Besides being Guadeloupe’s administrative capital, Basse-Terre is also a draw for nature lovers and must-visit for every birdwatcher. Recognized as a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, Guadeloupe National Park is a huge protected rain forest with plenty of hiking trails and home to a wide range of flora and fauna. Tour the park to view some impressive waterfalls, take a break for a picnic and stop for a cooling swim to restore your lost energy.
Address: Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe
Being the highest mountain peak in the lesser Antilles, La Soufrière is an active volcano, part of the National Park and main landmark of Guadeloupe’s landscape. Bring plenty of water and food, wear your sports shoes, follow one of the clearly indicated trails for approximately two hours, enjoy breathtaking panoramic views along the way and don’t miss the chance to take a hot bath upon your return.
Home to more than fifty unique beaches, Sainte-Anne is where you will stroll under palm trees, relax on white sand and swim in shallow turquoise waters. After a walk through the city, choose your shelter and spend your day scuba diving, sailing or simply lounging on the beach enjoying the local feel and tropical way of life.
Address: Saint-Anne, Grande-Terre, Guadeloupe
A steep and mountainous small island is the perfect destination if tranquility is what you’re looking for. Best known for its art craft production, hiking trails, remains of ancient pottery and fabrication of the Salako hat, Terre-de-Bas is a true rural oasis. Whether on foot or by a jitney, pay a visit to the main villages for some picturesque, unforgettable moments.
Address: Terre-de-Bas Island, Guadeloupe
Meaning ”The Desired One” in French, this place definitely lives up to its name. La Désirade is a peaceful island, probably the most untouched of Guadeloupe. Although least-visited compared to others, superb white sand beaches protected by long coral reefs and warm hospitality are just two reasons to step back in time through this amazing resort.
While not the capital, this is the region’s largest city. Pointe-à-Pitre stands out among shoppers offering everything from French perfumes and jewelry to spices and flowers. Drop in for a few morning hours to stroll through the colorful outdoor and harbor-side markets and taste some delicious seafood dishes at one of the nearby fine restaurants.
Pointe des Châteaux is a scenic isthmus at the easternmost point of Grande-Terre and the ideal spot to experience the majestic power of nature. Made of distinctive rock formations and a large littoral strip, not only does it host rare plant and animal species but it also exudes an incomparable rugged beauty thanks to the crashing waves and strong winds.
Also called “the big pancake’’ Marie-Galante is a flat pristine island, circular in shape with rolling hills and extraordinary countryside. Almost entirely dedicated to the cultivation of sugar cane, it is one of the best-kept secrets of Guadeloupe and a gate to escaping the crowds. See some traditional oxcarts bringing in corps, discover a few fascinating historical sites and don’t forget to visit the eco-museum or the distilleries in order to bring some rum back from your trip.
Off the coast of Basse-Terre, the waters surrounding Pigeon Island comprise the protected underwater park of Jacques Cousteau, one of the world’s top dive areas. Whether you are a first-time diver or an experienced one, the sub-aquatic scenery is not to be missed. Respect the fragile ecosystem and snorkel along the shallow water reefs or scuba dive for some encounters with maritime species you will remember for a lifetime.
A small piece of France married with a distinctive Caribbeaness is what Terre-de-Haut is about. Despite the daily invasion of visitors it still retains a unique charm as a typical fishing spot with its wooden houses and local church. Spoil yourself with magnificent views and take advantage of the amazing beaches; let’s be honest, this is what you’re here for.