Last update : 07/09/2023
You’re planning a trip to the West Indies and wondering what to do in Guadeloupe? We asked ourselves the same question before leaving for Guadeloupe this mid-winter. We discovered this incredible archipelago over 10 days and never expected to fall so hard for it. Guadeloupe is an archipelago of 5 islands with a huge diversity of landscapes, things to do… You’re bound to find what you’re looking for in the list of must-sees that follows. Choose from heavenly white-sand beaches, waterfalls and lush green parks, volcanoes, water sports or diving, hiking, islands to visit…
As you can see, Guadeloupe is full of surprises! Discover in this blog post, our map of Guadeloupe with its must-sees, our advice on things to do and visit on the island, our accommodation recommendation for your stay…. So if you want to know what to do in Guadeloupe, we’ll take you with us on our travel blog, annou ay! (understand, “let’s go!” in Creole 😍)
Guadeloupe map and our must-sees for 10 days of travel
Below you’ll find our map of Guadeloupe detailing our entire itinerary and our must-sees on this incredible archipelago.
10 days in Guadeloupe, where to sleep?
Pierre & Vacances Guadeloupe Village Sainte Anne
If you’re looking for a place to stay in Guadeloupe for your vacations, we 100% recommend the Pierre et Vacances Guadeloupe Village Sainte Anne. We stayed there for 10 days, and the hardest part was leaving! The village is located on Grande Terre, close to the town of Sainte Anne and not far from Saint François. The big advantage of booking your accommodation with Pierre & Vacances is that you’ll have access to all the outdoor facilities: two large swimming pools, plenty of sunbeds, several restaurants with different offerings; two incredible beaches as well as numerous activities and entertainment on offer on site.
We found the setting truly idyllic, with the village nestled in the heart of lush vegetation. The village has also been awarded the Clef Verte 2023 label, which is the first responsible tourism label. This distinction testifies to Pierre & Vacances’ commitment to limiting the impact on the environment while enhancing the richness of the destinations.
You’ll be able to rent accommodations ranging from studios to larger units. All have lovely terraces with outdoor kitchens, dining tables and views of the surrounding landscape. What we love about this type of accommodation is that it has all the comforts of a hotel and the practicality of an apartment, with everything we needed to cook during our stay. We’d already loved this setting on our trip to Martinique, and it’s validated once again in Guadeloupe!
Balaou beach restaurant
If you’re vacationing here, we recommend lunch at the Balaou restaurant, followed by an afternoon at the beach just down the road – relaxation guaranteed! Finally, if you’re a cat lover (like us 😜), you’ll be delighted too, as we came across just over a dozen of them, all tattooed, neutered and in good health.See village availabilities
What to do in Guadeloupe? The different areas and islands of the archipelago
1. What to do in Guadeloupe Direction Grande-terre
We’re starting this blog post off strong to help you figure out what to do in Guadeloupe with one of our favorite beaches. The Bois-Jolan beach is located near the Village Sainte Anne Pierre & Vacances and is very well signposted. You’ll arrive in a picture-postcard setting: coconut palms, white sand, turquoise waters… We think it’s one of the most beautiful beaches in Guadeloupe. The real bonus of this beach is that there are several parking spaces nearby and several small stalls where you can eat: bokit, coconut sorbet, takeaway dishes… All homemade with a smile! All you have to do is sit back and enjoy. 😍
Plage du Pierre & Vacances Guadeloupe
The two beaches you can access from the Pierre & Vacances are simply superb! You should have access even without staying there, although the sunbeds are reserved for hotel residents. One more reason to stay here, to be able to enjoy this setting from morning to night.
Good food in Sainte Anne: Le Balaou
As we mentioned earlier in the article, the Balaou restaurant is well worth a visit! As well as the setting and the fast, friendly service, the dishes are truly delicious, and the menu varies according to the day’s fish arrivals. Everything we love! We loved the fish tartare and the West Indian salad, accompanied by a little virgin piña colada! We really recommend this address for lunch, for example. 😋
Plage de la Caravelle
La Plage de la Caravelle is one of the best-known beaches in Guadeloupe. Located in Sainte-Anne, it’s best known as the Club Med beach. You can access it even if you’re not staying there, of course. It’s one of Guadeloupe’s most famous beaches for its clear turquoise waters, fine sand and gentle waves, making it safer for children to play. Despite this, it’s very touristy, and can quickly become crowded.
On this subject, please be careful with your belongings when you go swimming. We were warned that pickpockets were hanging around on the beach when we arrived. We decided to go there around 9 a.m. to enjoy the peace and quiet, and we have to admit that the setting is quite heavenly! So our advice for Caravelle beach: get there early to enjoy the beach while it’s quiet.
L’îlet du Gosier
We discovered the îlet du Gosier for a morning and loved it. You’ll discover an incredible setting with a small beach with turquoise waters, the second oldest lighthouse in Guadeloupe and a small restaurant. We recommend you bring your snorkeling gear and picnic for an incredible morning! This wild little island is located opposite the town of Le Gosier and can be reached by swimming or by boat.
- Swimming: there’s a 500-meter swim from the island to the beach. If you choose this option, be sure to wear a small orange buoy. Many boats set up here or cross over – safety first! The swim takes about 20 minutes.
- By boat: a shuttle bus makes the return trip every 30 minutes or so, from 9am to 5pm. The round trip costs €5 and takes just 5 minutes. We chose this solution and took the very first boat to be alone on the island!
Anse Laborde and Trou A Man Loui creek
Anse Laborde is a very pretty beach in the north of Guadeloupe. We recommend you spend an afternoon there! What about discovering a still rather secret cove on occasion? All you have to do is take the promenade behind the restaurant “Au coin des bons amis”, and walk for about 15 minutes to the Trou A Man Loui cove. This natural pool surrounded by cliffs, in the heart of Guadeloupe’s lush vegetation, is a little gem! Come and discover this natural setting, cut off from the rest of the world. We advise you to go in the morning to enjoy the calm of the place.
The former Petit Canal prison
We highly recommend adding this spot to your list of things to do in Guadeloupe! Head for the former Petit Canal prison in the north of Grande Terre. This prison, built in the early 19th century, has been completely invaded, then destroyed, by a huge fig tree. We found the atmosphere of this place incredible, and many stories and legends surround it. The seeds of the cursed fig tree are said to have been planted during the construction of the prison, leaving time to do its work and destroy the place. In any case, if you’re ever in the area, we recommend you take a look! The place is easy to get to, with a small parking lot right in front of it, and you’ll be round in about 10 minutes, so it’s well worth the detour.
Good restaurant address nearby: Kabana Beach
A mere 10-minute drive from the former Petit Canal prison, discover Kabana Beach restaurant, which is located just across the road from Anse du souffleur beach. We found the setting very pleasant, the dishes tasty and the cocktails delicious! The prices are a little steep, though, and you should expect to pay around €50 for two people for food and cocktails. But if you want to treat yourself, this restaurant address in Guadeloupe is fun and delicious!
La Pointe des Châteaux, Saint-François
Drive to the town of Saint-François and the far end of Grande Terre to discover the Pointe des Châteaux peninsula, a superb place where nature puts on quite a show. We advise you to come and discover this spot at sunrise for the pretty colors, and a beautiful walk awaits you. On the other hand, don’t think about swimming here, as the sea is pretty rough and swimming is very dangerous. We loved the immense cliffs and powerful waves at Pointe des Châteaux. The setting is worthy of a Game of Throne set! To discover this protected area, park in the dedicated parking lot and continue on foot. If you wish, you can take a short hike to reach the cross set 10 meters high and the superb viewpoint (from which you could spot whales in spring, apparently!).
This spot is located near Pointe des Châteaux. This atypical spot allows you to observe the “Bassin d’Aphrodite”, a natural basin where the shape of the rock allows the waves to bounce and offer a beautiful spectacle: a great “splash” (the shower!). On our visit, there wasn’t enough current for it to be conclusive, so we’ll show you the whole thing in pictures to make it more meaningful!
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2. What to do in Guadeloupe Direction Basse-terre
La route de la Traversée
Take the RD23 road and embark on Jurassic Park for 17 km! We crossed it on our way to discover the Cascade aux écrevisses and enjoyed it all the way. The vegetation is lush on this side of the island, a real spectacle at every turn.
La Cascade aux Ecrevisses
This pretty waterfall is 10 meters high and very easy to access. It’s easily accessible with small children or people with reduced mobility. We found the setting beautiful and the waterfall soothing! This is the place to go if you’re looking for what to do in Guadeloupe.
On the other hand, it’s one of Guadeloupe’s most popular tourist spots, with over 200,000 visits a year. We therefore advise you to come and discover this waterfall very early in the morning, as we did. From 9 a.m. onwards, it starts to get very crowded. We’d also heard about the nearby waterfall “le saut de la lézarde” and wanted to take a look, but after a few enquiries, we realized that the place was forbidden by prefectoral decree and that there had been many accidents and deaths there. We therefore take this opportunity to advise you against going there!
La Cascade du saut d’Acomat
Contrary to the previous waterfall, the path to the Cascade du saut d’Acomat is not an easy one. It’s a 25-minute descent with a steep gradient and many roots on the ground. It’s not recommended for people with reduced mobility or small children. For the adventurous, put on your hiking boots and off you go! The waterfall below is very pretty, and the water an astonishing turquoise! In theory, swimming is forbidden, but there were plenty of people in the water. We advise you to bring your picnic to enjoy the setting and the soothing atmosphere that rules this place.
Le Jardin botanique de Deshaies
This botanical garden is the perfect place if you want to discover the flora and fauna of Guadeloupe. Here, more than 1,000 species of tropical plants and flowers live side by side! The perfect opportunity to admire baobab, hibiscus, palm trees… You can also see blue-headed lorikeets (an absolutely adorable species of parrot) and pink flamingos! Fun fact: this place used to be Coluche’s former estate.
Plage Grande Anse à Deshaies
This beach is the largest in Guadeloupe! Head north to Basse Terre to discover Plage grande Anse à Deshaies. Shaped like a crescent, the 2km of ochre sand beach is perfect for a jog, a stroll or simply a chill day at the beach. What we found most impressive was the lush vegetation lining the beach! We made the most of the setting before heading off to Plage de la Perle, which we’ll tell you about right after.
Plage de la Perle
Located just off Plage Grande Anse in Deshaies, Plage de la Perle appealed to us for its authentic, confidential feel. The waves are quite powerful, so take care when swimming, but there’s plenty of fun to be had! This beach is one of our favorites in Guadeloupe. ❤️
Little tip: stop by the Boulangerie de la Réberdière on your way to pick up a traditional Guadeloupe sandwich, the Agoulou as well as a coconut dessert for a little picnic on the sand!
A cool photo spot you can pass by on your way to the nearby Chutes du Carbet. The 1,200-meter-long allée Dumanoir is made up of 400 royal palms. A pleasure for the eyes and for photographers!
Les Chutes du Carbet
At the heart of the Guadeloupe National Park, discover the superb Chutes du Carbet! To get there, start by parking in the dedicated parking lot and paying the €5 access fee per person at reception.
Chute du Carbet 1
To discover the first waterfall, plan a 3-hour round-trip hike from the dedicated parking area. This waterfall is 115 meters high.
Chute du Carbet 2
This waterfall is the easiest to access, with just 45 minutes round-trip from the parking lot. The path is fully landscaped and safe, which is great. This is the only one we discovered. At 110 metres high, it offers an incredible view into the heart of nature and the surrounding greenery! We loved the ride and the lovely final surprise.
Chute du Carbet 3
Access to this waterfall was prohibited by a prefectoral decree when we visited. We leave it to you to ask at the Tourist Office if you wish to go there.
The Paradise Basin
We didn’t have time to discover this natural pool, but it looks very nice and not too touristy. Access is close to the parking lot of the second Chute du Carbet and you should allow about 15 minutes’ walk. Let us know in the comments if any of you know about it!
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Les Bains de Dolé
Here’s a new address that we didn’t have time to test either. These hot pools and baths are apparently great fun to discover so we’d recommend it just in case.
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Climbing the La Soufrière volcano in Guadeloupe
What about climbing the La Soufrière volcano when you come to Guadeloupe? Still active, its altitude is 1467 meters. We know that there are various day hikes there, but we didn’t do any of them personally, as we didn’t have enough time to do this part of the island. In any case, if you want to go there, make sure you’re well covered! We’ve had various reports of rain and cold. We’d advise you to make sure you’re well informed before embarking on the climb.
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3. What to do in Guadeloupe? Head for Les Saintes
How to get to Les Saintes in Terre de Haut
We chose to take a Point à Pitre ferry, with the Valferry company. The price was €85 return for two people. Be aware that the crossing moves a lot, so we recommend you take a little medicine for seasickness, as many people were sick the whole time (including us, by the way 😂). You can also take a boat from the town of Trois Rivières, which is actually the best-known and fastest crossing.
On arrival on the island, we recommend renting a scooter (for around €40/day) or electric cart (for around €60/day). This will give you total freedom to discover Les Saintes and its best spots. We’ve seen that it’s also possible to rent bikes, but it’s pretty steep on all the roads, so you’ll need to be really motivated!
Must-sees in Les Saintes
To discover the must-sees on the island of Les Saintes, visit our dedicated article!Direction les Saintes
4. What to do in Guadeloupe Head for Petite Terre
Why go to Petite Terre
The Petite-Terre archipelago is made up of two islands. This island seems like paradise on earth, with crystal-clear beaches that turn into aquariums, coconut palms as far as the eye can see and plenty of animals to discover: iguanas, lemon sharks, colorful fish…
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How to get to Petite Terre
You can discover them for a day by booking a catamaran or motorboat tour. Offers are often available for spending the day on board, lunching on home-cooked delicacies and spending time on the island. Most boats depart from Saint François.
Our big tip is to book well in advance! Most activities are fully booked weeks or even months in advance. As you can guess from our words, we hadn’t anticipated enough and therefore didn’t have room to discover Petite Terre during our stay. We’ll be back!
5. What to do in Guadeloupe Head for Marie Galante and La Désirade
Here are 2 new islands in the Guadeloupe archipelago that we didn’t have time to discover! We’ll tell you about them so you’ll have a choice if you’re wondering “What to do in Guadeloupe?”
Marie Galante is 30 km to the south-east, so expect about a 1-hour crossing. This island is quite large, with a surface area of 159km2. We recommend spending several days and nights here if you want to get the most out of your visit!
La Désirade is an island about 45 minutes by boat from Pointe des Châteaux. This small island is just 21km2 in size. You can go there for a day, mainly to enjoy its beautiful beaches, its many iguanas and the soothing atmosphere that rules.
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Visiting Guadeloupe, practical information on our travel blog
How to get to Guadeloupe and find the best prices
We booked our flights via the Liligo flight comparator. It lets you compare different flight options and airlines, compare different prices to find the offer that suits you best! The best way to organize your future trips.
To fly from Paris to Pointe à Pitre, we booked with Corsair, which was the best value for money. Both flights were on time and the service was top-notch. The only thing was that the seats were a bit small for two big guys like us, so we’ll be taking seats with more space in the future. We got 1600€ for two people round trip.
Which car rental company to choose for your vacation in Guadeloupe?
As with flights, we booked via the Liligo comparator. This enabled us to compare the different car rental companies and we selected the “Heloconia” rental company on the RENTILES website. We had to take a 10-minute shuttle from the airport, but once we arrived, the welcome was top-notch and the car was like new.
What period for your trip to Guadeloupe?
It would seem that the best time to discover Guadeloupe is in winter, between January and April. We went between late January and early February and the weather was ideal! We had between 25 and 30 degrees every day. There are a lot of showers in Guadeloupe, but they never last long and the sun soon comes out again. We really recommend this period!
10 days in Guadeloupe, our review of this trip
This trip to Guadeloupe was a big favorite, perhaps even more so than Martinique, which we discovered this time last year. We found the island superb, the locals very welcoming, the beaches incredible… If you’re still wondering “what to do in Guadeloupe”, you’ll have realized by now that the list is very long, and that a single trip probably won’t be enough to discover this superb archipelago! What really stands out for us about this destination is the diversity of things to do there: superb beaches, numerous waterfalls, volcano climbing, hiking, diving, islands to discover… In short, we loved it. So, why not head to the Caribbean for your next vacation? 🌞
This trip is the result of a collaboration with the Liligo and Pierre & Vacances teams, whom we would like to thank warmly. We remain totally free in what we say, so our opinions are personal and sincere.
Thank you for reading!
We hope the tips and good addresses on our travel blog will help you know what to do in Guadeloupe!
You can also follow our daily adventures on Instagram 🙂
Clem & Alex