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Guadeloupe

Experience a taste of France in the tropics when you visit Guadeloupe. As with other Caribbean Islands, you can choose to stay at many different places on this island. These include Pointe-a-Pitre, Le Bas du Fort, Gosier, Ste. Anne, St. Francois, and Basse-Terre. There are many opportunities for touring the island and many of the picturesque villages have restaurants.

In order to get to Guadeloupe, you will have to fly to one of the other Caribbean destinations, such as Barbados and then take a short shuttle flight or a ferry. The resorts here are not as luxurious as on other islands, but they are right on the spectacular beaches or just a short walk away. The currency is the Euro and visitors from the US, Canada and the UK need to have a valid passport as well as a return ticket. You will not encounter any problems renting a car or getting a taxi.

The main city is Pointe-a-Pitre, and even though this city is steeped in history, very little of it remains because it has been burned and rebuilt so many times. There is very little crime on this island, but visitors should still be careful walking alone after dark. You should also stick to drinking bottled water.


Attractions

With its glorious beaches, Guadeloupe is the place to be if you want uncrowded spaces for sunbathing. There is also a wealth of activities that you can enjoy such as golf, tennis, all manner of watersports and hiking.

Aquarium de la Guadeloupe is located in Bas du Fort and is one of the largest aquariums in the Caribbean. Here you can see all kinds of tropical fish and coral. Visit the dungeons and battlements of the ruins of Fort Fleur-d?Epee, where you will also have an outstanding view of Point-a-Pitre. See the statue of Scoelcher at the Place de la Victorie in Ste. Anne, which commemorates the abolition of slavery.

St. Francois was once the center of the sugar plantations, but is not more of a resort location. At Pointe des Chateaux, you can see where the Atlantic and the Caribbean meet and see the castlelike formations the sea has carved in the cliffs. You can also walk to Pointe des Colibris to have a look at another island, La Desirade. You can also take a side trip to this island for a day?s sightseeing.

The tiny village of Le Moule offers panoramic scenery and clams that thrive in the fresh waters. This is also the site of the archaeological museum with collections of Carib and Arawack artefacts. The northern end of the island is remote, but does have some noteworthy points, such as the Porte d-Enfer ? the Gateway to Hell, with the sea rushing against two narrow cliffs.

Basse-Terre has many villages where you will find hotels and restaurants as well as the tropical forest at the Parc Naturel du Guadeloupe. There are many tame animals in this park as well as walking trails and waterfalls. Climb the hill to the smoldering volcano at La Soufiere and with advance notice you can visit the observatory tower.


Accommodations and Dining

The range of accommodations is designed to suit all tastes and budgets. You can choose from expensive, such as the La Creole Beach Motel, the largest resort on Guadeloupe or La Meridian La Cocoteraie, a plush, suites only resort. Of course there are deals available at the smaller hotels and the self-catering units.

The same choices exist in dining where you will taste the best French Creole cuisine in the Caribbean. Dine in a farmhouse setting at Les Oiseaux, a bistro café at Iguane Café or overlook the ruins of a sugar plantation, at La Sucrerie du Comte.


Shopping and Nightlife

There is not much opportunity for shopping on Guadeloupe unless you want to buy French perfume. Although it is still expensive, you will save about 50% compared to the prices in Canada and the US. There are also market stalls where you can see and taste the local produce as well as buy some local crafts.

Nightlife blooms on Guadeloupe with the many bars. All of the resorts and hotels offer nightly entertainment and there is always a different style of music wherever you go. You can dance until dawn and sleep until noon.

 

 

 

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