The Caribbean paradise of Guadeloupe has somehow managed to stay hidden from the rest of the travel world for quite some time. Now with popular discount airlines starting to make the trip from major U.S. cities to Guadeloupe, the islands are going though a major tourism boom. So now that the secrets out, it’s time to learn what makes this tropical destination so special, and of course, go see for yourself! Here’s 10 perfect reasons to visit the beautiful islands of Guadeloupe!
Guadeloupe is home to five different islands that are all extremely accessible by ferry. The two main islands are Basse-Terre to the west, and Grande-Terre to the east. The two large islands are separated by a small waterway, but stay connected by a bridge built to link them together. The three smaller islands of Marie-Galante, La Désirade, and the Îles des Saintes are all easy to get to by a quick ferry. It doesn’t matter which of the five islands you spend your time on, you’re sure to be welcomed with beautiful scenery, amazing beaches, and warm Caribbean water.
You can’t talk about Guadeloupe for long before gushing about its stunningly beautiful beaches. As you travel through the islands, you’ll be working your way through a slew of over 200 beautiful beaches. From white, red, black, to even pink sand, the color will change as often as the landscape as you travel around Guadeloupe. You can soak in the crystal clear water of St. Anne Beach, or splash in the rolling waves as you explore the countries many hidden coves. One things for sure, there’s a beach to fit everyones desire!
While many of the Caribbean islands hold Spanish as their primary language, Guadeloupe, along with several other islands of the French Caribbean, hold French as their native tongue. While English is slowly becoming more commonly spoken, don’t bank on it to get by! Over the thee weeks that I spent on the islands I only came across a handful of people who spoke English. So if you want to brush up on your French skills and soak in the sun then Guadeloupe is the perfect spot for you!
Who doesn’t love a good baguette with cheese to start the day?? Fantastically, Guadeloupe also consumes more Champagne per capita then anywhere else in the world! This Caribbean island has some major French flair which is seen not only throughout the islands, but in its French-Creole cooking. Walking into any of the small bakeries, you will literally be transported back to the mainland as you savor the freshly baked breads and sweets. Just a warning, this island is not for the budget friendly, especially when it comes to food. Expect to pay more then you would in mainland France for these delicious treats.
While we’re on the topic of food, Guadeloupe’s markets are some of the most bright and beautiful in the world. Here, you will find an endless sea of fruits and vegetables, and plenty of local home brewed rum. The most famous market is in downtown Point-à-Pitre, where you can not only admire the local produce, but also get a front row seat to fishermen hulling off their daily catch. After that, wander down the side streets and explore the many carts selling everything from food to trinkets!
6. Thermal Activity
The volcanic activity is Guadeloupe is literally burning up! As you travel between the islands, you’ll quickly be able to see the amazing effects. From hot thermal healing springs to volcanic mud with special healing properties, to even ocean pools that literally have thermal water bubbling up from the ground! If your idea of a good time is experiencing the beautiful wonders of nature, then Guadeloupe is the perfect destination for you!
7. Guadeloupe National Park
While you may think that the highlight of your trip to Guadeloupe will be the beaches, you’ll quickly be surprised by this amazing National Park. Not only are there dozens of hikes that will leave you speechless, but it’s also home to the magnificent La Soufriere Volcano. One of the many other special things about Guadeloupe National Park is its abundance of waterfalls that dot the landscape. Take it from us, this is the perfect way to cool down after a long day of hiking!
8. Pointe des Chateaux
A trip to Guadeloupe wouldn’t be complete without a visit to this surreal lookout point! As you hike to the top of the small lookout, you’ll be welcomed with a gorgeous view as you take in the beauty of Guadeloupe. This is a great opportunity to check out the spectacular coastline, as the large and powerful waves crash below!
9. Snorkeling and Scuba Diving
While the underwater life all over the islands of Guadeloupe is amazing, for the ultimate experience head to the Jacques Cousteau Reserve. The 988 acres of protected water are filled with an assortment of sea creatures and coral. For around twelve Euros, you can hop on a boat and spend a few hours taking in the wonders of the Caribbean ocean.
Their is no better way to end a long day of exploring then relaxing on one of the many beaches and sipping on the local Ti’ Punch. Like many other Caribbean islands, enjoying a sunset while soaking in the warm water is a highlight of the day! Guadeloupe is no different, and because of the dramatically changing landscape and small islands, every sunset will blow you away!
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