Pitons du Carbet, Martinique: Uncommon Attraction
Is there any more iconic symbol of Saint Lucia than the Pitons? The famed twin peaks located near the town of Soufriere are so closely linked with the island’s identity that you might think they’re the only such similarly conical natural wonders found anywhere in the Caribbean. That thought, of course, would be wrong. You only have to trek one island up the Caribbean archipelago to experience Martinique’s equally amazing Pitons du Carbet.
Like Gros Piton and Petit Piton in Saint Lucia, the Pitons du Carbet are volcanic spires rising sharply into the clouds. The Martinique pitons, though, are centrally located. You can find them a good 3.5 miles from the Caribbean coast. In this way, they don’t create quite the dramatic seaside setting as their counterparts in Saint Lucia.
They are, however, gorgeous nonetheless. Even better: there’s more of them too! Five to be exact – Lacroix, Piquet, Dumauzé, Alma, and Boucher.
Martinique’s pitons are also taller than those in Saint Lucia. The three shortest Carbet peaks – Dumauzé, Alma, and Boucher – each exceed the tallest of Saint Lucia’s Pitons by 1,000 feet!
When I dream of future trips to Martinique, I dream of this area. In total, the Pitons du Carbet stretch north–south for a good 50 miles! The expanse contains some of the best hiking, climbing, and eco-exploration opportunities in the region. Nearly half of the island’s 31 official hiking trails can be found here. This includes Martinique’s most challenging hike: the Pitons by Way of Morne-Vert trail.
Not sure if I’ll be ready for the five hours of steep climbing, slippery slopes, and gradients in excess of 50% that characterize this particular hike. With all the different trails available among the Pitons du Carbet, though, I’m sure to find at least one to suit me.
If you’ve ever hiked the Pitons du Carbet and have a guide to recommend, let us know in the comments section below…