Situated 7,000 km from Europe and 2,900 km from North America, Guadeloupe is bordered by the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Its rare tropical climate is kept temperate by the trade winds. Temperatures vary throughout the year, between 20 and 30 °C, creating a small paradise on earth!
Christophe Columbus discovered Guadeloupe in 1493. It became a French Overseas Department in 1946 and then a region in 1974.
As well as the main island, which is shaped like a butterfly (hence the name of butterfly island) and is separated by a stretch of sea called “Rivière Salée” (Salty River), the archipelago is made up of La Désirade and Petite Terre, Les Saintes, Marie Galante, Saint Martin and Saint Barthélemy.
“The Butterfly Island”, or the continental island, incorporates Basse-Terre (850 km²), where the inhabitants and economic activity are concentrated. This is a mountainous region and the famous volcano Soufrière, which is still active, dominates the island, standing at over 1,467 metres.
A magnificent tropical forest extends over 42,000 acres and has been classified as a National Park since 1989.
The fauna and flora (over 3,000 species of trees) is rich and varied on the island. It also has waterfalls, cascades, pools, parks and different plantations.
Bordered by pebbled and sandy beaches with enchanting colours, Basse-Terre has the fabulous marine reserve of Commander Cousteau, which is known worldwide. On the Atlantic coast, the land descends on a gentle slope towards the sea. Many banana plantations are planted there. The other island is Grande-Terre (582 km²), which is flatter, drier and more calcareous. Sugar cane plantations are abundant there.
Culture, leisure activities and excursions
There is no shortage of activities in Guadeloupe! History, cultural visits, hikes, surfing spots, scuba diving, discovery of the flora and fauna…there is something to suit everyone’s tastes!
The sporty ones amongst us will be delighted: scuba diving, deep sea fishing, horse riding, mountain biking, tennis, hikes, water skiing, jet skiing, wind surfing, surfing, sailing centres…
During the day, there are many excursions. We can take reservations for some of them; get more information from your local correspondent: diving lessons or free diving, day excursions to Caret Island with lunch under the palm trees, high-sea fishing with lunch on board the boat, botanical garden visits, day excursions to La Désirade Island, hiking with motorcycle or mountain bike hire or shopping in Pointe-à-Pitre.
Take good care of yourself! Guadeloupe also has beauty treatment centres. You can have thalassotherapy in total tranquillity.
As for the evenings, the clubs, cocktail and music bars, casinos and games rooms open their doors to you until the early morning hours!
Guadeloupe is a land of flavours. The soils of the islands and the gastronomic expertise will satisfy gourmets, who will have the opportunity to taste many exotic flavours: fruits, vegetables, spices, fish and alcohol.
A meeting point between Caribbean, African, European and Indian cultures, Antillean cuisine is a worthy reflection of this mixing.
At the markets, you will find all the products which the islands are known for: sugar cane, vanilla, cocoa, coffee, rum and spices…have a wander round!