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Under the Tropical sun and 1900 miles from New York City, Guadeloupe offers dream beaches. Other then the wonderful strips of white or black sand lined with coconut trees or sea grapes, Guadeloupe is a land of contrasts and history.

Guadeloupe is a fascinating land made of two parts, tracing a butterfly’s wings on the map, 2 islands separated by a narrow sea channel known as “the salty river”. On one side, Basse-Terre is one of the wings forming the “Butterfly” of Guadeloupe, dominated by the imposing silhouette of its old Lady (La Soufrière volcano, 4813 ft/ 1467 m),

Basse-Terre is a mountainous massif, covered by a magnificent tropical forest of almost 66 square miles (17000 ha), which has been a designated National Park since 1989. It has lots of well marked hiking trails of varying degrees of difficulty. Its lush vegetation (over 3000 species of trees) provides shelter for an exotic wildlife, free from poisonous animals. With its waterfalls, cascades, basins, parks and different plantations…it reveals all its natural charm ! Beaches of pebble and sand in shades of ochre, brown, black and pink line its coast, and it has a fantastic underwater reserve of world renown – the Jacques Cousteau Reserve (with a submerged bust of him). Basse-Terre provides ample evidence of the cultural diversity of the island – Catholic church and Hindu temple, archaeological remains of the first inhabitants and the 17th century military fort. The town of the same name, the administrative center of the Department, is a real history book…

On the other side, Grande-Terre, also known as the Little Brittany of the Antilles, forms one wing of the Butterfly of the Guadeloupean archipelago. Unlike its twin, Basse-Terre, it is flat and formed from limestone.

Grande-Terre is a limestone plateau perfectly suited to growing sugar cane, which covers most of the island. You will realize the importance of this agricultural activity if you visit the Gardel sugar factory or the Bellevue distillery, located in the town of Le Moule, the former colonial capital. The magnificent shaded beaches of white sand along its coastline provide brilliant sunbathing places if you want to laze about. Calm lagoons of turquoise sea as well as wave sports are a joy for surfers and windsurfers. Lots of restaurants and hotels will guarantee you a taste of the best Creole cuisine, balmy Guadeloupean nights and the range of night time activities (casinos, discos, revues…). With its natural beauty spots (Pointe des Châteaux, the cliffs of la Grande Vigie, the Grands Fonds…), Pointe-à-Pitre, the economic capital with its historical monuments, museums, spice and flower markets with intoxicating smells, and the sugar cane landscapes of Port-Louis, Grande-Terre offers a wide range of choice to suit every visitor.

This stunning diversity provides for a large range of sport or excursion activities. A bounty of nautical activities wait by the shore: sail on the caressing trade winds, go scuba diving in exceptional warm waters (28ºC) and renowned areas or enjoy a ride on a jet ski. You can also opt for a land ride in a 4x4, quad, walking or cycling on the numerous mountains, countryside or walking paths filled with discoveries and wonders. Strong sensations are in line for those who choose to canoe down a canyon river, crossing deep gorges on a rope bridge alongside tree tops or sliding down waterfalls. What about some blood pumping action with a parachute jump over a lagoon?

Golfers are not left aside with the renowned St Francois course designed by Robert Trent Jones. In group or individually, beginners or confirmed amateur, there’s so much to do in Guadeloupe!

Guadeloupe also possesses a rich past and many vestiges, museums and reconstitutions telling the tormented history of the island. Land of racial mixtures, melting pot of civilization and fertile soils bathed in the sun are the setting where practices became trades and the ancestral know-how has been passed down to the visitors’ great enjoyment. Discover coffee plantations, distilleries, banana plantations or even some old artistic practices such as embroidery or wood work.

Guadeloupe’s most precious treasure lies in the Creole heart beating daily in the market streets, villages and in the plates of great Creole food, in the festivals such as the Carnaval or cooks’ day, or even in its rooster Pitts or the harnessed beef rib races. A thousand and one details create the wonderful charm of Guadeloupe and its people.

There’s so much to discover in Guadeloupe!

 

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