To see each "wing" of the butterfly, you'll need to budget at least one day. They are connected by a bridge, and Grande-Terre has pretty villages along its south coast and the spectacular Pointe des Châteaux. You can see the main sights in Pointe-à-Pitre in a half day. Touring the rugged, mountainous Basse-Terre is a challenge. If time is a problem, head straight to the west coast; you could easily spend a day traveling its length, stopping for sightseeing, lunch, and a swim. You can make day trips to the islands, but an overnight or more works best. Leave your heavy luggage in the baggage room of your "mainland" hotel and take a small bag on the ferry.

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  • 1. Domaine de Bellevue


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

  • 2. Anse Crawen


    This half-mile stretch of white sand is secluded and was known for nude sunbathing, but don't plan on shedding your suit, because now it's against...Read More

  • 3. Anse de Vieux Fort


    This gorgeous Marie-Galante beach stretches alongside crystal-clear waters that border a large body of freshwater that is ideal for canoeing...Read More

  • 4. Aquarium de la Guadeloupe


    Unique in the Antilles, this aquarium in the marina near Pointe-à-Pitre is a good place to spend an hour. Its motto is "Visit the sea." The...Read More

  • 5. Bouillante


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

  • 6. Cathédrale de St-Pierre et St-Paul

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    If you like churches, then make a pilgrimage to the imposing Cathédrale de St-Pierre et St-Paul, built in 1807. Although it has been battered...Read More

  • 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...Read More

  • 8. Chutes du Carbet

    Body Of Water/Waterfall

    You can reach three of the Carbet Falls (one drops from 65 feet, the second from 360 feet, the third from 410 feet) via a long, steep path from...Read More

  • 9. Distillerie Poisson "Rhum du Père Labat"


    The Poisson Distillery produces rum (nearly 200,000 liters a year) that is considered some of the finest in the Caribbean, and its atelier turns...Read More

  • 10. Domaine de Séverin Distillery


    At this historic rum distillery, a new "Petit Train" crosses the plantation at 9:30, 10:30, and 11:30 am and again at 2 and 3 pm. (Hours are...Read More

  • 11. 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 tours around...Read More

  • 12. Fort Napoléon

    Military Sight

    Also known as Louis Castle, this fort was built in 1777 by order of King Louis XVI, and was first known as a military tower. However, it was...Read More

  • 13. Ft. Fleur d'Épée


    The main attraction in Bas-du-Fort is this fortress, built between 1759 and 1763. It hunkers down on a hillside behind a deep moat. The fort...Read More

  • 14. Gosier


    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...Read More

  • 15. Ilet de Pigeon

    Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge

    This tiny, rocky island a few hundred yards off the coast is the site of the Jacques Cousteau Underwater Park, the island's best scuba and snorkeling...Read More

  • 16. Jardin Botanique


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

  • 17. Kreol West Indies


    This fascinating museum, in a renovated bungalow, houses information and graphics on Guadeloupe's earliest inhabitants, as well as some pirate...Read More

  • 18. 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 makes it...Read More

  • 19. Le Moule


    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...Read More

  • 20. Le Soufleur 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 about 15 minutes...Read More

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