Guadeloupe Boat Charter – Many Islands, Many Flavors of Paradise
What makes the many islands of Guadeloupe so unique and flavorful? We think its a combination of the French and Creole languages, Gallic savoir faire, as well as culinary and other cultural traditions. Guadeloupe archipelago is—just like the Loire and the Rhone in Paris—a full-fledged Department of France. It has a French health system, a high level of safety and security, representation in Parliament, and really good baguettes. The islands’ residents also share a primarily agricultural lifestyle. This is not one of those destinations that have covered all its farmland with sprawling resorts or exploited its fisheries into oblivion. In fact, when it comes to preserving its authentic way of life and protecting its ecosystems and wildlife, Guadeloupe has been ahead of the game for decades.
Travelers will appreciate Guadeloupe archipelago’s authenticity and the Franco-Caribbean/Creole vibe. The traditional family values, and respect for the sun-kissed land and sea, make it a friendly and beautiful place. Welcome to Paradise!
Guadeloupe Boat Charter
As you would expect in the Caribbean, Guadeloupe’s daily highs tend to be in the 80s, but temperatures are cooler in the mountains of Basse-Terre. These mountains force the ocean breezes to climb higher and cooler. Since cool air can’t hold as much moisture as warm air, the result is rain and Basse-Terre’s rainforests. The other islands present no barrier to ocean breezes, so the winds pass across them without raining very much. This is especially true between November and May. Summer and early fall are, not surprisingly for the Caribbean, the rainy season.
Regional carriers like Air Caraibes and LIAT offer direct flights from other islands to International Pointe-à-Pitre (PTP). American Airlines provides weekly (Saturday) nonstop travel between Miami and Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe. Also, Seaborne Airlines has four weekly nonstops between San Juan International Airport and Pointe-à-Pitre. In addition, Air Canada flies nonstop from Montreal.
The butterfly- shape of Guadeloupe’s main island is really two islands connected by a bridge. First is low-lying Grande-Terre, with towns and farms, beaches and resorts. Connected to it is verdant Basse-Terre, a pristine land of mountains, rainforests, and cascades surrounded by waters teeming with life. To the east and south of these islands, La Désirade offers away-from-it-all tranquility and agricultural Marie-Galante boasts exquisite rum and beaches. The tiny Les Saintes features French cafes and history. They’re connected to the main islands by fast ferries—no trip takes over 50 minutes—as well as by air. Between those easy connections and the distinctive ambiance of each island, Guadeloupe is one of the best places in the Caribbean for island-hopping.
Where to Stay?
All-inclusive resorts include the Club Med La Caravelle Resort and, on Basse-Terre, the Langley Resort Fort Royal. Some (relative) high-rise hotels and condos line part of the beach in Gosier, on Grande-Terre. However, most of Guadeloupe’s lodgings consist of small to mid-sized hotels as well as villas, apartments, eco-lodges and B&Bs. The greatest concentration of these lodgings are in Gosier and other parts of the beach coast south of Grande-Terre. However, recent years have also seen the opening of new accommodations on other islands, especially Basse-Terre.
10 Must-Do Activities
- Hit the Beach at Ste-Anne: It’s hard to single out just one beach, for all the islands have splendid strands. The public beach at Ste-Anne on Grande-Terre stands out for the inclusive mix of locals and visitors in the Caribbean. Good shops, bars, and eateries, too.
- Visit a Volcano: At 4,800 ft., La Soufrière is the highest peak in the Eastern Antilles, and yes, it’s (gently) active. Visitors can drive to lookouts in Guadeloupe National Park, a vast UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in Basse-Terre’s high- lands. You even hike up to the smoking mountaintop.
- Catch a Waterfall: The highest of the park’s cascades, Les Chutes du Carbet, takes a 3-tiered tumble totaling more than 800 ft. Easily accessed, La Cascade aux Ecrevisses spills into a dream-like world pool encircled by lush tropical trees and vines.
- Join the Route du Rhum Celebration: This sailboat race from France to Pointe-à- Pitre, the capital of Grande-Terre, only occurs every four years. It attracts 100,000 or so sailing and partying types—especially the latter—to Guadeloupe. This year’s festivities will last from late-October through much of November.
- Command a Fort: Fort Louis Delgrès, on the southwest coast of Basse-Terre, and Fort Napoleon in Terre- de-Haut still look much the way they did in colonial days. They both have with well-preserved walls, fortifications, and cannons. Spectacular views, too.
- Dance, Dance, Dance: Zouk was born here, but the locals also love salsa, soca, calypso, reggae, and American and European dance music. Of the many dance clubs in Gosier, DB9 (it even has a pool) and Five O’Clock are aces. There are more great clubs at the marina in Pointe-à-Pitre and elsewhere.
- Savor French-Creole Cuisine: Sample Guadeloupe’s special French Creole food, from Accras Seafood Fritters to Goat Stew. Don’t forget to visit Auberge de La Vieille Tour, a hotel restaurant in a historic sugar mill on Grande-Terre. This is just one of many restaurants that serve sophisticated French dishes with a Caribbean twist. They are richly flavored meals you’re not likely to find in the US or Canada.
- Swim with the Fishes: Jacques Cousteau called the Pigeon Islands, just off Basse- Terre’s west coast, one of the world’s top 10 dive sites. Now protected by law, these waters’ tropical fish, coral, and giant turtles thrill both divers and snorkelers. Divers can also explore two wrecks.
- Take the Ferry to Paradise(s): A bridge connects Grande-Terre and Basse-Terre. But, visitors can visit Guadeloupe’s other islands—each has its own history, lifestyle, and terrain—due to the fabulous ferry service.
- Buy Yourself a Present: In addition to selling the best bananas on earth, market vendors feature madras headwraps and dolls, hand-woven items of straw, and spices. Stores sell French fashions and perfumes, and local rhum vieux—a vintage, single-estate rum.
Guadeloupe Boat Charter GAIMAR
Sailing yacht Gaiamar is a great choice for your next Guadeloupe boat charter vacation. Captain Gail and the crew know this region well.
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