Cap Bouteille

Walking/pedestrian at Cilaos

  See photos (26)
3.9 km
  • Born 3 million years ago, the ancient volcano created this island, approaching 4000 metres in altitude. Instead of the cirques, there was basalt ground of the same altitude as the present ridges. 300 000 years ago, great geological upheavals occurred. The inside of the volcano contained an immense empty magma chamber. Erosion slowly did its work of undermining the structure, and the central caldera of Piton des Neiges collapsed over 1000 metres, crushing the empty magma chamber. This hike lets you see close up the huge vent and split crater of this ancient volcano.
    Avoid taking this trail in rainy weather, and set off very early to admire the panorama. Some sections on the approach to Cap Bouteille are made very slippery by stones covered with silt, and walking poles will help you stay upright.
  • Difference in height
    733.57 m
  • Equipment
    Gourd, raincoat, hiking shoes, warm clothes, energy food, hat.
  • Documentation
    GPX / KML files allow you to export the trail of your hike to your GPS (or other navigation tool)
How to reach the start
First head for Saint Louis, then Cilaos. This road (the RN 5) is known for its numerous turns and the loop which made it possible to connect the two sections during its construction in 1931. Go through Cilaos and pass the church of Notre Dame des Neiges. After the old Thermal Baths, take the Ilet à Cordes road (D 242) which goes down to the left. Descend the few very tight turns, and after 4 km pass the bridge that spans Bras Rouge. Six hundred metres after this bridge, you’ll see a car park on your left. The trail starts 100 metres further along on the right. Don’t leave your vehicle here over night, and instead use the shuttle bus that connects Cilaos to Ilet à Corde.
0 km : Cap Bouteille 0,1 km : Cap Bouteille 0,2 km : Cap Bouteille 0,3 km : Cap Bouteille 0,3 km : Cap Bouteille 0,6 km : Cap Bouteille 0,8 km : Cap Bouteille 1,0 km : Cap Bouteille 1,2 km : Cap Bouteille 1,4 km : Cap Bouteille 1,7 km : Cap Bouteille 1,9 km : Cap Bouteille 2,4 km : Cap Bouteille 2,7 km : Cap Bouteille 2,8 km : Cap Bouteille 3,1 km : Cap Bouteille 3,5 km : Cap Bouteille
0 km: Leave the D 242 and climb the steps at the beginning of the trail (panel 1). The path climbs rapidly.

0.3 km: You quickly climb and the panorama of the cirque begins to come into view (panel 2).

0.8 km: This climb is quite steep (panel 3) and you reach the eucalyptus marking the end of this first climb (panel 4).

0.9 km: The slope is gentler and you arrive at Ilet des Trois Salazes.

1.6 km: Continue the ascent to the pass with a new climb (panel 6), then arrive at a new gentle slope where there’s a junction (panel 7). Take the trail on the right, signposted Cap Bouteille; straight on, the trail goes to Col du Taïbit.

2.4 km: From the junction, the trail is relatively flat and you pass by an old ruined hut.

2.8 km: For 200 metres, you struggle up a damp trail with a few slippery sections, then you cross a small ravine.

3.1 km: The last climb is over.

3.8 km: You reach Cap Bouteille. Take a few moments to admire this vent (panel 8), nearly 1400 metres high.
734 meters of difference in height
  • Start altitude : 1256 m
  • End altitude : 1923 m
  • Maximum altitude : 1942 m
  • Minimum altitude : 1256 m
  • Total positive elevation : 734 m
  • Total negative elevation : -67 m
  • Max positive elevation : 184 m
  • Min positive elevation : -22 m