Third Carbet Waterfall
|This is the least visited of the 3 different Carbet Falls.
Time: 1.5 hours, round trip to visit the third waterfall;
2.5 hours to both visit the third waterfall and reach the Carbet Falls
picnic area. The third waterfall, seldom visited, is 20 meters high.
You are in Routhiers. The road turns into a macadam road going through a mahogany forest mingled with banana plantings. The road stops at our departure point 3km farther.
Park at the end of the road and take the wide path (which can be muddy) across the edge of a sparse forest containing mahogany, giant philodendrons, and tree ferns.
After 20 minutes, cross an enclosed ravine by angling to the left. Several minutes later you'll encounter a marked crossroads: to the right are the first and second waterfalls; opposite is the third, which you are about to hike to.
Reaching the river takes about 10 minutes. Use special precautions as you descend an uneven area of about 50 meters ravaged by landslides. Halfway down you'll see the waterfall: continuing the descent into the river bed shouldn't pose any difficulty.
Returning to the crossroads, you can either take the 30-minute trek back to your vehicle, or, by going left, continue your hike toward the first or second falls. The second falls are closer; about 1.5 hours away.
If you decide to proceed, the trail goes along the Carbet River for about 15 minutes, then crosses its tributary, the Dauriac. Some 5 minutes later, the trail crosses another tributary, then continues along a small ridge. Afterwards, you'll cross a relatively flat zone where the forest is essentially gum trees and chestnuts, and an occasional yellow mangrove with its famous aerial roots.
Fifteen minutes after crossing the Dauriac River , you'll arrive at the edge of the Carbet and the foot of a very steep climb. During the first 600m of walking, you will ascend 170m. The trail follows the line of the largest slope, then descends and climbs again; 40 minutes later, you're at another marked crossroads. To the right, the trail continues toward the first Carbet waterfall, 1.5 hours away, then moves on to La Soufriere.
To the left, a 10 minute walk brings you to yet another marked crossroads. From this point, you can be back at the picnic and parking area within 15 minutes by turning left and following the zigzag trail after the bridge. Or, you can reach the second--and most spectacular--Carbet waterfall in even less time by taking the right fork.
On this hike you'll see about 20 species of lianas, vines which are large enough even for Tarzan to swing on, one of the most impressive aspects of this tropical forest.