Activities to do in Guadeloupe for a dream trip

This article has been translated automatically.

Part of the volcanic arc of the Lesser Antilles archipelago, Guadeloupe is a dream destination in the heart of the Caribbean Windward Islands. We invite you to discover the magnificent nature of the island through the many activities to do in Guadeloupe. Located between Montserrat to the north and Dominica to the south, the shape of its two main islands, Grande-Terre and Basse-Terre, separated by an arm of the sea, is reminiscent of the wings of a butterfly.

Map of Guadeloupe

Guadeloupe is indeed an archipelago made up of 7 islands: Grande-Terre and Basse-Terre the largest, La Désirade, Petite-Terre, Marie-Galante, as well as Terre-de-Haut and Terre-de-Bas in the small archipelago of Les Saintes. So there are many things to see, but also many things to do in Guadeloupe! Between its lush mountainous massif in Basse-Terre, its plains in Grande-Terre, and its lagoons around each of its islands, this archipelago also called the island of beautiful waters by the Caribbean Indians will enchant you in many ways!

Start of the journey on the windward coast, north of Grande-Terre

Grande-Terre, located on the Atlantic Ocean side, is also called "côte-au-vent". Its coastline running from its northern tip, at Anse-Bertrand, to the south-east at Pointe des Châteaux, has been forged by the powerful swell on this side of Guadeloupe. It is therefore not here that you will be able to enjoy swimming in calm turquoise water, but you will have the opportunity to see magnificent coastal landscapes, wild and allowing the practice of other activities!

The landscapes of Anse-Bertrand, northern tip of Grande-Terre

With a stretch of coastline sheltered from the Atlantic Ocean swell, Anse-Bertrand allows you to see different landscapes of Guadeloupe: nothing better than to start a stay in Guadeloupe by visiting its wild north coast on foot! On the west side, where the sea is less rough, you will have the possibility to swim on the white sandy beaches of Anse Colas, Anse Laborde and Anse-Bertrand, while remaining vigilant because of the currents. On the eastern side, nature will offer you splendid views of breathtaking landscapes not to be missed in Guadeloupe! Between the famous Baie de la Porte d'Enfer, the Trou de Madame Coco, the Trou du Souffleur, the Pointe du Piton and, to the north, the Pointe de la Grande Vigie, you will be amazed by the cliffs forged by the biting waves of the Atlantic Ocean!

Sports activities from Port-Louis to the commune of Le Moule

Diving in Port-Louis

Facing the north of Basse-Terre, Port-Louis has slightly quieter beaches than Anse-Bertrand, including the beautiful beaches of Antigues and Souffleur. You can snorkel in complete serenity, as the Port-Louis seabed has a rich fauna and flora that can also be discovered by scuba diving.

And for those who would like to fill up on sensations with other activities that are a little more sporty, it is possible to take a jet ski from Port-Louis to visit the Grand Cul-de-sac marin nature reserve at full speed, or to go for a ride on a buggy or quad inland to explore the sugar cane fields from Petit-Canal to Le Moule

The commune of Le Moule is also a privileged place for surfing enthusiasts in Guadeloupe, its coast offering several spots for surfers of all levels. But it is also here that you can take a cultural break by visiting the Colonial House of Zévallos, relating the history of sugar cane in Guadeloupe.

Heading for the Pointe des Châteaux in Saint-François, south-eastern tip of Grande-Terre

Gyrocopter flight over Guadeloupe

A real point of interest in Grande-Terre, the Pointe des Châteaux is one of the things to see in Guadeloupe. Whether on foot or by mountain bike, take the time to discover this place where it is highly recommended to enjoy the sunrise with a view on the island of La Désirade. During your walk at the Pointe des Châteaux, you will have the pleasure of swimming on its beaches, including the Grande Anse des Salines, but also of seeing some curiosities such as La Douche, a spot which, as you will see, bears its name well. This will be the moment to rest before going to the airport of Saint-François, the starting point not only for panoramic tours in microlight over Guadeloupe, but also for parachute jumps: what could be better than to make your first flight over a Caribbean island?

Heavenly beaches for a dream trip to the south of Grande-Terre

Flatter and drier than its neighbour Basse-Terre, the island of Grande-Terre is renowned for the white sandy beaches of its southern coast. From Sainte-Anne to Pointe-à-Pitre, going west to the Grand Cul-de-sac marin nature reserve, this part of Guadeloupe offers many activities to make your stay unforgettable!

From Sainte-Anne to Gosier, a tour of the beaches not to be missed in Guadeloupe

Kitesurfing courses in Saint-Anne, Guadeloupe

The south coast of Grande-Terre is well known for its white sandy beaches on the edge of a turquoise lagoon where swimming is a real pleasure. Sainte-Anne is also the place where you can take kitesurfing lessons, as the area is ideal for this nautical activity, and you will be able to see from the sea the beautiful beaches of Bois Jolan, Caravelle, Datcha, and many others that are worth a visit, as well as the islet of Gosier Being at the seaside is also the opportunity to walk and taste local dishes in front of incredible landscapes in a relaxing atmosphere, typical of Guadeloupe: the Guadeloupean cuisine and its multiple origins (Caribbean, European, African and Indian) will amaze you by its atypical flavours! On the menu: local fish and seafood (lambi, snapper, balaou, etc.) combined with vegetables from the archipelago (manioc, okra, sweet potato, etc.), with a made-in-Guadeloupe sorbet tasting of local fruits (pineapple, mango, coconut, etc.) for dessert! After all, discovering the culinary wealth is as much a part of the activities to do in Guadeloupe as the sporting experiences!

Cultural visit to Pointe-à-Pitre, capital of Guadeloupe

Church in Point à Pitre, Guadeloupe
(c) Frank Fell/robertharding/Getty Images

Pointe-à-Pitre, the economic capital of Guadeloupe, is also a town to be discovered because of the historical monuments that can be found there. A visit to the Place de la Victoire is a must, as well as a visit to the church of Saint-Pierre and Saint-Paul not far away. You can also go to Gosier to visit the Fort Fleur d'épée. Another thing to do in Pointe-à-Pitre is to take a stroll through the alleys of the Saint-Antoine and La Darse markets, where you can find souvenirs to bring back from your trip to Guadeloupe, but also enjoy the local atmosphere and the scent of spices, including colombo, a mixture of chilli, saffron, coriander, cumin and garlic. It will also be an opportunity to taste Guadeloupean street-food: boucané chicken, bokit (a kind of fried doughnut with filling) or agoulou (a sandwich with filling), while walking along the Salt River separating the islands of Grande-Terre and Basse-Terre.

Water sports activities in the Grand Cul-de-sac marin nature reserve

Kayaking in the mangrove at Morne à l'Eau

A vast bay stretching from Sainte-Rose in Basse-Terre to Morne-à-l'Eau in Grande-Terre, the Grand Cul-de-sac marin nature reserve is enclosed by a coral reef and islets, the largest of which is the mangrove-covered islet of Fajou. The visit of Grand Cul-de-sac marin can be done by jet ski from Baie-Mahault, or, for more tranquility, by canoe kayak or stand up paddle from Morne-à-l'Eau, famous in Guadeloupe for its cemetery with black and white chequered mausoleums. Amongst the activities to do in Guadeloupe, water sports enthusiasts will find their happiness during a session of water skiing and wakeboarding in the bay, and the more curious will be enchanted by the underwater diversity visible by snorkelling from the beaches along this unique natural reserve. Even if it lacks relief, Grande-Terre is an island that cannot be ignored in Guadeloupe, not only because of its beaches that have made its reputation, but also because of the superb landscapes of its coasts, as well as the sports and cultural activities that will give you plenty to do during your stay!

On the other side of the Salt River, north of the Guadeloupe National Park in Basse-Terre

Unlike its neighbour Grande-Terre, Basse-Terre is a mountainous island with a lush tropical forest. This is the leeward coast, dominated by the Soufrière volcano. Between waterfalls, mountains and coastline, the island of Basse-Terre also has many activities to do in the heart of its national park created in 1989!

Things to do in Sainte-Rose to relax

Facing the Grand Cul-de-sac marin nature reserve, Sainte-Rose allows you to go by stand-up paddle or sailboat to some of the islets bordering the bay, including the îlet Blanc and the îlet La Biche, inviting you to spend lunch with your feet in the sand, in the open sea. Or you can simply relax on the beaches of Amandiers or Mambia, far from the hustle and bustle of the beaches of the south of Grande-Terre, and take a short stroll to Pointe Allègre. Liqueur lovers will be pleased to visit the Rum Museum in Sainte-Rose, in the heart of the Reimonenq Distillery, one of the 9 distilleries in Guadeloupe. Finally, for those who would like to have something else to do and move around a bit more, you can opt for a horseback ride which will allow you to enjoy the landscapes of the north of Basse-Terre, a nice foretaste of what awaits you further south!

Hikes between the waterfalls to Deshaies

Botanical garden of Deshaies
(c) guadeloupearc.com

Basse-Terre has many waterfalls to admire during hikes, but also in which it is possible to bathe when they have a pool. On the northern side of the Guadeloupe National Park, you can see the Saut des Trois Cornes waterfall inland, between Sainte-Rose and Deshaies, but also hot springs. It is then in the latter commune that you can discover the Botanical Garden of Deshaies, which belonged to Coluche: during its visit, you can admire the local flora, but also pink flamingos, hummingbirds and blue macaws. The beaches of Grande Anse and La Perle will allow you to take a break on their golden sands before continuing your journey in the south of Guadeloupe towards Pointe-Noire, while passing by another waterfall, the Saut d'Acomat.

Starting point of the Route de la traversée in Pointe-Noire

Diving in the Cousteau Reserve in Guadeloupe

A short stop at the Maison du Cacao with a tasting before leaving for a boat trip in the Caribbean Sea: you will meet dolphins, sperm whales, and even whales in season! Below Pointe-Noire, the Cousteau Reserve and the îlets Pigeon in the commune of Bouillante offer other water sports activities, including canoeing and diving to see sea turtles. You can also relax on the beautiful black sandy beach of Malendure before taking the crossing road, also known as the Mamelles road as it passes between the two 584m high Mamelles peaks. On the way to Petit-Bourg, stop at the cascade aux Ecrevisses, the Saut de la Lézarde, and many other amazing places hidden in the Guadeloupe National Park!

In the heart of the green lung of Guadeloupe, south of Basse-Terre

On this side of Basse-Terre is the highest point of Guadeloupe and the Lesser Antilles at 1,467 m, the volcano La Soufrière. Also known as the "old lady", it last erupted in 1976. It is an integral part of the Guadeloupe National Park which is a place full of activities to do in Guadeloupe, and more precisely in Basse-Terre!

Guadeloupe National Park, a hiker's paradise

Also recognised by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve in 1992, the Guadeloupe National Park extends to Grande-Terre. But it is in the south of Basse-Terre that the heart of the park is located, where several hiking trails have been set up to allow as many people as possible to discover it. Visiting it is therefore a must in Guadeloupe! In addition to its lush vegetation, this protected area has beautiful waterfalls not to be missed, including the Moreau Falls. You can go for a sporty hike from the commune of Goyave, where it is also possible to go for a horse ride.

Activities at the foot of the Great Soufriere

Canyoning of Ravine Chaude in Basse-Terre

The Soufrière volcano and its incredible environment allow the practice of an activity that can only be done in this region of Guadeloupe, canyoning. Leave from Saint-Claude, at the foot of the volcano, to go to the Ravine Chaude canyon and get your adrenaline pumping! You can also go hiking to see the famous Carbet Falls, the highest of which is 110 m high, the Grande chute du Galion, or Lake Flammarion, a crater lake located on the southern flank of the Soufrière volcano. And if you feel like relaxing after these sporting activities, go to the town of Basse-Terre for a break on the black sand of Rivière-Sens beach, or visit Fort Delgrès or the Bologne distillery for a Guadeloupean cultural break.

Last moments on Basse-Terre in Trois-Rivières

Trois-Rivières is the starting point for your trip to the southern islands of Guadeloupe, in the archipelago of Les Saintes. Fortunately, there are things to do in this commune where you can make the most of your last moments in Basse-Terre! If you haven't seen enough waterfalls for your taste, go and admire the La Parabole and La Coulisse waterfalls which are also swimming spots. If you're more of a beach person, the black sandy beaches of Bananier or Grande Anse are perfect. And if you prefer to spend your time visiting, go to the Archaeological Park of the Roches Gravées, or go up to the town of Capesterre-Belle-Eau to walk along the Dumanoir alley lined with coconut trees, then visit the Plantation Grand Café or the Maison de la Kassaverie where a local manioc cake, the kassav, is produced.

Visit of the other islands of Guadeloupe to end this dream trip

It is impossible to think of leaving Guadeloupe without discovering the other islands that make up the island! La Désirade, Petite-Terre, Marie-Galante and the islands of the Saintes archipelago, each of them deserves a day out! Embark at the port of Trois-Rivières to begin your tour of these islands, which will be the perfect end to your stay in Guadeloupe.

First stop on the Saintes archipelago, in Terre-de-Haut and Terre-de-Bas

Kiteboarding courses in Les Saintes, Guadeloupe

Of the 9 islands, only Terre-de-Haut and Terre-de-Bas are inhabited in the Saintes archipelago. They are the two largest, and Terre-de-Haut remains the most visited: there is the Fort Napoléon, a must-see in Guadeloupe if you are passing through here, as well as the viewpoint of the Chameau, the highest in the Saintes archipelago and therefore offering a superb view of the surrounding area. Some beaches allow you to swim, such as Pompierre beach, Anse du Pain de Sucre suitable for snorkeling, or Anse Rodrigue where it is possible to see iguanas. The more sporty will be delighted to be able to hike on the Cabrit islet to the north of Terre-de-Haut, or to take a kitesurfing course in Terre-de-Bas!

The third largest island of Guadeloupe, Marie-Galante

Gueule Grand Gouffre, Marie-Galante
(c) Mickaël Leatham - Wikipedia

Nicknamed the "big cake" because of its shape and flat terrain, Marie-Galante is worth a visit. Land of sugar cane fields, it is here that you can visit the remains of the Habitation Murât, the former largest distillery in Guadeloupe, but also attend ox pulling competitions, a real tradition in Guadeloupe where there are clubs dedicated to this sport. Marie-Galante is also famous for its white sandy beaches such as Anse Canot, Anse de Mays, Vieux Fort, Feuillère or Moustique. Don't hesitate to hike on the island's paths, especially to discover fabulous landscapes such as the Gueule Grand Gouffre or the Trois Frères viewpoint that you won't see anywhere else in Guadeloupe!

An air of the end of the world in La Désirade and Petite-Terre

Diving experience on the island of La Désirade

From Saint-François in Grande-Terre, it is possible to go to La Désirade or to the islands of Petite-Terre by boat for the day. As La Désirade is 11 km long, scooters, 4×4s and mountain bikes are available for hire on arrival at Beauséjour. The island is a nature reserve full of iguanas, which you can meet on a hike along the Chemin de la montagne trail. Nature being what tourists come to La Désirade for during a trip to Guadeloupe, don't hesitate to visit the Jardin Botanique du Désert, or even to try your hand at diving on this wild island! And for those who wish to spend a day in the greatest tranquillity, opt without hesitation for a catamaran excursion around the islands of Petite-Terre. You will be delighted to see the lagoon and the heavenly beaches of Terre-de-Haut and Terre-de-Bas, the two islands of Petite-Terre, to which access is regulated.

Conquered by this small itinerary to spend a dream trip in Guadeloupe?

As on many islands, there are many things to see and do in Guadeloupe! Grande-Terre will appeal to lovers of nautical activities, starting from magnificent beaches in the south and in the heart of a nature reserve in the Grand Cul-de-sac marin, while Basse-Terre will conquer lovers of canyoning and hiking in the middle of the tropical forest. Those in search of adrenaline will not be disappointed either with the jet ski, wakeboard and parachute jumping activities available!

Prepare your swimming costume, but also your hiking shoes: Guadeloupe is waiting for you for lots of things to do between the sea and the mountains, between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean! It's up to you to discover and choose among all our activities in Guadeloupe.

P.S.: If you have the opportunity, visit the other islands of the Lesser Antilles where other sports activities await you, especially in Martinique!