Guadeloupe's evocative blend of lush natural beauty and rich Creole and French culture make it a magical place to visit. The archipelago is an overseas region of France, and Guadeloupe's food, language, and culture reflect this strong tie.Find the best places to visit with Rent a Car and Get the Best Car Rental Deals.
Palm-fringed beaches rim the coastline, and the interior is lush and mountainous, with waterfalls, hot springs, and an active volcano. Most Guadeloupe hotels and resorts and many of the islands' tourist attractions dot the golden shores of these main islands, and Guadeloupe's largest city and cruise port, Pointe-a-Pitre, lies on the southern shore of Grande-Terre.
1. Guadeloupe National Park, Basse-Terre :
Nature lovers of all kinds will find something to love at Guadeloupe National Park (Parc National de la Guadeloupe). Designated a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO , the park often draws more than a million visitors a year.
Among its many attractions are 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 plants and animals, including 100 species of orchids and 11 species of bats.
Bird-watchers will enjoy the diversity here, with resident species such as the black woodpecker, pearly-eyed thrasher, and Lesser Antillean pewee.
2. La Soufrière Hike, Basse-Terre :
The highest peak in the Lesser Antilles, La Grande Soufrière is an active volcano, which hikers can ascend on the Chemin des Dames trail. This approximately two-hour strenuous climb offers panoramic views from the highest points of the massif - as long as the weather is clear.
3. La Pointe des Châteaux, Grande-Terre :
La Pointe des Châteaux is a photographer's dream. This scenic isthmus lies at the easternmost point of Grande Terre, with castle-like rock formations jutting out of the sea. The windy, wave-battered point exudes a rugged beauty reminiscent of Brittany.
4. Grand Cul-de-Sac Marin Natural Reserve Boat Tour :
Cradled between the northern shores of Basse-Terre and Grande-Terre, Grand Cul-de-Sac Marin Natural Reserve (Réserve Naturelle du Grand Cul-de-Sac Marin) is a great place to soak up the wild side of Guadeloupe on a boat tour.
5. Plage de Grande Anse, Basse Terre :
On the northeast coast of Basse-Terre, near Deshaies, Plage de Grande Anse is a picturesque slice of palm-lined sand and clear waters. This is one of the most beautiful beaches in Guadeloupe. Flanked by lush headlands, the beach stretches for more than a kilometer, with soft golden sand and plenty of shady trees.