Tunnel de lave 2004

Tunnel de la Coulée 2004

Useful Information

Location: .
(-21.220401, 55.806887)
Open: Découverte: 8:30, 13:30.
Traversée: 8, 13.
Sportive: 9:30.
Fee: Découverte: Adults EUR 50.
Groups (4+): Adults EUR 45.
Groups (10+): Adults EUR 40.
Traversée: Adults EUR 65.
Groups (4+): Adults EUR 60.
Groups (10+): Adults EUR 55.
Sportive: Adults EUR 75.
Classification: Speleologylava tube
Light: helmet and headlamp provided
Dimension: L=6.5 km, VR=350 m, T=21-24 °C, H=95 %.
Guided tours: Découverte: D=2.5 h, Max=6-9, MinAge=5.
Traversée: D=4 h, L=2.3 km, Max=6-9, MinAge=12.
Sportive: D=6 h, L=3.5 km, Max=6-9, MinAge=12.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Kokapat Rando Reunion, 109 Chem. Farjeau, Le Tampon 97430, Réunion, Tel: +262-692-699-414, Tel: +262-262-333-014. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


2004 lava flow creates the lava tube.
2005 discovered by Patrick Pegoud, then explored by speleologists.


Tunnel de lave 2004 (2004 Lava Tube) or Tunnel de la Coulée 2004 (Tube of the 2004 Flow) was named after the year of the eruption of the Piton de la Fournaise volcano. It is also known as Tunnels de Ste Rose (Saint Rose Tunnels). There are three different tours with different duration and difficulty offered. The shortest is suitable for most as it does not require crawling or climbing. The second tour requires some physical fitness as the tour is rather long, from one entrance to the next. And finally there is a 6 h tour which not only requires physical fitness, it also includes, some climbing and crawling. The cave is visited in a length of 3.5 km.

The 2004 lava flow began in August, in early October it started to flow down the side of the volcano. It crossed the national road and finally flowed over the cliffs into the ocean. On Friday the 13th the crater Dolomieu at 1,900 m asl opened and a plume of ash rose, an event which was actually a bad day for the locals due to the ash rain. On the other hand, this is one of the clauses you agree to when you live on a volcano. And the ash serves as fertiliser in the next few years after the vegetation has grown back, so it's not all bad.

This lava tunnel is quite young, though it is not the youngest on La Reunion. There is also a tunnel in the 2007 lava tunnel. There are eruptions almost every year, and a lava flow every few years, and some are big enough and flow long enough to create a lava tube. Then it takes some time until it is cooled down enough to be entered. This lava tube is the longest of the island, with a total length of 6.5 km and a vertical drop of 350 m. As it is very young the lava formation have a chocolate and metallic gray colour, humidity and oxidation will change this over many years.

The entrances to lava tubes are either collapses of the ceiling or vents through which the gasses of the lava leave the tube, while the lava is still flowing. The lava emanates various gases, mostly steam and carbon dioxide, so the inside of the tube is under pressure. The thinnest spots of the ceiling are pressed open and remain open as long as the lava flows. As a result lava tubes have a lot of openings. This tube holds the record on La Reunion for the longest section without any opening, which is 1,400 m.

An advantage is the easy access, so it became the most visited lava tube on the island. Almost every operator offers tours to this cave. There is a parking lot only 90 m from the entrance on road RN2.

The visitors are equipped with helmet, headlamp, knee pads, and gloves. Wear good walking shoes and old clothes which may become dirty or tear, bring clothes to change afterwards. Also, you should bring enough water and some food, depending on the duration of the trips.