Roche Plate - Cayenne

Walking/pedestrian at La Possession

  See photos (41)
7.1 km
3h 5min
  • Many still remember the story of Angelo Thiburce that they’ve seen on TV. Angelo Thiburce was the Mafate postman from 1965 to 2001, when he retired, who would go to Mafate on Monday mornings and begin his delivery route via Cayenne, Grand Place and Grand Place les Hauts, then go back down to sleep at his aunt's house in Cayenne. Every Tuesday he left Cayenne to continue his round to Les Lataniers, then Les Orangers and finally, Roche Plate. At the end of the day, he took the ‘Postman’s’ path from Roche Plate back to Cayenne where he slept at his aunt's. On Wednesdays, it was the turn of Ilet à Bourse, Ilet à Malheur and Aurère, then on Thursdays, after delivering up at Grand Place les Hauts, he returned to the post office at La Possession. The 'Postman’s' path became impassable between Roche Plate and Ravine du Bronchard, and was then permanently closed by the ONF, which laid out a new path between the cemetery of Roche Plate and the ravine of Roche Plate. Thanks to funding from the Regional Council, work got underway and the new trail, called the 'Dacerle Trail', was opened in October 2008. From Roche Plate, it first takes the path from the cemetery of Roche Plate. The work carried out by the ONF then means you can reach Roche Plate ravine safely. The last part follows the old 'Postman’s path' between Roche Plate ravine and Cayenne via the ford of Roche Plate ravine and Roche Ancrée.
    This trail is a wonder in the heart of Mafate. After passing below Le Bronchard, the views of Roche Plate, the Maïdo rampart and Piton Roche Plate are breathtaking. Then comes the descent to Roche Plate ravine and the climb to the crest and a new panoramic view of Roche Ancrée and the rampart of Grand Place les Hauts. The site of Roche Ancrée, where peace and solitude reign, is really beautiful with several pools to bathe in. The long passage overhanging the gorge of Rivière des Galets to Cayenne is equally majestic and worth the detour in itself. In summary, this is an extraordinary hike that you’ll never get tired of.
  • Difference in height
    472.02 m
  • Equipment
    Gourd, hiking shoes, raincoat, energy food, sunscreen, bandages, hat, detailed maps, camera, paracetamol.
  • 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
Rendez-vous at Roche Plate.
0 km : Roche Plate - Cayenne 0,2 km : Roche Plate - Cayenne 0,6 km : Roche Plate - Cayenne 0,9 km : Roche Plate - Cayenne 1,1 km : Roche Plate - Cayenne 1,2 km : Roche Plate - Cayenne 1,5 km : Roche Plate - Cayenne 1,6 km : Roche Plate - Cayenne 1,9 km : Roche Plate - Cayenne 2,1 km : Roche Plate - Cayenne 2,3 km : Roche Plate - Cayenne 2,5 km : Roche Plate - Cayenne 2,8 km : Roche Plate - Cayenne 2,9 km : Roche Plate - Cayenne 3,1 km : Roche Plate - Cayenne 3,2 km : Roche Plate - Cayenne 3,3 km : Roche Plate - Cayenne 3,5 km : Roche Plate - Cayenne 3,6 km : Roche Plate - Cayenne 3,8 km : Roche Plate - Cayenne 4,0 km : Roche Plate - Cayenne 4,3 km : Roche Plate - Cayenne 4,4 km : Roche Plate - Cayenne 4,6 km : Roche Plate - Cayenne 4,8 km : Roche Plate - Cayenne 4,8 km : Roche Plate - Cayenne 4,9 km : Roche Plate - Cayenne 4,9 km : Roche Plate - Cayenne 5,0 km : Roche Plate - Cayenne 5,3 km : Roche Plate - Cayenne 5,6 km : Roche Plate - Cayenne 5,6 km : Roche Plate - Cayenne 6,0 km : Roche Plate - Cayenne 6,1 km : Roche Plate - Cayenne 6,6 km : Roche Plate - Cayenne 6,8 km : Roche Plate - Cayenne 6,8 km : Roche Plate - Cayenne
0 km - From the gîte (panel 1), head south, and arrive at the Trois Roches junction (panel 2). Continue straight ahead.

0.9 km - Continue straight ahead at the church junction (panel 3). After crossing Roche Plate les Hauts (panel 4), you arrive at the junction for the shortcut to Trois Roche (panel 5). Traces of the old Postman’s path at this point have disappeared and you continue straight ahead.

1.2 km - You arrive at the junction (panel 6) with the Dacerle path and the La Nouvelle, Col du Bronchard path. Take the Dacerle path which goes down to the left.

1.9 km - After passing along the flank of Bronchard and crossing the Bronchard ravine (panel 7), pass the white tank (before panel 8) and then head down and pass next to the cemetery of Roche Plate (panel 9, cemetery on the right).

2.1 km - The descent gets steeper (panel 10), then makes a right hairpin (panel 11) and the descent resumes (panel 12).

2.4 km - You climb slightly to pass close to Piton Roche Plate (panel 13), then follow the right bank above Roche Plate ravine.

2.7 km - This descent on the right bank of Roche Plate ravine (panel 14) brings you to the first ford of the ravine (panel 15). Follow the white marking and pass over to the left bank of Roche Plate ravine.

3.5 km - Continue the descent which has become less steep with the ridge that separates you from Roche Ancrée (panels 16 and 17) facing you. After a few zigzags, you arrive at the junction for Ilet à Cordes (panel 18). The trail heading off to the left goes to Les Lataniers. Continue on the Dacerle path to the right.

3.6 km – Still descending, cross the second ford of Roche Plate ravine (panel 19). The trail is then flat for a hundred metres.

3.7 km - The trail suddenly rises to climb the ridge and cross the pass. The steps are almost at head height, but fortunately this steep section is short and you arrive at the oratory, then at the pass (panel 20). The view over Roche Ancrée and further on Cap Noir is wonderful.

4.3 km - The descent towards Roche Ancrée is short but steep, with 200 metres of height lost over less than 500 metres of distance (panel 21). Guardrails protect you from the void, and very quickly you arrive at the junction, at a place called "Roche Ancrée". Stopping for a swim in the pool is unmissable (panel 22).

4.4 km - You leave Roche Ancrée along the left bank of the Rivière des Galets (panel 23), then you pass a rocky outcrop above the river (panel 24).

4.7 km - Just after this outcrop, ford the river to cross to the right bank (panel 25). There’s an easier ford 50 metres downstream (panel 26), but you have to climb back up to the path through the scree.

5.0 km - After this ford, the trail climbs quickly with a vertical difference of 120 metres (panels 27, 28 and 29), and you arrive at the flat part of the trail.

"6.8 km - For almost 2 kilometres, the trail is flat or slightly downhill and offers beautiful views of the Rivière des Galets 100 metres below, and the trail linking Les Lataniers to Roche Ancrée just opposite (panels 30, 31, 32, 33 and 34).
In less than an hour, you arrive at the bamboo thicket that marks the entrance to Cayenne (panel 35). Pass through Cayenne by taking the main route (panel 36) and arrive in front of the church (panel 37) next to the only gîte in Cayenne."
472 meters of difference in height
  • Start altitude : 1083 m
  • End altitude : 539 m
  • Maximum altitude : 1183 m
  • Minimum altitude : 535 m
  • Total positive elevation : 472 m
  • Total negative elevation : -1017 m
  • Max positive elevation : 59 m
  • Min positive elevation : -129 m