Welcome to Tartane, in the municipality of Trinité, known for its beaches and surf, fish market and distillery Hardy, created in 1830 and bought by Gaston Hardy in 1905, but especially what interests us today is the hiking of the peninsula of Caravelle.

Itinerary

Take the road towards the town of Robert (A1 then Route N1). Pass the commune of Robert, then direction Trinité then Tartane (follow the sign towards Château Dubuc, Route D2). You will have a little road with views of the ocean that will be pleasant to watch.

Arrived at Tartane, go along the seaside always in the direction of the Castle Dubuc, to finally arrive on a way where you can note that it will be necessary to slow down and roll in the middle of the crevasses and stones which street the way. Do not worry anything very dangerous for you and the car.

 

Go up to the parking lot and park. The parking is wide enough and can accommodate many cars.

Tip: wear a good walking shoes, light clothing, or even sports, a hat or cap.

It is possible to hike the big trail in both directions, starting either by the small path (starting point to the ruins of Château Dubuc) or by the parking as I did (photo below).

I advise you to do it in my direction (photo below) to avoid the hours of big heat at the edge of cliff (area very exposed to the sun). If you decide to do just the little trail, you will be mostly under the trees. This small trail also allows you to access the beach of the Baie du Trésor in 40 minutes. A map is available to guide you near the barrier.

 

The Grand hiking trail of the peninsula of Caravelle

Start of the hike for the big trail

The large path is diversified by its vegetation and its residents that you will meet throughout the hike (endemic species of fauna and flora). This hike will make you travel in different environment (mesophilic and dry forest, mangrove, rocks and cliffs).

The general average time to make the big trail is 3h30 while for the small trail it is 1h30. The route along the big path is 9.8 kilometers.

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The beginning of the big path takes you in a path in the middle of the forest that goes up slightly. Make a first stop and climb on the bench to see hives but especially a first magnificent view of the Atlantic Ocean.

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You can also watch an animated tablet. You will find all along the path and they will allow you to know more about the history of the Caravelle and its surroundings.

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What you should know ……

The Peninsula of Caravelle is part of the ancient arc, which is to say at the geological level you will walk on the oldest lithological layers of Martinique (24 to 18 million years). You will have the opportunity to also browse these lands on the commune of Saint-Anne with the hike of the “Savannah of Petrification”.

The history around the nature reserve of the Peninsula of Caravelle will also allow you to understand what the sugar and coffee activity, at the time of slavery, have resulted in the environment of this nature reserve.

I invite you if you want to deepen the subject of the geological history of Martinique, to visit and see the film presented to the natural science museums of the municipality of Saint-Pierre.

Back to the hike, continue your way to this intersection.

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Go up to see the lighthouse at first before taking the big trail again. The path becomes steeper but the reward at the end is well worth the cost. The view is breathtaking at the top.

Go to the right of the lighthouse by the stairs to arrive on a magnificent panoramic view. An orientation table is available to guide you on the different territories to observe (Pointe du Vauclin, Montagne Pelée, … ..).

I had the opportunity to enjoy a sunset from this panoramic point of view. Click on the link “Sunset of the peninsula of the Caravelle”

 

Click on this link to have a first overview in video of the panorama on our Facebook page.

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I had the opportunity to enjoy a sunset from this panoramic point of view. Click on the linkSunset of the peninsula of the Caravelle”

Go back down from the lighthouse to continue the big path. The path is mainly downhill and takes you to a coastal path. You can hear the sound of the waves as you go down. You arrive at a new intersection; take the path leading to the Caracoli Point that will allow us to walk along the seaside

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Click on this link to have a first overview in video of the panorama on our Facebook page.

Stop after descending a wooden staircase to observe the force of the waves on the cliffs and the vegetation lying in the wind.

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Follow the cliff edge following the instructions and locate the color code for the path of the big path

Click on this link to have a first overview in video of the panorama on our Facebook page.

Do not get too close to the edge of the cliff when you walk.

Safety first !

You will have the opportunity to take a shortcut a little later along the great path to the Pointe Caracoli. Going through the tidal path (shortcut to Château Dubuc), you will arrive more quickly to the Baie du Trésor (see map of the trail). When I passed this intersection, the sign indicating the shortcut had fallen to the ground, you will find it at the bottom of the bush. You will see these two panels.

Path to the shortcut

Way to Caracoli Point

 

Continue on the big path and admire the multitude of rocky landscapes, the dry forest and lying down by the wind (recumbent wood, cactus, …). After 15 minutes of marches, last and big climb towards the Caracoli Point, it will make you climb a rocky road then will make you pass through the vegetation (ravine). At the top, enjoy a new magnificent view of the Atlantic Ocean and the Baie du Trésor.

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Caracoli Point

Click on this link to have a first overview in video of the panorama on our Facebook page.

Continue the hike along the great trail down the Pointe towards the ravine towards the Baie du Trésor. You will gradually join the seaside and a new eco-system of hiking. Take care to observe where you put your feet. The roads will be quite rough (ravines) and strewn with rocks.

 

After 10 to 15 minutes of walk, you will pass in front of a last cove whose beach is made of rocks, to arrive finally in a new environment “The Mangrove” with its fauna and its typical flora.

Here you are at the beginning of the mangrove of Caravelle

Here you are at the beginning (photo below) of the trail in the mangrove. Located on muddy soils of tropical seashore, the mangrove is regularly flooded by tides. Observe the mangroves with these stilt roots, adapted to muddy soils and providing excellent stability and mitigating shoreline erosion.

Stay on the lookout too to look at any land crab that comes out of their burrow, blue, brown, red, yellow, they feed mainly on leaves or fruits. Of course, no catch is allowed in the nature reserve. It is usually caught for making Easter and Whitsun dish.

You can buy especially at the beginning of each market in Martinique in April.

 

You will still see grapes from the Caravelle endemic to the peninsula of Caravelle, a hybrid species between the grape-seaside and the grape-leaf. In general, it is recognizable by its cluster of green fruit and blushes as it matures.

Finally, you can also look for shells or sea urchins, stranded on the trails closest to the coast.

What you need and should know about Mancenilliers ….

The Mancenillier is a tree easily recognizable in the mangrove or tropical coastline because you identify it with red lines painted around the trunk. These trees are identified because they are formidable by their corrosive latex. It is strongly inadvisable to take shelter in case of rain or to eat its fruit. You risk serious burns. Despite its toxicity, it has an important role in fixing loose soil thanks to its roots.

Not to be confused with the Catalpa which has heart-shaped leaves and gives pretty flowers similar to hibiscus.

Let’s go back to the hike, continue your way in the middle of this fauna, an animated tablet will be on your way.

Choose to take the path on the left that will take you to the beach in the middle of this nature reserve

As a reminder, it is possible to reach this beach faster by making this hike in the opposite direction from the entrance of the ruins of Château Dubuc. You can be there in 30 and 40 minutes

Click on this link to have a first overview in video of the panorama on our Facebook page.

Continue on this path that will take you naturally to the beach of the Baie du Trésor. Think about the mask and snorkel because this bathing offers a marine biodiversity quite interesting in the middle of herbarium. The bay is calm and swimming is not dangerous. Only disadvantage, the drop of this beach dives quickly and you will have feet only on the first meters of bathing.

You should also know that the funds of the cove are filled with herbaria and you will not find it pleasant to put your feet in this marine vegetation.

 

After 2h to 2h30 of walk, take advantage to refresh yourself (snorkeling), to make your picnic or have a nap, the place is calm and resting there is pleasant. Click on the photo attached to enjoy a snorkeling video in the Bay of the Treasury to give you a first taste. You will follow the roots of the mangroves to discover marine fauna and flora of the mangrove.

 

Also take care to protect yourself because there are few shaded areas and walkers wanting to take a break quickly take them.

After enjoying the calm of this bay, cross the mangrove to find the path of the great trail.

After a small hill, you will come to an intersection with the path of the small path. Take on your right to go to the ruins of Château Dubuc.

Path to the Mangrove and the Bay of the Treasury

Path to the ruins of Château Dubuc

You can cross there if you want to take a shortcut, avoiding you to go around this mangrove area.

What’s more, you will meet another species of crabs (the crab “my fault” or violinist), it has two claws including a huge that folds all the time giving the impression of a “mea culpa”.

Cross this land and take again the path path easily recognizable by its wooden ramps set up for you avoid market in areas that can quickly become swampy

 

You will walk for a quarter of an hour in the mangrove with many mancenilliers or species of lizard (The anole-pug Caravelle pictured below)

 

Here you are on the small path of the peninsula of Caravelle which makes you discover the mangrove reserve.

 

At the first intersection, follow the path to the ruins of Château Dubuc. As you walk, you will notice around you that the vegetation becomes denser, it will allow you to have an end of hiking in the shade. Many signs will guide you, as well as a color code on the trunks of the trees.

 

You will have to take wooden paths, climb stairs to arrive in less than 15 minutes at the entrance to visit the ruins of Castle Dubuc.

At the end of the hike, you can take a break at the Château Dubuc ruins shop to have a drink or eat an ice cream. Small huts with tables are available. Access to the ruins of the castle is open daily from 9:00 to 16:30 and offers a gift shop and an audio tour.

 

Last straight and last effort, you will have to climb a big slope to return to the parking.

TIPS

Ø Circulation in Martinique:  During the weeks you will encounter many traffic jams from 7 a.m. to 9. 30 a.m. in the industrial and commercial areas. Especially mornings driving from south (Rivière Salée, N5) to the North (Fort-de-France, A1), but also East (Robert , N1) going North , you will find the same traffic jams every evening on the other side from 5 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. Tip, think of the way and time you want to travel in order not to lose time.

Ø Facilities: good pair of hiking shoes or tennis shoes bag with (knife, rain coat, lamp, hats or caps, sun glasses, sun cream and mosquito repellent).

Ø Sanitary conditions:

– Difficulty: 7 out of 10, rhythmic walking with short distances, possible with a baby carrier or with children over 8-10 years (depending on physical condition). The heat can make this hike quite sporty.

– In normal times, always start hiking at the earliest in the morning after you judge what you want to do like me (sunset). The heat during the day during minimal sports activity can become quite stifling. In case of rain, avoid sheltering under the mancenilliers (risk of burns).

 -Go at your own pace and plan how much time you will need depending on your physical condition.

Most importantly, always a bottle of water per person and something to nibble in his bag. With the heat, all fairly physical hikes can be dangerous with fatigue.

     

    Others: you can visit the Castle Dubuc ruins (open every day from 9 am to 4.30 pm, 5 euros per adult, 2 euros per children, 3 euros for seniors and students). Several beaches are easily accessible by returning to Tartane, including Anse l’Etang or Pointe de la Brèche.

    Do not hesitate to post you commentaries or to ask for information on contact@domloisirsetculture.fr.

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    Dom Loisirs et Culture at your service.

    OLIVIER Damien, your humble guide

    The Dom Loisirs and Culture team is committed to raising awareness of the protection of the biodiversity of the overseas departments.


    2 Comments

    La Boucle de Pointe Rouge – Dom Loisirs et Culture · Monday October 15th, 2018 at 01:31 PM

    […] Divers : vous pouvez vous relaxer et vous baigner sur les différentes plages de Tartane ou encore entreprendre la visite du Chateau Dubuc et la randonnée de la Presqu’île de la Caravelle.  […]

    Le Château Dubuc – Dom Loisirs et Culture · Friday September 6th, 2019 at 07:36 AM

    […] Vous pouvez vous orienter vers la randonnée de la Presqu’île de la Caravelle ou des sentiers dans la Mangrove. Vous pouvez également par la même occasion vous baigner dans la […]

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