What’s Good In Guadeloupe

Pointe des Chateaux

We spent a month in Guadeloupe, on foot, by car, and of course in our boat. Gwada for short, this group of islands in the southern Caribbean is an incredible destination. The variety of activities to enjoy and the fun spirit of the locals made us want to return for more stays. Here are some of our favorites, what’s good in Guadeloupe.

Good in Guadeloupe
The Memorial ACTE

One of the best museums I’ve ever visited, this brand new attraction is dedicated to the history of slavery in the Caribbean. Located on the waterfront in Point-a-Pitre, Memorial Acte is a must visit.

Upon entry to the Memorial Acte, you are handed a headset and directed to lock up all your belongings, including phones. No photos indoors, but also, no checking email or social media. It means all your attention is dedicated to the exhibits and the involved and interesting audio commentary. Expect to spend at least 2 hours in the permanent exhibition. When we visited, there was no special exhibit but the contemporary art and historical memorials were well worth the visit.

Memorial ACTe
The Memorial Acte lit up at night from our view at anchor
Volcano Hike and Hot Baths at the End!

Another island, another volcano hike. And, according to our custom, we had a difficult trek up to the top of Soufriere Volcano. However, this time, we had the company of 6 fun cruisers, so despite the cold rainy ascent, it was fun. The trip down offered beautiful views, and we soaked in the hot sulfur bath at the end, a nice reward for our efforts.

La Soufriere Volcano Guadeloupe hike
A wet group of cruisers hiking La Soufriere Volcano

Some people may go to this volcano just for these baths, and I wouldn’t blame them. Like most parks and attractions in the French islands, this is completely free of charge.

Boiling Bouillante

An anchorage we had never heard of became one of our favorite stops all season. The town of Bouillante is the site of an electric plant using volcano as power. The river flowing out from the factory pumps hot water into the sea, making for a natural hot tub in the ocean.

Bouillante Guadeloupe
Soaking in the hot water in Bouillante

Sometimes it’s calm and relaxing, perfect for the day after a hard hike, and other times, when the waves are up, it’s like a wave pool at a water park. Either way, this cute town with two bakeries, a Carrefour market, and the hot tub is worth a visit. There’s even some decent snorkeling on the northwest edge of the bay

Bouillante
The hot river flowing into the sea at Bouillante
Fort Delgres and Memorial Statues

A nice walk from the Basse Terre anchorage, Fort Delgres is the best fort we’ve visited in the Caribbean. The French and British built many forts in their battles over the Caribbean so this is high praise.

More to do in Guadeloupe Fort Delgres
View from the entrance of Fort Delgres, Guadeloupe

First, the fort is huge and well maintained. The multiple buildings are in good condition to explore. The views of the surrounding ocean and mountains are excellent, and the coup de grace is the modern art sculpture honoring famous slave resistance fighter Louis Delgres.

Fort Delgres What's Good in Guadeloupe
Delgres sculptures Fort Delgres Guadeloupe
Pigeon Island Diving

Jacques Cousteau was a fan so we had to try the diving in the marine park named for the legend at Pigeon Island. It was fantastic! The dive we did was on a wall with healthy reefs and a variety of large and small fish. We saw eels, crabs, lobster, and lots else, plus the underwater statue of Cousteau.

We liked it so much here we will probably return soon and do more dives, as there are a bunch of good sites in the area and the diving is the best we’ve had in the Caribbean. All of these sites are a short dinghy ride from the anchorage, with easy tie-ups to moorings. It’s great for snorkelers too. We saw plenty of them diving down to the statue and enjoying the sea life.

  • Pigeon island Guadeloupe
  • Cousteau Marine Park Guadeloupe
  • Guadeloupe diving photo
  • Guadeloupe Cousteau reserve

The closest town to Pigeon Island, Malendure, is just across the bay and has nice beaches, shops, beach bars and more. This is a world-renowned dive destination so it caters to tourists with anything you would need. For the land explorers, there are great hikes along the cliffs overlooking the sea, with lots of geocaches along the paths and beautiful views.

  • Pigeon island
  • Malendure beach
  • Malendure Guadeloupe
  • Dive o'clock
Pointe de Chateaux

The peninsula at the southeastern end of the Guadeloupe butterfly is one of the most naturally stunning coastal places in the world. We visited Pointe de Chateaux and its iconic cross via rental car on a particularly windy day. It’s a thin strip of land with one road in and out, good hiking and gorgeous views. The sea was rough that day my friends, and even in some parts of land we were getting blown about, and there will still lots of other visitors. We walked all around the different trails, including to the point with the large cross.

More to Do in Guadeloupe

On our first visit heading south last season, we stopped at Iles de Saintes and recommend a visit there to anyone in Guadeloupe.

I haven’t even talked about the food! Every boulangerie has delicious sandwiches, baguettes, croissants oh my. The most basic markets have fresh fruits and vegetables and good cheese and charcuteries. We stocked our boat before we left Guadeloupe. The prices can’t be beat either.

Reality Check

It’s not all scuba and rainbows. We did spend a week in Point-a-Pitre waiting for someone to help us with our broken radar, and got no help whatsoever. The wind was howling out at sea, but we were at least protected in a safe harbor, although we didn’t know anyone there. It’s definitely hot and cold in this cruising life: sometimes you are moving all the time, and seeing lots of other cruisers, and sometimes you sit in one place alone. Either way, we’re safe and happy. And hopefully going back to Gwada soon. Because there’s a lot of good in Guadeloupe.

Author: Mel

Living aboard a sailboat, scuba diver, cat parent, cyclist, blogger, love the water and exploring new places.

8 thoughts on “What’s Good In Guadeloupe”

  1. We love it as well! We have been here close to a month as well and having a hard time leaving! We have done a lot of the same things and definitely recommend all of the above. We are a family of 4 and loving it here.

  2. Beautiful pictures. I like the idea of Memorial Acte not permitting phones etc into the museum. They would be a distraction from what is an important topic.

    1. Exactly! Everyone in the museum was without their devices and it made the experience so much more immersive and worthwhile.

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