Travel Leisure

What To Know Before Traveling To The Guadeloupe Archipelago

Located in the southern Caribbean Sea, Guadeloupe is a lush array of islands between Puerto Rico and the Venezuelan coast. Guadeloupe is oftentimes mixed up with the Mexican island and towns named Guadalupe. However, Guadeloupe is a completely different destination and a true hidden gem of the Caribbean. 

There’s a lot to see and do in Guadeloupe. From learning about the archipelago’s history to island hopping, this Caribbean destination has much to offer. Here’s everything you need to know before traveling to the Caribbean melting pot of Guadeloupe.

It’s A French Archipelago

Photo credit:
Viktor Ruppert

Guadeloupe is a French department consisting of five islands in the Caribbean Sea. It’s not too far from the island of Martinique and is primarily known for its twin islands: Basse-Terre and Grande-Terre. However, each island has its unique charm and an abundance of natural landscapes to explore. 

The islands are a melting pot of different cultures and ethnicities. The majority of the local population is of Creole descent. However, there’s strong African, British, and French influence throughout the archipelago.

The Beautiful Terrain Is A Nature Lover’s Wonderland

The climate in Guadeloupe is rich and tropical. The dry season, between December and April, is the best time to island hop through the Guadeloupe archipelago. However, there’s plenty of nature to experience on the islands all year round. 

Guadeloupe is the perfect destination for nature lovers and outdoorsmen. The terrain is rich with mangrove swamps and even mahogany and ironwood trees in some areas. The islands are home to an abundance of raccoons and it’s a birdwatcher’s heaven. Many bird species like the Antillean nighthawks live in the island’s trees.  

Beyond the forest and swamplands, travelers will also find amazing beaches in Guadeloupe. Sante-Anne and Saint-François are the most popular for tourists with their blue waters and pristine beaches. However, be sure to also check out the black sand beaches at Grande-Anse in Trois-Rivières, Malendure in Bouillante and Bananier in Capesterre-Belle-Eau. For water sports like surfing and paddle boarding, visit Anse du Souffleur beach in Port-Louis.

There’s Plenty To See & Do In Guadeloupe 

Photo credit: Tim Hasselmann

Travelers will find Guadeloupe’s most popular resorts and stay accommodations on its two main islands. However, there’s no reason to limit yourself to just exploring Basse-Terre and Grande-Terre. You’ll find much to see and do across the islands, but first, you have to get there. 

Air France, Air Caraïbes, and Corsair are the only airlines that fly into Guadeloupe. You can also get to the island by boat, so be sure to factor this into your travel plans. Once you arrive, make sure to include island hopping so you can see what the entire archipelago has to offer. 

There is the Zoo de Guadeloupe, the most beautiful beach in Guadeloupe, Plage du Souffleur, and Jacques Cousteau’s Underwater Reserve. Hiking enthusiasts should explore the trails on the island of Terre-de-Bas. For more outdoor activities and water fun, travelers should plan a day trip to the peaceful island of La Désirade.

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