Guadeloupe

We’ve compiled the best of the best in Guadeloupe - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Habitation Bellevue Distillery

    If time allows just one distillery here, choose the modern Domaine de Bellevue, whose rum has taken home the gold during official French competitions. Free...

    If time allows just one distillery here, choose the modern Domaine de Bellevue, whose rum has taken home the gold during official French competitions. Free tastings are just one inviting element. There are award-winning, pure rums (50%–59%) and also excellent tropical liqueurs (punches). Bellevue, in operation since 1821, is the top rum exporter of Guadeloupe/Marie-Galante with the only eco-positive distillery in the world.

    Marie-Galante, 97140, Guadeloupe
    0590-97–29–58

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free
  • 2. Anse Crawen

    This secluded half-mile stretch of white sand was known for nude sunbathing, but don't plan on shedding your suit; now, it's against the law—although topless...

    This secluded half-mile stretch of white sand was known for nude sunbathing, but don't plan on shedding your suit; now, it's against the law—although topless is still okay. To reach it, go past the resort Bois Joli and continue straight until you see the beach. It's a narrow beach, somewhat rocky, but still appealing. Although it's busy in high season, the fact that it takes an effort to get here means that, in low season, you might be all alone. Amenities: none. Best for: partiers; solitude; swimming; walking.

    Rte. de Bois Jolie, Terre-de-Haut, Iles des Saintes, 97137, Guadeloupe
  • 3. Anse de Vieux Fort

    This gorgeous Marie-Galante beach stretches along crystal-clear waters, with a nearby mangrove swamp you can explore on hiking trails. The beaches in this area are...

    This gorgeous Marie-Galante beach stretches along crystal-clear waters, with a nearby mangrove swamp you can explore on hiking trails. The beaches in this area are wide due to the erosion of the sand dunes. It's also known as a beach for lovers because of the solitude. Bring your own everything. You can pair a visit to Château Murat with your beach day. Amenities: none. Best for: snorkeling; solitude; sunset; swimming; walking.

    Rte. D205, Marie-Galante, 97112, Guadeloupe
  • 4. Bouillante

    Town/Village

    The name means "boiling," and so it's no surprise that hot springs were discovered here. However, the biggest attraction is scuba diving on...

    The name means "boiling," and so it's no surprise that hot springs were discovered here. However, the biggest attraction is scuba diving on nearby Pigeon Island, which is accessed by boat from Plage de Malendure. There's a small information kiosk on the beach at Plage de Malendure that can help you with diving and snorkeling arrangements.

    Bouillante, Basse-Terre, 97125, Guadeloupe
  • 5. Casino du Gosier

    For the higher-stakes gambling at this casino, you'll have to change at least €100 into chips to be part of the action. The blackjack limit,...

    For the higher-stakes gambling at this casino, you'll have to change at least €100 into chips to be part of the action. The blackjack limit, though, is €10. Slot machines open at 10 am and shut down at 4 am. Locals love this place and jam the parking lot on weekends. (It is within walking distance of most properties in the hotel zone.) Casino de Gosier has a bar and a well-priced buffet restaurant that is open from Tuesday through Saturday for lunch and dinner. The bar can really crank up on Saturday nights or holidays, with sexy island girls in brief silver lamé costumes dispensing free Champagne. Local bands sometimes add to the energy. You will need to bring your passport, or you won't get past the checkpoint; the legal gambling age is 21.

    43 Pointe de la Vedure, Grande-Terre, 97190, Guadeloupe
    0590-84–79–68
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  • 6. Cathédrale de St-Pierre et St-Paul

    If you're fascinated by churches, then stop by the imposing Cathédrale de St-Pierre et St-Paul, built in 1807. Although it has been battered by hurricanes...

    If you're fascinated by churches, then stop by the imposing Cathédrale de St-Pierre et St-Paul, built in 1807. Although it has been battered by hurricanes over the years, it has fine stained-glass windows and Creole-style balconies.

    Rue du Général Ruillier, Grande-Terre, 97166, Guadeloupe
    0590-82–02–17
  • 7. Château Murat

    A mile from town, the Château Murat is a 19th-century sugar plantation and rum distillery housing exhibits on the history of rum making and sugarcane...

    A mile from town, the Château Murat is a 19th-century sugar plantation and rum distillery housing exhibits on the history of rum making and sugarcane production going back three centuries. This former habitation was once the grandest sugar plantation in Guadeloupe. Various hurricanes left the chateau in ruins, with just remnants of the kitchen still standing. From the rubble rose the eco-museum that celebrates island crafts, and there is a garden for medicinal local plants.

    Rte. de Capesterre, Marie-Galante, 97112, Guadeloupe
    0590-97–48–68

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free
  • 8. Domaine de Vanibel

    Guadeloupean coffee is considered some of the best in the world. Joel Nelson will tell you all about it if you take one of his...

    Guadeloupean coffee is considered some of the best in the world. Joel Nelson will tell you all about it if you take one of his tours around the grounds of his estate, perched 1,200 feet above sea level. Dress comfortably, as you will be going into the bush to pick vanilla and coffee beans from the trees. Nelson's enthusiasm and passion for what he grows and produces makes what could be a ho-hum walk through the woods a pleasurable learning experience. After some 30 minutes or more, you will be brought back to the stone cottage that is the Habitation Sucrerie for a coffee tasting and fresh tropical fruits. You might want to buy a bag or two of coffee or some of the precious vanilla beans and vanilla powder. Also on the estate, there are simple gîtes (cottages) for two to four persons. Tours are in the afternoon, two tours a day from January through April and one tour a day from May through December.

    Basse-Terre, 97119, Guadeloupe
    0590-98--40--79

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €7, Closed Sun. and Sept.
  • 9. Fort Napoléon des Saintes

    This fort, originally called Fort Louis, was built in 1777 by order of King Louis XVI as a military tower. It was never used for...

    This fort, originally called Fort Louis, was built in 1777 by order of King Louis XVI as a military tower. It was never used for military purposes but did serve as a penitentiary in wartime. The museum here is notable for its exhaustive exhibit of the greatest sea battles ever fought. You can visit the well-preserved barracks and prison cells or just admire the botanical gardens, which specialize in cacti. This is a hill climb; if you decide to walk, allow 30 minutes from the village, wear comfortable footwear, and bring water. You'll be rewarded with outstanding views of the bay and neighboring islands.

    Terre-de-Haut, Iles des Saintes, 97137, Guadeloupe
    0690-50–73–43

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €5
  • 10. Gosier

    Town/Village

    Gosier was still a tiny village in the 1950s, a simple stopping place between Pointe-à-Pitre and Ste-Anne. However, it grew rapidly in the 1960s...

    Gosier was still a tiny village in the 1950s, a simple stopping place between Pointe-à-Pitre and Ste-Anne. However, it grew rapidly in the 1960s, when the beauty of the southern coastline began to bring tourists in ever-increasing numbers. Today Gosier is one of Guadeloupe's premier tourist areas while at the same time serving as a chic suburb of Pointe-à-Pitre. People sit at sidewalk cafés reading Le Monde as others flip-flop their way to the beach. This resort town has several hotels, nightclubs, shops, a casino, rental car agencies, and a long stretch of sand.

    , Grande-Terre, 97190, Guadeloupe
  • 11. Îlets Pigeon

    Two tiny, rocky islands a few hundred yards off the coast are part of the Jacques Cousteau Underwater Park and Guadeloupe's best scuba and snorkeling...

    Two tiny, rocky islands a few hundred yards off the coast are part of the Jacques Cousteau Underwater Park and Guadeloupe's best scuba and snorkeling site. Although the reefs here are good, they don't rank among the top Caribbean dive spots. Several companies conduct diving trips to the reserve, and it's on the itinerary of some sailing and snorkeling trips.

    Basse-Terre, 97125, Guadeloupe
  • 12. Jardin Botanique de Deshaies

    This exquisite 10-acre park is filled with parrots and flamingoes. A circuitous walking trail takes you by ponds with floating lily pads, cactus gardens, and...

    This exquisite 10-acre park is filled with parrots and flamingoes. A circuitous walking trail takes you by ponds with floating lily pads, cactus gardens, and every kind of tropical flower and plant— including orchids galore. Amid the exotic ferns and gnarled, ancient trees are little wooden bridges and a gazebo. A panoramic restaurant with a surprisingly sophisticated lunch menu, plus a snack bar, are housed in terraced gingerbread building: one overlooks the park's waterfall, the other, the mountains. The garden has a children's park and nature-oriented playthings in the shop. A local juice and a snack is included with admission. This excursion is delightful and serene, ideal on an overcast day.

    off N2, Basse-Terre, 97126, Guadeloupe
    0590-28–43–02

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €15.90
  • 13. Kreol West Indies

    This fascinating Creole museum in a renovated bungalow houses information and graphics relating to Guadeloupe's earliest inhabitants, as well as some pirate artifacts. Rooms are...

    This fascinating Creole museum in a renovated bungalow houses information and graphics relating to Guadeloupe's earliest inhabitants, as well as some pirate artifacts. Rooms are furnished with antiques and collectibles that depict island life during various eras through the 1950s. Devoted to Creole culture, the museum also doubles as an art gallery, with attractive contemporary paintings by island artists. This labor of love displays furnishings and descriptives owned by a French "culture lover," Vincent Nicaudie. The gift shop carries quality Marie-Galante logo T-shirts and caps, beachwear, and island food products. Also, this is a Wi-Fi hot spot.

    D 203, Marie-Galante, 97112, Guadeloupe
    0590-97–21–56

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free, Closed Mon. and Tues.
  • 14. L'Autre Bord

    The waves on this Atlantic beach give the long expanse of sand a wild look. The beach is protected by an extensive coral reef, which...

    The waves on this Atlantic beach give the long expanse of sand a wild look. The beach is protected by an extensive coral reef, which makes it safe for children. Farther out, the waves draw surfers and windsurfers. From its location right in the town of Moule, you can stroll along a seaside promenade fringed by flamboyant trees (also known as flame trees). Many shade trees offer protection, the swaying coconut palms are photogenic, and sidewalk cafés provide sustenance. Amenities: food and drink; parking (no fee); toilets. Best for: surfing; swimming; walking; windsurfing.

    Grande-Terre, 97160, Guadeloupe
  • 15. Le Moule

    Town/Village

    On the Atlantic coast, and once the capital city of Guadeloupe, this port city of 24,000 has had more than its share of troubles: it was bombarded...

    On the Atlantic coast, and once the capital city of Guadeloupe, this port city of 24,000 has had more than its share of troubles: it was bombarded by the British in 1794 and 1809 and by a hurricane in 1928. An important tourist center in past decades, it's experiencing a comeback. A large East Indian population, which originally came to cut cane, lives here. Canopies of flamboyant trees hang over the narrow streets, where colorful vegetable and fish markets do a brisk business. The town hall, with graceful balustrades, and a small 19th-century neoclassical church are on the main square. Le Moule's beach, protected by a reef, is perfect for windsurfing.

    Le Moule, Grande-Terre, 97160, Guadeloupe
  • 16. Le Souffleur Plage

    To reach one of La Désirade's longest and best beaches from the ferry dock, face town and follow the main road to the right. It's...

    To reach one of La Désirade's longest and best beaches from the ferry dock, face town and follow the main road to the right. It's about 15 minutes by car or motor scooter (about €20 a day). White sand, calm waters, and snacks and cold drinks from the beach restaurant await, but there are no chaises; BYO beach towel or mat. Amenities: food and drink; toilets. Best for: snorkeling; solitude; sunset; swimming; walking.

    Rte. des Galets a Baie Mahault, La Désirade, La Désirade, 97127, Guadeloupe
  • 17. Les Chutes du Carbet

    You can reach the first two of the Carbet Falls (the first drops from 65 feet, the second from 360 feet) via a long, steep,...

    You can reach the first two of the Carbet Falls (the first drops from 65 feet, the second from 360 feet) via a long, steep, marked trail from the village of Habituée. The third and highest waterfall (drops from 410 feet) has been closed since 2008 due to a landslide at the site. On the way up the trail, you pass Grand Étang (Great Pond), a volcanic lake surrounded by interesting plant life. For those who are fans of The Walking Dead, there's also the curiously named Étang Zombi, a pond believed to house evil spirits. If there have been heavy rains, don't even think about going here!

    Basse-Terre, 97100, Guadeloupe
  • 18. Les Mamelles

    Two mountain peaks—Mamelle de Petit-Bourg, 2,350 feet, and Mamelle de Pigeon, 2,500 feet—rise in the Parc National de la Guadeloupe. Mamelle means "breast"; and when...

    Two mountain peaks—Mamelle de Petit-Bourg, 2,350 feet, and Mamelle de Pigeon, 2,500 feet—rise in the Parc National de la Guadeloupe. Mamelle means "breast"; and when you see the mountains, you'll understand how they got their name. Trails ranging from easy to arduous lace up into the surrounding mountains. There's a glorious view from a lookout point 1,969 feet up Mamelle de Pigeon. If you're a climber, plan to spend several hours exploring this area. If there have been heavy rainfalls, cancel your plans.

    Basse-Terre, 06883, Guadeloupe
  • 19. Morne-à-l'Eau

    This agricultural town of about 16,000 people has a cemetery shaped like an amphitheater, with black-and-white-checkerboard tombs, elaborate epitaphs, and multicolor (plastic) flowers. On All...

    This agricultural town of about 16,000 people has a cemetery shaped like an amphitheater, with black-and-white-checkerboard tombs, elaborate epitaphs, and multicolor (plastic) flowers. On All Saints' Day (November 1), it's the scene of a moving (and photogenic) candlelight service.

    Grande-Terre, 97160, Guadeloupe
  • 20. Musée Camélia Costumes et Traditions

    This museum is a labor of love by its creators. Seeing the dress of black, white, and métisseé (mixed-race, or "maroon") societies is a fascinating...

    This museum is a labor of love by its creators. Seeing the dress of black, white, and métisseé (mixed-race, or "maroon") societies is a fascinating way to visualize the island's tumultuous history and fascinating heritage. Items that you will remember: madras headdresses, baptism outfits, embroidered maternity dresses, colonial pith helmets, and other various chapeaux, as well as the doll collection. Make sure to go out back and visit the replica of a Guadeloupean case circa 1920. A film depicts life of yesteryear. The small museum is privately owned; the founder, Camelia Bausivoir, is a retired English teacher and can act as your guide. The collection was accrued over decades, and Bausivoir sewed many of the costumes. Call for directions before you go and also to make sure that a school group is not there.

    L'Houezel, Grande-Terre, 97190, Guadeloupe
    0690-50–98–16

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €10, Closed Mon.

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