hike at les salines


07/08/2024 Off By Nathalie de Beyond the Beach

Discovering Martinique, hiking the Caravelle Peninsula is a classic. But adding a touch of exoticism makes it an entirely different experience! In an essential “Tartane and surroundings” circuit for nature lovers, there’s the Caravelle Peninsula hike. It’s a delightful way to spend a day exploring authentic history in a remarkably unique environment.

The sensual and wild nature characteristic of Martinique showcases its full power here. Amidst the restless murmurs of the Atlantic against the rocks and the serene vegetation that seems to observe this spectacle, marvelous landscapes unfold.


Located in the municipality of La Trinité on the eastern coast of Martinique, 27 kilometers from Fort-de-France, the Caravelle Peninsula is a natural reserve within the Regional Natural Park of Martinique. It serves as a natural divide between the northern Atlantic coast and the southern Atlantic coast of the island.

Yes , It is an elongated landmass stretching 12 kilometers long and approximately 900 meters wide. It originates from the islet of La Caravelle, one of the oldest geological formations in Martinique. The charm of this part of the island lies in its ability to offer a variety of landscapes and biodiversity: lush vegetation, dry forests and savannahs, mangroves, sugar cane fields, and more.

The terrain, though not very high, is quite rugged in places. It’s advisable to avoid the edges of ravines along the cliffs. Several hills, including the highest, Morne Pavillon, rise to 160 meters. The liveliest settlements are Trinité at the entrance and the village of Tartane in the central northern part of the peninsula. There are several restaurants and accommodations welcoming visitors in the area.

Along the way, the history of Château Dubuc unfolds

 For my part, I preferred to start the hike with a visit to Château Dubuc. However, this visit can also mark the end of the hike! The ruins now known as the “remains of Château Dubuc” originally served as the residence of the Dubuc de Rivery family, who hailed from Normandy. Pierre Dubuc, the first of the family, arrived on Martinique island in 1664. He initially cultivated cocoa on the first plots he acquired. Over time, he acquired several more estates to expand his land before passing away in 1708.

The family residences, known as the “habitations de la Caravelle,” were built by Louis Dubuc du Galion. They overlooked a large part of the land. Around the estate, there was a sugar factory, a distillery, a drying room, an animal mill, and later a hospital. The ruins of four slave dungeons visible on the property bear witness to the family’s history of slavery. By the end of the 18th century, the prestigious Dubuc family began to decline. The abandoned buildings fell into ruins by 1825. A guided tour inside the ruins narrates this history intertwined with myths and legends.


From the parking lot of the Château, two routes offer a stroll on the Caravelle Peninsula. You can take the “petit sentier,” a marked trail that takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes to walk. Because it is mostly flat and easy, this trail is ideal for children or elderly people. Along the wooden walkways, you’ll discover mangroves with mangrove vegetation hosting colonies of crabs in a calm and shaded environment.

Much more comprehensive, “le Grand Sentier” offers a magnificent hike, a full loop of the peninsula taking about 3 hours and 30 minutes. Along the marked trail, you’ll discover extraordinary views. This hike requires considerable physical effort, especially uphill. There is little shade and no water available. Despite the rocky path along the cliff (which can be challenging without proper footwear!), the hike is well worth it.

To book a hike at Caravelle Peninsula here

From Château Dubuc to the Caravelle Lighthouse

Upon reaching Pointe Caracoli at the easternmost point, you’ll encounter the ornithological site hosting numerous bird species such as thrushes, swallows, mockingbirds, red-billed tropicbirds, buntings, bridled terns, and more. A pause here is a must, with the bird courtship displays providing a captivating spectacle. Following the directional signs, you can proceed to the weather station. From there, you can reach the Caravelle Lighthouse, standing at an altitude of 120 meters. Operational since 1862, it is the oldest lighthouse still in service in Martinique. It has been automated and uses solar energy. The history of the former lighthouse keepers’ lives is recounted in their old residence nearby.

An aerial view of the entire peninsula unfolds before you, set against a backdrop that once inspired artistic celebrities from around the world. Fifteen meters away, you’ll find the orientation table, offering a commanding panoramic view.

Tartane, taking a well-deserved break

The hike along the Grand Sentier at Caravelle is indeed quite exhausting. After four hours of walking, it’s imperative to take a break and recharge. Tartane, a lively fishing village, is perfect for this. Its well-equipped beaches are ideal for a picnic. After returning from your hike, as the sun has been blazing for some time, I suggest a lunch break.

Choose one of the white sand beaches with turquoise waters around Tartane. Settle down for a picnic. At the bar, order a “ti punch”. Take the opportunity to embark on a culinary journey discovering exquisite local specialties at the restaurant. While waiting for your meal, nothing beats a refreshing swim to clear your mind! The hike concludes by descending back to the Château parking lot where it began. If asked how to make the Caravelle Peninsula hike truly special, you can confidently say it’s the hope of unraveling the infinite mystery of Martinique’s nature that makes this experience so intense!

Book your activities in Martinique now and embark on unforgettable adventures on our paradise island. Contact us for more information and plan your stay with us!

Book your activities in Martinique now and experience unforgettable adventures on our paradise island. Contact us for more information and plan your stay with us!

To book a tour