Locals agree that Marie-Galante is the “real” Guadeloupe. Daily ferries whisk visitors and residents back and forth to this island, 40 minutes south of Grande-Terre across occasionally choppy waters. But the charming, pastoral island is well worth it. On Marie-Galante, more farmers ride ox-drawn carts than buses, and the most uncrowded, pristine beaches line the turquoise waters here—like the secluded and brilliant white Plage Vieux Fort. The food is traditional Creole, served with pride in homes-turned-dining-rooms, while the rhum distilleries are considered the best in Guadeloupe.

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