Fun things to do in Guadeloupe

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Most Viewed Things to Do in Guadeloupe

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    Anse Crawen--nude beach

    by dustmon Written Jun 8, 2010

    My girl and I visited while on a cruise, and I had heard that Anse Crawen was a possible nude beach, so we rented a scooter and checked it out---the way in is pretty gritty down a rutted dirt road, and once we got there we were the only ones around, so I guess it was OK to go nude. The beach was pretty littered with branches, leaves and stuff like there had been a storm recently, and it was a really small beach, but I am glad we went anyways!

    Anse Crawen
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    Coffee plantation "La Grivelière", Vieux-Habitants

    by janaaroundtheworld Written Jan 22, 2010

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    Guadeloupe has been producing coffee for almost 300 years now (since 1723). And it still does: grown on the slopes of the volcano, La Soufrière its pure origins and the system of locating coffee trees in the shade of banana trees have all made it the product of choice for connoisseurs. Today, coffee farming is gradually re-emerging. Now the crops cover 370 acres (150 ha), yielding around 30 tons per year. The 3 factors for great (arabica) coffee are: altitude above 600 m, volcanic soil and humidity.

    On the first picture you may admire the flower of the coffee robusta plant. The second picture shows the coffee bean of the coffee arabica. We have visited "La Grivelière" in Vieux-Habitants, where plenty of the vegetation was shown and explained to us. Like the vanila lianes (picture below). As vanilla requires plenty of manual care during at least 10 months time, the final product is very expensive.

    Vanilla pods can be found in every supermarket and smell just lovely:-) Guadeloupe has right now nr. 14 in the vanilla production in the world with some 8tonnes a year...

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    Visit to "Maison du cacao"

    by janaaroundtheworld Updated Jan 22, 2010

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    Once in the garden of the "Maison de cacao/ House of the cacao" I was truly amazed. The cacao trees (cacaoyers in French) looked almost unreal (and so perfectly beautiful): covered from top till bottom with cocoa fruits in different colours (from green to orange or pink). Did you know that its scientific name "theoboma cocoa" means "food of God"?

    Imported from Amazonia and Central America the cacao tree is indeed a special tree that not only grows in hot and humid areas, but lives in the shade of other trees. The cocoa has been produced in the French Antilles for almost 2 centuries, but now no more big plantations are left.

    In the "Maison du cacao", in between the lovely cacao trees garden the cycle of cocoa production is displayed: from the cutting of the ripe fruits from the trunk with an axe, through the fermenting of the seeds in the sun and the drying process till the ready cacao paste.

    We enjoyed the most the cacao-tasting session at the end of our visit. It included tasting of a fresh cacao bean, then a dried one and ending up with the best chocolate drink (cacao paste melted in water plus cane sugar) I ever had…Last but not least we tried also the "liqueur au chocolat"(mix of rhum and cocoa paste) and plenty of other home specialties.

    http://janaaroundtheworld.blogspot.com

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    BASSE-TERRE: Morne Saint-Louis

    by Pieter11 Updated Jan 7, 2009

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    The island Basse-Terre is famous for the great views you can have from its peaks in the Parc National de la Guadeloupe. From inside the rainforest you can have views until the coastline where the blue of the Caribbean Sea contrasts wonderfully with the green of the jungle. These views can be reached, but it's not always easy.

    The most famous viewpoint is La Soufrière, the highest point of the island. However, this volcano is also famous for the big ring of clouds that hides the top almost always, and therefore also the view. Another option are the two peaks of Les Mamelles, in the heart of the island, but to get here you'll need to make a hike of at least two hours.

    The easiest option you'll find here is the Morne Saint-Loui: a hill at only 5 kilometres west of the Maison de la Fôret and Les Mamelles. Here you can climb up by car and enjoy the view without being completely sweaty and tired. From the top the view is hidden, but from the side of the road you have great views of the westcoast below you.

    The road towards the Morne Saint-Louis is clearly indicated and fits perfectly in a trip along the Route de la Traversée.

    The view from Morne Saint-Louis The view from Morne Saint-Louis A A The view from Morne Saint-Louis
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    GRANDE-TERRE: Maison Zévallos

    by Pieter11 Written Jan 7, 2009

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    If you are on your way from Saint François towards Le Moule, taking the N5, it is well worth a stop a the colonial “Maison Zévallos”. This old 19th century building is one of the few remaining colonial buildings on the island and is very well preserved.

    At the right side of the road you’ll see some black iron fences showing up, and hidden behind the banana-trees you’ll see the impressive house. All original cast-iron details are still there and also all decorations at the sides of the roof are still there.

    Unfortunately the house is not opened for the public; you’ll have to enjoy it “paparazzi-style”: look for a open space between the trees and look through the fence.

    Maison Z��vallos hidden behind banana-trees Maison Z��vallos The roof of Maison Z��vallos Maison Z��vallos paparazzi-style The gate to Maison Z��vallos
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    LES SAINTES: Bays

    by Pieter11 Updated Jan 7, 2009

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    No matter how great the beaches are on Les Saintes, and how interesting the old Fort Napoléon on Terre-de-Haut is; the best thing about the islands simply is the impressive landscape you see everywhere. The whole coastline of the biggest island Terre-de-Haut is a collection of beautiful bays of which you have a very good view when you're driving around on one of the high roads crossing the island.

    The most famous of all is the bay of the village (Anse du Bourg) where the picturesque village Terre-de-Haut brings colour to the landscape. But just west from here, when you climb to the viewpoint "Tête Rouge La Batterie", you have a great view of the other side of the bay as well, and of the îlet à Cabrit in front of you.

    Other great places are the bay of "Pain de Sucre" (sugarbread) where you can find a quiet beach and an impressive, extraordinairily shaped rockformation that probably looks like a piece of bread. When you're visiting Fort Napoléon you should also have a look to the east to the great hidden Baie du Marigot where the water has an almost perfect turqoise colour. And last but not least the Baie de Pompierre, where you can also find a nice beach, is a great bay that is almost completely closed from open sea.

    But the nice thing is: probably, while you're driving around here, you'll find a lot of other great views without even looking for them!

    View from T��te Rouge Baie du Marigot Baie de Pompierre Baie du Pain de Sucre Anse du Bourg
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    LES SAINTES: Beaches

    by Pieter11 Updated Jan 6, 2009

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    The islands of Les Saintes are famous for its beaches. Although the islands are very small, there are beaches everywhere: often quiet and well protected from high waves because they are located in deep bays. Terre-de-Haut is no exception, and driving around on the island makes you discover another beach every ten minutes. Here you'll find only three of them; the beaches I visited during my stay on the island:

    The most famous beach of the island, and by far the biggest is Grande Anse. The beach here is easy to reach, even on foot from the village and it can never be crowded because it simply is too big. But: the sea here can be pretty rough since there is not much protection nor from the bay it is located in, nor from reefs. This is therefore a good place for surfing, for swimming you'd better look for another one.

    A very good option if you want to swim is the beach of Baie de Pompierre at the eastern end of the island. Here you'll find a great beach with a true palmtree-forest on it. The bay is protected by two small islands at its entrance, and therefore the sea is pretty calm here. If you are in time and there are no tourists yet, you can even walk (through the water for a few metres) to one of the islands to claim your own piece of beach there and have a private island for the day.

    And a last calm option is the Anse du Figuier; a very quiet beach in the southwest of the island. This one is also well protected, and the scenery here is amazing. If there are any more people here, it will never be more then ten.

    Baie de Pompierre at Terre-de-Haut Anse du Figuier at Terre-de-Haut Grande Anse at Terre-de-Haut Palmtree-forest on the beach of Baie de Pompierre A fishingboat on the beach of Anse du Figuier
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    LES SAINTES: Fort Napoléon

    by Pieter11 Written Jan 5, 2009

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    The most impressive building on the islands of Les Saintes, definitely is the Fort Napoléon on Terre-de-Haut. This fort, on top of a hill on the eastside of the island is beautiful itself, but also offers on of the best viewpoints of the island: from here you can see all the islands of the archipelago of Guadeloupe, and on clear days even all the way to Dominica and if you're lucky Martinique.

    The fort originally was built in the 18th century as Fort Louis (of course named after one of the Kings Louis) as a part of the defence-line of the French. On the small island Îlet à Cabrit right opposite Terre-de-Haut you can see its "sister" Fort Joséphine. After the British destroyed this Fort Louis in 1809 though, Napoléon was already ruling over France, and it is no surprise that the new fort is now named after him. In 1845 it was finished, and it really is a special building: high walls and nice architecture on a great location.

    Unfortunately I found out too late that this fort is only opened in the morning until noon. When I came there at 13:00 everything was closed already, but still I didn't regret going there. Even from the outside the building is great and the views are there anyway. But of course: if you're going there, make sure you visit between 9:00 and 12:00.

    The entrance of Fort Napol��on A view from the entrance of Fort Napol��on The high walls of Fort Napol��on A great view from Fort Napol��on An athletic goat at Fort Napol��on
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    LES SAINTES: Terre-de-Haut

    by Pieter11 Updated Jan 5, 2009

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    No matter how you organise your trip to Les Saintes, it will always start in its capital, Terre-de-Haut. This small village on the biggest island (also called Terre-de-Haut) is the commercial centre of the small archipelago with shops, the harbour and a strong emphasis on tourism. Despite this clear focus on tourism it is a pleasant town to visit with a calm and friendly atmosphere.

    The village is located in a wonderful bay, that is chosen as one of the most beautiful ones in the world by the website www.world-bays.com. When you arrive by boat, or from the both sides of the bay you have a great view of the town. The roofs are orange, the walls are light and all the buildings have a charming, old look. Walking around in the streets a good way to discover Terre-de-Haut.

    In the centre of the town there are two small squares: one at the harbour and one at the church. Around both these squares nice, old buildings can be found. In the streets around them you'll find the shops and restaurants.

    The church of Terre-de-Haut A street scene in Terre-de-Haut A street scene in Terre-de-Haut The townhall in Terre-de-Haut A nice piece of sharkmeat in Terre-de-Haut
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    LES SAINTES: Introduction

    by Pieter11 Updated Jan 3, 2009

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    After discovering the island of Guadeloupe on November 4th 1493, Christopher Columbus found another small group of islands on the day of All Saints. Because of this celebration he called these islands "Les Saintes", a name that is still used today. These islands are now known as one of the most beautiful parts of the archipelago and are the most popular attraction of the whole of Guadeloupe.

    Les Saintes is a group of 8 small islands: six tiny ones and two bigger ones. These two bigger islands are called Terre-de-Haut and Terre-de-Bas: both have their own identity and their own proud inhabitants. The first is the more popular one and is easier to visit. Unfortunately this is the only island I visited too: I heard great stories about Terre-de-Bas as well.

    But anyways: Terre-de-Haut is a fantastic island as well: no matter how small it is, there seem to be 100 bays, that all offer great panorama's and out of which a lot have great, often quiet beaches. The island has an old fort, a nice charming "capital" and a very pleasant atmosphere.

    The world-famous bay of Les Saintes Fort Napol��on on Les Saintes The village Terre-de-Haut on Les Saintes An empty beach on Les Saintes An iguana on Les Saintes
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    LA DÉSIRADE: La Pointe Doublé

    by Pieter11 Updated Jan 3, 2009

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    By far the most interesting part of the small island is the Pointe Doublé. This is a very arid area at the most eastern point of the island, also the most western point of the whole Guadeloupean archipelago. The landscape and the atmosphere you can feel here are very special and a real reward after cycling all the way here (like I did).

    After you leave the last village of the island Baie Mahault you'll soon enter an area where you don't find any trees anymore, and where the landscape looks like you're on the moon. Every now and then you'll see a small bush, some goats or an iguana, and that really is everything: not even other tourists! This really gives you the feeling that you're at the end of the world.

    There are a few (abandoned) buildings here: the ruins of an old cotton factory is the first one you'll see: interesting to see how they even used dry corals as building material here. Further to the east the old lighthouse clearly stands out with its white and red colours, and behind this one you'll end up at the very last building: the old meteorologic centre that has been abandoned for 20 years already. Because the doors are open, you can still enjoy the great views from the roof over the dry desert behind you and the rough ocean in front of you.

    Centre Meteorologie at the Pointe Doubl�� Corals as construction-material at Pointe Doubl�� The lighthouse at Pointe Doubl�� The Atlantic Ocean at Pointe Doubl�� The desert landscape at Pointe Doubl��
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    LA DÉSIRADE: Baie Mahault

    by Pieter11 Updated Jan 2, 2009

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    The third, and also the last village on La Desirade after Beauséjour and Le Souffleur is the very, very, very small village Baie Mahault. Over here not more then 100 people should be living, and it's understandable that it is not very popular: this is really the end of the world. After Baie Mahault the desert of the island starts and you won't see another living soul.

    The village is small, but special as well. The number of houses does not exceed 25 and the small piece of land at the coast is used for a bizarre combination of things: it's a cemetary, a fishing harbour, the beach and the place where the goats hang out at the same time. And, from here you still have a great view of the mountainrange at the northside of the road.

    Another interesting thing here is the fact that you clearly see the landscape changing towards the desert that lying just east from here. The trees are getting small, the grass dryer and the cacti more numerous. And a great thing: the iguana's start showing up everywhere here. La Désirade is famous for these small dinosaurs and in Baie Mahault I saw at least 5 of them, and one of them was a friendly one who didn't mind me taking pictures at all!

    An iguana in Baie Mahault A cactus in Baie Mahault The cemetary of Baie Mahault A fishingboat on the beach of Baie Mahault The cemetary, the beach and a fishingboat
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    LA DÉSIRADE: Le Souffleur

    by Pieter11 Updated Jan 2, 2009

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    The second town that you will see on the island after departing in Beauséjour, is the even smaller village Le Souffleur. It is located about 4 kilometres eastwards from the capital, and it is not much more then just one street. This one street is an interesting though.

    To the north of the road you have a great view of the mountains that cross the whole island from east to west: a plateau up to 270 metres high with steep cliffs at both sides. At Le Souffleur the view of this range is the most spectacular, with some sough rockformations and a good view of the windmills on top of the mountains: the only source of energy on La Désirade.

    At the other side of the road you'll find a steep road downhill towards the beach "Anse Caraïbe". This is a nice, calm beach with the shade of palmtrees, places in the sun and a pretty quiet sea.

    Turks head cactus in Le Souffleur A view of the mountains in Le Souffleur A nice roadsign in Le Souffleur L'Anse Cara��be in Le Souffleur Windmills up high seen from Le Souffleur
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    LA DÉSIRADE: Beauséjour

    by Pieter11 Updated Jan 2, 2009

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    The capital of the small island La Désirade is called Beauséjour, also known by its former name Grande-Anse. It is a small village with about 1000 inhabitants, but still it is the real centre of the island. The boat arrives here, the few shops of the island are here, and it is the place where you can arrange transport for the duration of your stay: a scooter, a car, or more active: a mountainbike!

    The village basically has two streets: one mainstreet crossing the whole village, and one along the coastline. Especially the western part of the mainstreet is very charming: colourful, small houses, and flowers everywhere. At the coastline there are not many houses, but only palmtrees and a lot of colourfully painted fishingboats.

    At both sides of the village there are beaches. The one at the eastside of town is more popular and has small restaurants and snackbars underneath the palmtrees. The one at the other side has a great palmtree-forest and small sheds, and a very quiet atmosphere. Another nice thing here: the big swing! :)

    A fishingboat in Beaus��jour Swinging on the beach in Beaus��jour A view of Beaus��jour Boats for the coastline of Beaus��jour
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    LA DÉSIRADE: Introduction

    by Pieter11 Written Jan 2, 2009

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    At the southeast of Grande-Terre, a few kilometres off shore, you'll find the small island La Désirade. This is the most eastern point of the archipelago of Guadeloupe, and a very different world compared to the other islands. La Désirade is small; only 2 by 12 kilometres, but it is very interesting and absolutely worth a visit.

    The way to the island already starts spectacular: you need to take the boat from Saint-François in Grande-Terre, and a bumpy 1,5 hours-trip takes you via the rough Pointe des Châteaux to the "capital" of La Désirade: Beauséjour. After arranging your transportation here the journey begins. A journey over this rough, and arid island.

    La Désirade has a high, mountainous interior that is difficult to access, and one road leading from the east to the west. On your way you'll see iguana's that are typical for the island, empty beaches, and a true desert at the eastern end. Here, you'll forget that a few kilometres away, on the "mainland" there is actually a thing like rainforest.

    The small island may lack some big attractions, but the fact that it is so different here, and yet so close and easy to visit, makes La Désirade to a great excursion when you're on Guadeloupe.

    A colourful boat on La D��sirade An iguana on La D��sirade The lighthouse on La D��sirade On a swing on a beach on La D��sirade Cacti on La D��sirade
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