A fascinating island in the Caribbean shaped like a butterfly is actually made up of two separate islands which are connected by a bridge which stretches over the Rivière Salée.
An active volcano, soft white sandy beaches and a lush tropical rainforest are just some of the spectacular features which await on this exotic paradise.
Here’s a look at seven different activities you could enjoy during your time on Guadeloupe.
1) Climb a volcano
It’s not the easiest of climbs to the top, taking around 90 minutes to reach the peak at 1467 metres above sea level, but the panoramic views from the top will make you forget the hard work.
From the top of La Grande Soufrière you can see the mountains on the nearby islands, as well as the glorious blue sparkle of the Caribbean Sea for miles around.
Although the volcano is classed as active, it hasn’t so much as coughed since 1976 when there were fears that part of the island would have to be evacuated. Thankfully, it proved to be nothing more than a rumble and the islanders remained in their homes.
2) Relax on the beaches
The Caribbean is home to some of the most incredible beaches in the world and Guadeloupe is no exception. Beautiful, tranquil ocean waves lap against palm fringed shores where you can sit and watch the world go by.
Plage de la Perle on Grand-Terre is one of the best on the island, offering golden sands, not too busy or crowded and with delightfully quaint ramshackle beach bars for refreshment.
Grande Anse, Guadeloupe
The beaches in Guadeloupe are amongst the best in the whole of the Caribbean, and there’s a great variety of colours. From the dark ashy black of volcanic sands, to the almost pure white icing sugar sands, you can pick from a rainbow of beaches during your stay.
One of the most popular new watersports, kiteboarding combines the skills of surfing and windsurfing to great effect.
Needing no waves to get moving, kiteboarding uses the power of the wind to carry participants across the water, sometimes at tremendous speeds. The trade winds in the Caribbean provide the perfect conditions for kite boarders and they flock to the waters from all over the world.
Local kiteboarding schools can provide lessons and equipment and you can head out on a catamaran trip, fitted with all the latest luxuries, to enjoy the best kiteboarding spots in the ocean.
4) Carbet Falls
One of three impressive waterfalls located in the foothills of the volcano, La Grande Soufrière, Carbet Falls provides the opportunity to indulge in a natural and refreshing dip.
The Carbet Falls, Guadeloupe
The other two waterfalls in the group – the first and third ones – can only be reached through an inhospitable trek which shouldn’t be attempted by anyone other than experienced hikers. Carbet Falls however is easily accessible to everyone and can be enjoyed by the young and old alike.
5) Kayak through the mangroves
Guadeloupe has lush dense rainforest and vegetation as well as protected mangrove swamps. You could opt to join a hiking tour through this fascinating landscape but a far more enjoyable way to see the sights is to join a kayaking expedition.
Mangrove swamps in Guadeloupe can be found along the west coast and are home to all kinds of wildlife, including kingfishers, herons and pelicans along with many migratory birds. An experience which bird lovers will adore, kayaking along swampy and forested regions is an activity which you won’t get many chances to try elsewhere.
6) Enjoy the forests from up high
The Parc Zoologique et Botanique de la Guadeloupe is a place the whole family will enjoy, with both a zoo and botanical gardens to stroll around.
However, as well as fascinating animals and exotics plants there’s another feature well worth trying out….but only if you have a head for heights.
A network of rope bridges have been suspended high in the air dangling above the forest canopy and providing a unique view of the area. The opportunity to observe the forest from this angle is unmissable but don’t even think about trying it if you’re not a fan of being high in the air.
7) Have a rum time
You can’t visit Guadeloupe without taking a trip to Musée du Rhum, the island’s famous rum museum.
Enjoy learning how the spirit is made from sugar cane and even better, sample some of the distinctive flavours still being produced by the distillery today. With around 15 different types to try, you could buy a bottle before you leave at the distillery itself which can be found next door to the museum.
Whether you want to drink rum, swing above the forest, kayak or kitesurf Guadeloupe has plenty to see and do. With many different activities to try and places to visit, this Caribbean paradise will forever have a place in your heart.