Morne Trois Pitons National Park

Hiking Trail in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park

The Morne Trois Pitions National Park is in Dominica. The park is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Understand

The name of the park translates to "Mountains of Three Peaks". In the park you find unspoiled forest hard to access. The park is most famous for the Valley of Desolation with its geysers and mud lakes. However, there's much more than that in the park — including water falls and lakes with crystal clear water.

History

The national park was just a forest area in 1940, since 1952 a forest reserve and since 1975 a national park — the first one on Dominica. In 1997 UNESCO declared the park a world heritage site. Today Morne Trois Pitons comprises an area of 6800 hectares, six signposted hiking paths complete with with picnic sites and rain covers.

Landscape

There are four former volcanoes in the park. Morne Trois Pitons itself has a height of 1532m. From its peak the distance to the sea is about 8km. Morne Watt reaches a height of 1317m, Morne Anglais 1207m and Morne Macaque 1120m.

Climate

The dry period from March to May is the best time to visit the park.

Get around

You can hike to the peaks of the former volcanoes along narrow paths, however you should always go with a guide. To ascend the Morne Trois Pitons, three hours in each direction is required. To get from Wotten Waven to the summit of Morne Watt, expect four hours in each direction. To get to the peak of Morne Anglais, starting from the village of Giraudel you will be at the summit in two hours, to get back it takes another two hours.

There's a funicular called Dominica Rainforest Aerial Tram, operated by the company Rainforest Sky Rides, giving passengers a great view of Trois Pitons. The station is near Titou. The 22 gondolas have eight seats each and ascend the Titou Canyon with views of the Breakfast river. There is a guide on board telling passengers about the vegetation below. A ride takes 70 minutes, but you will also have the option to stop mid-way and walk across the river along a suspension bridge — not for those afraid of high places. On the downside, the aerial tram only operates on days when cruise ships dock in Roseau. Titou Gorge is also the starting point for the path to the Boiling Lake (again, a qualified guide is required).

See

Boiling Lake
Emerald Pool
Boeri Lake

Stay safe

Signage on paths are often non-existent, so it's easy to get lost if you're on your own. Moreover, at just 15° above the Equator, the sun sets earlier that you might expect. It's therefore safest to hike with a qualified guide rather than on your own. You will find guides at the cable car station, but freelance guides tend to have a lot lower rates.

Ken's Hinterland Adventure Tours is a guide company at the higher end of the price spectrum.

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, December 13, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.