NORTH: Mountains, Rivers, Mother Nature and History

 

Mount Pelée (1.397m) dominates the North which is bordered in the centre by the 5 Pitons of the Carbet each at ~1.000m with their rainforests. It is on the active volcanic fault of the Caribbean which includes Montserrat, the western part of Guadeloupe, Dominica, the southwest of St. Lucia and the north of St. Vincent. The east and south of the island are on the older Caribbean fault that is well eroded today as revealed by the islands and reefs on the coast and the magnificent beaches of fine white sand in the south.  

The area allows access to the rainforest via superb infrastructure; hiking; walking and climbing to a waterfall coming off Mt Pelé; buggy riding on the mountainside; and rum tasting. The Depaz cane crushing & rum factory is in operation from approximately the beginning of February to June – it is well presented, and you can freely walk very close to the impressive sugar cane crushing rollers all driven by a 100-year-old steam driven fly wheel. There is also the plantation home that was rebuilt by the only member of the Depaz family who survived the 1902 explosion because he was studying in Paris at the time. 

St. Pierre: We brought this fascinating place that "was" back to life with the help of an archeologist and a leading historian. Mt Pelée exploded in 1902 wiping out the entire population of St Pierre and most of the elite and economy of Martinique. The study of this explosion lead to the recognition of explosive “grey” volcanoes versus “red” ones that produce impressive lava flows which became the basis of modern vulcanology. The explosion of Mt Pelée is a smaller version of what occurred at Mt Vesuvius which buried Pompeii in year 79. 

For a detailed presentation on St. Pierre, its origins and why it was so famous in the Caribbean View the full pdf of our St Pierre tourist guide by clicking on this link.

Habitation Céron: A very interesting private plantation offering a bubble away from it all in its luxurious tropical forest & garden. The huge Zaman trees are 3 centuries old. The old plantation home can be privatized offering delicious local dishes using produce of her garden and of others in Martinique. Horseback riding through the garden is all part of the memories that you can keep. It is an experience of a beautiful symbiosis of man and his environment. 

Anse Latouche & Zoo: Set in a beautifully manicured garden, it is an excellent example of a plantation home with its diversified products with its management of water flows and the sophistication of the engineering structures that survival required in the 18th and 19th centuries in these islands. Since 2014, a zoo of South American fauna has been very well integrated into the ruins. It was founded by an "official Corsair” of the early days who later became “a not so official pirate"; indeed, there is a pirate museum is at the end of the visit. 

Diving: In St. Pierre it is primarily for specialists as the most interesting wreck from the Mt Pelée explosion is at 50m. There are also some dives at 20m near Precheur but these are considered more technical dives due to the lack of luminosity (black sand from the volcanic activity). 

Beaches: All along the coast the beaches are of grey sand due to the volcanic activity. There is a large relatively uncrowded black/grey sand beach along the coast south of St. Pierre leading to Le Carbet. The anchorage is easy with the majestic ensemble of the 5 pitons on one side and Mt Pelé on the other. Several fun beach restaurants and bars in Le Carbet.

Tours: & restaurants: Contact Douglas Yacht Services


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