Uncommon Attraction: Martinique’s Pitons du Carbet
Is there any more iconic symbol of St. 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 St. Lucia, the Pitons du Carbet are volcanic spires rising sharply into the clouds. The Martinique pitons are centrally located, though; a good 3.5 miles from the Caribbean coast, so they don’t create quite the dramatic seaside setting as their counterparts in St. Lucia.
Still, they are gorgeous nonetheless, and there’s more of them too! Five to be exact – Lacroix, Piquet, Dumauzé, Alma and Boucher.
They’re also taller. The three shortest Carbet peaks – Dumauzé, Alma and Boucher – each exceed the tallest of St. Lucia’s Pitons by 1,000 feet!
When I dream of my next trip to Martinique, and the opportunity I hope I’ll have to do some adventuring, I dream of this area. In total, the Pitons du Carbet stretch north-to-south for a good 50 miles, offering 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, including the Pitons by Way of Morne-Vert trail said to be the toughest Martinique has to offer.
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, but with all the different trails available in the Pitons du Carbet, 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…