Our travel guide to Guadeloupe | Milesopedia
Les Saintes – Pixabay

Our travel guide to Guadeloupe

To the point Located in the heart of the Caribbean, the islands of Guadeloupe offer an ocean of possibilities for visitors. Here is our guide.

To prepare your trip to Guadeloupe, let’s discover together the five main islands that make it up.

Located in the heart of the Caribbean, the islands of Guadeloupe stand out for their diversity. The archipelago consists of 5 main islands:

  • Basse-Terre
  • Grande-Terre
  • Marie-Galante
  • Les Saintes
  • and La Désirade.

Bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, these islands are rich in natural and cultural heritage. The destination has a lot to offer: 10 weeks of festivities, 90 historical monuments, 7 nature reserve areas and 400 km of beaches.

The two largest islands, Grande-Terre and Basse-Terre, are shaped like butterflies and are separated by the Rivière Salée. One of the great stars of Guadeloupe is undoubtedly its famous active, but eruptive resting volcano, La Soufrière.

The destination is less than 5 hours flight from Montreal. The arrival is at the international airport Guadeloupe Pôle Caraïbes (PTP).

Flights to Guadeloupe with points

From Montreal, 9 direct flights per week go to Martinique.

Air Transat: 2 flights per week from December 21 to April 30, 2023

Air Canada: 1 to 5 flights per week year round

and Air France: 2 flights per week from October 29 to April 10, 2023

With Air France, it is possible to use 15,000 Flying Blue Miles or more for a direct flight from Montreal to Pointe à Pitre.

Flying blue PTP YUL

In addition, using Aeroplan points is a good way to get a cheaper plane ticket to Guadaloupe.

For an economy class ticket, you can find them starting at 12,500 Aeroplan points for a one-way ticket.

Prédicteur points Aéroplan

To spend two weeks in sunny Guadalupe in June, one can redeem 34,100 Aeroplan points and $146. A round trip ticket costs $1,019.

YUL PTP juin

Or to escape the dreariness of November 2023, we leave everything behind to eat accras in Guadalupe with 45,000 Aeroplan points and $146. This allows us to avoid the $1,404 ticket price.

YUL PTP Novembre

In addition, the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite card is one of the credit cards that gives you a free bag when you fly with Air Canada.

5 islands to discover

Basse-Terre

The largest island of Guadeloupe, the surface area of Basse-Terre is 848 km2 and its main cities are :

  • Sainte-Rose
  • Deshaies
  • Trois-Rivières
  • Basse-Terre
  • Petit-Bourg

To see/do in Basse-Terre :

An excursion to meet the Soufrière volcano, summit of the Lesser Antilles.

Sail through the islets and islets of the Grand Cul-de-Sac marin nature reserve.

Refresh yourself in the crystal clear waters of the Cascade aux Écrevisses on the Route de la Traversée.

A hike through the ferns and orchids that populate the 17,300 hectares of the Guadeloupe National Park.

Basse-Terre – Pixabay

Grande-Terre

Grande-Terre has an area of 590 km2 and its economic capital is Pointe-à-Pitre.

To see/do in Grande-Terre :

Observe the view from the Pointe de la Grande-Vigie or the Porte d’Enfer, in the north, to have your breath taken away!

Stroll through the colorful markets, filled with fruits, vegetables, spices, madras fabrics, flowers and fish, day and night.

Perfect your tan on the white sand beaches of the Rivière du Levant (from Gosier to Saint-François).

Parachute over the lagoon of Saint-François and admire the Pointe des Châteaux.

Grande-Terre – Annie Mason – Unsplash

Marie-Galante

The surface of Marie-Galante is 158 km2.

To see/do in Marie-Galante:

Taste exceptional rums by visiting the Bellevue, Bielle and Poisson distilleries.

Travel back in time at theHabitation Murat, a former sugar house that has become an eco-museum.

Make a stop at the impressive cliff ” Gueule Grand Gouffre “.

Taste the culinary specialties: the Bébélé, the syrup of battery or the honey.

Marie Galante – Crédit Office de tourisme de Guadeloupe

Les Saintes

The surface area of the islands of Les Saintes is barely 14 km2, but they are worth the detour because they take you into a whirlwind of colors!

To see/do in Les Saintes :

Discover Terre-de-Haut, the main island, famous for the coral-rich waters of the Sugar Loaf beach and its palm groves. Admire the view of Marigot Bay, ranked among the most beautiful bays in the world, from Fort Napoleon.

Still in Terre-de-Haut, enjoy the calm of the beach of Pompierre to savor a fish pancake or a love cake, a pastry that women used to prepare for their husbands who went fishing at sea, not knowing if he would return…

Discover Terre-de-Bas. Hike using the path of the Dessus de l’Étang or the Cliffs, through the dry tropical vegetation. Make a Salako, the traditional hat of the fishermen of Saint-Etienne.

Les Saintes vue de haut – Viktor Ruppert – Unsplash

La Désirade

Located about ten kilometers east of Grande-Terre, the island of Désirade was the first land sighted by Christopher Columbus during his second voyage at sea. Its surface area is 22 km2.

To see/do in La Désirade :

A hike to the Désirade Nature Reserve.

Swim with mask and snorkel in the magnificent nature reserve of Petite-Terre, to approach the rays.

Taste the candied cashew with its manioc ice cream on the beach at Fifi.

La Désirade – crédit Office de tourisme de Guadeloupe

Main attractions of Guadeloupe

The main tourist attractions of the islands of Guadeloupe can be grouped into five categories: nature, boating, culture, gastronomy and well-being.

Reconnecting with nature

Guadeloupe has 7 nature reserve zones, a national park and a biosphere reserve. Several parks and gardens are therefore interesting to visit.

The National Park of Guadeloupe has 1800 species of plants, with nearly 280 species of birds.

Among the activities that allow you to reconnect with nature: hiking or biking between wild landscapes and heavenly beaches, canyoning and tree climbing or horseback riding.

Nautical activities

The five islands of Guadeloupe all have beautiful beaches. The offer of aquatic activities is therefore generous: learn to surf, kite-surf, paddle board, jetski, etc.

You can also dive in the natural maritime environment of the Cousteau Reserve; observe the marine fauna by going to meet whales and other cetaceans; and you could even swim with the marine turtles in Malendure (Petite-Terre).

let Caret – Bertrand Bouchez -Unsplash

Culture

Guadeloupe is characterized by the different cultures that make it up (African, Indian, South American, Syrian-Lebanese…), all combined with the influence of European culture.

To discover the history of Guadeloupe, go for example on the tracks of the Indian community at the Changy Temple or at the Parc des Roches Gravées.

To learn more about the history of the Caribbean, visit the ACTe Memorial (Grande-Terre).

Carnival is the most anticipated event in the Caribbean. The Carnival starts in January and ends at the end of February. It is a colorful period in Guadeloupe, with dances and disguises.

Carnaval de Guadeloupe – Crédit Office de tourisme

Gastronomy

During your stay in the archipelago, you will certainly want to taste its unavoidable dishes. Among the best of Creole cuisine: accras, lambi, bébélé, dombrés, cashew and love torment.

To be tasted in a street truck: the Bokit, a fried bread filled with food. You will not miss the opportunity to taste agricultural rums and traditional punches.

Wellness

Guadeloupe is also an ideal destination for relaxation, whether in a spa in the middle of nature or in one of the natural springs of Dolé or Sofaïa.

For a massage and pampering, go to one of the many spas, either inside or outside the hotels.

eaux chaudes – crédit Office de tourisme de Guadeloupe

Key events

January: Carnival

February: Jours gras

April: Crab Festival; Kabrit Festival; Fish and Sea Festival

May: Terre de Blues Festival; Saint-François International Open (golf)

July : All Day Inn ; Tour de Guadeloupe à la Voile Traditionnelle

August: Guadeloupe Cycling Tour; Fêtes des cuisinières

November: All Saints’ Day

December : Nwèl kakadò and Chanté nwèl

Célébrations – Crédit Office de tourisme de Guadeloupe

Accommodation on the islands with points

To find a place to stay in Guadeloupe, there are many alternatives. You will find a choice of hotels from 1 to 5 stars, villas, homestays, club hotels and cottages.

Among the addresses to remember:

  • La Toubana Hotel & Spa (5 stars)
  • Konokara Ecolodge Village (3 stars)
  • Pierre et Vacances (3 stars)
  • Bois Joli Hotel (3 stars)
  • Gîtes Amours d’Olivier (3 stars)
  • and Soleil Levant Hotel (3 stars)
La Toubana Hotel & Spa Guadeloupe

In Guadeloupe, there are unfortunately no big hotel chains where you can spend your reward points.

However, there are credit cards that offer a travel credit.

Like with these American Express credit cards:

Using Airbnb is a good idea, as well as with general booking sites like Booking.com.

With one of these credit cards, use the points to deduct your lodging expense:

Plus, this HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®saves you 2.5% on conversion fees on all your travel transactions.

Getting around

To visit Guadeloupe, the best is to rent a car (about 30 euros per day). This will allow you to stop wherever you want. All the beaches are free. Most of the parking lots are as well as the national park.

Otherwise, cabs or VTC are very common in the archipelago.

For the maritime connections, inter-island connections are made every day from Pointe- à-Pitre, Saint-François and Trois-Rivières. It will cost you between 20 and 30 euros for a round trip, for a duration between 30 minutes and one hour depending on the island you are heading to.

Quai à Marie-Galante – Crédit Office de tourisme de Guadeloupe

Some useful information about the destination

Surface area: 1628 Km2

Number of inhabitants: approximately 393,640

Time zone: 1 hour difference in winter

Currency: euros (€)

Health restrictions: none for the moment.

Languages: French and Creole

Climate: tropical, hot and humid. The wet season runs from July to November; the dry season from January to April. Temperatures are around 24°C and 30°C during the day. The water temperature is 26° on average.

Guadeloupe
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