Anse La Roche Beach in Carriacou is without question a fine example of a paradise beach. With a 50 minute one way hike to get there, its inaccessibility and seclusion should help retain this paradise status
Prior to arriving in Carriacou, we spent a few days researching the best place to stay and decided on a private room in an Airbnb in the village of L’Esterre. Being just a 5 minute walk from Paradise Beach, this certainly appealed to the two of us!
As nice as Paradise Beach is, there is no doubt that we all have a slightly different idea about the definition of paradise. Yes, the beach is covered in beautiful white sand that is met by crystal clear water. Although the small selection of restaurants and bars are far from raucous, paradise to us is something a little more secluded.
It was when reading one of the leaflets I picked up from the tourist office that I spotted a beach that appeared to better match our idea of Paradise – Anse La Roche Beach! Located on Carriacou’s north west coast, a 50 minute hike from the nearest main road, this appeared to be just what we were looking for.
Getting to the Starting Point
We jumped aboard a number 10 bus to the island’s largest town, Hillsborough. Here we caught a number 11 bus to the junction of Bogles and Prospect. This is the recognised starting point for the short hike to Anse La Roche Beach.
Hiking to Anse La Roche Beach
The starting point of the hike is on a sharp right bend in the road where you will see a wooden information board. The initial section of the High North Nature Trail is on paved road which soon turns to dirt but which remains relatively flat and even under foot.
The trail meanders through the peaceful woods on the western fringes of the High North National Park. You simply follow this road for approximately 30 minutes. Thankfully, there are plenty of signs indicating that the turn off to Anse La Roche is up ahead.
The actual sign that indicates the turn off from the dirt road is far from obvious, is attached to a tree about four metres above the ground and could easily be missed.
Once you have taken the track off to your left, the trail becomes far narrower as it winds its way down through the woods. The downward gradient soon steepens and you now catch glimpses of the turquoise sea as well as Union Island off to the north.
You will then reach a fork in the path. Turn right and in a short while the white sand of Anse La Roche Beach will appear through the woods.
Anse La Roche Beach
As we walked out onto the beach we were instantly mesmerised by the idyllic location that lay before us. We were greeted by fine white sand, turquoise waters and our only company were three sailing boats anchored a short distance off shore.
We literally had the entire crescent-shaped beach all to ourselves. This is what we call ‘Paradise’.
We spent more than two hours enjoying the wonders of this location before retracing our route back to our starting point.
Beware of the Manchineel Tree!
As we headed up through the woods and rejoined the main dirt road on which we came, we noticed a small wooden sign attached to a tree that read “Beware of Manchineel”.
Neither one of us had any idea what a Manchineel was. I thought it may be some snake-like creature only because “eel” appeared in the name. Didem, on the other hand, guessed that it was some sort of poisonous plant.
It was only when we returned to our Airbnb and Googled the name that we discovered that it is in fact one of the most dangerous trees on the planet!
We learned that just sheltering under a Manchineel Tree when it is raining can cause the skin to severely blister. If the tree’s fruit is ingested, it is reportedly:
“pleasantly sweet” at first, with a subsequent “strange peppery feeling … gradually progress[ing] to a burning, tearing sensation and tightness of the throat.” Symptoms continue to worsen until the patient can “barely swallow solid food because of the excruciating pain and the feeling of a huge obstructing pharyngeal lump.”
Discover what happened to Nicola H Strickland, consultant radiologist, when her and a friend decided to taste the fruit from the Manchineel Tree.
We were amazed that there seemed to be no real attempt to highlight the dangers of the Manchineel Tree in Carriacou. This is something that we both pointed out to the staff in the island’s tourist office the following day.
Anse La Roche Beach – Our Thoughts and Some Advice
When it comes to paradise beaches, Anse La Roche is certainly up there in the category of perfect beaches. This is most definitely helped by its seclusion and almost non-existent human tampering. Long may this continue!
As you may have already guessed, you are not going to find any bars or food vendors of any sort on this beach. So bring what you need and do not go short of water. Remember, you have at least 90 minutes of walking just to get to and from the beach.
Finally, do keep an eye out for the dangerous Manchineel Tree as they are commonly found near the shoreline of Anse La Roche Beach.
Go prepared and you will surely have a wondrous day at one of Carriacou’s premier attractions. Discover what others have shared on TripAdvisor about their visit to Anse La Roche.
Have you already enjoyed the magic of Anse La Roche Beach? If so, please share your experience with us in the comment box below…