Guadeloupe’s two wings
Heading back to Pointe-à-Pitre through the region’s western coast bordered with the Caribbean Sea, you will visit the least spectacular part of Grande-Terre. Nonetheless, it is the island’s most natural region. With welcoming beaches, there is plenty of space to anchor your luxury charter yacht. Evergreen mangroves with numerous tropical bird species distinguish this spectacular untamed and secluded part of Guadeloupe. Anse-Bartrand, Port-Louis and Vieux-Bourg are definitely worth a detour. Known in the past for its sugarcane plantations, this region is now devoted to market as well as fruit gardening.
This pleasant town of only 5 000 inhabitants boasts an ancient feature, quite rare in modern times: cattle-pulled carts. And although mechanization reached Guadeloupe, this village still remembers its rich agricultural past when elegant women, clothed in crispy white lacy dresses, left their plantations in such carts on Sunday to attend Mass in the local church. Yoking has since been an important part of local folklore with many choosing it, until this day, as a means of transport.
Anse-Betrand is the last settlement of the Caribs, indigenous peoples of the region before the arrival of colonizers and their taking possession of the land. Ruins of many mills witnessed the colonizers’ pride and glory; ruins that are now slowly being forgotten. Although the island is now slowly opening to tourism, there is plenty of space for local colors to play their part. Tranquil beaches and the village’s history will make of your luxury charter vacation a trip to the ultimate terrestrial paradise.
The south of Guadeloupe rests untamed. The region of Basse-Terre is only a bridge away from Pointe-à-Pitre, just a short stroll over the Salée river is what separates you from the other wing of “the butterfly”. The air tells the story of this land’s birth form fire and wind, from chaos, black bluffs and the ocean’s whims. Basse-Terre is worth a visit if only for the twisting seaside road unveiling unparalleled land and seascapes. So come discover the unheard-of story of this island, that of villages living by the rhythm of fishing at sunrise and baths at sunset. Just head south in the direction of Petit-Bourg and let local colors captivate your heart and mind.
This town will be a great start to your trip to Guadeloupe’s nature, and you will also immediately have the opportunity to admire the beautiful view from here on Point-a-Pitre, beyond the bay of Petit-Cul-De-Sac-Marin, sprinkled with tiny islands. While in Petit-Bourg, you must definitely visit the Flower Park, a must-stop for those who, too busy lounging on the beach, didn’t have time to admire the island’s natural flora!
Capesterre-Belle-Eau and Saint-Sauveur
Here you will enter the kingdom of bananas and plush flame trees spruced up with rich vermilion flowers, a true delight for the senses. At the exit from the quaint village of Saint-Sauveur, a road pushes its way into a plush forest leading to the Carbet falls, only a picturesque hike away. Explore fords, suspension bridges as well as passages embellished with verdant arborescent ferns. Hiking in this region is all the more pleasurable as nature never ceases to amaze visitors. The three successive waterfalls can simply be described as streams of pure diamond and emerald. Dense tropical flora serves as a backdrop to the soothing water racing down from more than one hundred meters. The region’s beaches give away the presence of the neighboring volcano, la Grande Soufrière with their ink-black sands marked with lava ashes, a reason why these shores are only visited by local fishermen. However, all adventure enthusiasts can visitthese fabulous niches with Sunreef Yachts Charter.
This town is no contradiction to the island’s undeniable charm. The main attraction of Trois-Rivières, a crystal-black beach and a picturesque forest path are the town’s main attractions along with a neighboring park exhibiting rocks engraved by the island’s first inhabitants, impressive petroglyphs scattered across the dense forest. Trois-Rivières is also one of the pontoons ideal for boarding your luxury charter mega yacht or luxury charter catamaran to sail the open seas.
Crossing the commune of Gourbeyre demands a stop at the hot springs in Dolé well-known for their therapeutic benefits. From there is only a short way to Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe’s administrative capital. The city cannot be compared to the bustling Pointe-à-Pitre as it is definitely more tranquil with a smaller population, comprised of officials in charge of this tropical French department. Basse-Terre, although smaller, boasts all the commodities of big cities including a cathedral, a market, a shopping center and a quaint city center with Parisian-style terraces and chic modern boutiques of the Champ-D’Arbaud street. Basse-Terre also witnesses its ancient agricultural richness through houses of black rock directing one’s eyes on la Grande Soufrière volcano.
Traces of la Grande Soufrière
A tortuous road leads to Saint-Claude, a town being the volcano’s gate. The heart of Guadeloupe beats on the volcano’s sides, a fiery cone standing proudly 1467 meters above sea level. Although presently asleep, locals still recall la Grande Soufrière’s eruption in 1956 threatening Saint-Claude, a town nestled-in halfway up the hill. No more than twenty years later the volcano’s rumbles were cause of a prompt evacuation of the inhabitants of Saint-Claude as well as some neighboring villages. The lands have since been transformed into a vast natural park with many marked out hiking trails, or traces, guiding through this natural wonder. Although the volcano rests calm, its violent temper is still predictable, witness of which is its last activity. The peak is and will be untamed which is why sometimes it is better to admire it from a distance than to confront it from up close.