Guadeloupe is not a country, but it is an overseas territory of France which is part of the Lesser Antilles, a string of islands in the Caribbean Sea including mainland Guadeloupe which includes Grande-Terre and Basse-Terre and its dependencies.
Here is our list of 10 suggestions on what to do in Guadeloupe and visit if you only have a few days there, even if your budget is limited.
1- Visit the market and the beach of Sainte-Anne
You can start your Grande-Terre day at the Sainte-Anne market. A few merchants have set up shop along the beach and sell various food products and objects. You will notice the richness of spices, all sorts, flavours and colours. This little introduction to the market plunged us directly into the atmosphere of the Caribbean. You can also take some time to enjoy the beautiful beach of Sainte-Anne.
2- Discover the Soufrière
La Soufrière is the active volcano of Guadeloupe, it is located in the south of the Basse-Terre and is near the Carbet falls. Access to the summit of “la vieille dame” is possible via numerous hiking trails. So put on your crampons and set off on an excursion that will offer you exceptional views! On the way back, we advise you to stop at the natural spring “des bains jaunes” located at the foot of the volcano in Saint Claude. A historical place that you should not miss. You will be able to bathe in sulphurous water up to 28°c, renowned for its saving and regenerating virtues. You will spend a moment of pure relaxation in a real natural thermal area.
3- Discover many nautical activities
It is not for nothing that the islands of Guadeloupe have been baptized “the island of beautiful waters”. So, set off to meet the underwater world, armed with your fins, mask and snorkel to explore the hidden treasures… But if diving is not your favourite activity, you can indulge in other experiences such as the “Molokini” in the Bay of Saints which is a transparent kayak allowing you to discover the seabed without getting wet. For those who like to get an adrenaline rush, you can participate in activities such as surfing, water skiing, jet skiing, windsurfing, paddle and kite surfing…And for others you can sail the Caribbean waters on a catamaran to explore the wonders of the archipelago.
4- The island of beautiful waters
Karukera, the name that the Caribbean Indians gave to Guadeloupe, means “The Island of Beautiful Waters” and this name is not stolen! Water is everywhere: all around of course since it is an island but also and above all inland in the form of rivers, crystalline waterfalls, hot springs… It is this abundance of freshwater that attracted the Indians and later the settlers.
5- Discover Creole gastronomy
Take advantage of your trip to Guadeloupe to discover the Creole gastronomy. On the roadside or on the beach, treat yourself to a delicious bokit or agoulou in a food truck. Discover the best tables on the island to taste the cuisine of the greatest Creole chefs. And if you want to get your hands dirty, why not take a traditional cooking class?
6- Visit Mamelles park with your family
Are you looking for an activity to do in Guadeloupe with your family? Discover the Parc des Mamelles, a unique zoo in the world that offers you to meet animals in the jungle. More than a zoological garden, this park is a real adventure that will allow you to observe more closely the jaguar, monkeys, large parrots or ocelot. 85 species await you along a trail in the forest, on panoramic footbridges suspended over 20 meters high.
7- Bathing in hot springs
Thanks to the intense volcanic activity of the Basse Terre, many hot springs gush out all over the south of Guadeloupe. You will be able to relax in the jungle, in the natural pools of the famous Bains Jaunes. If you want to mingle with the locals, try the sulphurous waters of the Sofaïa showers. Finally, don’t miss the many hot springs of Boiling Hot.
8- Cruise on a catamaran
Go on an expedition sailing the waters of the Caribbean. Departing from Sainte-Rose, Deshaies, Baie-Mahault or Saint-François, board a catamaran to discover the Guadeloupean coastline from the sea. If you’re lucky, you may even come across dolphins that like to play in the waves and follow the boats. If you are on the west coast, don’t miss the sunset cruises, a must!
9- Discover an island full of history
Guadeloupe is an island rich in history. If you like cultural sites you can discover the history of the island in several museums such as the Schoelcher museum in Pointe-à-Pitre, the Rum museum in Sainte-Rose, the museum of Amerindian history Edgar-Clerc in Le Moule and many others … without forgetting the MActe Memorial Act 1st museum in the world dedicated to the history of slavery.
10- Visit the distillery Bielle
Guadeloupe is known for its rum production, which is considered among the best in the world. If you want to discover a local speciality, visiting a distillery must be part of your list of what to do in Guadeloupe. On Marie-Galante, it is possible to visit one of the main distilleries of the archipelago, the Bielle distillery. If you arrive in the wrong season to see the workers at work, you can take a short tour of the site to see the facilities.