Population: 503,274 citizens

Size: 687 square miles

Language: French



The beautiful island of Guadeloupe is actually shaped like an oyster shell with two islands hinged together.  The eastern side is called Grande-Terre and is a flat field of sugarcane with colorful towns that offer a variety of fun.  Grand-Terre is the spot if you are looking for resorts, casinos, and beach fun.  The western side, Basse-Terre, is a mountainous forest containing waterfalls and rivers.  This landscape creates a haven for hikers, bikers, adventure seekers, and nature lovers. The two halves are joined together by bridges over the Riviere-Salee (Salt River).  Guadeloupe mixes the best of France's modern infrastructure and fabulous food with a local culture that the natives are very proud of.



When To Go

The air temperature in Guadeloupe varies little from month to month.  February to June is the driest period, with the rain and humidity picking up in July and hanging around until January.  The French tradition of Carnival begins the Friday after Epiphany Sunday and ends on the Fat Tuesday of Mardi Gras, following this the businesses close for several weeks during August and September. The Carnival makes for the perfect time to visit with many activities to enjoy.



Sun, Sand, Sea and Shopping

There are many markets in Pointe-a-Pitre and Basse-Terre that have wonderful souvenirs, art, and local food. You can also find island rum-spiked fruit punch and the bright Madras fabric here; two other island favorites.  The largest shopping network on the island is Centre Commercial Destreland with more than 170 stores as well.

Diving, hiking, and enjoying the beaches is a great way to spend your time.  Also, scuba diving and snorkeling are very popular as there are many fantastic bright colored fish even in water that is only a few feet deep.  Glass-bottom boats are also an option if diving and snorkeling are not for you!  

There are many festivals to attend in Guadeloupe and they are commonly called "parties on the street."  Colorful ribbons are wrapped around peoples' wrists to represent the colors of all the nations.  These festivals usually continue into the early morning.



Dining and Nightlife

Every town in Guadeloupe has small sandwich shops, creperies, and pizzerias along the main roads that are inexpensive and perfect for a simple meal.  Spectacular Creole-style dishes are offered at cafes for moderate pricing.  Gastro restaurants are the perfect spot to splurge on exquisitely prepared French meals.  Colombo, the typical regional plate, is a mix of rice, chicken, and curry.  The local drink is white rum which is mixed to make many fabulous cocktails.  

Nightlife surrounds the south coast of Grande Terre where there are a few after-hours clubs.  The islanders are known for their dancing, from salsa to jazz be sure to get out your dancing shoes.