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What to Do in Guadeloupe

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With five tropical islands and daily ferries connecting them, there are plenty of options for outdoor exploration across Guadeloupe. Go beach hopping from black to pink to white sands; surf the Atlantic or dive the Jacques Cousteau Reserve; conquer waterfalls or hike to the summit of La Grande Soufrière volcano. Also enjoy the Afro-Caribbean pulse of the markets and food trucks, dance freely to gwo-ka drumming sessions roadside or in the studio, and go rhum tasting. When you’re up for a slice of France, spend days in Les Saintes’ fabulous bistros and boutiques.
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Monteran, St Claude 97120, Guadeloupe
Covering nearly two thirds of Basse-Terre island, Guadeloupe National Park is an astounding 54,000 acres of lush rain forest, plus offshore mangrove and coral reefs. Some of the island’s best-known sights are inside the park, including active La...
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Pointe des Châteaux, Guadeloupe
Pointe des Châteaux, a protected natural and heritage site, is one of the most unusual landscapes in the Caribbean region. This rocky, craggy peninsula, which includes singular rock formations jutting out of the ocean, sits on the northeastern...
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Avenue Martin Luther King, Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe
Experience Guadeloupe’s deep-rooted African culture by signing up for a gwo-ka dance class. Gwo-ka ("big drum") is part drumming, part call-and-response chanting, and part dancing and is an important part of Guadeloupe's musical expression. Seven...
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One of the most popular beaches on Guadeloupe is Sainte-Anne, a family-friendly, mile-long stretch of white sand on the south coast of Grand-Terre. A coral reef protects the beach and the resulting calm water offers shallow swimming for the little...
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Rue Frébault, Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe
On the weekend, market days in Pointe-à-Pitre are like an outdoor celebration, with gwo-ka drumming on the streets leading to the markets. Browse the attractive stalls brimming with spice-filled bags at the Spice Market before checking out the...
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Marie-Galante, Guadeloupe
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...
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An archipelago within an archipelago is already an astonishing fact to grasp, but Îles des Saintes, made up of nine islets, only two of them inhabited, is full of yet more surprises. Hop on a daily ferry ride south from Trois-Rivieres in...
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Anse Salee, Guadeloupe
Guadeloupe packs a solid punch as a surfing destination. On Basse-Terre, black-sand beaches provide decent waves for beginners or even for the experienced who want to show off their skills. The small Plage de Bananier is a popular spot, with an...
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Plage de Malendure, Bouillante, Guadeloupe
Guadeloupe's most famous dive spot lies off the coast of Basse-Terre, surrounding the Pigeon Islands, and is part of the Guadeloupe National Park’s protected marine assets. Named after Captain Cousteau, who pushed for the protection of this...
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Grand-Bourg, Guadeloupe
Like on French counterparts Martinique and St. Martin, Guadeloupean rhum agricole is distilled from 100 percent pure sugar cane juice rather than from molasses (and is known as "rhum" versus "rum"). A number of well-respected small rhum factories...
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Îlet du Gosier, Guadalupa, Guadeloupe
After grabbing lunch on the ultra-local Plage de la Datcha on the south of Grande-Terre, hop on an afternoon boat shuttle from the beach to nearby Îlet du Gosier. You can spot the islet from shore—and if you’re fit, you can even kayak or swim...
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Deshaies, Guadeloupe
Deshaies Botanical Garden is one of the largest in the Caribbean and a simple stroll through its 12 acres is a treat. Expect to see flamingos, hummingbirds, parrots, and goats, as well as over 200 species of tropical flora, including hibiscus,...