jumping off the highest points. There is a charming little beach by the river that is ideal for children to swim in, and there are also plenty of trees that offer shade. Take a moment to appreciate the beauty of the surrounding nature, it is always breathtaking! We returned the same way we came, which was much easier than our initial descent.
This marks the end of the short story, and I hope that both the text and photos have inspired you to visit the renowned Acomat jump when you are in Guadeloupe.
As usual, here is all the information you need to know about Saut d’Acomat.
The Essentials of Saut d'Acomat
How to reach Saut d'Acomat?
To visit Saut d’Acomat, you need to travel to Guadeloupe. To explain all the options and what you need to know about getting to Guadeloupe, we have written an article. I won’t go into it here, but be aware that there has been a considerable surge in airfares since the end of the virus pandemic. It is now challenging to find tickets for less than €600 from Paris.
Once you arrive, you will need to consider renting a car. We suggest using the car rental comparison site RentalCars. This site allows you to compare different prices and options.
How to get to Saut d’Acomat depends on where you are arriving from. It takes about an hour to get there from the town of Basse-Terre. The same applies if you are in Gosier, for example, and take the scenic Mamelles road through the Guadeloupe National Park.
Where to stay for your vacation rental?
As expected, the best option depends on your budget as there is something for everyone. The Leeward Coast has become increasingly popular among tourists, and therefore there is a wide range of accommodation options available in the area. Here are three interesting options that I would like to share with you:
- Le Co’T Vert: An exceptional place in the heart of lush vegetation, this well-equipped and maintained gîte is a haven of peace. The hosts are friendly and helpful, making it a truly pleasant experience during your holiday in Guadeloupe.
- JackTavern – Youth Hostel: This small youth hostel has an excellent reputation for its location, cleanliness, friendly and helpful hosts, and good food!
- Ti Plèn Kréol: This place has an excellent reputation and is located in a tropical forest, making it ideal for relaxation and rejuvenation. The typical bungalows offer a magnificent view of the lush nature, and the pool, waterfall, and river are perfect for swimming. Meals are prepared with local produce and served directly in the bungalow, making it perfect for families or couples.
Alternatively, you can check out Booking to see what is available in and around Pointe-Noire.
The must-sees around Saut d'Acomat ?
If you’re looking for things to do around Saut d’Acomat, there are plenty of options to choose from. Here are just a few ideas:
- Discover Parc des Mamelles: While zoos aren’t usually our thing, the stunning surroundings make this park worth a visit. (We still need to write an article about it, haha!)
- Visit Deshaies Botanical Garden: We’ve been there multiple times and absolutely love it.
- Learn about cocoa cultivation and explore a small tropical garden at La Maison du Cacao.
- Check out the highly recommended Côte Sous le Vent house, which we haven’t had the chance to visit yet.
- Malendure Beach is a popular spot for kayaking around the Pigeon Islands and spotting turtles. We recommend arriving at 7am and leaving by 8:30am to beat the crowds. It’s also a great spot for scuba diving.
- Although it’s an hour’s drive away, climbing to the top of the Soufriere volcano is a must if you want to fully experience this beautiful paradise.
Any other information you need?
When is the best time to visit the Saut d'Acomat?
I would recommend visiting during the dry season, between March and May, as it will be less slippery, although the vegetation may be less vibrant.
How long does it take to reach Le Saut?
It takes approximately 15 minutes by car from Pointe-Noire.
Do I require a guide to reach the destination?
No, it is not necessary to have a guide as it is impossible to get lost.
Is Saut d'Acomat accessible for children?
Yes, it is quite easy to do with children, even a baby, but caution should be exercised to avoid slipping.
Is there an entrance fee for the site?
No, like all walks in Guadeloupe, there are no admission fees.
What equipment is necessary to bring to Saut d'Acomat?
No special equipment is required. However, if you wish, you may bring a waterproof backpack or a case for your mobile phone. For photography enthusiasts, a tripod is recommended to take long exposures. We always bring our famous compact expert camera, the Olympus TG-6, on this type of trip.
That’s it, we have come to the end of this article. I hope you enjoyed the pictures and, as mentioned, a visit to the Saut d’Acomat is a must during your stay here. If you enjoy the underwater world, I recommend visiting the Cousteau Reserve.
See you soon,