Grotte de la Reine Hortense

Cave of Queen Hortense - Grotte d'Ouatchia - Ouatchia Cave

Useful Information

Location: Touété village, L'île des Pins (Isle of Pines). 10 km north of Vao
Open: No restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave
Light: bring torch
Guided tours:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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1883 the Ouatchia Queen Hortense is said to have hidden here.


The Grotte de la Reine Hortense has a huge cave portal with stalactites at the ceiling. This shelter was used by Hortense, wife of a local chief, who is believed to have taken refuge here. However, the story is legend and there are different versions. One says, Hortense lived in the cave for several months during intertribal conflict in 1855. The other says, Hortense, the Ouatchia Queen of Kunie hid here before abdicating in 1883.

The cave with its wide entrance is reached from the nearby Touété village through a deep wood, over a small creek and through a beautiful wild tropical garden. A friendly local woman, who maintains the cave and its surroundings, informs visitors about the history of the cave and the island in general. After the entrance a long passage follows, which may be visited. It ends at a siphon of the cave river.