known by the Caribs as Karukera (Island of Pretty Waters), has a
population of 330,000 and is part of France. It is partly
agricultural, with the emphasis on sugar cane, and the local
"rhum" is highly valued in France. Tourism is also important.
Guadeloupe is composed of two islands in the shape of a lopsided
butterfly, with a river separating the two halves. Whoever named
the islands had a sense of humor, because the larger mountainous
one is called "Basse Terre" (low land) and the smaller low one
"Grande Terre" (large land). Grand Terre is a much older island.
It once looked more like Basse Terre, but over millions of years
its mountains have eroded. Basse Terre is a younger volcanic
island. Yachts of up to 6.5-foot draft can navigate between the
two islands on the Rivière Salée.
Guadeloupe along with its associated islands Marie Galante, La
Desirade and Isles de la Petite Terre provides a spectacular
cruising area with numerous really wonderful anchorages.
You should visit the
interior, if possible, at
least in mountainous Basse Terre, which has some exceptional
views and sites. Route de la Traversée runs through the national
park, smack in the middle of Basse Terre. The Crayfish
Waterfalls are well worth a visit and swim, but make your way to
the upper part to avoid too many tourists. If you are driving
yourself, take the detour to Morne à Louis for the spectacular
view from the top, overlooking Pigeon Island. Some buses that
run between Pointe à Pitre and Pointe Noire take Route de la
The most dramatic destination is the 350-foot Carbet Waterfalls
in the south of Basse Terre. These are the tallest falls I know
of in the Eastern Caribbean. If you rent a car, it is easy to
find the car park and you reach the second falls by a beautiful
30-minute walk on a well laid out trail through the rain forest.
But this is just the beginning as many hikes have been well laid
out in this area. Try the one-hour hike up to the first falls.
This takes you above the rain forest through cloud forest. These
first falls, which are equally as high as the second falls are
very red from the volcano. Whichever fall you hike to, remember
to take your bathing things, they all have good pools below.
Other attractions in this area are several crater lakes
including As de Pique, shaped like an ace of spades.
of rolling hills covers much of Grand Terre, especially the
northern part, which has a lot of sugar cane and picturesque
ruined windmills. Towards the southeast corner the town of
St. Francois has a marina, and draws many kite-boarding
The small town of Deshaies on the northwest coast has a really
spectacular botanical garden, which includes some exotic birds.
Pointe à Pitre,
the largest city, has a big marina, excellent chandleries, and
you can get all kinds of boat work done. The capital city and
government center is the town of Basseterre, which is smaller.
post offices have ATM machines, and these are sometimes easier
to find than a bank.
since August 05
General marine Services
Guadeloupe Yacht Concierge
TAV-CGP Marina Bas du Fort
West Indies Marine
Technical Marine Services
Le Case en Mer (A special
waterfront guest house)
Jumbo Car Rentals
Deshaies Botanical gardens
Tourist board site