Guadeloupe is an island archipelago, which offers a harmonious blend of naturally beautiful landscapes redolent with the vibrant Creole and French history and culture. The island chain is an overseas section of France, and this is reflected in its culture, language and food. The shape of Guadeloupe archipelago is like a butterfly, with Grande-Terre in the east and Basse-Terre in the west divided by a mangrove channel, the Rivière Salée. The coastline is fringed by lovely beaches flanked by palm trees, with a lush interior with a thrilling mountainous landscape vibrant with hot springs, waterfalls, and even an active volcano! The southern shore of Grande-Terre is where you will find most tourist facilities, which is also the site of Pointe-a-Pitre, the largest metropolis and cruise port. The archipelago also incorporates the smaller islands of La Desirade, Marie-Galante, and Les Saintes. Of course, with all these islands you can expect all of Guadeloupe's islands to be suited for that dream beach vacation you have been thinking about! Here you can find tons of occasions for hiking; water sports like diving, snorkeling, and swimming; along with more laidback activities like birdwatching and photography. Many exciting festivals and carnivals are held in Guadeloupe, with the five-day Mardi-Gras Carnival winding up on Ash Wednesday being one of the most prominent. Guadeloupe is a place that definitely deserves a slot on your list of best Caribbean islands to visit. There is something for everyone – all kinds of travelers can find something to keep them interested. Explorers and adventurers will love the hiking opportunities in the rainforests and the Carbet Cataracts, while lovers of the cut and thrust of shopping will delight among the market stalls of Pointe-a-Pitre. If you are looking to relax, look no further than the Marie-Galante and the Iles des Saintes islands. There is plenty more to do as you take in the sights– delicious food to taste, decadent drinks, history, and culture. You will never be bored in Guadeloupe, wherever you end up!
Things to do, things to see
Grand Cul-de-Sac Marin Natural Reserve Boat Tour
Grand Cul-de-Sac Marin Natural Reserve is nestled between the northern coast of Basse-Terre and Grande-Terre, and is definitely one of the many amazing places in Guadeloupe where you can catch a glimpse of Guadeloupe’s wildlife – that too on a boat tour! This 15,000-hectare reserve is a mosaic of mangrove forests, mudflats, coral reefs, seagrass meadows, turquoise lagoons, and tiny islets, as well as transitional zones where sustainable human activity is permitted. Together with Guadeloupe National Park on Basse-Terre, it forms the UNESCO-listed Guadeloupe Archipelago Biosphere Reserve. Among the abundant marine life living inside the reserve are sea urchins, giant sponges, an impressive assortment of fish, and magnificent turtles. Birderwatchers can keep an eye out for species like herons, pelicans, kingfishers, and more. You can visit the reserve via a guided boat tour, which includes sightseeing the mangroves and the Moustique River; snorkeling at the coral reefs; and a stop at the small island of Ilet Caret,
La Soufrière Hike, Basse-Terre
La Grande Soufrière is not only the tallest peak of the Lesser Antilles – it is also an active volcano! It has known to erupt at least eight times ever since 1660. It is also a place where you can find rugged natural landscapes made interesting by the presence of mud pools, hot springs, and fumaroles –crevices through which gases escape– dot its dark, barren sides. Hikers can climb the volcano by following the Chemin des Dames trail, a nearly two-hour climb to the highest points of the ridge with wonderful views, even more attractive when the weather is good and clear. A highlight is the threefold waterfall of Chutes du Carbet that courses down from the eastern face of La Soufrière mountain range from an elevation of 115 meters, with viewpoints over each waterfall. Another highlight is seeing one of the largest of the mountainside lakes that form in craters on the volcanic massif. Surrounded by lush hillsides, it can be easily found by hikers that take the trail to Etang as de Pique.
La Pointe des Châteaux, Grande-Terre
La Pointe des Châteaux is a picturesque peninsula at the most eastern corner of Grande Terre. The waves batter against the point as the wind blows around the fort-like rock formations that radiate a craggy beauty suggestive of Brittany. There is a botanical path that takes you from the village to a lookout point surrounded by great black rocks. From here you can get a wonderfully clear vista that includes the islands of Marie-Galante, La Désirade, and Petite-Terre. You can hike around the cliffs and later reward yourself with a treat from the traditional ice-cream shop. The peninsula is likened by many to a shipwreck, but there are lots of beautiful things to look at. Besides admiring the beauty of the island, the winds make for a great kite flying experience, and the rushing waves lure in surfers. The waves crashing against the shore make for the perfect subject for a photograph or a painting. It is indeed a gorgeous place, where you can forget your troubles in the natural beauty – just perfect for a day trip out!
Vacation rentals at Guadeloupe
Looking for a substitute to hotels for your stay? You can have the best vacation in Guadeloupe now and stay in the finest vacation rentals from CuddlyNest. Forget about frantically searching for a place to stay – you can easily search and book the perfect accommodation before you travel, making your vacation stress-free. We provide a wide selection of vacation rentals including fine apartments, luxurious villas, and private rooms – all according to your budget and other requirements. Easily find what you need with our powerful search filter, where you can select options ranging from your budget to the amenities you would like in your rental. With a vacation rental, you have facilities such as kitchens, pet-friendly options, and all the privacy you need. So make yourself at home wherever you go with CuddlyNest!