The island of La Réunion (Île de la Réunion in French) is becoming increasingly more popular to visit. Ile de la Réunion is an overseas department and region of France. Familiar road signs, speaking French, free data roaming and paying in Euro, hurray! The island is mostly visited by French people, but partly due to the effect that Instagram has on tourism, this is rapidly changing. Only a handful of Instagram influencers have been to La Réunion so far and I was happy to be one of the first. Now I’m sharing my experiences to make your trip in La Réunion even more awesome. Having explored every corner of the island, I present you the 13 most instagrammable places in La Réunion! Previously in part 1 I spoke about the volcanic wonders. Today in part 2: the most beautiful waterfalls of the island!
PART 2: WATERFALLS
Bassin La Paix
Bassin La Paix is a small lake in the northeast of La Réunion. It gets its water from the main waterfall coming from Rivière des Roches, and some smaller waterfalls next to it. Bassin La Paix is impressive because of the large basalt columns that can be viewed there, a proof of volcanic activity in the region. To get there you have to drive on a small road for about 2km with dense sugar cane fields on each side until you reach the car park. From there it’s only a 20-minute walk. For me, this is definitely one of the most instagrammable locations in La Réunion.
Bassin des Aigrettes
This place is still relatively unknown. On the main route des Tamarins, take the exit towards Saint-Gilles. Park your car near a snack bar called Snack des Cormorans. From there, you’ll see a fence. Access and swimming used to be prohibited, but the fence and sign are over 18 years old so people found a way through it. I don’t know if it’s still prohibited, but I saw a couple of locals in swimwear returning from the basin. You have to follow a path along a small manmade canal. At certain points you’ll have to get your feet wet to go in the canal and crawl under the fence. It’s really fun and it makes it even more rewarding when you finally arrive at Bassin des Aigrettes. What a stunning place! During weekdays, when locals are working or at school, you might have the entire place for yourself.
Cascade de Grand Galet
Located in the commune of Saint-Joseph in the south of the island, Cascade de Grand Galet is another waterfall that is just as idyllic as Bassin des Aigrettes. No need to hike, there’s a large car park nearby and from the roadside you have a spectacular view over the entire waterfall. Cascade de Grand Galet is a popular place to relax or have a picnic near the green natural setting and turquoise waters.
Takamaka and Cascade de l’arc en ciel
The road to the viewpoint is a dead end. From the parking lot you have a great view over the deep valley and the several waterfalls, of which Cascade de l’Arc en Ciel is one. From here, you can take a 2 hour hike down through the forest to get a bit more up close with all this beauty. Two dams built to generate electricity create larges reservoirs of water, which resemble a staircase.
I was here just a week too early. The construction workers were still finishing the new elevator, which would offer stunning views over the waterfalls and their basins.
Funny thing is, Grand Etang which I mentioned in part 1 of the most instagrammable locations in La Réunion, is situated just on the other side of the hillside. However, if you would want to go from the Takamaka viewpoint to Grand Etang, you’d have to drive all the way back to Saint-Benoit on the seaside and do a detour of over an hour!
This trip was facilitated by the tourism board of La Réunion but opinions remain my own. I chose my own accommodation. The first part of my trip I stayed in Villa Delisle, a charming hotel in Saint-Pierre. The rest of the trip I spent in Ness by D-Ocean, a brand-new 4-star property in La Saline-Les-Bains.