Guadeloupe’s distinctive butterfly shape is bisected by a narrow channel called the Salt River, which divides the island in half. On the southeastern wing (Grand-Terre) lies Pointe-à-Pitre, the island’s largest city and its center of tourism. To the west is Basse-Terre, which is less developed and is home to a large national park.
In addition to lush sugarcane fields and amazing rainforests, where you can see many rare tropical birds and animals, Guadeloupe’s offshore treasures — colorful coral forests and abundant marine life — will captivate both snorkelers and divers.
Though Columbus discovered Guadeloupe in 1493, the island belongs to France. So food is a high priority here. Fresh produce is available at the local markets (a boon to your provisioning efforts). And the fusion of French and Creole influences creates a delicious blended cuisine that is not to be missed.
Prevailing trade winds blow northeast during high season (Oct.–June), with calmer seas on the leeward side of the island, make Guadeloupe a first-class sailing destination.