Guadeloupe Travel Guide
Known as the butterfly island due to its geographical shape, Guadeloupe is a French overseas territory known for its volcanic interior, lush jungles, and world-class beaches.
Home to a museum chronicling the past of slavery and with no shortage of French dining, those that love culture will also enjoy a holiday on this beautiful tropical island in the Caribbean Sea.
Languages: French, Creole
What To Do
Many of the islands in the Eastern Caribbean are light on significant cultural attractions. However, Guadeloupe does not suffer from this affliction any more, as it is home to the Memorial ACTe.
A modern museum dedicated to the slavery and human trafficking that had plagued the Caribbean in centuries past, this institution provides a sombre counterpoint to your holiday in Guadeloupe.
It also focuses on the history of slavery outside the region, making a visit here a unique learning experience.
Guadeloupe was formed long ago by a volcanic eruption. To this day, La Grande Soufrière continues to erupt on a periodic basis, with its last event triggering evacuations but no injuries or deaths back in 1976.
A hike to the top is not for those that are out of shape, but for those that can, the views from the top and the cool climate make it well worth the effort. At the bottom, hot springs await those looking to soothe their sore muscles.
Cardin Botanique de Deshaies is a great place to observe the flora that is endemic to Guadeloupe.
Situated on the former property of French comedian Michel Gérard Joseph Colucci (Coluche), this park covers seven hectares of land and is filled with tropical plants that not only call the Eastern Caribbean home, but also has species that are found in tropical environments elsewhere around the world.
In addition to the plants that can be found here, there is an aviary that includes birds such as flamingos, parrots and parakeets.
With a snack bar and restaurant that has amazing views of the Caribbean, is a great way to spend a day away from the beach.
Looking to experience the power of the ocean in Guadeloupe? Pay a visit to Pointe des Châteaux. Situated at the tip of a long peninsula jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean, the highlight here is a cross that sits at the top of a headland at the tip of the peninsula, but it is also well known for the beach that sits adjacent to it.
Popular among kitesurfers due to the high winds that whip off its coast, it is not as suitable for casual swimmers due to a severe undertow.
However, the wild beauty of this area still makes a walk along its shore a worthwhile activity for less active visitors.
Wondering which beaches are the best to visit during your time in Guadeloupe? If you are looking for a quiet place, then spend a day at Plage de la Perle.
Protected by a coral reef, it is a great place for families, although stormy days can still produce big waves that may make swimming less of a good idea on some days.
With local restaurants lining the beach, it is also a great spot for those that want to sample the cuisine of Guadeloupe.
If you don’t mind crowds during high season, then the postcard perfect sands of St. Anne’s Beach will be where you’ll want to go.
Its powder white sands, aquamarine waters and the droopy palms found here will fulfill the Caribbean beach fantasy that you have dreamt about for a long time.
What to Eat
Those looking for a tasty appetizer that is local to Guadeloupe before having their main course will want to order some Accras.
Cod fritters that are combined with onions and garlic, battered and then fried in oil, these may not be the healthiest thing that you’ll ever eat, but hey, you’re on vacation: live a little!
Brought here by immigrants that came from India to the Caribbean, Colombo is a curry-like dish that is considered by some to be the national dish of Guadeloupe.
Made from chicken, eggplant, onions, scallions, tomatoes and a variety of herbs and spices, this savoury dish is best enjoyed with white rice.
Travelers that are less squeamish than most will want to challenge their iron stomach by trying some Bebele.
Found on the island of Marie-Galante in Guadeloupe, this meal is made from beef offal and combines green bananas, pumpkin, breadfruit, sweet peppers, chives, cloves, and garlic into a stew that will win you over in the end.