Where To Go
When To Go
Where To Stay
What It Costs
What To Do
What To Pack
Flora & Fauna
Follow the green trail to la Porte de l'Enfer (Hell's Gate) on your left. To some, this rock resembles a tall silhouette of the devil. Others call it "la guenon" ("she-monkey" or "ugly woman").
Beyond is another vast basin of earth and stones. Before 1976 it was so rich in plants it was called l'Herminier Garden," named after a doctor and man of science living in Guadeloupe during the 1800s. The once-beautiful garden is now only a wasteland.
Some 10 meters after Hell's Gate is a natural bridge crossing the great north-south fault you followed at the beginning of the ascent.
On your left, Dupuy Pit is filled with water and sludge from the last eruption. On your right is Tarissan Pit, so deep no one is certain what's at the bottom. Tarissan Pit will bathe you in sulphur fumes some days.
After the natural bridge, turn right and follow the looping trail to the south. On your left is Piton Napoleon, with many fumeroles. The side of this peak is also covered with a thick coat of sludge.
After climbing a little hill and bearing left, you'll approach the south crater at the extreme edge of the plateau. This cauldron bubbling with thick vapors may be invisible in foggy weather, but the odor is unmistakable and you're bound to feel its radiating heat.
Descending toward the southeast along the edge of the cone you'll have an excellent view over Ladder Hill (Col de l'Echelle) 200 meters below, and over la Citerne, the volcano with the well-known classic cone.
For the return, you can either retrace your steps to reach the fork near the natural bridge, or reach the same destination by continuing toward the north, keeping Napoleon Crater on your right.
At the fork, keep the Tarissan and Dupuy Pits on your left and continue in a northerly direction along the Great Fault. On the right you will notice a little lake of dried mud surrounded by pathetic shrubs burned by the gas.
A little farther, still on the right, vegetation is mostly mountain pineapples. You'll also find the Sanner Trail, which tumbles down toward the springs of Carbet. Continue retracing your ascent to rejoin the main trail near the North Fault.