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Guadeloupe Info

Sulphuric hot Pool
Sulphuric hot pool at the volcano

Parc des roches gravees

Pointe de la Grande Vigie
Pointe de la Grande Vigie

Basse-Terre Beach
Beach on the West Coast of Basse Terre

Le Moule Town Hall
Le Moule town hall

Personal Impressions
Guadeloupe is a very French island, more or less France in the Caribbean. The two main islands, Grand-Terre and Basse-Terre, are very different and offer a wide variety of things to do and places to see. Grand-Terre has fine sand beaches with nude sections, elegant resorts, upscale shopping malls, excellent restaurants, plenty of bars and nightclubs. Mountainous Basse Terre is covered with tropical humid forest and has plenty of rivers and waterfalls. It has a huge national park with an active volcano and is best for hiking and biking. Public buses are cheap, but highly unreliable and infrequent, so renting a car is recommended. The majority of the local population speaks Antillean creole, French is the official language, English is only common in business and tourist spheres. A visit to Guadeloupe can perfectly be combined with a trip to Dominia and perhaps Martinique or St. Lucia, if you have sufficient time. Cruise ship passengers don't have enough time to explore Guadelupe, but can spend the day with shopping and dining in Point-a-Pitre. Don't miss real French cuisine!



Guadeloupe consists of two main islands, which are separated by a narrow sea channel called Riviere Salee. On account of the shape of two islands, Grand-Terre and Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe is known as the Butterfly Island. The two islands are completely unlike one another. The western Basse-Terre is mountainous and forested, with a huge national park. The eastern Grand-Terre is smaller, flatter and more densely populated and has nice sand beaches.

Guadeloupe also has a number of smaller offshore islands including Marie-Galante, the Iles des Saintes group, and La Desirade, all of which are easily reached from Guadeloupe but are quiet and untouched by mass tourism.

Guadeloupe has it all: rainforests, waterfalls, sandy beaches and charming villages. Offshore, on smaller surrounding islands, you can step into societies that have changed little over the centuries. On Terre-de-Haut, part of the Iles des Saintes, you’ll find pristine beaches and families descended from Breton sailors. Marie-Galante in the southeast, has spectacular beaches and produces some of the Caribbean’s best rum - remnants of colonial sugar mills are quaint reminders of the island’s past as a sugar producer. To the northeast, La Désirade is a recommended day trip for its untouched landscape and beaches.

The more sophisticated Grande-Terre boasts white sand beaches and rolling hills. The island’s biggest town, Pointe-à-Pitre, is a European-style shopping village offering goods with 'made in France' labels – and at savings of an estimated 20 to 30 percent. Museums abound here. Saint-John Perse and the Schoelcher Museum are housed in colonial manors. The Edgar Clerc archaeological museum enlightens visitors about Guadeloupe’s Amerindian ancestors. Culture buffs might seek out the zoological garden, the orchid garden, or coffee and cocoa plantations.

Basse-Terre is a draw for nature lovers. An astounding volcano, La Soufrière, which lies sleeping at its center, is the Eastern Caribbean’s highest point at 4,813 feet. Drive or hike through the nearby rain forests in the 74,100 acre Parc National de Guadeloupe, or spend a day on Grand Anse, one of the island’s best beaches, known for especially soft sand. The wildlife is awe-inspiring. In the air, you might spot sugar birds, cow herons, black woodpeckers, moor hen sand brown gannets.

French imports make dining on Guadeloupe a pleasure; the destination boasts more than 200 restaurants, some on the front porches of local homes. Lunch, or le déjeuner, is the main meal of the day. Start with a rum drink, then try creole creations such as stuffed land crabs, stewed conch and curry dishes. French wines are commonly served with the meal.

Three offshore islands make super day trips. Friendly residents greet visitors in small fishing villages.

Source: CTO


Pointe-a-Pitre Shopping
Guadeloupe National Park, Basse-Terre
La Soufrière, Grand Terre
Zoological and Botanical Park
Jacques Cousteau's Underwater Reserve
Sainte-Anne, Guadeloupe (Grand-Terre)
La Pointe des Châteaux (Grande-Terre)
Port-Louis (Grande-Terre)
La Désirade Island
Marie-Galante Island be continued soon...


Anse Cafard Slave Memorial

some of which are nudist

Privileged to be situated at the heart of the Caribbean’s rich Creole ethnicity, the top tourist attractions in Guadeloupe are a dream for any dedicated culture enthusiast to explore. The atoll of Guadeloupe is well-adored for its pristine beaches where sands are close to being perfectly in composition. Moreover, Guadeloupe doesn’t only boast of its stunning beaches but still has so many other travel destinations waiting to be discovered.

Standing at a height of around 1000 feet, Morne du Chameau is the highest part of Terre-de-Haut region in Guadeloupe. Positioned on the southern border of a stunning bay, Morne de Chameau is enclosed by Morne Morel and Morne Mire. Also referred to as Camel Hill, Morne du Chameau is a fine looking watch out area where you can be in awe at the picturesque scenery of other islands in close proximity. Morne du Chameau’s pristine beauty offers a serene and natural ambiance which complements its biodiverse sanctuaries.

With a captivating view of the bay on the wonderful isle of Terre-de-Haut, Fort Napoleon is deemed as one of the top tourist attractions in Guadeloupe. The fortress of Napoleon rises as the ultimate embodiment and work of art of the Caribbean Atoll’s rich French birthright. Constructed in the 17th century, the authentic Napoleon Fort was ruined by the British forces in 1809. The structure was then refurbished during Napoleon’s time of power and thus was named after him. The fort though has never witnessed any grave war but functioned as a prison house for political captives. At present, the citadel has already been converted into an awe-inspiring museum and garden that will prove to be a worthwhile use of your valuable time here.

Another addition to the top tourist attractions in Guadeloupe is its beaches. Its beaches are actually open to all tourists but if you want to have a more serene vacation experience, you may want to visit a few of the private beachfronts that are managed by hotels which only allow access for its guests.

Moreover, nakedness is also allowed along the beaches of Guadeloupe, especially in close proximity to the resorts. So don’t be astonished if you witness beach bums lying down barenaked on the shores or taking a plunge in the waters. Among the premier beaches to explore in Guadeloupe are St. Anne, St. Francois and Le Moule on Grande-Terre as well as Grande Anse.

In the Eastern Caribbean, the island archipelago of Guadeloupe enchants visitors with its evocative blend of natural beauty, Creole and French culture, and fascinating history.

Originally inhabited by the Arawaks, and later the Caribs, Guadeloupe was also coveted by the Dutch, attacked by pirates, and briefly occupied by Britain. Today the archipelago is an overseas region of France, and its food, language, and culture reflect this tie.Guadeloupe proper resembles a butterfly in shape with two main islands, Grand-Terre in the east and Basse-Terre in the west, separated by a narrow mangrove channel called the Rivière Salée. Pretty palm-fringed beaches rim the coastline, and the interior is lush and mountainous with waterfalls, hot springs, an active volcano, and great opportunities for hiking. Most tourist facilities are located on the southern shore of Grand-Terre, which is also home to the largest city and cruise port, Pointe-a-Pitre. Composed of volcanic mounds and ridges, Basse-Terre is high and rugged, with well-preserved tropical forests and the active volcano of La Soufrière.

The archipelago also encompasses the smaller islands of La Desirade, Les Saintes, and Marie-Galante, which offer many natural attractions of their own. All of Guadeloupe's islands boast excellent opportunities for birding, photography, hiking, and water sports such as surfing, snorkeling, swimming, and diving. Guadeloupe also hosts many colorful carnivals and festivals, including the five-day Mardi-Gras Carnival ending on Ash Wednesday.

Guadeloupe attractions offer a variety of different experiences for travelers. A vibrant artistic culture, traditional song and dance, as well as innovative modern music formed from the fusion of Guadeloupe's melting pot of cultures, are all part of what Guadeloupe tourism has to offer. Travelers will be able to find plenty of things to do in Guadeloupe, including club-hopping, climbing the volcanic mountains, and relaxing at one of the beach resorts.

The center of Guadeloupe and the place most travelers will fly into the country is the city of Pointe-a-Pitre. Although the capital of the country is Basse Terre, Pointe-a-Pitre is the economic center of the archipelago and ideally situated in the center between the two main islands, Grande-Terre and Basse-Terre, which together form Guadeloupe proper. Pointe-a-Pitre offers some Guadeloupe attractions, though most tourists will spend only a day or two shopping and seeing the sights of the town. Some old colonial buildings remain scattered about within the modern town, and there is a lively morning market down by the waterfront. Tourists may want to check out the Iron Cathedral; it features iron girders, protection against hurricanes and earthquakes. Shopping in Pointe-a-Pitre is one of the popular things to do in Guadeloupe—as an overseas department of France, Guadeloupe benefits from ample access to French perfumes and other brand name goods, all of which can be paid for in Euros.

Gosier itself is just a fifteen-minute drive from downtown Pointe-a-Pitre, and one of the most popular things to do in Guadeloupe is to go clubbing, bar-hopping, or gambling in the casinos there. Gosier also has some of the prime Guadeloupe attractions: beaches. Dozens of beach resorts and hotels are located along the cost of Gosier, and the density of tourists is quite intense. For a more secluded beach, take a boat out to the Ilet de Gosier, though this beach is close to the town, it is relatively quiet, and its waters are excellent for snorkeling.

The beautiful beaches of Grande-Terre and Basse-Terre are the highlight of Guadeloupe tourism, and are renowned for the clarity of their waters and for the range of colors the sand takes throughout the islands. Sands white as sugar, as well as pink, red and black, all feature on Guadeloupe's beach circuit. On the southern coast of Grande-Terre, the beaches face the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea, perfect for swimming, snorkeling and diving. This is also where the beaches are the most crowded and the beach resorts most dominant. On the north side of the island facing the Atlantic, beaches tend to have stronger waves, excellent for surfing, such as at Anse Bertrand in the north. For a relatively secluded but excellent beach, check out Grande Anse to the Northwest on Basse-Terre. The sand is copper, and there are some charming inns and hotels in the town of Deshaies nearby.

1 Guadeloupe National Park, Basse-Terre Island
Designated a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, Guadeloupe National Park (Parc National de la Guadeloupe) on Basse-Terre Island, often draws more than one million visitors per year. The park encompasses 300 kilometers of hiking trails, La Soufrière volcano at 1,467 meters, Col de la Matéliane at 1,298 meters, and a wide range of flora and fauna, including 100 species of orchids and 11 species of bats. Birdwatchers will enjoy the diversity here with resident species such as the black woodpecker, pearly-eyed thrasher, and lesser Antillean pewee. A good way to tour the park is via Route de la Traversée (D23). This scenic trans-coastal highway winds through the tropical forest of majestic mahogany trees, giant ferns, and bamboo. Along this route, visitors will find lookouts, picnic areas, jungle waterfalls, and a staffed roadside center at Maison de la Forêt. Many visitors also stop for a cooling swim at Cascade aux Ecrevisses, a small waterfall spilling into a pond.

2 La Soufrière
The highest peak in the lesser Antilles, La Grande Soufrière is an active volcano, which has erupted eight times since 1660. Hot springs, mud pools, and fumaroles punctuate its barren black sides. Hikers can ascend the volcano along the Chemin des Dames trail, an approximately two-hour climb with panoramic views from the highest points of the massif, as long as the weather is clear. The triple waterfall of Chutes du Carbet cascades down the eastern face of the La Soufrière massif, from a height of 115 meters, with lookouts over each waterfall. Hikers who follow the trail to Etang As de Pique will find one of the largest of the mountainside lakes formed in craters on the volcanic massif surrounded by lush hillsides.

3 Terre-de-Bas Island
Terre-de-Bas is the western island of Les Saintes and features small fishing villages swimming beaches and hiking trails. Two hours is sufficient to cross the island, which is considered one of the most natural and wild in the Guadeloupe archipelago. Grande Anse on Terre-de-Bas features a small 17th century church, a pretty bay and beach with huts for swimming and snorkeling, and a hiking path to the promontory of 273-meter Grande Montagne. Gros-Cap is the main village of Terre-de-Bas with a ferry landing, hotel, restaurant, and the starting points of roads and hiking trails.

4 Terre-de-Haut Island
Terre-de-Haut Island, the eastern island of Les Saintes, exudes a more European character than its western counterpart. The terrain and climate were unsuited to raising sugar, so the settlers were mainly fishermen. The pastel-colored houses and brightly-painted fishing boats (saintoises) provide excellent photo opportunities. At the island's main village, Bourg des Saintes, "Sugarloaf" volcanic hill overlooks a curved blue bay fringed by white sands. The houses here are European in character, with whitewashed walls, red tile roofs, and flower gardens. Located on a hill overlooking the bay, 17th-century Fort Napoléon with its historical museum and Exotic Garden is one of the island's main tourist attractions. Another highlight, Morne du Chameau is the highest point on the island and takes around two hours to ascend from Terre-de-Haut village. Across the bay, Ilet à Cabrit is a small island where the ruins of 19th-century Fort Joséphine still stand.

5 Basse-Terre
Lying in the shadow of the Soufrière volcano, Basse Terre is the administrative capital of Guadeloupe and one of the oldest French settlements in the Caribbean. Banana boats fill their holds at the harbor, and the town is a mix of French colonial architecture and modern government buildings. Points of interest include 17th-century Fort St-Charles (also called Fort Louis Delgrès), the town square (Place du Champ d'Arbaud) and its adjoining park Jardin Pichon, and the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul. At the Archaeological Gardens history buffs will find a series of Arawak petroglyphs and wildlife lovers will enjoy the Zoological and Botanical Park. Overlooking town, the suburb of St Claude is home to large colonial mansions, former homes of the fugitive French aristocratic families who founded sugar plantations in the 18th century. Hiking trails ascend the volcanic massif with sea views.

6 Zoological and Botanical Park
An easy drive from Pointe-a-Pitre, the Basse-Terre Zoological and Botanical Park is a popular hilltop garden and nature reserve on the banks of the Rivière aux Hérbes. Children love the animals here. Hiking trails thread through the tropical rainforest where visitors may spot tortoises, raccoons, monkeys, jaguars, and parrots. One section of the park is strung with rope bridges leading through the canopy with spectacular views over the mountainous terrain.

7 Pointe-a-Pitre Shopping
Shoppers will find Guadeloupe's best buys in the archipelago's largest town, Pointe-a-Pitre. French perfumes, jewelry, cosmetics, crystal, and fashion tempt shoppers at the Center Saint-John Perse as well as the stores along Frébault, Nozières, and Schoelcher Streets. The colorful outdoor markets are fun to visit as much for the ambiance as their merchandise with many market vendors dressed in colors as bright as the tropical fruits they flaunt. The harborside market sells spices, flowers, crafts, and clothing, and fishing boats tie up here to sell their catch. Other markets around town include Saint-Antoine, Saint-Jules, and the Flower market.

8 Sainte-Anne, Guadeloupe (Grand-Terre)
At Sainte Anne, visitors will find a settlement dating to the 17th century and one of the finest beaches in Guadeloupe. Sainte Anne was the capital of Grande-Terre until 1759, and today the ruins of sugar mills surrounding town are a testament to its former status as an important sugar exporter. A seaside promenade invites travelers to stroll under the palms, and the beach here is busy, but beautiful with white sand and shallow water in dreamy shades of blue. Visitors will also find a selection of restaurants and a market selling local crafts near the beach.

9 La Désirade
Meaning "The Desired One" in French, La Désirade certainly lives up to its name. A 45-minute boat ride from Saint-Francois, this peaceful island, is ringed with beautiful palm-fringed beaches and protected by long coral reefs. Snorkeling, swimming, and diving are all popular pursuits here, and a hiking trail at Le Morne du Souffleur offers spectacular sea views as does Grande Montagne, the island's tiny village. Composed of tabular rock, this beautiful island was once a leper colony, but is now a geological nature reserve. Not far from La Désirade lie Petite-Terre, two uninhabited island nature reserves known for their biodiversity.

10 La Pointe des Châteaux (Grande-Terre)
La Pointe des Châteaux is a scenic isthmus at the easternmost point of Grande Terre. The windy, wave-battered point with castle-like rock formations exudes a rugged beauty reminiscent of Brittany. A botanical path leads from the village to a vantage point among great black rocks, which gives a clear view to the islands of La Désirade, Petite-Terre, and Marie-Galante.

11 Port-Louis (Grande-Terre)
Port-Louis, a small fishing village is home to one of Guadeloupe's prettiest beaches, Plage du Souffleur. This wide-open stretch of beautiful white sand is fringed by flame trees, which look especially beautiful when they blossom in the spring. Brightly painted wooden houses and vintage iron lampposts give the town a cheery feel. A drive through an area of desert vegetation leads to Pointe de le Grande Vigie, the northern-most point in Guadeloupe, with 360-degree views across the sea to neighboring islands on clear days.

12 Marie-Galante Island
Called the Big Pancake by its inhabitants, Marie-Galante is a round, flat island known for its gorgeous beaches. Sugar farming and tourism are the primary industries and visitors will see the ruins of many windmills around the island. Sunbathing, swimming, hiking, and local events are all popular activities. At Habitation Murat, an eco-museum honors Marie-Galante's arts and culture, including the history of its sugar industry. Also on-site are a restored colonial mansion, windmill tower, and the ruins of a sugar factory. Feuillere Beach is one of the nicest stretches of sand on the island.

13 Jacques Cousteau's Underwater Reserve
Off the coast of Basse-Terre near Bouillante, the waters surrounding Pigeon Island comprise the popular Jacques Cousteau Underwater Reserve (Réserve Cousteau) with some of Guadeloupe's best sub-aquatic scenery. Visitors can snorkel along the shallow water reefs, scuba dive, or view the coral from a glass-bottom boat. The dive sites cater to all skill levels. Turtles and large schools of fish, as well as parrotfish, trumpetfish, and barracuda frequent the coral gardens here, and the area offers good wall and wreck dives. Travelers can also kayak over to the reserve from the mainland.

14 Jardin Botanique de Deshaies
Brimming with beautiful tropical flora and many colorful species of birds, Jardin Botanique de Deshaies is a peaceful botanical garden on Basse-Terre's northwest coast. Paths lined with bright splashes of bougainvillea wind throughout the grounds where visitors stroll among cascades, lily-topped ponds, and gazebos. Children will love feeding the fish as well as the rainbow lorikeets, which descend on outstretched arms. A hilltop restaurant provides beautiful views of the gardens and the sea.

Chutes du Carbet 
Chutes du Carbet, Basse Terre

Cascade aux Ecrevisses
Cascade aux Ecrevisses at the Route de la Traversee

Pointe de la Grande Vigie
Pointe de la Grande Vigie

Caravell Beach
Caravell Beach

Racing Cyclists
Racing Cyclists