Guadeloupe’s Caribbean beauty and distinctive character will charm you. The main island is actually two, separated by only a narrow sea channel: Grande-Terre to the east and Basse-Terre to the west. Together, they feature the tallest mountains in the Caribbean (including an active volcano), rolling hills, grassy plains, white sand beaches, and deep blue-green water.
There’s lots of history and lots to see in Guadeloupe, with its blend of Afro-Caribbean and French culture. Here are some ideas for spending a day there:
Take a walking tour in Pointe-a-Pitre, where your cruise ship will dock. Guadeloupe is a French territory, and it shows in Pointe-a-Pitre’s colonial architecture and pretty wrought ironwork. Stop at the fragrant Spice Market and the Musee St. John Perse, dedicated to the poet and Nobel laureate who spent his childhood in Guadeloupe. The beautiful Musee Schoelcher features the life of French abolitionist Victor Schoelcher (slavery was abolished in France and its colonies in 1848. All over town, you’ll see lovely madras fabrics crafted into shirts, tablecloths and other items.
To experience some of the natural beauty of Guadeloupe, visit the tropical forest, waterfalls and active volcano in Guadeloupe National Park. Walk the trails to see some of the exceptional biodiversity of the island, including beautiful birds, the endangered agouti, and some rather cute indigenous raccoons.
Rum has a long and delicious history on Guadeloupe, which you can view at the Musee du Rhum (interestingly, this museum has displays of model ships and insects, too). IN the tasting room at the distillery next door, use your new knowledge of rum to appreciate the free samples.
Of course, Guadeloupe also offers great beach excursions, including Plage de Grande Anse on the lightly inhabited islet of Terre de Bas. There’s a mile-long stretch of fine white sand lined with shady palms and backed by steep bluffs. You might see some and curious iguanas, birds and hermit crabs. If you’re looking for water sports, visit Plage de Malendure and its black sand beach.
It’s easy to find a cruise that calls on Guadeloupe; you have a wide choice of cruise lines, departure ports, and cruise durations. Be prepared to call on some of the neighboring islands, too, such as Antigua, Dominica and St. Lucia. To choose your Caribbean cruise, talk with Anita, your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert.
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