Saut de la Lezarde

(the "Leap of the Lizard")


The Saut de la Lezarde is a natural grotto with a 300 feet diameter and 100 foot sides. At the top of the grotto, the Lezarde river has cut a notch, creating a powerful 45 foot waterfall and large deep pool. The river exits through a keyhole at the bottom of the grotto. Vines and banana leaves cover the sides about one half of the way down, the lower half is rock. A ledge in the rock face extends all the way from the left of the waterfall to a rocky beach at the bottom of the keyhole. Tall trees at the top of the grotto enhance the effect.

The Saut de la Lezarde is one of the most beautiful places I have been visited, rivaling the Seven Sacred Pools of Hana on Maui. It was impossible to capture the beauty of this place on a photo, as the circular nature and the height of the sides are not visible in two dimensions.

The trail to the Saut is about a 15 minute downhill walk and a moderately strenuous 25 minute walk back uphill. It begins by criss-crossing through a banana plantation, and then descends into the jungle. There are plenty of roots and vegetation for handholds at the steeper parts.

Unlike the Cascade aux Ecrevisses, the Saut is relatively free of tourists, perhaps due to the hike. We visited on a Saturday afternoon in May, and only three other people were there. They departed shortly, leaving us alone in this majestic place. A visitor on a weekday during the off-season would probably be the only person there.

The Saut is just outside the small town of Vernou. A two story concrete building next to the parking lot houses a snack bar where the trail begins. Vernou is just off of the beginning of the Route de Traversee, so it is possible to visit the Saut when touring either North or South Basse Terre. It is shown on most maps of Guadeloupe. Some signs help to find the way. One tip, visit the Saut after you visit the Cascade aux Ecrevisses, or you will be distinctly underwhelmed with the Cascade.

For a large (1024x768) JPEG of the above photo, click here.



Hikers enjoy the descent through the rain forest.