Don't Miss Places In Guadeloupe
Guadeloupe belongs to the group of the islands in the Caribbean that vastly covers a gathering of cultural diffusion and ethnic diversity from many influential countries like France, North America, Africa, Europe and India. It possesses several museums of big interest, island hopping adventures, and an extensive selection of beaches and lagoons.
This island group has a rich and diversified architecture as seen around its fortified towns, sugarcane, banana houses or coffee plantations, huge colonial houses and central communities.
When in Guadeloupe, be sure to check out this top ten not to be missed places.
Pointe des Chateaux
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This strip of land on the extreme Grande Terre in Guadeloupe offers breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the other on the Caribbean Sea. On a clear day and bright weather, you can go right up to the cross on the small hill from where you can enjoy a view of the islands of Desirade and view the collision of the rough waves to its rocky coasts. Their meeting causes waves as high as 30 meters with a landscape that is eroded by such great force and clearly shows the signs of the action of the sea.
The waves are so high that it almost seems they can overwhelm you. The view from the top of the hill gives a nice preview of the location of all the beaches (left and right) in Guadeloupe.
The nearby beaches of the Caribbean side are very isolated and have little vegetation. The Pointe des Chateaux is filled with white coral sand and an opportunity to snorkel and see the colorful and tropical fishes and marine animals.
However always look out for warnings when the currents and waves are too strong for you can not swim because it is too dangerous. On this site there is an ample space to park, local vendors, and a food court, but it is certainly not a crowded place. Do not miss this beach when in the town of Saint Francois.
Guadeloupe Quad Buggy Tour
The Guadeloupe Quad Buggy Tour is a good alternative to discover the unforgettable parts of the mainland. Each ride comes with an attentive buggy riding coach that will tour you around and see the exceptional sites at Saint Francois. Before the fun ride, you need to listen to the 30 minute presentation of all the safety rules regarding how to ride a quad bike. Then, you will be taken along with your bike to an open road and do a test drive first (for safety purposes) before joining other tourists who are eager to explore this side of Guadeloupe in a Quad.
The company which runs the tour will give you a warm welcome and advice on where you can start out to safely explore and see all the pleasant scenery. Beyond hiking, the Quad tour group stops in places where access is otherwise impossible and takes the time to explain the wonderful things to do on every site.
All the buggies are in good condition and trained riders will monitor how you drive along the accessible trails. To enjoy the whole ride and adventure, spend half a day to see everything in this region (the rocky and marshy paths, the beaches, flora and fauna, etc.). The one hour and a half ride allow every guest to discover another facet of Guadeloupe in its familiar atmosphere.
Plage des Raisins Clairs
The beach is at the entrance of St. Francois. Crowded is a term that is perhaps exaggerated, but this is definitely one of the most popular beaches of Guadeloupe especially during the peak season. The Plage des Raisins Clairs is a long beach of fine white sand that is crowded and flocked by tourists because the other end of this attraction is located in the city.
This site can be easily located and there are lots of parking spaces, water sport services, and eateries. The beach is perfect for nice long walks in the afternoon before sunset. The coconut trees give a nice shade and a natural breeze on this clean beach. Do not go too far when in the water because it quickly becomes very deep.
Take a hike to the northern part, and admire the mangroves that grow close to its shores. Like almost all beaches on the island it is very windy and the turquoise colored waters and surroundings are well maintained.
The beach consists of picnic grounds and loungers where families can enjoy a whole day of frolic, grilling fresh seafood, and snorkeling. The beach also has clean working restrooms and shower facilities as part of its amenities.
Jardin Botanique de Deshaies
A visit to Guadeloupe is not complete without a visit to the Jardin Botanique de Deshaies. It is a landscaped garden that is truly enchanting. The place is beautiful with hundreds of plants, trees and some animals like; parrots, flamingos, giant carp, and the colorful parakeets. The waterfalls are beautiful and complimented the overall nature theme of the park. Allow yourself to walk around the garden to admire and relax in its entire lush green ambience. You can spend hours strolling around and knowing every species of plants and trees that is well cared for by the hard working gardeners of the park. Each plant comes with an interesting description about its origin and use. Some of the collections come all the way from Europe and has survived the tropical climate of the Deshaies, Guadeloupe.
In summer the place becomes humid and opens only on a certain schedule. Walking on the specially designed walkways along the high treetops is another fun adventure that kids and adults truly love in this huge horticultural garden. In May, the mango trees bloom, ripe, and fall at the unique waterfall in the center. Parrots that eat out of your hand, exotic plants and a fine dining restaurant with a great view, what more could you want.
Aquarium de la Guadeloupe
The Aquarium of Guadeloupe offers an Eco-tour where you can see a well maintained huge fish tank filled with a wide selection of tropical and local variety of fishes that are presented in their natural habitat. This aquarium is good for kids as they get educated and become aware about what fish they must not get too close with. Part of the tour is riding a small inflatable boat with transparent glass background provided for those who are not comfortable in the water. It comes with a guide that explains the importance of maintaining a clean and balanced eco-system for these marine life and creatures.
Guests can also have a chance to snorkel on the reef area and get up close with some of the fishes they saw in the big aquarium. Professional divers will accompany and guide you to the most visited and safe part of the reef. The shop offers local items to complete the experience and serve as souvenirs to bring back home. For younger children, the opportunity to see turtles, stingrays, sharks, eels, crabs and octopus is always a fascinating experience. The combined Eco - tour and aquarium is an absolute must if you enjoy diving among the fish with fin, mask, and snorkel in the rich waters of Gosier town in Grande Terre Island.
St. Anne Beach
Imagine a pool of a few square meters, put in the crystal clear water with a temperature of 27 to 29 degrees, and add an aquatic fauna that ranges from a few millimeters to about 60 cm and you have the brief summary of what the St. Anne Beach is all about. By far, it is one of the best beaches you can visit on the island. The huge swimming area with calm waters is populated by hundreds of fish species. The water depth is about 60 meters in proximity to the natural barrier from which the waves of the Caribbean break down.
The beach is lined with many trees for enough shade and a chance to taste the “chici”, a delicious candy treat that is only made in this part of the island.
This place is ideal for families with children as the sea is not too deep. Near the beach, there are lots of shops that sell souvenirs, many vans with food (sandwiches, grilled fish, drinks, etc.), and lots of fine restaurants. The sandy white beach is located in the center of St. Anne where anyone can spend a day of convenience on its sun loungers with parasols at absolutely no cost. The beach is free and open to the public.
Plage de Bois Jolan
The Plage de Bois Jolan is a long strip of sand surrounded by palm trees and mangroves that is absolutely free and easily accessible from about 2 km in the direction of St. Francois and St. Anne. This remote beach has no hawkers, lined umbrellas or any amenities, only the sun, palm trees, seas, sand and its impressive tranquil atmosphere. It is seldom visited, especially in September when the cold weather starts to sink in. In this long beach you can have all the space you need because there are few people.
There is only one small restaurant where you can dine comfortably and in peace along with admiring the views of the calm sea. The shallow sea is laced with beautiful colors produced by the diverse collection of tropical small fishes from the reef area. The beach is pretty long, quiet and you can always find a nice place where you can stand apart in the shade. However, during summer vacations the site becomes overcrowded like the rest of the numerous beach attraction of Guadeloupe.
Musee du Rhum
This nice and small museum explains how rum is produced, aged and manufactured in the region of Sainte Rose. The tour starts with a short ten minute film about the processing of sugar cane rum. The museum has a room for the traditional tools used to harvest sugar cane and how the harvest is finally processed to become rum.
Upstairs, there are two more exhibit rooms; one is dedicated to the kinds of insects while the other room displays a huge collection of sailing ship models. A small part of the room is also dedicated for traditional Caribbean costumes. The final part of the tour involves a free taste of the rums produced by the Reimonenq Family. For kids and drivers fruit juice is given. The rums and other souvenirs of the place can be bought from their gift shop near the entrance.
Cascade le Saut de L’Acomat
The amusing Cascade le Saut de L’Acomat is a magical place even if the trails are difficult to access. The access path requires a twenty minute downhill (steep and slippery) trek through the forest. Once there, after crossing the river, you will be welcomed with a basin shape lagoon and a beautiful cascade of water that reaches about ten meters in height. The water temperature rises up to 23 degrees and there are locals that guide the visitors on where and how to jump to have a great time.
The place is wild and beautiful as its turquoise blue waters can rival the waters of the best beaches on the island. You can also get to the other side of the cascading stream where you can have a good balance and aim to take a dive on its cold waters. A visit during the rainy season is not advisable because the trails turn muddy and more slippery.
The tour of Ilet Caret begins with taking a mini cruise on board a catamaran that leaves the port of Sainte Rose. On the way, you will discover immense lagoons, islands, coral reef, shipwrecks, and mangroves. The attraction has endless possibilities to make a whole day stay all worth it.
If the tides are low you can snorkel several times of the day. If you like the friendly and festive atmosphere and great ocean views do not hesitate to go and visit the famous islet that is always full of tourists.