How to reach the start
Take the dual carriageway to Saint Louis, and exit at the Saint Louis town junction. Once you have entered Saint Louis, follow the directions for "Les Makes", very well signposted throughout the route through Saint Louis (if you’ve followed the directions for Cilaos, go three-quarters of the way around the roundabout for the Saint Louis exit and, continuing straight ahead, you’ll easily find the Makes road). Continue along this road, pass through the village of Makes, and continue on the D20 towards La Fenêtre until its terminus (the way to La Fenêtre is indicated all along the road). Park your car in the Fenêtre des Makes car park.
0 km: After admiring the panorama from the Fenêtre des Makes, head towards the antennae on the right. Passing behind the building, the start of the trail is indicated by a sign.
0.3 km: The path zigzags its way downwards and you quickly reach new views of the Cirque of Cilaos.
0.6 km: You quickly arrive at the bottom of the cutting formed by Bras Patates. Benches let you take a break and admire the panorama. A little further on, at junction 1, a path leads off to the right towards Bras Patates. Continue following the trail that runs along the rampart and heads towards Piton Cabris.
0.8 km: You have some extraordinary viewpoints, and beneath your feet you can even see the zigzag route which leads to Cilaos.
1.0 km: You’ve reached Piton Cabris where there’s a shelter. Continue along the trail that runs down the other side of Piton Cabris. It’s a long descent under a forest of cryptomeria.
1.6 km: You arrive at the edge of Bras de Cilaos. Below is the road that goes up towards Cilaos. You can see Le Dimile in the foreground, and further towards the coast, Tampon.
2.0 km: Keep following the route of this trail. A brown path heads off on the right; do not follow it.
2.5 km: Be careful here at junction 2. It’s important you don’t miss it, and turn right. The place is dark under the cryptomerias.
2.8 km: You come out into a clearing at junction 3. To the left, the trail skirts a few huts and then descends towards Les Makes. Turn right towards Bras Patates. Start to walk along the trail above Bras Patates. Bras Patates is to your lower left.
3.3 km: Cross Bras Patates to reach junction 4. Continuing straight ahead, you quickly reach Les Makes forest road. Take the path that goes up to the right. Go up Bras Patates to reach junction 1, at the edge of the rampart of the Cirque of Cilaos. The vegetation is very varied: longoses, arums and fanjans share the undergrowth. Glance upwards from time to time and you’ll see a Papangue skimming over the vegetation, chasing the small rodents in Bras Patates.
4.8 km: Here you are back at this lovely viewpoint over Cirque of Cilaos. Take a break before tackling the ascent to the Fenêtre des Makes.
5.4 km: This climb of almost 200 m isn’t easy at the end of the route, but it takes you back to the Fenêtre des Makes car park.