From the Journal

Things to do in Réunion Island


Travel Tips

Aerial view of Réunion Island. 

Got adventure on your mind? A trip to Réunion Island should definitely be on the cards! This volcanic island jutting out of the warm waters of the Indian ocean is located 200kms east of Mauritius. Thanks to a multitude of volcanic eruptions over 3 million years ago from the now extinct Piton des Neiges, Réunion covers a size of 2,512 square kilometers. From imposing active volcanoes to canyons snaking through lush, tropical jungles, there is no shortage of things to do in Réunion Island. To give you more insight and inspiration to the Lost World, the Ker & Downey® Africa team has compiled our top 5 thrills to seek while exploring Réunion Island.



Reunion Island Hike Landscape

01 Hiking


Home to the highest peak in the Indian Ocean, hiking is on our list as one of the top things to do in Réunion Island. The island boasts 900km of never-ending trails that snake through tropical forests, passed crashing waterfalls, up imposing active volcanoes to remote villages located in calderas. From gentle walks to multi-day treks, exploring the island's rugged terrain is best done on foot. Want a challenge? Wake up early and summit Piton des Neiges, an extinct volcano standing at 3,071m above sea level. A little less imposing, but equally as exhilarating is Piton de la Fournaise - one of the most active (but still safe to visit) volcanoes on earth. Starting at Pas de Bellecombe, this 6-hour trek takes you through the unique lunar landscape and flowing lava rivers to the volcano’s caldera. Join a seasoned guide on a multi-day trek to the island's Unesco World Heritage Sites  - the 3 eroded calderas, Mafate, Cilaos + Salazie Cirques - and explore remote villages only accessible by foot.

Reunion Island Hike
Hiking trails through the forests of Réunion Island.

The island boasts 900km of never-ending trails that snake through tropical forests, passed crashing waterfalls, up imposing active volcanoes to remote villages located in calderas. 

Expert tip - The weather on Réunion can be unpredictable. Clouds tend to move in later on in the day and afternoon rainfall can make for challenging hiking conditions. Be prepared and make sure to pack your raincoat, hat and quality hiking boots to avoid any mishaps.

Reunion Island Hike



Reunion Island Paraglide 1
Paragliders soar over Réunion Island.

02 Paragliding


Feeling adventurous? See the island below your feet on a jaw-dropping 15 to 20 minute tandem paragliding flight over the lagoon of Saint-Leu. Launch yourself off the 800m or 1500m high runway with your certified pilot and watch as the landscape changes from emerald forests to white sand beaches. Fancy trying it on your own? There are three schools available on the slopes of Saint-Paul that can train you to become a qualified paraglider.

See the island below your feet on a jaw-dropping 15 to 20 minute tandem paragliding flight over the lagoon of Saint-Leu.

Reunion Island Paraglide 3
Paragliding over Saint-Leu.
Reunion Island Paraglide 2
Tandem paragliding over Saint-Leu.


Reunion Island Canyoning
Rappel down waterfalls on a cayoning adventure on Réunion Island.

03 Canyoning


Need your daily dose of adrenaline? That’s why canyoning is on our list of top things to do in Réunion Island. Spend your day rappelling down waterfalls, jumping off cliffs, ziplining over forest pools and swooping down natural slides on a canyoning adventure. The island has several canyons spotted around the island, allowing you to choose your ideal canyoning location according to your skill level. After a quick hike and safety briefing, gear up and follow your expert guide through the natural pools and tunnels.


Note - Whether you’re a novice or a pro, canyoning routes are adaptable to match your experience.

Reunion Island Canyoning 1

Spend your day rappelling down waterfalls, jumping off cliffs, ziplining over forest pools and swooping down natural slides on a canyoning adventure. 


Reunion Island Lava Tunnels
Photo credit | Védé, ACSP

04 Lava Tunnels


Grab your headlamp and discover the underbelly of Réunion island on a gentle trek through subterranean volcanic tunnels on the island. Formed by volcanic eruptions, the preserved lava tunnels reveal the geographical history of the island with some tunnels dating back 22,000 years. Tours are guided by certified speleologists and groups are kept small to create an intimate experience and preserve this unique, natural wonder.

Formed by volcanic eruptions, the preserved lava tunnels reveal the geographical history of the island with some tunnels dating back 22,000 years.

Reunion Island Lava Tunnels 2
Photo credit | Védé, ACSP

Reunion Island Flight

05 Scenic Flight


See the Jurassic Park landscape of Réunion on a scenic flight over the island. Buckle up and soar over the lunar landscapes surrounding the active volcano Piton de la Fournaise and hover over waterfalls crashing through tropical forests. Fly towards the remote villages hidden within the 3 cirques of the extinct volcano Piton des Neiges and across the pristine coastline. Add this to your list of things to do in Réunion Island and don’t forget your camera! You’re sure to get some jaw-dropping shots of Réunion Island from above.

Reunion Island Flight 2

Buckle up and soar over the lunar landscapes surrounding the active volcano Piton de la Fournaise and hover over waterfalls crashing through tropical forests.


Whether you’re seeking thrills or want to unwind on an island holiday, Réunion Island has something in store for you. Contact one of our expert Adventurists to learn more about the island, things to do in Réunion Island or start planning your trip to this unique island destination.


Check out our Réunion Island LuxVenture® for more inspiration for your 2019 trip to Africa.

Lindsay Krause
Written by
Lindsay Krause

Lindsay gained her traveling chops from spending 4 years living in and exploring South East Asia. From motorbiking her way through Vietnam, scuba-diving with whale sharks in Thailand, sipping on coconuts in the Philippines and exploring ancient temples in Cambodia, Lindsay's got a case of the travel bug and looks forward to ticking African adventures off her bucket list. 


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