The Caribbean is a wonderful region. But it’s definitely much more than just beautiful beaches. In this article, I share with you a list of the best things to do in Guadeloupe that might inspire you to enjoy some more activities during your travel.
Guadeloupe is a charming island located in the Lesser Antilles. It is also a French territory. Its beaches are gorgeous and assure a perfect relaxing vacation. But for those of you who prefer more active recreation, the island has plenty of exciting proposals.
On this list, you’ll find plenty of nature adventures, cultural places, and unique experiences to try in Guadeloupe. If you’re looking for the ultimate information about this island, like transport, health, food, and more, check out my Guadeloupe travel guide!
But before going into the fun stuff, let’s take a look at where you could stay in Guadeloupe to enjoy it to the fullest.
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Where to stay in Guadeloupe? Quick research
Guadeloupe consists mainly of two areas – Basse Terre and Grande Terre. The first one is mostly covered with jungle and vary natural spots. Grande Terre is more comfortable for living with better infrastructure.
Below I propose a few hotels of my choice in places I think are the best to stay in. If you’re looking for some more detailed information about the Guadeloupe cities, check out my post about where exactly to stay in Guadeloupe.
- La Toubana Hotel & Spa in Sainte-Anne: Sainte-Anne is one of my favorite cities in Guadeloupe. La Toubana Hotel is located above the marvelous Plage de La Caravelle. It’s a perfect place for all inclusive vacations in Guadeloupe. Check out the availability on Booking.com ->
- Bwa Chik Hotel & Golf in Saint-François: another great city to stay in Guadeloupe. Saint-François is a great starting point for a trip to Pointe des Châteaux. The hotel lies just next to a beautiful golf field and a marina. Check out the availability on Booking.com ->
- Langley Resort Hotel Fort Royal Guadeloupe in Bas Vent: the Northern part of Basse-Terre if great if you want to stay in this part of the island. From Bas Vent, there is only a small distance to the marvelous Deshaies Botanical Garden and many pretty beaches. Check out the availability on Booking.com ->
Best things to do in Guadeloupe:
Now let’s answer your essential question of what to do in Guadeloupe to have a wonderful vacation time on this island.
#1 Explore wonders of Deshaies Botanical Garden
I start the list with the most colorful place in Guadeloupe. Deshaies Botanical Garden is a must-see on its map. Filled with distinguished trees species and greenery, it will provide a delightful journey for your senses. Colorful flowers, unique tree shapes, and charming inhabitants of the garden will enrich your Guadeloupian travel with some great memories.
#2 Hike Pointe des Chateaux
Spreading on the Eastern side of Guadeloupe, Pointe des Chateaux is one of the most popular natural attractions on the island. The picturesque cliffs and rocks immersed in the Atlantic Ocean are the recognizable element of many postcards. This place is a perfect hiking trail even for people with not the best condition. But the rapture and the excitement are guaranteed.
#3 Climb La Soufrière volcano
This is probably one of my favorite things to do in Guadeloupe. Climbing the La Soufrière volcano, which is, by the way, the highest peak of the Lesser Antilles, is exciting and relaxing at the same time. The trail
#4 Admire the Carbet Falls
The majestic Carbet Falls hidden in the Guadeloupe National Park are amazing natural attraction which sailors can observe even from the see. This place is also one of the must-see Guadeloupe attractions. Two waterfalls, 100 meters of height each, make an enormous impression. Reaching one of them is incredibly easy since the trail was equipped with wooden footbridges. The trail to the second one requires a much better physical condition of a hiker but definitely will reward the effort with unforgettable views.
#5 Chill on Plage de La Caravelle
Plage de La Caravelle is my favorite in Guadeloupe. You can find it next to the city of Sainte-Anne which, by the way, has a gorgeous city beach too. But during the whole month of living in Guadeloupe, Plage de La Caravelle was my place. My apartment was in a distance of only 5 minutes by feet from this small paradise. The beach is covered with white sand, and slim palm trees ensure a bit of shadow. And the water in the sea is fabulous. There are some charming hotels next to the beach, so the whole area is clean and well-maintained. You will also have the opportunity to enjoy diverse water sports in this place. Highly recommended!
#6 Take a trip to Pointe-à-Pitre
Pointe-à-Pitre is the biggest city on the island. It’s also its economical and business center. But it’s worth visiting for its historical meaning and a few spots you can see there. Fruit markets, ancient colonial buildings, historical places, all of these you’ll find in the city center. To get to know the city better, you can take a guided historical tour with food tastings and discover the most important spots in the city. Alternatively, you can read more about Pointe-à-Pitre in my post.
#7 Hike through the jungle to find hidden waterfalls
Carbet Falls are not the only waterfalls on the island. If you will look for some more magic, you will find charming places with amazing waterfalls and cold refreshing water. Cascade aux Ecrevisses, Le Bassin Paradise, or Cascade le Saut de L’Acomat are one of them. All of them are easy to find, and Cascade aux Ecrevisses is accessible even for people moving in a wheelchair. Visiting those waterfalls if one of the best things to do in Guadeloupe.
#8 Get to know more about the past slavery on the Caribbean island in Mémorial ACTe
Visiting the Caribbean Center for Expressions and Memories of Trafficking and Slavery is a great history lesson. Also known as Mémorial ACTe, the center is an architectural gem on the island. But its main purpose is to educate people about the infamous centuries of slavery. The main exhibition is modern and perfectly guided with an audioguide. Definitely worth visiting during the meaningful vacations.
#9 Take a full-day guided trip around the island
There is no better idea to get to know the island better than taking a full-day trip with a local guide. Thanks to a trip like this you’ll discover the traditions and everyday life of the island. And you’ll see all the most important and beautiful places enjoying the talk with a knowledgeable guide.
#10 Visit other islands
In fact, Guadeloupe consists of two lands: Basse-Terre and Grande-Terre. But officially, also a few other islands belong to Guadeloupe’s territory. La Désirade, Marie-Galante, Petite-Terre, and Les Saintes are beautiful islands, definitely worth visiting. From the mainland, you will have a lot of opportunities to join a trip to those smaller islands. Many companies organize whole-day boat trips including sailing, local dinner, snorkeling, and many more.
#11 Enjoy snorkeling in paradise waters
Guadeloupe has relatively safe waters so if you like to snorkel than you won’t be disappointed. The best snorkeling spot in Guadeloupe is probably Petite Terre island. The islands of Les Saintes also have some great places to observe underwater life. But if you prefer to stay on the mainland, you can visit the Malendure beach or Plage de La Caravelle.
#12 Follow the paths of TV series characters
The island is the original location for a popular TV series – Death in Paradise. This British and French production was filmed in Guadeloupe where the main series characters were discovering crimes, murders, and other mysterious cases taking place in this piece of paradise. If you’re a series fan you’ll be happy to visit many filming locations. And even happier by taking a guided tour on the paths of Death in Paradise.
#13 Feed iguanas
Making connections with wildlife is one of the greatest Guadeloupe attractions. Since there is practically no dangerous big animals that could hurt you on the island, you can feel safe. And most of the rest is ideal to observe and admire. Some of them look for interaction with humans as well. Such as iguanas do on the beach. If you won’t be careful enough, they’ll steal your sandwich or cookies. Feel free to feed them if you wish but remember that much better for their diet are fresh and juicy fruits.
#14 Practise diving in La Réserve Cousteau
The underwater reserve of Jacques-Yves Cousteau is one of the best tourist attractions in Guadeloupe. This amazing place is located in the waters of the Caribbean Sea, near the city of Bouillante. This submarine part of the National Park of Guadeloupe is a spot where you can practice your diving skills and admire the beauty of marine organisms such as tropical fish, sponges, and reef.
#15 Enjoy the boat trip
If you wonder what to do in Guadeloupe, the Caribbean, besides chilling on the beach, sailing might be the answer fo you. Excursions Guadeloupe are popular attracitons. Taking a motor boat or sailing boat to see the island from the other perspective, visiting other islands, or discover mangrove terrains, or beautiful less known beaches are awesome Guadeloupe things to do. You can reserve your trip directly in place, on many tour sales, stand in most touristic spots, or do it on the Internet from one of the local guides like Tarzan for instance.
#16 Visit local markets
If you wish a taste a local life, you should visit one of the local markets. In most of the cities, you’ll find sales stand under the canopies with a characteristic and colorful Caribbean pattern. There you can buy delicious local fruits, spices, sweet jams and yummy Ti’Punch, a local drink made of rum.
One of the most original things to do in Guadeloupe is canyoning. Trying this extreme sport will give you a nice rush of adrenaline. In short words, canyoning is trekking across natural gorges, canyons, and waterfalls. In Guadeloupe, you can try this exciting adventure under the eye of an experienced guide. He’ll take for a unique walk among the most unaccessible yet beautiful trails in Guadeloupe.
#18 Learn more about coffee history
The Caribbean climate is perfect for growing several species of plants. There, you find
#19 Explore the Hell’s Gate
The Hell’s Gate (fr. Porte d’Enfer) might sound frightening and it arouses respect indeed. This mysterious place is actually a grotto deep as hell and located in the North part of Grande-Terre in Guadeloupe. The best way to reach this place is to rent a car in Guadeloupe and have an adventurous road trip. In fact, the best view on the grotto we can reach from the sea, which is not easy for tourists since the Atlantic Ocean’s waves are huge in this region. But instead, we can hike on the cliffs and take a sneak peek from the above. Which also makes an impression.
#20 Try some local cuisine
The Caribbean kitchen maybe isn’t the most sophisticated in the world but it’s full of exotic tastes. While discovering some of them, best of Guadeloupe, you need to try such delicacies as colombo chicken, coco jam, or sugar cane chocolate. If you want to take a sneak peek of what to eat in Guadeloupe, read my article about the food you must try on this island.
#21 Discover the Caribbean costumes and traditions
If you want to dive deeper into the local culture, the great idea for you will be to visit Musée costumes et traditions. This great places, founded by an amazing family will entertain you with tales and stories about the former traditional life on the island. You’ll see there traditional costumes of different social groups among the centuries. Plus you’ll be able to ask any question you like about the Creole everyday life to your guides.
As you can see, there are many exciting things to do in Guadeloupe. And it is definitely not everything
Have you been to Guadeloupe before? What would you add to this list?
Looking for some more Caribbean inspiration? Check out these posts:
- Guadeloupe or Martinique: which island to choose for a perfect Caribbean vacation?
- 8 things that surprised us in the Caribbean
- The ultimate Caribbean packing list + free PDF printables for you!
- A trip to Cartagena – the Caribbean Jewel of Colombia
- How to get around in Guadeloupe and Martinique by public transport? All the questions answered!
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Dominika is a founder of Sunday In Wonderland and she recently switched her life to be local independent. She aims to travel the world and admire all of its wonders. She is much focused on sustainable life, self-development and making this world a better place.