Guadeloupe is a French territory in the Caribbean. Everyone speaks French, so if you expect to find signs or text in English, you’d be sorely mistaken. We’ve visited Guadeloupe twice, similar to Dominica. The first time was in our dual trip to both Dominica and Guadeloupe, while our second visit was during the 2018 cruise.
The first trip began with a flight. We flew to the airport, checked into Airbnb, which was located in Basse-Terre. There are two regions of Guadeloupe: Grande-Terre and Basse-Terre. Grande-Terre is larger and plainlike, while Basse-Terre is the smaller of the two. It is also more mountainous, and features many hiking spots, while the main pull of Grande-Terre is its beaches.
The first place we visited was Carbet Falls, a group of three waterfalls in Guadeloupe. We hiked through lush green trails with diverse flora and fauna. When we reached the falls, I was a little disappointed. The thin, untidy waterfall that flows into a small stream has never impressed me the same way a broad waterfall feeding into a huge mountain would. Carbet Falls was a bit small, but if I had to compare it to another waterfall, it would be Angel Falls. Both waterfalls are quite tall, just the latter is on a different scale. They are also surrounded with verdant landscapes. Afterwards, we drove to the beach. On the way, we saw things ranging from temples to three foot iguanas. The beach we visited was very crowded. There was probably a person every two yards, so space was hard to come by, as Guadeloupe is an extremely popular holiday destination.
The next day, we hiked at Guadeloupe National Park. It was much more tranquil. There was nobody around us, just the trees and the noise of nature. We would go through forests, but we soon were in the open as we reached higher and higher altitudes. Soon enough, we were at a peak of green grass and moss. The change between grass and moss was very apparent. You don’t find yellow grass in Guadeloupe. The real spectacle was a dormant volcano. Guadeloupe National Park is located on the Soufriere Hills (not the volcano in Montserrat, but a different Soufriere Hills Mountain Range).
The next day, we went to Marrie-Galante, an island off the coast of the main island. We first visited the beach, which was fun, since we could see lots of mountains from the coast, and I also got to build sandcastles and dig huge holes. The best part of the experience was visiting the city of Saint-Louis, solely because we got to see good churches, and because I got to eat amazingly scrumptious homemade ice cream.
We spent the next few days in Dominica, where we saw waterfalls, hiked, and ate at the Roseau markets. When we returned, we visited Basse-Terre. We started off at Caravelle beach that day. We spent the whole day at Caravelle, since Caravelle beach has such great water. The water was shallow like a kid’s pool, which made it great for learning how to swim.
We started the next day off at a French-Indian restaurant, where we could either eat curry or baguettes. We choose curry. The owner of the restaurant was happy to see a fellow Indian, and even packed us extra food (Indians came to the Carribean as indentured servants for the British). We spent the rest of the day at the beach. As it neared Christmas, the crowds grew and grew, but we still enjoyed our experience a lot. Who wouldn’t enjoy living in paradise?
And paradise it was. We visited Pointe des Chateaux, an absolutely stunning natural masterpiece composed of a rocky beach bordered by a rocky peninsula shaped like an upside-down L. Near the peninsula was a group of barrier islands, and these barrier islands contained lightly vegetated flat peninsulas of their own. It was an exciting place to visit, because one wrong step to the right meant certain demise. I spent the evening at our Airbnb’s hot tub.
It was our last day in Guadeloupe. The days had gone by so quickly. We spent the remaining time at the beach, as one does when they visit Basse-Terre. It was a sleepy ending to a trip that went from extreme relaxation to strenuous activity.
We visited Guadeloupe again. This time, we visited for our 2018 cruise. Our experience before the cruise was rather brief. We got off the airplane, we got to the ferry dock, and then we waited to board the cruise ship. We spent a few days in Guadeloupe after our cruise, though. On our first day, we departed, and then made our way to the Airbnb. That evening, we visited Club Med Caravelle, which is a beach resort. It was sunset, and the palm trees on the beach made for a great picture with the sea and the sand, the beautiful water adding to the view.
We began the next day at the bakery. My dad wanted to buy some rum cakes (they aren’t alcoholic, so anyone can eat them). Afterwards, we visited Pointe des Chateaux again. The shore at many points was a rocky wasteland, with tidepools covering the volcanic landscape. In the distance were many islands, and on the top of a nearby hill was a huge cross. It was easily the best thing we did in Guadeloupe. Afterwards, we went to the beach, where we relaxed. It was the last time we’d visit Guadeloupe, but we’ll come back sometime.
- Hiking in the Caribbean is underrated, and Guadeloupe is one of the best places to hike.