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Cilaos

4.2
Water Sports · Scenic Drive · Zipline
Cilaos is a town and commune on the French island of Réunion in the Indian Ocean. It is located centrally on the island, in a caldera of altitude 1,214 m. The caldera (usually known as the 'Cirque') is also named for the community.HistoryThe name Cilaos comes from the Malagasy word, Tsilaosa (modern form : tsy ilaozana), which means the place one never leaves.According to some historians, the word Cilaos finds its origins in the name of a Malagasian slave named Tsilaos who took refuge in this cirque. At the time, slaves were called "brown", whereas runaway slaves were called "black-brown".The first inhabitants of the cirque of Cilaos were thus "black-browns" who believed themselves to be at the top of the world and completely safe. However, these first runaways were recaptured very quickly, tracked and hunted by well-organized and well-armed slaveholders. In these runaways' attempts to escape recapture, several were killed. It seems likely that these first runaways created the goat paths that climb most of the mountains on Réunion.After the death or recapture of these runaway slaves, the cirque of Cilaos likely became uninhabited once again for a while, since the first official record of its settlement occur only around 1850. In this year, a spa station was set up, and by 1866, there were 960 inhabitants. By 1900, the population had risen to 2500, and the 1982 census recorded 5629 inhabitants in the whole cirque.
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Hidden gems in Cilaos

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Mountain
Piton des Neiges
4.6
Duration: 2 hours
Zipline
Zipline
4.9
Duration: 4 hours
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State Park
La Roche Merveilleuse
4.5
Duration: 30 minutes
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Scenic Drive
Col du Taibit
4.9
Duration: 4 hours

Side trips from Cilaos

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Nature / Wildlife Tour
Nature & Wildlife Tours Saint-Philippe
5.0
Duration: 2h 30 min
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Parasailing / Paragliding
Parasailing & Paragliding Saint-Leu
5.0
Duration: 1h 30 min
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Volcano
Piton de Fournaise Saint-Benoit
4.8
Duration: 2 hours
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Scuba / Snorkeling
Scuba & Snorkeling Saint-Gilles-Les-Bains
4.8
Duration: 2h 30 min

Popular things to do in Cilaos

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Scenic Drive
RN5 Road
4.5
Duration: 2 hours
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Hiking Trail
La Chapelle
4.8
Duration: 4 hours
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Canyoning / Rapelling Tour
Canyoning & Rappelling Tours
4.5
Duration: 2 hours
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Hiking Trail
Crete des 3 Salazes
4.5
Duration: 2 hours

Spas in Cilaos

Spa
L'Escale Creole
4.0
Duration: 1h 30 min
Thermal Spa
Thermes de Cilaos
1.3
Duration: 1h 30 min

Nature in Cilaos

Waterfall
La cascade de Bras Rouge
3.8
Duration: 2h 30 min

Museums in Cilaos

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Art Museum
La Maison de la Broderie
3.9
Duration: 30 minutes