Using SkyScanner’s ‘Everywhere’ option, we found cheap tickets to Guadeloupe in January and bought them not really knowing where we were going. Two things made us buy these tickets, they were cheap and they would take us to the Caribbean during January. Best decision ever.
The island is a French territory, and so they speak French and use Euros as their currency, which make this a prime vacation spot for French people. This also meant that all the guide books/websites/information we could get about Guadeloupe was in French. Luckily my husband speaks a bit of French, and I know how to use google translate.
We rented a studio apartment just outside Deshaies, a beautiful and well located former fishing village turned tourist destination. Initially I chose this spot because it was close to Grande Anse – one of the largest sandy beaches on the island, as well as the number of highly rated restaurants.
As it turned out, spent almost no time utilizing either of these things.
We spent our days going pretty much wherever the hell we wanted to, and our evenings drinking on our rented porch. Most nights I fell asleep with sand and salt in my hair while lizards climbed on my toes after having eaten cheap and delicious street food. In other words I found heaven.
Drink all the rhum. It’s so cheap and delicious, and is ranked as some of the best in the world.
Plage de Malendure
Plage de Malendure in Bouillante was my favorite beach. It’s stunningly beautiful, but also gets really crowded. The reason why it was my favorite beach was because I’m a huge nature nerd and there’s a really beautiful reef at the Northern end of the beach you can easily swim to. Also SEA TURTLES. I saw 6 sea turtles at this particular beach. Life goal completed.
La Grande Soufri
La Grande Soufri, Guadeloupe’s active volcano, was another crowded yet worth while day trip. The drive to the volcano is harrowing in a stick shift, so if you plan on doing this hike while there and you’re not an experienced manual driver, definitely pay extra for the automatic transmission. But, once you make it to the parking lot, the hike is strenuous but in the way that’s totally do-able but makes you feel like you’re super fit at the same time. I mean, there were super old people and toddlers at the top of the volcano, so you should really be able to do it if you’re not ill.
Chutes du Carbet
Chutes du Carbet is definitely more difficult than La Grande Soufri. It’s not that far, but there’s a lot of wet rocks, and some of them are more vertical than horizontal. So take that into consideration. The best view of the falls is actually a short 2 minute walk from the visitor center. But if you want to go to the top water fall, it’s a reasonable hike if you’re wearing good shoes and definitely worth it.
Iles des Saintes
Iles des Saints is a smaller island to the southwest easily accessible by ferry. It’s beautiful. The water there was so clear, and there were wild iguanas roaming around, and the port looks like something out of a very romanticized version of Pirates of the Caribbean.