La Réunion: One of the best hikes in the world – La Chapelle (Cilaos)

After days of waiting, the road to Cilaos got reopened again, and we started our way to the unforgettable “La Chapelle” hike. Even if you are not planning to hike in the area of Cilaos, just driving up there and stay in a hotel with the amazing views and local wine.

As rain was the main factor why the road to Cilaos was closed, we just found out why. A slope has slipped and blocked the main road to Cilaos. For that reason we had to cross the river one time over a bridge that was so tight that our wheels bumped left and right. In order to come back to the other side, the riverbed was diverted for driving through the riverbed. This already was an adventure on its own.

The “La Chapelle” Hike

Name: La Chapelle
Length: ~15 km
Time: ~ 5 hours 
Good to know: hike includes river crossing, walking in deep water and rock climbing (near the Chapelle)

Where to park: Drive the Rue Leconte De Lisle nearly until the end. There is no real parking slot, you have to park the car at the side of the road or park somewhere in Cilaos and walk up to the entry of the hike. 

Tip: bring water shoes or be prepared to get your hiking shoes wet.

Cost: None

Personal opinion: Amazing view’s on the way to the Chapel. The hike was quite challenging and it came with some adventure aspect as well. As we took the hike in march after a cyclone a few days earlier, the water level was quite high, and we found no way into the chapel, but we had a lot of fun trying. 

The pictures show two other hikers who tried to find a way into the Chapelle as well. As the water level was high, they had water until the hips. But there were young and adventures to try to find a way as well. Sadly they only spoke french, and we could not get all what they were saying. Main take away was that they did not find a way into the Chapelle either from the other side.

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