Fun things to do in Guadeloupe

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Most Viewed Things to Do in Guadeloupe

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    BASSE-TERRE: Plage de Grande Anse

    by Pieter11 Updated Jan 2, 2009

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    The northwest coast of Basse-Terre is one of the areas with the nicest beaches on Guadeloupe. You can find beaches of several different kinds here: the black sand beach of Malendure, quiet beaches in hidden bays, or the most famous and popular of all: the Plage de Grande Anse.

    The Plage de Grande Anse is a very wide beach situated just outside the town of Deshaies. From the coastal road around the island you can already have a stunning view of the bay from up above. Down below you'll be surprised to see how big the beach is: a total length of over a kilometre!

    Besides the blonde sand and the blue sky, the Plage de Grande Anse offers nice views of the surroundings and the volcanic island of Montserrat that seems very close here. But besides all this, the huge waves here are an attraction as well. For surfers it might not be the best place because the waves are too close to the beach, but if you just want to play in the waves and want to have an extreme swim, this is the place!

    At the Plage de Grande Anse there are several restaurant, snack bars and bars, so it's a perfect place for a nice day at the beach.

    Huge waves at the Plage de Grande Anse A gorgeous sunset at the Plage de Grande Anse The sunset at the Plage de Grande Anse Plage de Grande Anse Running for the waves at the Plage de Grande Anse
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    BASSE-TERRE: Route de la Traversée

    by Pieter11 Updated Jan 2, 2009

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    The Route de la Traversée definitely is the most beautiful road on the island of Guadeloupe. It basically is the second road on Basse-Terre: there is a coastal road that is surrounding the whole island. The Route de la Traversée is the connection between the east- and westside, passing through the interior of the island.

    In the 18th century already, there were plans to build this road: it would be a possibility to create a much faster connection between Pointe-à-Pitre and the westcoast, and to access the inlands where the people still didn't have any access to "the modern world". But: there always was the huge problem of the terrain. The inland of Basse-Terre is very mountainous and is covered by rainforest. This made the construction almost impossible.

    In 1970 the construction of the road was finally completed. The result was spectacular: rainforest on both sides where you're driving here and great views of both coastlines. Today the Route de la Traversée is a very important tourist destination, since there are several popular attractions around this road: waterfalls, a zoo, rainforest and viewpoints...

    The Route de la Travers��e on Basse-Terre At the westside of the Route de la Travers��e A view from the Route de la Travers��e Nature at the Route de la Travers��e
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    BASSE-TERRE: Parc des Mamelles

    by Pieter11 Updated Dec 30, 2008

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    At the western end of the Route de la Traversée you'll find the zoo and attractionpark Parc des Mamelles, named after the two famous peaks that are just a few kilometres away. The park might feel a little bit too touristy for some visitors, but it still is a nice way to get an insight in the wildlife of the island and for children it is a fantastic place.

    The most important attraction of the park are its animals. The true symbol of the National Park de la Guadeloupe, the racoon, is the most famous inhabitant of the park. These animals live in a nice area, unlike some other animals who sometimes are put in depressing cages. Some of these animals are parrots and monkeys. The iguana's, butterflies and some other birds luckily are better of.

    Besides the animals, La Canopée is the other big attraction of Les Mamelles. This is a canopy-walk, a walkway that leads you through the tops of trees. The walkway here is extremely long: it takes you an exciting 15 minutes to complete track. For children there is a separate walkway: less high and easier to walk.

    A ticket to the park costs 11,50 euro for adults and 4,50 for children. Not cheap, but if you like animals and if you are willing to take your time and spend at least 3 hours here it can be worth the money.

    A racoon in the Parc des Mamelles Parrots in the Parc des Mamelles A butterfly in the Parc des Mamelles The Canopy-Walk in the Parc des Mamelles The Canopy-Walk in the Parc des Mamelles
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    BASSE-TERRE: Chutes de Carbet

    by Pieter11 Written Dec 30, 2008

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    One of the most spectacular places to visit on Guadeloupe definitely are the falls of (chutes de) Carbet. They are situated at the eastern slope of the Soufrière volcano. A river seeks its way down through the limestone of the area and ends up falling deeply for three times. Several hikes through the valley will lead you to these falls.

    The easiest to visit and therefore the most popular are the "second falls". All three falls known by the number: the first one is the highest up the mountain, the third is much further down. And so: the second one is pretty much in the middle. You can get there by driving up a spectacular road and from the visitors centre it takes a walk of about 15 minutes to get to the viewpoint. Unfortunately this viewpoint was blocked due to the damage hurricane Omar did to it, but nevertheless the falls with a height of 110 metres is impressive.

    The other two falls of Carbet will take a little bit more effort to visit. The highest of all, the first falls, can be seen after a hike of 1,5 hours, but then you have a view of falls of 125 metres of height. And the last one, the third, are an hour hiking away, but although these are only 20 metres high, the natural swimmingpool at its base is said to be fantastic.

    The entrance fee for the site is 2 euro's per person, and the path to the second falls is very well maintained and possible to do on flip-flops. To all the other falls you'll need to take good shoes, water and raingear because in a rainforest like this you never know what's waiting for you.

    The second Chutes de Carbet A natural umbrella at the Chutes de Carbet The second Chutes de Carbet The road towards the Chutes de Carbet Me on my way to the second Chutes de Carbet
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    BASSE-TERRE: Westcoast

    by Pieter11 Written Dec 29, 2008

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    One of the most popular areas of Basse-Terre for tourists is the westcoast around the town called Bouillante. Here you'll find an interesting combination of natural elements which make this region very special.

    First of all you'll find the Jacques Cousteau Reserve here: a protected piece of underwater-world named after the world famous French diver and biologist. This reserve is located around the two "Ilets Pigeots": two small islands just a few hundred metres off shore. The wildlife here is told to be spectacular, and is known as the best diving spot on the archipelago. Unfortunately I didn't get the chance to check it out myself.

    Another thing the area is famous for are the results of volcanic activity that are very clear here. First of all you can see several hot-water spring around here. The name Bouillante means Boiling in French and is referring directly to the hot-water river that ends up here. Stories go that you can boil an egg in here.

    And another proof of volcanic history is the popular black-sand beach of Malendure that is located only a few hundred metres south of the connection of the Route de la Traversée to the coastal road.

    The Ilets Pigeots at Basse-Terre's westcoast Plage de Malendure at Basse-Terre's westcoast The Ilets Pigeots at Basse-Terre's westcoast Another beautiful bay on Basse-Terre westcoast The coastal road on Basse-Terre's westcoast
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    BASSE-TERRE: Maison de la Fôret

    by Pieter11 Written Dec 29, 2008

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    In the heart of the Parc National de la Guadeloupe you'll find the "Maison de la Fôret", the House of the Forest. This is a very interesting spot on Basse-Terre, but not because of the "House" you would expect here, but because of what lies behind it. Here you can hike through the great rainforest of the island.

    The actual House of the Forest is nothing more then a small information centre and the way to the suspension bridge leading you to the real jungle. As soon as you cross this bridge you enter a great, green environment with hundreds of different species of trees and plants: huge bamboos, firns, lots of different kinds of palms and some enormous monumental trees, and also with lots of animals: butterflies, lizards, birds, but also racoons can be spotted here.

    The easiest route you can take here is a 20 minutes walk through the jungle. Longer walks are also possible: 1,5 hours, 3 hours or even a long hike of 5 hours through the area. Pay attention to take decent shoes: even when the day is hot and dry, in the jungle it'll always be wet and slippery.

    Lost in the jungle at Maison de la F��ret The suspension-bridge at the Maison de la F��ret The suspension-bridge at the Maison de la F��ret Me at an enormous tree at the Maison de la F��ret A quiet stream at the Maison de la F��ret
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    BASSE-TERRE: Cascade aux Écrevisses

    by Pieter11 Written Dec 28, 2008

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    At the eastern end of the Route de la Traversée one of the smaller, but also one of the most popular waterfalls of Guadeloupe can be found: the Cascades aux Écrevisses. A few kilometres after entering the Parc National de la Guadeloupe, with its impressive rainforest, the waterfall is hidden in the green forest.

    A short walk of about five minutes over a well paved path leads you to a small platform from where you have a good view of the waterfall. Unfortunately during weekends and holidays this platform can be pretty crowded with tourists. The solution: leave the platform and have a walk over the slippery rocks to get a closer and more unspoiled view.

    The falls are not that spectacular in fact but especially the environment is great: the jungle around here is greener then green, the bamboo's are huge and every piece of tree-trunk is covered with little green leaves and little water drops. And of course the fact that it is only five minutes away from the great Route de la Traversée makes it an easy stop.

    Cascades aux ��crevisses The road to the Cascades aux ��crevisses Cascades aux ��crevisses Me at the Cascades aux ��crevisses
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    BASSE-TERRE: Introduction

    by Pieter11 Written Dec 28, 2008

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    When you look at the island of Guadeloupe as a butterfly, the western wing of it is Basse-Terre. The name litterly translated means "Low-Land", but the island is completely the opposite. Christopher Colombus gave it its name because of the "low wind" around the island. In fact Basse-Terre is the highest part of the whole archipelago, with the volcano La Soufrière as its highest peak (1467 m).

    Basse-Terre clearly is the most beautiful part of the "Guadeloupe-twin". Different from Grande-Terre you'll find real tropical vegetation here, with the Parc National de la Guadeloupe as the centre of this beauty. This park protects one of the biggest tropical rainforests on the small Antilles in which a lot of natural treasures are hidden.

    Among these natural treasures are several waterfalls, where it is often possible to take a dip in the clear, fresh waters. Several impressive and well prepared hikes will lead you to these cascades. And apart from this, you can climb the Soufrière; the highest point of the island, or make a hike through other parts of the forest.

    And last but not least: Basse-Terre also has a lot to offer at its coastline. The Parc National Jacques Cousteau is a famous diving spot in the very west of the island, and all along Basse-Terre's coastline you'll find charming beaches, from large and touristy to small and hidden ones.

    A great view of the west of Basse-Terre In the rainforest on Basse-Terre One of Basse-Terre's waterfalls A sunset on one of Basse-Terre's beaches Playing in the waves on Basse-Terre
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    MARIE-GALANTE: The inland

    by Pieter11 Written Dec 27, 2008

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    My favourite part of Marie-Galante are not the beaches or the distilleries, but the very interesting inland of the island. Without any specific landmark or attractions, this area is still fascinating if you ask me, and every drive through this part will bring you beautiful viewpoints for sure.

    A tour along the N9, crossing the island from Grand-Bourg to Capesterre is already a good start. It will lead you along sugar-plantations, along green valleys with lots of cows, along high palmtrees on the terrains of former plantation-mansions and through very rural area's were live stands still and where old bull-chariots are still being used every day.

    And if you even leave this roads, you'll enter the real countryside of Marie-Galante. Rough landscape, 1000 types of green and more cows then people are what you can expect here. Quietness and an unhurried livestyle and one of the most traditional area's on the archipelago of Guadeloupe are here, in the heart of M-G.

    A bull-chariot on central M-G Me in one the M-G's sugarplantations The road to an old plantation mansion A valley on Marie-Galante A green valley on Marie-Galante
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    MARIE-GALANTE: Northwest Coast

    by Pieter11 Written Dec 27, 2008

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    Another reason why Marie-Galante is a popular place for tourists are the wonderful beaches you can visit here. Apart from the beach at Capesterre in the south, all the great beaches can be found in the northwestern part: between Saint-Louis and Vieux-Fort.

    Starting south you'll first see the Anse du Mays: a long stretch of beach where you hardly find any tourists. The beach is located directly at the roadside, but because there are still a line of trees between the road and the beach you're calm there anyway. Another great thing: when we were there a traditional bull-chariot was led over the sand as well.

    One of the other beaches to the north are the fantastic Anse Canot, where you find white sand hidden in a bay and beautifully blue water. Again; you'll find hardly any people here. This beach is my favourite of all beaches on Guadeloupe!

    And then further north you'll find Plage du Vieux-Fort, a small beach with view of the small island of Vieux-Fort a few hundred metres in the sea. This beach is more popular and therefore busier.

    Anse Canot The view from Plage du Vieux-Fort Anse Canot A bull chariot on Anse du Mays Anse du Mays
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    MARIE-GALANTE: Les Galets

    by Pieter11 Written Dec 27, 2008

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    In the southeastern part of the island Marie-Galante, just north from Capesterre, you will find an area that is completely different from all the rest of the island. Les Galets is a very, very remote place that is very difficult to access. The one single road that crosses the area is in terrible condition and an average speed of 10 kilometres is the absolute maximum when you're here with a car.

    Driving around Les Galets brings you to a very rough coastline where the sea bangs on the rocks and where the strong wind makes it impossible for tropical vegetation to grow here. Instead what you see here are very small farms where cows are numerous and where just enough crops are cultivated to make a living.

    Les Galets is a flat piece of land that is hidden from all other parts of the island. When you are "returning to the real world" you'll need to climb a very steep hill. On top of this hill you'll see a large windmill park that looks like the end of the world from all other places on the island. Don't be mislead and visit the hidden world of Les Galets!

    The windmills high above Les Galets A very simple farm on Les Galets Cows in Les Galets A strong flower in Les Galets A curious cow in Les Galets
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    MARIE-GALANTE: Distilleries

    by Pieter11 Written Dec 27, 2008

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    Marie-Galante is rhum-island. You will not easily find an island this small with the same amount of distilleries. Many of the old distilleries have been closed thoughout the years, but still you find three famous rhum-factories here: Bellevue, Père Labat and Bielle.

    A visit to one of these distilleries is a real must when you are visiting M-G. During this visit you will get an explanation about the whole process of rhum-making: from the harvesting of the sugarcane to the bottling and preparation of different kinds of punches. And at the end of the tour you can always expect free tasting of these different tastes: rhums with all kinds of different tastes and different percentages: up to 59%!

    I visited two of the distilleries: Bielle, where you find a more traditional and low scale factory and the of Bellevue, where you can see the brand-new factory with modern techniques and even a environment-friendly way of production.

    Visits to the distilleries are free, and most of the times in the morning.

    Me at the Bellevue Distillery Rhum-punches in Bellevue distillery Here the sugarcanes enter the distillery Huge boiling-pots in the distillery The modern distillery of Bellevue
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    MARIE-GALANTE: Moulin de Bézard

    by Pieter11 Written Dec 27, 2008

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    Everywhere on Marie-Galante, and also on the other islands of Guadeloupe, you'll see numerous ruins of windmills: round stone buildings without wings and roofs. These are all windmills that were used during the sugarcane era to press the sugarjuice out of the canes.

    On Marie-Galante you can visit one of the windmills, and this one has been completely restaured in 1994. This Moulin de Bézard is located in the eastern part of the inland of the island and is nicely located on top of a small, green hill.

    Everyday between 10:00 and 14:00 this windmills opens its doors for a guided tour. During this tours you can learn about the first step in the process of rhum-making: it all starts with the sugar-juice that is pressed out of the canes in mills like this.

    Moulin de B��zard Moulin de B��zard Moulin de B��zard Traditional buildings next to the Moulin de B��zard Moulin de B��zard
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    MARIE-GALANTE: Habitations

    by Pieter11 Written Dec 26, 2008

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    Marie-Galante is a rhum-island like no other. In ancient days lots of money was made by the sugarplantations and the fabrication of rhum on the island. The plantation-owners surrounded theirselves by great wealth and in the 19th century several enormous mansions were built on "M-G".

    The most famous one is the Château Murat; a brilliant area with a huge house in the middle of green lawn and lots of small buildings around it like a small hospital and the remainings of some windmills. This mansion is located at around 3 kilometres south of Grand-Bourg. It can be visited as a part of an organised tour or on appointment.

    Between Grand-Bourg and Saint-Louis you can find another mansion, that also is in the middle of a large terrain, but that is a lot less restaured as the Murat. This Habitation Trianon is not prepared for tourism, but is mainly a place where cows enjoy the fresh grass around the ruins of the houses, the windmill and the other buildings. Here, you can just enter whenever you want: there is no fence and no protection whatsoever.

    Habitation Trianon Ch��teau Murat Ch��teau Murat Ch��teau Murat Habitation Trianon
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    MARIE-GALANTE: Gueulle Grand Gouffre

    by Pieter11 Written Dec 7, 2008

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    In the northeast of Marie-Galante you’ll find one of the most spectacular sights of the whole of Guadeloupe: the cliffs. The roads to the different viewpoints here are not very clearly indicated and are in bad condition, but taking the effort to come here really pays of!

    First there is the area of Caye Plate where you have a view of hundreds of metres of steep cliffs rising up from the sea. Cliffs that are up to 40 metres of height, with the water down below turning into a bizarre light-blue colour because of the currents. From here you can also start a tough 1,5 hours walk along the coastline, but after 10 minutes I changed my mind already because of the heat.

    A few kilometres further an even more spectacular sight can be visited: the Gueulle Grand Gouffre. Here a natural arch is formed by the rough sea as well as a cylindric bay where you can look into from above. Unfortunately the best views are not (officially) accesible because of safety precautions, but the pictures you see were taken from these better places anyway.

    When you follow the D205 in the northeast of the island, and you pay very good attention you’ll see the black signs somewhere at the side of the road.

    Me at Caye Plate The road towards Gueulle Grand Gouffre Gueulle Grand Gouffre The view from Caye Plate Caye Plate
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