The Gorgeous Guadeloupe French island is part of the Caribbean Leeward Islands. Floating like a butterfly on turquoise water, the duo of main islets – Grande-Terre and Basse-Terre – stretch out like two fluttering wings. Beyond those very different islets, are, as well gorgeous smaller islands like the famous Les Saintes and Marie Galante.
The diversity of wonders across the different islets, from rainforest to white and back sand idyllic beaches (and so much more) makes Guadeloupe one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean in my view
My post aims to showcase around 80 beautiful areas for travel lovers and photographers, across Basse-Terre, Les Saintes, Grande-Terre, and Marie-Galante, hopefully engaging you to go and discover or rediscover some of those amazing places
Basse Terre is the wild part of Guadeloupe that deserve a week to visit with lush forests and wild beaches (or at least less busy) So here is my selection not in no specific order (just clockwise on a map)
The black sand Plage de Malendure in Bouillante on the east coast of Basse-Terre is one of the most famous spots in la Guadeloupe for good reason
Sunset with Islets Pigeon in the background is wonderful 🤩
My pictures with no people might be a bit misleading as famous goes with really busy (😢), so sunrise is a good time as well to get the beach for yourself
The beach is part of the National Park and the Marine Cousteau reserve, so this is THE spot not to miss for snorkeling if you want to meet turtles
Just look for the underwater seaweed fields and you’ll find the turtles having breakfast
Ilet pigeon and Reserve Cousteau
Just in front of Malendure are the Ilet Pigeon which can be reached mainly by Kayak and offers amazing pristine waters
Get to the top of the islet for a cool view of the main island
Of course, snorkeling ids again the highlight of that place (Yes, I love the turtles’ pictures 😀)
Parc des Mamelles
That Zoo North of Bouillante is worth a trip as you’ll see a lot of animals in their natural habitat
The fun is that you’ll visit through many suspended bridges
You’ll have the opportunity to see many animals like of course iguanas
Less expected beautiful jaguar from Latin America
A black one as well…
… And a Puma
So, photographers, nature lovers, and kids of all ages can have some fun for a couple of hours there
National Park and Rain Forest
There are some wonderful hikes to do in the park. Some easy ones can be done from “Maison de la forêt (house of the forest)
Those easy (but wet 😂) hikes with alloy you to discover that amazing forest
Cascade aux Écrevisses
Within the forest / national park, a small hike to Ecrevisses fall is Really worth (and popular)
Cascade du saut d’Acomat
In the same area, the Saut d’Acomat small fall is worth a visit as well
Deshais Botanical Garden
Nature lovers and photographers will love that fantastic botanical garden
Of course, you’ll find hundreds of amazing flowers …
… showcasing mother nature’s creativity
You’ll find beautiful birds as well
You can interact and feed cute Loriquets …
… and meet fun Parrots
many beautiful parrots …
Don’t miss the beautiful cascade…
You’ll meet nearby Caribbean red flamingos
Deshais’s harbor is a great spot for sunset (and dinner 😊)
Grande Anse beach
The Plage de Grande Anse north of Deshais is a very famous beach and another great spot for sunset
Famous means busy so you might want to move away from the crowds toward the north side of the beach
There is a hotel there with some cool landscape photography opportunities
If you’re there, have a look at the viewpoint a few miles north called Point de Vue de Gadet
Anse de la Perle
Another very famous and gorgeous beach is the Anse de la Perle, especially during the evening golden hours
Plage du grand Bas-Vent
This is a much less known beach and in my view one of the most beautiful beaches of Guadeloupe.
Between La Perle and Tillet, look for a big hotel and park nearby to then walk to that amazing beach
It is truly almost deserted so a great place to visit
Moving slightly north, you’ll find Plage du Tillet, another amazing beach
Like Bas-vent, those beaches are less busy than some of the others so great for travel photography
On the North of Basse-Terre, the Plage de Cluny is as well worth a stop
The rocky side is in my view beautiful
Sainte-Rose and Grand Cul de sac reserve
A day excursion to Grand Cul-de-san nature reserve is a must for a trip in Basse-Terre. Boats will start from Ramée beach /harbor
You’ll find many tours or boat rentals in colorful sheds
Some boats are provided with pre-loaded GPS routes to the main spots, with is more than helpful for directions and to stay away from reefs 😅
One of the first spots in the reserve is Ilet Blanc
That tiny islet with turquoise waters and deadwood offers endless photography opportunities
In front of Ilet Blanc, you can see (access forbidden) tiny islets literally covered with birds
As you move into the reserve, you’ll discover gorgeous natural turquoise pools
Those are as well amazing snorkeling spots …
Ilet la Biche
Another famous spot in the reserve is Ilet la Biche, with mangroves in the middle of turquoise natural pools
Last but not least, the most famous and beautiful place in Grand-Cul de Sac is likely to be Ilet caret
All tours stop here however so getting a picture with no tourist takes some effort and patience (and avoid lunchtime if you have your own boat)
Despite touristic pressure, this is really a paradisiac spot
If you travel through the east coast of Basse-Terre, have a stop at the Lézouk brewery
If you’re a photographer, street art is really cool there.
On the south of Basse-Terre, that small alley lined with Coconut trees (on the side of the motorway) is a famous Instagram spot
Plage de Bananier
On the east and south side, you’ll find a few places worth a spot like that beach full of shells
Chute du Carbet
Back in the south part of the National Park are the famous Carbet waterfall
There are three falls that take +/- 3 hours but the first one short hike gives you already some great opportunities to visit the rainforest
Of course, the Soufriére volcano is a great hike to do in Guadeloupe. Unfortunately, during 18 days in the driest season, we did not have one day with a clear sky forecast for the summit so the image below is the only one in the post that is not from me 🥲
Plage de grande Anse (South)
There is a second Grand Anse beach, south of the island
That black sand beach is gorgeous, especially during morning golden hours
The lush vegetation makes this a paradise for photographers and nature lovers
Wake up early to enjoy twilight reflections,
The view of Les Saintes islands from that wild beach makes it part of the most beautiful spots of Guadeloupe for me.
A few miles west of Grande-Anse beach, the lighthouse on the extreme south of Basse-Terre is worth a visit
This is another famous (and not to miss) sunset spot in Basse-Terre.
Basse-Terre city and Carnival
If you plan your trip on time for Carnival (February/March), Basse Terre is the place to be
Guadeloupe Carnival is worldwide famous, and the Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras) parade is the most important day so try to be there…
Of course, this is not Rio de Janeiro level but it has a great atmosphere (with families spending the day eating -and drinking- on the parade path) and a fun event for photography
Anse a la Barque
As we keep moving clockwise on the way up toward Bouillante, Anse a la Barque is a nice spot, especially around sunset golden hours.
Another very popular spot is the warm bath in the ocean in front of the geothermic plant of Bouillante (hence the name meaning boiling)
This is a popular place and as well a very good sunset spot
After a warm bath, just relax on the pier there and watch the sun going down …
South of Basse-Terre in Front of Trois -Rivieres, Les Saintes islands are a word famous wonder not to miss when visiting Guadeloupe
Here are some of the most beautiful places…
Plage du Pain de Sucre
Starting with the most iconic spot, the sugar loaf beach is probably the most famous spot, especially at sunset
Not to leave it unsaid, the beautiful coconut trees forest is in a fenced / private area just beside the small beach, so it is not really a wild deserted beach, but it is still beautiful 😢
I advise strongly to get there for sunrise as well as beath will then be deserted
If you go around the coconut forest, you’ll find the other beach “on the other side” with amazing views of the sugar load, and travel photography opportunities
That side of the beach offers as well views of the other Les Saintes islets (Grand Islet and Terre-de Bas)
Bourg de Terre de Haut
That little village is a wonderful place full of colorful creole houses. Get up to the cross viewpoint for a nice overview
Spend some time around the little harbor (where you arrive by ferry)
This is a gorgeous place!
Like everywhere in Guadeloupe, look for some beautiful street art …
On the west end of the village, you’ll find some nice spots as well in direction of Tete Rouge la Batterie
Anse du Bourg
On the north side of the village, the Anse du Bourg beach is a true paradisiac place
As you walk up north, the view on Passe de la Baleine (“wale bay”) and its turquoise water is really great
Talking about paradise cliché, Anse Mire is probably quite close to it…
The view on Ilet Cabri (and on le Chameau « peak ») is as well gorgeous
One of the popular and beautiful visits is the Napoleon fortress on top of a hill above the village (picture taken from “Le Chameau” peak -see later in the post)
The view over Les Saintes famous bay is really breathtaking.
There is as well a small museum in the Fort with much historical information, artifacts, and some paintings from the good old days on the island
Beyond the gorgeous 360 degrees views over the island, you’ll spot many birds in the fort garden
some colorful Frangipani caterpillar …
… but the real stars are the iguanas
… many of them in the trees and bushes, with different and gorgeous colors
Plage de Pompierre
Pompierre beach is known as one of the most beautiful places in the world. Unfortunately, the proliferation of the orange sargaceous seaweed makes the beach significantly less attractive
Those agues are developing using the nutriments released following the destruction of the Latin America / Brazilian Mangrove, as one more sad example of environmental man impact 🥲
If you look for wild beaches have a look at Grande Anse beach (yes, another Grande Anse 😂 ) on the east side of Terre de Haut
Even if this might be a dangerous place for swimming, the waves, and colored rock gives a lot of charm to the beach
Between grand and Pompierre, have a look at Anse Cassin
Starting from Anse Cassin, the hike in the direction of Pointe Zozio provides amazing views of Marigot famous bay and the Saintes Island
The climb is worth the effort 😊 !
Another must-do short hike is to climb the highest hill of Les Saintes called Le Chameau (“the Camel”). The view from there is truly breathtaking
On the Eastern side of Terre de Haut, Anse Crawen is a nice sunset spot
That beach has as well a cool view of Terre-de-Bas island 🤩.
Back to the main Guadeloupe island on the Grande-Terre side, here is my selection of the most beautiful places
Again, the spots are not in a specific order, just clockwise on a map.
Plage de la caravelle
Starting from perhaps the most famous place, the Caravelle beach is a truly breathtaking spot
Sunset on Caravelle beach is another paradise for landscape photography and nature lovers
Like most popular spots, clearly, that beach can be really crowded so I’m advocating again that “deserted beaches belong to those that wake up early” 🤩
So, wake up early and get there for a magic sunrise moment with your feet in the warm Caribbean sea 😂.
Plage du Petit Havre
Petit-Havre is a beautiful beach between Sainte-Anne and the Gosier city
Plage des salines
Salines beach is the kingdom of kite surfers and windsurfers
That makes it as well a great place for photographers 😊.
Plage de la Datcha
Datcha beach is famous for its iconic turquoise la lagoon
The beach itself is quite small but this is still a beautiful spot
This is where you can take small shuttle boats to get to the nearby beautiful Ilet Gosier. The pier is useful for the local kids fishing in the emerald lagoon.
That very popular small islet facing Gosier city is absolutely stunning
There is basically one main beach on the north side of the island (the rest is a forest with a small lighthouse)
Like other places, popular means really busy so getting an image of the only beach without crowds of tourists takes some time and patience 🥲😎
Pointe à Pitre
Of course, you do not get to Guadeloupe to visit its capital city, but it is worth spending half a day around the town. To name a few interesting areas
The Marche de la Darse and Fishmarket is clearly a highlight
The fishermen selling their catch in the morning are a must-see
This creates endless photography opportunities
And a good opportunity to get fresh fish for lunch 😂.
The many pelicans around have understood this as well …
…Offering as well cool photography opportunities
You can even see the Volcano from the harbor. I was however cursed and never saw it 😢
If you walk around the market, you will find beautiful street art
Guadeloupe has talents for sure!
Marche aux épices
The (spice market) is another spot to see in the historical center
You’ll find there all the usual local products, including the famous and delicious local rum 🎉
Again, street art in the historical center is a fantastic game first for photography
You can easily spend a few hours going around the small old street and discover all those artistic wonders.
The brand-new museum in memory of slavery is as well a place to visit in the city (But pictures are not allowed inside 😢)
Do not miss that building within walking distance from the ACTe
I know it may feel weird to visit a cemetery but the Morne-à-l’Eau checkered tombs are worth a quick visit
Staying on the unusual stops a bit more north, the ancient prison and the dark slavery history is a must-see spot.
This is another place that is a paradise for travel photography lovers 🤩.
It feels like a small Angkor Vat, isn’t it?
Plage de l’Anse Bertrand
Moving further North of Grande-Terre, do not miss the beautiful Anse Bertrand beach
Like in Basse-Terre, the northern beaches are less busy and therefore great spots in my view
A few miles further north, Anse Laborde beach is worth a visit as well.
This is another idyllic beach on that beautiful island
Pointe de la Grande Vigie
This is the extreme northern tip of Guadeloupe, with a very different landscape made of high cliffs beaten by the waves.
Move still clockwise on the top north part, Porte de l’Enfer (Hells Gate) is a famous spot/beach surrounded by cliffs
This is a great place to hike on the shoreline up to Trou de Madame Coco or further for a very different landscape than the rest of Guadeloupe
Going down south on the east coast, the small city of Le Moule is nice to have a look at its colorful creole houses
The town Hall is worth having a look at as well
Like in other cities of Guadeloupe, looking around for old buildings is as well fun
Pointe des châteaux
The extreme southeast cape of Anse des châteaux is one of the most famous spots in Guadeloupe with its cross on top of the hill above the ocean
The amazing rock formations beaten by the waves are particularly stunning during morning twilight
The châteaux beach is a truly amazing place not to moss during a stay in Grande-Terre
It is so beautiful that I would advise going there as well before sunset for different light and perspective
Douche Saint François
In between Anse des Châteaux and Saint François, have a look at the fun la douche natural pool (the shower »).
There is no sign, and it is hidden by the beach forest so as I’m a good boy, here is the GPS point.16.25285-61.22981
Plage des Raisins Clairs
The Raisins Clairs Beach is another nice place to visit
That beach is particularly beautiful under morning golden light
Plage de Bois Jolan
I know I stated several times “one of the most beautiful spots of Guadeloupe” but there are many great spots there … and Bois-Jolan beach is clearly part of that list.
Plage du Bourg
Finishing our Grande Terre tour clockwise back in Sainte-Anne, the Plage du Bourg is a very touristic spot
If you’re lucky during your stay, try to assist to one of the many traditional boat races that are so popular in Guadeloupe.
Those colorful boats on the turquoise water are beautiful …
And of course, the paradisiac Caravelle beach in the background does not hurt …
Last but not least on that (too long) post, you’ll find below some of the highlights of the famous Marie-Galande Island, a small, rural, and quiet beauty an hour ferry away south of Basse-Terre.
Let’s start the tour with one of the most famous beaches of Marie-Galante: Mosquito beach
Even under a stormy sky, that place is truly gorgeous 🤩
Plage du Vieux Fort
A few miles north of Plage Moustique, have a look as well at Vieux Fort (Old Fort) beach
Another day in paradise, isn’t it?
On the north tip of Marie-Galante, the famous Gueule Grand-Gouffre arch is worth a visit
Marie Galante highlands
The very rural central part of Marie-Galante is truly beautiful with its sugar cane fields
So do not stay just on the beach!
Moulin Bezard and windmills ruins
The sugar manufacturing history left many ancient windmills, including some that create great travel photography opportunities
Like for the ancient prison, it fell a bit like being in Angkor Wat 🤩
There are well-restored mills on the island and the most known is Moulin Bézard
Habitation et distillerie Bellevue
Of course, you can’t visit Guadeloupe and Marie-Galante without visiting a distillery. A great and famous one is the Bellevue one, with its old factory (and a new one that you can visit as well)
The ancient windmill there is as well beautiful
You can do a great and fun Rum tasting there. A must-do for educational reasons of course. And Yes, you can taste all of them 😅
Continuing moving clockwise, you‘ll cross the small city of Capesteree on the southeast coast
Like in many other places, you’ll find here some very fun street art
This is always an opportunity for photography if you like street art as I do.
You’ll even See Laurent Voulzy there
NB: For the Non-French readers, this is a French singer that has a nice song on Marie-Galante Island 😊
Plage de la Feuillère
The real reason to stop in Capesterre is actually for its beach of La Feuillère.
This is another gorgeous beach, on my top 10 of Guadeloupe
On the way up toward the south and east coast, you’ll cross Grand Bourg (some ferries arrive here as well). Have a look at the pretty church
Habitation Roussel Trianon
On the southeast coast, there is another old sugar cane factory that is worth a short visit
You can still see the old machines in the ruins making that memorial place interesting
That little city is where the ferries will arrive from and to the main island (some to grand Bourg as well). The harbor is nice
You’ll find around quite a few colorful Créole houses
Anse de Mays
Finally, to finish the clockwise tour of Marie-Galante, Anse de May is as well a pretty beach to visit or relax on