Carbet Falls: Spectacular waterfalls in Basse-Terre Island
Carbet Falls (Les Chutes du Carbet in French) also known as the “Grand Carbet River” are located in the National Park of Guadeloupe Archipelago, on the lower slopes of La Soufrière volcano. Carbet Falls are considered as the most spectacular waterfalls of the Lesser Antilles. With approximately 400,000 visitors annually, these breathtaking waterfalls are one of the top tourist destinations in Basse-Terre Island. In November 1493, Christopher Colombus headed towards the newly discovered Island and marvelled at the beauty of the falls. He was so impressed by Carbet Falls that he described them in his ship’s log.
Three Falls, three Hiking trails
There are three separate waterfalls set in the tropical rainforest. At the entrance, there is a reception area that collects a small fee up to 2,50€ for adults and 1€ for kids from 3 to 12 years old.
The first cascade
The first cascade which is the highest is 115 metres (377 feet) tall. Situated in Capesterre-Belle-Eau Township, the touch of originality is in the red-orangey coloured stones due to the waterfall. Visitors can reach the cascade by a long, steep trail at an elevation of 900 metres (3000 feet). The source of the Carbet River is located another 2 km (1.2 miles) upstream from the first cascade, at an elevation of 1300 metres (4300 feet). To access the cascade, it will take you around 3 to 4 hours to go and come back to the car park and reception area. The trail leading to the cascade is averagely difficult but it’s worth a try.
The Second cascade
The second cascade is 110 metres (361 feet) high and the most visited due to convenient accessibility. The trail leading to the cascade is very nicely maintained, paved, well designed and effortless even for disable people. Nearby, there are few hot springs. This second fall is the less intimidating, mostly because the stroll from the car park to the cascade is only 20 minutes walk. If you want to experience an easy and quick hike to discover a stunning waterfall, this is the cascade you will need to visit.
The third cascade
The third cascade which is the lowest is 20 metres (66 feet) tall and has the greatest water volume of any waterfall in Guadeloupe Archipelago. The cascade plunges down into a magnificent circular basin where swimming is allowed. You will need between 4 to 5 hours walk to reach the fall as it is the only way. This part of the Guadeloupe National Park has a reputation for being quite challenging. Usually, experienced hikers are the ones who have the courage to get there.
Carbet Falls is a suitable spot for Guadeloupe hiking. Besides, it offers the opportunity to discover a different side of Guadeloupe Archipelago with the National Park. When visiting Basse-Terre Island, don’t miss the beautiful scenery, vegetation and waterfalls of Carbet Falls.