GRR2 Day 3: Aurère>Cayenne

GRR2 Day 3: Aurère>Cayenne, all details about this part of the best trek in Reunion island.

GRR2 Day 3 North to South


  • Duration: 5h30
  • Distance: 12,58 km
  • High elevation: 683 meters high / 1100 meters down
  • Markings: Good / How is the path: Good

Stop in Aurère before start

We pack our staff and walk 10 minutes up to Aurère (about 700 meters). Arriving in the village we put a leash our dog, Huaca.

Aurère bakery in Mafate, during our GRR2 in Reunion Island.
  • Water: Yes. 100 meters after the bakery, in front of the Aurere’ school and the information pannels.
  • Food: Yes, at the bakery or small shop.
Information pannels in front of Aurere' school with water for the GRR2 trek in reunion.

We first stop at the bakery to have breakfast and buy bread for lunch and dinner. It’s very good and the prices are reasonable although of course everything in Mafate is a bit more expensive. Indeed, as there is no road, people bring back the provisions on foot or by helicopter transfer, so this is quite normal. If you can, try the goyavier croissant, a killer! They also prepare sandwiches on request!

1/4) Aurère > Ilet à Malheur

Arrival at Ilet à Malheur during our GRR2 Day 2, Aurère>Cayenne.

We choose to take the path to the north which goes to Ilet à Malheur passing through Bassin la Noix and not the GRR2 path which goes directly to Ilet à Malheur and it was a good idea!

The day has barely started and after crossing the 1st papangues of the morning (the only raptor in Réunion), we take our daily swimming break in the Bassin la Noix. The water is cool but it feels good!

Bath in bassin la Noix during our Aurère>Cayenne hike, day 3 of our GRR2.

Going up the stairs, there is a great camping spot for 3/4 tents on the left. Be careful, the path is sometimes slippery!

Then, we take the normal path of the GRR2 to reach Ilet à Malheur. Of course from one Ilet to another … you have to go down everything … and to go back up! So expect to do this several times during the day!

  • Water: Yes
  • Food: Yes, small shop on the right a bit before the church.
Ilet à Malheur's church in Mafate during our GRR2 Day 3 in Reunion Island.

2/4) Ilet à Malheur > Ilet à Bourse

View from Ilet à Malheur when walking to Ilet à Bourse in Mafate.

The climb to Ilet malheur les Hauts and the descent is pleasant. It’s in the shade, in the forest! You will come to a bridge (1 person at a time!) that moves quite a lot when you pass over it. With Huaca in my arms, it was pretty funny!

Thr 1 person bridge in Mafate, between Ilet à malheur and ilet à bourse.

The climb is steep and with no shade! Good luck! On the top, directly on your right, there is a camping spot for 3 tents approx. We arrive then at next Ilet… à Bourse !

We arrive at Ilet à Bourse, one of the stage during the GRR2 Day 3 in Mafate.

We stop at the picnic table to have lunch and refill water! Nice break of this GRR2 Day 3!

  • Water: Yes, on your left, close to the picnic tables!
  • Food: Yes, small shop.
Picnic spot and alos to refill water during this GRR2 Day 3 from Aurere to Cayenne.

3/4) Ilet à Bourse > Grand Place

On the way to Grand Place, a little further on the right, there is a nice spot for 3 or 4 tents to bivouac.

We cross a stream and it is still possible to swim after the descent. And I said descent … so it means… ascent.

There are several ways to get to Grand Place. Wanting to sleep in Cayenne, we could have taken the right path to shorten. But we want to go through the Pavillon gite for a well-deserved beer break (the real GRR2 route)!

Arrival to Grand place les hauts in Mafate, during our GRR2 Day 3 in La Reunion.

So you have to take the GRR2 path which takes you to Grand Place les Hauts and back down to the gite Le Pavillon and its little shop (€ 2.5 per beer)! The owners of the cottage are very nice and it smells like good carry (reunionese typical dish) … humm hard to leave when you know you’re going to eat bread and canned mackerel!

View from Grand Place les hauts above Le Pavillon gite, during our GRR2, best hike in Reunion.

4/4) Grand Place > Cayenne

Allow about 20 mins. Personally, we took the left path “côté Tifane” because the right one (by Grand Place école) takes you back if you want to take a look at Cayenne village. And furthermore we already know the right one while we did not yet know the Tifane!

Path to go to Cayenne village from Grand Place in Mafate, during our GRR2 Day 3.

So we go down and take time to visit Cayenne and its view. Then we continue towards the Rivière des Galets to look for a bivouac spot.

After 2 small footbridges, on the high right, there is a small house with a graffiti (painted by a friend). We decide to stop here for the night! There is space for 3 or 4 tents. It’s close to the trail but we are a bit high up and the view of Cayenne is amazing.

Our camping spot for the night of the GRR2 Day 3: Aurère > Cayenne in Mafate.
  • Altitude: 550 meters. At this altitude, weather is nice, it’s neither cold at all nor humid!
  • Water: No (except if you go down to the river at about 15/20 mins from there).
  • Food: Yes, at the Le Pavillon’ small shop at Grand Place les hauts.
Conclusion of this GRR2 Day 3 – Aurère>Cayenne – a great trek with camping:

Nothing to say except that this stage still amazes us! The climbs / descents between the different Ilets, the refreshing swim, the magnificent views… the well-deserved break at Grand Place les Hauts, our spot with a view of Cayenne. Amazing!

Cayenne small village, during our Aurere > Cayenne trek, for our GRR2 Day 3 in La Reunion.

The path is in very good condition and well marked. Only the arrival at Grand Place can be confusing, there are many possibilities and some prefer to choose Grand Place / Cayenne (45 mins) instead of the Grand Place trail (1 hour) by the GRR2, but must go up to the Pavilion gite then … a little frustrating for those who are wrong!

Next stage: Cayenne > Roche Plate

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