Caribbean Cruising '22: Glitzy Guadeloupe

Suzanna Pinder on 03 March 2022
Shaped like a butterfly, Guadeloupe is two islands in one: Basse Terre, which means the low land although actually the larger mountainous island, and Grande Terre, meaning the large island but actually the smaller lower island… somebody had a good sense of humour!

We were lucky to arrive to the town of Basse Terre, the capital of Guadeloupe, for the final night of Carnival season and boy what a party! The whole town had turned out to watch the singing and drumming bands parading through the streets, dancing late into the night, all fuelled by bokits and Carib beer!

Basse Terre was also a great point from which to explore the interior of the island, including the Route de la Traversee, a fabulous road running high up through the rainforest, offering amazing views of the island and leading to some great walking trails and the popular Crayfish Waterfalls, named after the many crayfish that once lived there.

Whilst Guadeloupe offers many hidden secrets, one of my favourites was the little town of Deshaies, a picturesque fishing village with a magnificent botanic garden, fabulous beaches nearby and home to the BBC's ‘Death In Paradise’ - we slept with one eye open, just in case!

I do love a botanic garden and the Jardin Botanique de Deshaies has to be one of the best I have visited. A winding path gently transports visitors through lush gardens containing over a thousand different species of plant from palms to tree orchids to cactuses. There are meandering streams, a fabulous 50 foot waterfall and resident flamingos, parrots and lorikeets also to admire. Looking for somewhere a little different to stay? The Jardin Botanique also has a fabulous villa for rent, set in beautiful gardens, with stunning views out to the sparkling Caribbean Sea.

With so much diversity on the island, Guadeloupe makes a great destination for a multi-centre holiday, enjoying a bit of R&R on the numerous beaches and exploring the lower lands of Grande Terre, combined with hiking through the rainforest and admiring wonderful waterfalls in the mountains of Basse Terre.

This article was published as part of a series ‘Caribbean Cruising 2022’:

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