Guadeloupe’s interesting terrain, culture and history make it worth exploring. You can start either at the beaches or the capital, Basse-Terre, before heading to the other cities like Morne à l’eau, known for its cemetery, and Anse Bertrand, a great starting point for trips to Porte d’Enfer and Souffleur. Aside from Basse-Terre and Grande-Terre, smaller islands make up Guadeloupe, too, including Marie Galante, Saint-Barthelemy, Saint Martin, Petite Terre, and La Desirade. Be sure to plan ahead and schedule a tour guide or join a group when visiting untamed or uninhabited places like Petite-Terre and when hiking up the volcano in Basse-Terre.
Beaches of Guadeloupe
Guadeloupe has a lot of breathtaking beaches with varying sand colors that are perfect for swimming, sunbathing and water sports. White sandy beaches are the main highlight of Grande-Terre, while black-sand beaches are at Basse-Terre’s western end. The Leeward coast has more traditional brown sand.
Parc National de la Guadeloupe
One of Basse-Terre’s main attractions is the National Park of Guadeloupe. It boasts a range of excellent hiking, walking and driving trails through 188 miles of marked paths, hillsides and rainforests. The park features an exhibit center, the majestic Cascade aux Ecrevisses waterfall and a zoo in the western section. There is a hanging bridge over the Bas-David River which leads into the jungle, with plenty of tropical birds and giant ferns.
Address: Habitation Beausoleil, Monteran, Boite Postal 13, Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe
Guadeloupe’s economic capital is home to attractions like the Schoelcher Museum, the Creole open-air marketplace, Place de la Victoire, the St. John Perse Museum, and the district of Bas du Fort. Exploring the city by foot introduces the visitor to a mix of colonial architecture with a touch of influence from the West Indies. The Guadeloupe Aquarium is also based in Pointe-a-Pitre.
Address: Grande-Terre, Guadeloupe
The capital of the island is home to many historical landmarks such as the old Fort St-Charles, Fort Louis Delgres, Place du Champ d’Arband, and the Cathedral of St. Peter and St Paul, which dates back to the 19th century.
Address: Basse-Terre Island, Guadeloupe
Phone: +590-5-80-56-48 (Office du Tourisme de Basse-Terre)
Fort Louis Delgres
Found at the base of La Soufrière in Basse-Terre, this French fort was built back in 1605, and was recently restored and turned into a historical museum to honor the military officer who fought many wars against Great Britain. Louis Delgres is known for his effort in abolishing slavery in the Caribbean.
Address: St Charles, Guadeloupe
This volcano is a popular hiking destination on Basse-Terre island. On top is the Etang As de Pigue crater lake. Follow the hiking trails of La Soufrière from Saint Claude to reach Bains Jaunes, which spirals downward into a rainforest until you reach the Galion Waterfalls. The falls drop about 131 feet.
Address: Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe
Parc Archeologique des Roches Graves
This historical park in Basse-Terre is close to Trois Rivieres. It exhibits evidence of early man in Guadeloupe and the greater Caribbean refion. Main attractions include the rock carvings of the Arawak Indians and a Carib chief’s head, which are believed to have been from around 300 to 400 AD. The park is managed by the General Council of Guadeloupe and was established in 1975. It has since been classified as a historical monument. There are 20 hectares of rocks with more than 230 engravings.
Address: Pres du Bord de Mer et de l’Embarcadere, Les Trois Rivieres, Guadeloupe
La Pointe des Chateaux
This natural landmark is at the tip of the lengthy peninsula of Grand-Terre’s eastern region, and it offers impressive views of the surroundings. It is also a good starting point for visiting Sainte-Marie, a quiet bay to the north where a Hindu temple and an Indian community reside.
Address: Grande-Terre, Guadeloupe