The 6 Most Beautiful Places in Guadeloupe, France

The 10 most beautiful places in Guadeloupe

The 10 most beautiful places in Guadalupe

The 10 most beautiful places in Guadeloupe

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With a shape reminiscent of a butterfly on top, Guadeloupe is a group of islands beloved for their poetic landscapes and sandy beaches. “A place of beautiful waters” will enchant you in every way possible. Just before you start hopping off the island, read our guide with the most stunning places you can’t miss.

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Parc National de la Guadeloupe

Besides being the administrative capital of Guadeloupe, Basse-Terre is also a draw for nature lovers and a must-visit for every birder. Recognized by UNESCO as a World Biosphere Reserve, the National Park of Guadeloupe is a huge protected rainforest with many hiking trails and home to a variety of flora and fauna. Stroll through the park to view spectacular waterfalls, take a picnic break, and stop for a swim to regain lost energy.

Address: Bas-Terre, Guadeloupe

La Soufrière.

As the highest mountain peak in the Lesser Antilles, La Soufrière is an active volcano, part of a National Park and a major landmark in the Guadeloupe landscape. Bring plenty of water and food, wear athletic shoes, follow one of the clearly marked trails for about two hours, enjoy spectacular panoramic views along the way, and don’t miss the chance to take a hot bath on your return.

Address: La Grande Soufrière, Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe

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Sainte-Anne

Home to more than fifty unique beaches, Sainte-Anne, you can stroll under the palm trees, relax on the white sand and swim in the shallow turquoise waters. After a stroll around town, choose your retreat and spend the day snorkeling, sailing, or just relaxing on the beach, enjoying the local feel and tropical lifestyle.

Address: Saint Anne, Grande Terre, Guadeloupe

Ter de Bass Island.

Steep and mountainous, this small island is the perfect place if tranquility is what you’re looking for. Best known for its art craft, hiking trails, ancient pottery remnants and Salako hat making, Terre-de-Bas is a true rural oasis. Whether on foot or by jitney, visit the picturesque, unforgettable moments in the main villages.

Address: Terre-de-Bas Island, Guadeloupe

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La Désirade.

Meaning “Desirable” in French, this place definitely lives up to its name. La Désirade is a peaceful island, probably the most unspoiled of Guadeloupe. Although the least visited compared to others, the superb white sand beaches, protected by long coral reefs and warm hospitality are just two reasons to go back in time through this amazing resort.

Address: La Désirade, Grande Terre, Guadeloupe

Pointe-à-Pitre

Although it is not the capital, it is the largest city in the region. Pointe-à-Pitre stands out among shoppers offering everything from French perfumes and jewelry to spices and flowers. Pop in during the few morning hours to stroll through the colorful street and harbor markets and sample delicious seafood dishes at one of the nearby restaurants.

Address: Pointe-à-Pitre, Grand Terre, Guadeloupe

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La Pointe des Châteaux

The Pointe des Châteaux is a picturesque isthmus at the easternmost point of the Grande Terre and the ideal place to experience the majestic power of nature. Made of unique rock formations and a large littoral strip, it not only hosts rare plant and animal species, but also radiates incomparable rugged beauty thanks to the crashing waves and strong winds.

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Address: La Pointe des Châteaux, Grand Terre, Guadeloupe

Marie-Galante

Also called the “big pancake,” Marie-Galante is a flat, unspoiled island, round in shape with rolling hills and extraordinary countryside. Almost entirely devoted to the cultivation of sugar cane, it is one of Guadeloupe’s best kept secrets and a gateway to escape the crowds. Check out some of the traditional wolves that bring in the enclosure, discover some fascinating historical sites and don’t forget to visit the eco-museum or the distilleries to bring back rum from your trip.

Address: Marie-Galante, Grande Terre, Guadeloupe

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Jacques Cousteau Underwater Reserve

On the Basse-Terre coast, the waters surrounding Pigeon Island include the protected Jacques Cousteau Underwater Park, one of the world’s best dives. Whether you are a first-rate diver or an experienced one, the underwater scenery is not to be missed. Respect the fragile ecosystem and swim through shallow reefs or snorkel for some marine sightings that you will remember for a lifetime.

Address: Plage de Malendure, Bouillante, Guadeloupe

Terre de Haut

A little piece of France married with a distinctive Caribbean is what Terre de Haut is all about. Despite the daily invasion of visitors, it still retains a unique charm as a typical fishing spot with wooden houses and a local church. Indulge in gorgeous views and enjoy the beautiful beaches; let’s be honest, that’s what you’re here for.

The 15 most popular tourist attractions in Guadeloupe

The island archipelago of Guadeloupe offers a delightful blend of natural beauty and rich Creole and French culture. The archipelago is an overseas region of France, and its food, language and culture reflect this connection. Guadeloupe is butterfly-shaped with two main islands, Grande Terre in the east and Bas Terre in the west, separated by a narrow mangrove channel called Rivière-Salais. Palm beaches wrap around the coastline, and the interior is lush and mountainous with waterfalls, hot springs and an active volcano. Most of the tourist facilities are located on the southern coast of Grande Terre, which is also home to the cruise’s largest city and port, Pointe-a-Pitre.

The archipelago also encompasses the smaller islands of La Desirade, Les Saintes and Marie Galante, which offer many natural attractions. All of Guadeloupe’s islands have great opportunities for birding; photography; hiking; and water sports such as snorkeling, swimming and diving. Guadeloupe also has many colorful carnivals and festivals, including the five-day Mardi Gras Carnival, ending on Ash Wednesday.

1 Guadeloupe National Park, Bass Ter

Guadalupe National Park, Bass Ter

Designated a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, Guadeloupe National Park (Parc National de Guadalupe) on the island of Bas Terre often attracts more than a million visitors a year. The park includes 300 kilometers of hiking trails; La Soufrière Volcano at 1,467 meters; Col de la Matéliane at 1,298 meters; and a wide variety of flora and fauna, including 100 species of orchids and 11 species of bats. Birdwatchers will enjoy the diversity here with resident species such as the black woodpecker, the pearly-eyed trescher and the Lesser Antillean pewee. A good way to travel through the park is via the Route de la Traverse (D23). This scenic trans-coastal trail winds through a rainforest of majestic mahogany and bamboo trees. Along this route are lookouts, picnic areas, jungle waterfalls, and a staffed roadside tourism center at Maison de la Forêt. You can also stop for a cooling Cascade aux Ecrevisses , a small waterfall spilling into a pond. Other popular things to do in the park include a volcano hike and another trail to a series of waterfalls on the lower slopes of the volcano known as Les Chutes du Carbet (Carbet Falls) .

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Address: Habitation Beausoleil Montéran, 97120 Saint Claude

Official website: http://www.guadeloupe-parcnational.fr

Accommodation: Where to stay in Guadeloupe

2 La Soufrière Hike, Bas-Terre

La Soufrière Hike, Basse-Terre Daniel Jolivet / photo modified

The highest peak in the Lesser Antilles, La Grande Soufrière is an active volcano that has erupted eight times since 1660. Hot springs, mud pools, and fumaroles accent its barren black sides. Travelers can climb the volcano along the Chemin des Dames trail , a roughly two-hour climb with panoramic views from the highest points of the massif while the weather is clear. The triple waterfall Chutes du Carbet flows along the eastern edge of the massif of La Soufrière from a height of 115 meters, with observers above each waterfall. Travelers who follow Etang As de Pique will find one of the largest mountain lakes formed in craters on a volcanic massif surrounded by lush hills.

Address: Habitation Beausoleil Montéran, 97120 Saint Claude

3 La Pointe des Châteaux, Grand Terre

La Pointe des Châteaux is a picturesque isthmus at the easternmost point of Grande Terre. The windswept, wave-stricken point with castle rock formations radiates a rugged beauty reminiscent of Brittany. A botanical path leads from the village to a superb point among the great black cliffs that offers beautiful views of the islands of La Desirade, Petite Terre and Marie Galante.

4 Tour of the Grand Cal de Sac Marin Nature Reserve

Grand Cal de Sac Marin Nature Reserve Boat Tour Michel Craig / photo modified

Cradled between the northern shores of Bas-Terre and Grand Terre, the Réserve Naturelle du Grand Cul-de-Sac Marin ) is a great place to soak up the wild side of Guadeloupe by boat. This 15,000-hectare reserve is a mosaic of mangrove forests, mudflats, coral reefs, grasslands to the north, turquoise lagoons and small islets, and transition zones where viable human activities are allowed. Together with the Guadeloupe National Park on Bass Terre, it forms the Archipelago Biosphere Reserve in Guadeloupe , Among the prolific marine life found in the reserve are turtles, sea urchins, giant sponges and an impressive variety of fish. Birds can be found such as kingfishers, herons, pelicans and frigate birds. You can visit the reserve on an excursion, usually called the Blue Lagoon Tour, which includes exploring the mangroves and Mustique River; snorkeling on the coral reefs; and stopping at a small white sand island, Ilet Caret, surrounded by glowing turquoise water. If you don’t speak French, be sure to ask for an English-speaking guide.

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5 Plage de Grande Anse, Basse-Terre

Plage de Grande Anse, Basse Terre Alexia Boulot / photo modified

On the northeast coast of Basse Terre, near Deschayes, Plage de Grande Anse is a picturesque slice of palm sand and clear waters. The beach is surrounded by lush headlands, a beach more than a kilometer long, with soft golden sand and lots of shady trees.It’s a great beach to walk on, and the waters are usually great for swimming, although the surf can be a bit rough on windy days. It’s not the best place for young children swimming, as the sea floor suddenly drops off the shoreline. A bonus here is that you can rent kayaks to paddle around the mangrove lagoon behind the beach. After a morning of sunbathing and swimming, head to the little cafes and beer trucks near the parking lot, which sell mouthwatering crepes and other snacks.

Further north, Plage de la Perle is another popular beach near Deshaies, with cafes and restrooms, and it tends to be a bit quieter than Plage de Grande Anse

6 Jacques Cousteau Underwater Reserve

Jacques Cousteau Underwater Reserve

On the Bass Terre coast, near Bouillante, the waters surrounding Pigeon Island, there is the Jacques Cousteau Underwater Reserve (Réserve Cousteau) with some of the best underwater scenery in Guadeloupe. You can walk the shallow reefs, snorkel or view the corals from side-bottom boats, and dive operators cater to all skill levels. Turtles and large schools of fish, as well as parrotfish, trumpetfish and fish, frequent the coral gardens here, and the area offers good flood and wreck dives. You can also kayak to the reserve from the mainland.

Address: Bouillante, Guadeloupe, Plage de Malendure 97125

7 Guadeloupe Zoo, Parc de Maumelles, Bas-Terre

Jaguar in the Guadeloupe Zoo

Surrounded by the Guadalupe National Park, the Guadalupe Zoo is a popular garden and nature reserve on the banks of the Rivière-à-erb. About 85 animal species are represented here, including many rare and endangered species. Tropical trails wind through rainforests where you can see turtles, raccoons, monkeys, jaguars and parrots. One section of the park is punctuated by rope bridges leading over a canopy with breathtaking views of the mountainous terrain.

Address: Route de la traversée, D23

Official website: http://www.zoodeguadeloupe.com/

8 Jardin Botanique de Deschies, Bas-Terre

Jardin Botanique de Deschies, Bas-Terre

Filled with beautiful tropical flora and many colorful varieties of birds, the Jardine Botanique de Deschies is a peaceful botanical garden on the northwest coast of Basse Terre. Pathways lined with bright splashes of bougainvillea winds throughout the grounds, where you can stroll between cascades, lily ponds and gazebos. Kids will love to feed the fish, as well as the rainbow lorikeets that come down at arm’s length. The hilltop restaurant has a beautiful view of the gardens and the sea.

Address: Deshaies 97126, Basse Terre

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Official website: http://www.jardin-botanique.com/

9 Terre de Haute Island, Les Sts.

Isle of Terre de Haut, Les Saintes

The island of Terre de Haut, the eastern island of Le Saint, exudes a more European character than its western counterpart, Terre de Basse. The terrain and climate were unsuitable for growing sugar, so the settlers were mostly fishermen. The pastel-colored houses and brightly colored fishing boats (saintosas) provide excellent photo opportunities. In the island’s main village, Bourg de Seine, the volcanic Sugar Loaf Hill overlooks a curving blue bay fringed by white sand. The houses here are European in character, with whitewashed walls, red tile roofs and flower beds.

On a hill overlooking the bay, the 17th century Fort Napoleon, with its historic museum and exotic garden, is one of the island’s main attractions. Another point, Morne du Chameau is the highest point on the island and takes about two hours to climb from the village of Terre de Haut. Across the bay of Illet Cabrit is a small island where the ruins of the 19th century Fort Josephine still stand.

10 Ter de Bass Island, Les Saintes

Isle of Terre de Bass, Les Saintes

Terre de Bass is the western island of Les Saintes. There are small fishing villages, swimming beaches and hiking trails. Two hours are enough to cross the island, which is considered one of the most natural and wild in the Guadeloupe archipelago. Grande Anse on Terre de Bass has a small 17th-century church, a beautiful cove and beach with swimming and snorkeling huts, and a hiking trail to the 273-meter-long Cape Grande Montagne. Gros Cap is the main village of Terre de Bass with a ferry landing, hotel, restaurant and starting points for roads and hiking trails.

11 St. Anne’s Beach, Grande Terre

St. Anne’s Beach, Grande Terre

Palm Beach St. Anne is one of the most popular beaches in Guadeloupe. The seaside promenade floating along the shore is a great place to walk, and the beach is busy but beautiful, with white sand and shallow water in dreamy shades of blue. It’s a great place to swim, with typically calm waters. Near the beach there are many restaurants and shops selling local crafts.

To the west, facing the Club Med La Caravelle, Plage Caravelle is another beautiful beach with a sea reef. If you prefer a little more tranquility, Plage de Bois Jolan, to the east, is less crowded than St. Anne, but you need to bring your own food and refreshments, as there are not enough amenities on the beach.

12 Marie Galante Island.

Marie Galante, called Big Pancake, is a round, flat island known for its gorgeous beaches. Sugar farming and tourism are major industries, and you can see the ruins of many windmills around the island. Spectacular, swimming, hiking and local activities are all popular activities. Built in 1839, Château Murat was the largest sugar plantation in Guadeloupe, and its eco-museum honors the art and culture of Marie-Galante, including the history of the sugar industry. Also on site are a restored colonial mansion, a windmill, the ruins of a sugar mill and a healing garden. Feuillere Beach is one of the most beautiful stretches of sand on the island.

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13 La Désirade Day Trip

La Désirade Day Trip Daniel Jolivet / photo modified

Meaning “Desirable” in French, La Désirade certainly lives up to its name for travelers who want to avoid the crowds of tourists. This peaceful island is about a 45-minute rocky boat ride from Saint-François on the southeast coast of Grande Terre. Consisting of table rock, it is the oldest island in the Lesser Antilles and was once a leper colony but is now a geological reserve. Charming palm-fringed beaches like Fifi and Souffler call the island, and coral reefs protect its shores. Snorkeling, swimming and diving are all popular activities here, and the hiking trail at Le Morne du Souffleur offers spectacular sea views. You’ll also see plenty of iguanas and goats during your visit.

Nearby La Désirade, Petite Terre are two uninhabited island reserves known for their biodiversity.

14 Plage du Souffleur, Grand Terre

Plage du Souffleur, Grande Terre.

Plage du Souffleur, one of the most beautiful beaches of Grand Terre, south of the coast of Port Louis, a small fishing village on the northwest coast of the island. Sea grape trees and coconut palms fringe this picturesque stretch of white sand and aqua sea, offering plenty of shady spots to lay out your towel. Depending on conditions, you can find decent waves here for surfing, and when the water is calm, snorkeling can be fun. Food trucks sell Creole food and refreshments.

In nearby Port Louis, brightly painted wooden houses and antique iron lampposts give the town a cheerful feel. A 20-minute drive through an area of desert vegetation, Pointe de la Grande Vigy, the northernmost point in Guadeloupe, with stunning sea views of neighboring islands on clear days.

15 Pointe-à-Pitre Shopping

Shoppers will find Guadeloupe’s best shopping in Pointe-à-Pitre, the archipelago’s largest city. French perfumes, jewelry, cosmetics, crystal and fashion lure shoppers to the Saint-John Percé Center, as well as the stores along Frébault, Nozières and Schoelcher Streets. Market Saint Antoine offers a sampling of Creole flavors, and the colorful outdoor markets are a delight to visit as much for the atmosphere as for their goods, and many market vendors are dressed in colors as colorful as the tropical fruits they display. The harbor market sells spices, flowers, crafts and clothing, and fishing boats tie up here to sell their catch.

More beautiful islands near Guadeloupe

Guadeloupe is surrounded by other gorgeous islands where natural beauty is the upper draw. To the south lie Dominica, Martinique and St. Lucia, with lush mountainous terrain and fantastic hiking opportunities. To the north, a volcano still waves tiny Montserrat, and Antigua and Barbuda is home to some of the best beaches in the Caribbean.

For other tropical travel ideas, see our articles on the best luxury integrated resorts in the Caribbean and the best tropical vacations.

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