ROL Cruise recommends…
1. Soaking up the culture:
Brimming with Créole pride, Pointe-à-Pitre lies on the south west coast of Grande Terre. Weathered architecture, pastel splashes and friendly locals in traditional garb enhance its authentic appeal. Stroll through the streets of old town to discover the Cathédrale de St-Pierre et St-Paul and the Art-Deco Palais du Justice. Pick up spices, perfumes, locally grown coffee and aphrodisiac liqueurs at the vibrant markets of La Darse and Marché Couvert. Then walk along the waterfront, passing the Place de la Victoire, to visit the emotive Memorial ACTe and learn about Guadeloupe’s tragic slavery legacy.
2. Lazing in the tropics:
A palm-fringed handful of Guadeloupe’s 270 beaches lie along Grand-Terre’s jagged south coast. Though not within walking distance from Pointe-à-Pitre, you’ll be glad you made the trip to Datcha, Sainte-Anne or Saint-François as you sip from a freshly cut coconut before sinking into calm waters to cool off. For a more remote escape, catch a ferry to the warm, white sands and azure waters of nearby Le Gosier. Across the Riviere Salee you’ll find the mountain-backed Plage de la Perle and Grande Anse beaches of Basse Terre.
3. The aquatic attractions:
Set sail on a catamaran in search of a secluded cove, reel in a spearfish or blue marlin on a deep sea fishing trip, or explore the lagoons and mysterious mangroves from a kayak or canoe. Explore the archipelago’s outstanding underwater world at the Pigeon Islets and Cousteau Marine Réserve off Basse Terre’s west coast. Snorkel or dive at this aquatic paradise to rub shoulders with graceful turtles and exceptionally vivid fish in the crystal clear waters. To the north you’ll find 18 miles of coral reef within the Grand Cul-de-Sac Marin and, to the south, Les Saintes, Marie-Galante and La Désirade have exceptional resources. If you like a little adventure with your H2O, jet skiing, windsurfing and paddle boarding are available from many beaches, while Le Gosier boasts the exhilarating opportunity to try flyboarding.
4. Mother Nature’s gems:
Gushing rivers, cascading waterfalls and primeval rainforests dominate the mountainous western island of Basse-Terre. Stretching over 116 square miles, the Guadeloupe National Park is crowned by La Soufrière, an active volcano which last erupted in 1976. Ascend its slopes on foot or by car to view the dramatic smoking crater and bubbling pools, then head to the tranquil crater lake of Lac Flammarion and Les Chutes du Carbet. Trek through luxuriant vegetation to reach the roaring Cascade aux Écrevisses, explore on horseback, or take to the skies for a bird’s eye view of the magnificent landscape.