Lava tunnel in Sainte-Rose: Underground, the air is ideally cool. Take advantage of all this heat to visit the lava tunnels of Sainte-Rose with a guide of course, without him it would be too dangerous.

Group of hikers heading towards the lava tunnels in Sainte-Rose

Caving and hiking under the surface of Reunion

On the lava route, the vegetation reclaims its rights with difficulty, giving pride of place to a wild landscape redrawn over time by the various lava flows. Underground, under this frozen lava, kilometers of galleries.
Indeed, the eastern slope of Piton de la Fournaise has hundreds of kilometers of natural underground galleries between Sainte-rose and Saint-Philippe.

Natural underground galleries

They are the result of a recurring phenomenon during eruptions, with flows that cool on the surface, creating a thick and solid layer, and leaving the core of the flow fluid, which allows the lava to continue to advance. Once the flow ceases to be fed by the molten lava, it empties and gives rise to cavities, galleries of variable sizes and random shapes where one can admire in particular on the ceilings scintillating stalactites or stalagmites of basalt frozen in the ground. We can then guess, at the very heart of the flow, the path that the lava has traveled and the way in which it has moved.

Group of hikers heading towards the lava tunnels in Sainte-Rose
A back guide and two hikers sitting on an old lava flow

Specialists at your side

If you feel like you want to take the lava tunnels are free to access, calling on a professional is essential to take full advantage of this unique experience in the best possible conditions. Indeed, if the entrances are difficult to find, their exploration can also be dangerous for inexperienced people.

Visit with qualified and qualified professionals

In addition to being real underground labyrinths, the ceilings of certain galleries can be fragile in places and in the event of a problem it is very difficult to ask for help because underground you will not have access to any telephone network.

Fortunately, qualified professionals and state graduates in speleology offer to guide you and make you discover these lava tunnels in complete safety while sharing with you their knowledge on the subject in order to learn a little more about their origins and the visible formations linked to the more or less rapid cooling of the lava.

Immersion in an unusual universe

In these cold lava tunnels, the atmosphere is post-apocalyptic. With the exception of a few skylights, the progression is in complete darkness and absolute silence, punctuated only by the clinking of the drops of water flowing by infiltration. A minimum of equipment is therefore necessary, namely: a helmet, gloves and a headlamp.

For a first experience

Under the 2004 flow, in Sainte-Rose, in the Grand Brûlé area, a little over 6 km of galleries are topographed and routes of different levels of difficulty are possible. Indeed, depending on the routes, the level of the course can be easily adapted, which makes it ideal for a first experience in the heart of this unusual universe.

Our advice

You will be able to evolve in galleries of rather large dimensions where you will be able to move upright most of the time, sometimes bent and from time to time squatting. Narrow galleries that require lying down and crawling are optional. It is then possible to choose a more or less sporty outing, which can last from 3 to 7 hours for the longest.

Info for children

A lava tunnel tour can be offered to children from the age of 6

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