Getting to Guadeloupe's best attractions is simple, since it's easy to rent a car on Guadeloupe. Convenient car hires from Pointe-à-Pitre International Airport facilitate your journey. From most major world cities, you can find flights bringing you closer to Guadeloupe's volcanos and famous beaches. Once you've landed, head to Grande Anse Beach, known for its paradisiacal white sand and turquoise water. Orientate yourself with a Guadeloupe island map and venture out to explore the archipelago's glittering attractions. Should you wish to start your adventure with some snorkelling, head to Saint-Francois just along the coast. From there, it's a swift ferry trip to Marie-Galante, where you can discover the Murat Eco-Museum and the dramatic rock formations of Gueule Grande Gouffre. Also known as the 'big pancake', the island certainly offers the sweet life, with its perfect beaches and historic distilleries. Poisson Distillery produces the best-known rum in the region, while Bellevue sits adjacent to a picturesque antique windmill.
When you get to Guadeloupe, you'll find plenty of ways to keep busy. Travel to the charming fishing village of Deshaies, for instance, and a flavorful feast of Guadeloupe's national dishes await. Close to Grand Anse Beach, one of Guadeloupe's most popular windsurfing destinations, the village is surrounded by a forest of bobbing yacht masts. Taste some of Guadeloupe's seafood specialities and jump into Guadeloupe's nightlife at the seafront rum bars (rhumeries). For culture vultures, the Slavery Museum is one of Guadeloupe's most enthralling attractions. The world's largest slavery museum, it combines a powerful range of perspectives with ergonomic architecture. If you're somehow stuck for what to do on Guadeloupe, the Grand Cul-de-Sac Marin Nature Reserve is worth seeing. Teeming with marine life, the waters are protected by a 25km-long coral 'fence' and fronted by magnificent white-sand beaches.
If you're plotting the best beaches on Guadeloupe on a map, mark an 'X' on Bois Jolan Beach, Guadeloupe's most family-friendly destination. This coconut-tree-lined stretch of white sand shelves gently into turquoise water that's protected by coral reef. Basse-Terre is home to some of Guadeloupe's dreamiest beaches, while swathes of sand overlooked by leafy gardens wait to be discovered in Deshaies, and beaches abutted by waterfalls and a temple await in Capesterre-Belle-Eau. Car rentals in Guadeloupe also enable you to journey effortlessly from the country's languid beaches to more volatile natural attractions. The stratovolcano in Guadeloupe, La Grande Soufrière, is another highlight to pencil into your vacation itinerary. The highest peak in the Lesser Antilles, it pierces the cobalt sky at 1,467 meters in height. This active volcano attracted famous filmmaker Werner Herzog to its dramatic slopes, where he made the short film La Soufrière in 1977.
|Time-Zones||Atlantic Time (GMT-4)|
Getting to Guadeloupe's array of sublime island destinations is easy. Hop on nonstop flights from New York, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Atlanta, or Montreal. Transfers from major world cities run through Puerto Rico and Costa Rica, while regular ferries connect the islands with world ports. Car rental on Guadeloupe is readily available at Pointe-à-Pitre Airport. Guadeloupeans drive on the right-hand side, using the left lane for passing. Speed limits on motorways range between 90km/h and 110km/h, falling to 50km/h in densely populated areas. You may have to pay a small toll on highways. Most roads are in excellent condition, though winding (with stunning views), and road signs follow European conventions. Only major gas stations accept credit cards, and don't forget to avoid parking beneath palm trees: they can drop coconuts onto your vehicle!