Why visit Guadeloupe Islands?
If you like the French way of life, but crave guaranteed sun, sand and sea, check out the Guadeloupe Islands in the French Caribbean
Visit Guadeloupe article written by Editor & Travel Writer Linda Jackson
In these very French islands in the West Indies, visitors can combine the pleasurable French way of life and delicious cuisine with the sunny shores and warm waters of the Caribbean. To soak up the sun and discover the Caribbean-French joie de vivre… you’ll just have to visit Guadeloupe Islands for yourself.
The Guadeloupe Islands, consisting of Basse-Terre & Grande-Terre (joined), Marie-Galante, Les Saintes, and La Desirade, are actually in the EU and a ‘department’ of France. Each of the French Guadeloupe Islands is different. The archipelago is rich in tradition and cultures and offers a wide range of adventures and activities.
The conjoined Guadeloupe islands of Basse-Terre & Grande-Terre are shaped like a butterfly. One half features dry lowlands, sugar cane fields, and lovely white sand beaches (the Grande-Terre half), while the western other half (Basse-Terre) is known for its diving sites, lush countryside, and volcanic mountain rainforests.
The Guadeloupe landscape is really varied. On one hand there are banana plantations, flat sugar cane fields, mangrove swamps, mountains, thick woodlands, and small wooden shacks. On the other hand, in contrast, you’ll find wide highways, huge stores and supermarkets, international hotels and luxury resorts, housing developments, and busy sidewalk cafés.
Things to do when you visit Guadeloupe
Guadeloupe adventures, activities and things to do are many. Activities range from a peaceful botanical gardens visits to exhilarating canyoning experiences. There are natural hot springs and mud baths, horseback riding, mountain biking and hiking trails.
Go big game fishing, on whale and dolphin watching excursions, or view the reefs from a glass-bottomed boat trip (Bouillante). Try stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), kayaking or kitesurfing.
For adventurers looking for an adrenalin kick… try hang gliding, parachuting, micro-lighting, paragliding, ziplining, and canyoning-rappelling. There’s also a six-stage race (Guadarun) you can take part in, or classes in Gwo-Ka dancing you can enrol for.
For kids (who can have just as much fun as grown-ups when families visit Guadeloupe), there are oxcart as well as cart rides. They can go pedal boating, and to an adventure park which offers water and walking activities for families – including canyoning: small jumps, swimming, large slide waterfall.
The islands were reportedly over-hunted long ago so Guadeloupe wildlife is limited. You might see the Lesser Antillean iguana, which is endemic to the Lesser Antilles, and which is protected.
The Grand Cul-de-Sac Marin Nature Reserve is home to seventeen different mammal species in all – these include the raccoon, several bat species, mongoose, and the endangered agouti.
Some activity ideas when you visit Guadeloupe
Check out the Guadeloupe birds on an eco-kayaking tour through the mangroves. Test your head for heights on the network of rope bridges set high in the Basse-Terre rainforest.
Sample the local rum, chocolate and coffee on a tour of the distilleries and plantations. Enjoy French cuisine in one of a vast choice of restaurants, then let your hair down and dance off those calories to the sound of raga and zouk in one of the lively nightclubs.
Where to stay when you visit Guadeloupe
Villa rentals are rising in popularity in Guadeloupe. They vary from intimate beachfront cottages to houses on luxury estates. Beach resorts are generally located on the eastern island (Grande Terre). There are many mid-range accommodation options, but no decadent ones… yet.
Visit Guadeloupe snippets of information
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Images on this Why visit Guadelouope Islands article page are copyright of Guadeloupe Islands Tourist Board, Leroy/Magic – HASSON – Office Municipal du Tourisme de Saint-Barthélemy for The Guadeloupe Island Tourist Board, Linda Jackson