When I think about Martinique, a beautiful Caribbean island, I can see hills covered by dense greenery. I imagine a jungle hiding wonders such as Didier Waterfall. I also remind tourists swimming in circles in Dufour beach and looking for huge serene turtles. This is how Martinique looks like.
But I would never imagine that on this island I will find such a different landscape. I mean La Savane des Pétrifications, an amazing semi-desert wildlife park in the South of Martinique. This place is very high on my list of best things to do in Martinique. So let’s dive in this other world!
La Savane des Pétrifications – how to get there?
La Savane des Pétrifications is located at the Southern end of Martinique. Just next to the beautiful beach Grande Anse des Salines. It is easy to find the way: you must simply follow the main road until you get to Grande Anse des Salines, and then follow it as far as you can until you will reach a place to park your car.
If you choose to use public transport, there is a bus that goes from Sainte-Anne to Salines. You can also try hitchhiking, which is very effective in Martinique. From the beach, you will be able to get to Savane des Pétrifications just in a few minutes by feet.
Etang des Salines
On your way between Grande Anse des Salines and Savane des Pétrifications, you will find a huge salt lake which is called Etang des Salines. It is also a natural reserve for plenty of animals. Crabs, herons, fish, you can observe there all of them.
On the lake, we can enjoy a walk on a long pier, built especially for tourists and nature lovers. In its center, we can find some informative boards with educative curiosities about local residents and their environment. The pier in this section is covered with a wooden wall, which allows us to hide from the birds’ sight and watch them in their natural surroundings.
La Savane des Pétrifications
Once you will be already satisfied with watching the herons, you can continue your walk until you will reach your destinations – La Savane des Pétrifications.
The journey begins in a forest on the beach, filled with amazing trees and plants. Enjoy this walks in the shadow because soon you will miss it a lot in a while.
The official trail starts with a small yet exciting challenge. We could enter the savannah territory only by crossing the bridge above the stream that flew from Etang des Salines to the sea. But to get to the bridge, we needed to jump on stones. Unfortunately for us, when we came there, the water level was so high, that the stones were almost totally under its surface. So we had no other option than get to the bridge by wanding in the water to the thighs. Thankfully, my sailing shoes are great for this kind of challenges and they get dried shortly after.
Landscapes straight from the western
Once you will cross the bridge, you might start thinking about American westerns. The only thing that is missing in this place is gangs of Indians and cowboys.
The path runs through a constantly changing landscape and gives us new emotions with each step. While approaching the seashore, we discover enormous cliffs which once again show us the power of nature. For me, it was surprising how rocky could be the shores of the Caribbean islands. Before coming to the French Antilles, I expected to see only white wide beaches. I could not be more wrong.
In the middle of La Savane des Pétrifications, we can also enjoy truly cosmic landscapes. Shore cliffs suddenly change from the stone structure into clayey hills. Because of security reasons and unstable ground, it is forbidden to walk on this extraordinary land. But watching it still makes a huge impression.
From dry desert to paradise
Your trip to La Savane des Pétrifications could be short and take you about two hours. But if you enjoy rough landscapes, you can keep continuing walking on the long paths in the reserve. This land offers an impression of being in the middle of nowhere while making a pause to drink some water and look at cactuses which every now and then appear in your way.
I can highly recommend a trip to this place to everyone who would like to experience an unexpected variety during a Caribbean vacation. Only one step and crossing the bridge separates you from divine beaches and terrific adventure.
Have you been to La Savane des Pétrifications already? Did you like it as much as I did? Let me know in a
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Dominika is a founder of Sunday In Wonderland and she recently switched her life to be local independent. She aims to travel the world and admire all of its wonders. She is much focused on sustainable life, self-development and making this world a better place.