Chasing waterfalls in Martinique doesn’t always require careful planning. Long, arduous treks aren’t always a must either. Sometimes, as is the case with the Cascade du Saut Gendarme, all you have to do is pull over and park at the side of the road. Next, grab your towel, and head down a set of sturdy, well-kept stairs. You descend down into a gully carved out over the centuries by a slight, yet steady stream. Follow the path across the bridge. Traverse a few rocks and voila! You’re at the spot pictured above!
The Saut Gendarme Waterfall is around 32 feet high. The force of the water cascading down on my head wasn’t too strong when I visited last July. I could see, though, how it would be unadvisable to stand here after a heavy rain.
Swimming is actually prohibited here, according to other sources I’ve read. The scores of other visitors at Saut Gendarme during our visit, though, didn’t seem to be aware of (or care about) this either. This speaks to what’s great and not so great about this attraction.
CON: The convenient roadside location of the Cascade Saut Gendarme ensures that you’ll always find a crowd here. Total seclusion? Yeah, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
PRO: The people we met here were all very chill and nice. Everyone took turns enjoying private photo-ops beneath the waterfall. So, while you can’t have Saut Gendarme all to yourself, you can sure make it look like you did.
How to Find Saut Gendarme
La Cascade du Saut Gendarme is located in the wilds of northern Martinique along Route D1. It’s a convenient stop for those taking the scenic route through the rainforest from Fort-de-France to Saint-Pierre along the famed Route de la Trace (Route N3). A small parking area astride the road and lots of signs (and people) ensure that you can’t miss it.