Caribbean Cascades: La Cascade aux Ecrevisses, Guadeloupe

Though deep in the jungle, this is one waterfall that's easy to reach


You won’t have to lace up the hiking boots to discover Guadeloupe’s favorite waterfall. There is about ten minutes of walking required from a parking area along Route D23, but you’ll follow a well-maintained walkway that’s flip-flop friendly, and once there you’ll find viewing platforms and park-like facilities at the base of the falls. Pull out your French-to-English dictionary and you’ll soon figure out that the lilting title of La Cascade aux Ecrevisses sounds more enticing that the Anglo equivalent: Crawfish Falls. Regardless of the name, the clear pool at the base of the falls provides an opportunity for a cooling dip, or you can simply wade into the steam below and perhaps encounter a few of the waterway’s namesake freshwater crustaceans. The falls are a popular stop on the scenic drive known as Route de la Traversée, which crosses the mountains of Basse-Terre and enters Guadeloupe National Park. The picnic area and pool often fill with local families on the weekends, and on days when mid-day bus tours from the cruise ships pause to disgorge their passengers. Visit at other times, however, and you might just have the basin to yourself.