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Guadaloupe advice needed

Jet
Wisconsin
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7 posts
7 reviews
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Guadaloupe advice needed

My husband and I like "off the beaten path", non touristy island vacations. We usually go to Molokai for 2 weeks in February but the internal politics of the place has made it tumultuous to say the least.

Thus, we're exploring possibilities in Guadaloupe. We both speak excellent French. We prefer self-catering accommodations and like to do "ecotourist sorts of things like hiking, fishing, snorkeling, etc. We aren't interested in shopping, fine dining, golf, and nightlife!

My questions are: 1)Does anyone think this island would be a good choice for people like us? 2)Where should we stay--one forum post said that the northern part of Grand Terre is "untouristy". 3)How safe is the island for tourists? 4)Has anyone had any experience with hiking/fishing guides? Were they any good? 4)What places and/or activities are "not to be missed"?

Sebastian, Florida
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25 posts
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1. Re: Guadaloupe advice needed

If you both speak French, Guadeloupe is an excellent destination. But northern Grande Terre isn't very interesting. If you want to stay off the beaten path then you should stay on Basse Terre, which is lush and tropical, and much calmer than Grande Terre. There are no big hotels, so your best bet is to find a small guesthouse structure, where you can rent a bungalow or an apartment.

You like hiking, and Basse Terre has dozens of trails, ranging from 5 minutes to full day hikes throught the tropical rainforest, which has no wild animals or snakes, and is absolutely safe, as long as you bring water and food, and maybe a cellphone in case you get into trouble. You can hike up the crater of the volcano, which is an absolute must, but try to go on a clear day, so you can enjoy the view.

Grande Terre has the beaches, although there are a few gorgeous ones in north Grande Terre also. Some beaches are very secluded and you can find yourself all alone, like Robinson crusoe. Grande Terre has all the major hotels, and is much more frequented. There are plenty of things to do there too. You will find info online or you get one of the free info maps from Chemin Blue locally.

The island is safe, except for petty crime, like everywhere else in the world. The people are very friendly, but you have to make first contact. You have to be the first to say hello and how are you, then they will open up and smile, especially if you speak French.

Guadeloupe will be an excellent choice for people like you, and you will probably want to return, because even in 2 weeks you will not be able to see it all, and you are bound to get hooked on your little 'baguette' under the palm trees.

Enjoy.

Wisconsin
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3 posts
21 reviews
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2. Re: Guadaloupe advice needed

Thanks for taking time to answer my post. If anyone knows of a good hiking/fishing/hunting guide please let me know.

Guadeloupe
4 posts
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3. Re: Guadaloupe advice needed

IN this cas, Deshaies in Guadeloupe is made for you!

plongee under navy, there is "la réserve Cousteau",

on Basse-terre, or else, a little association who offers to spend 2 or 3 night in full montain, eat as people done it in the past..

excuse me for my bad Inglish even if i know that that you and your husband speak an excellent French, but it's a way for me to practice.

It's not easy to do it here in Guadeloupe!!

mail me if you need some advice or information.

I would be glad to comunicate with you- in inglish of course!!

hope see you soon

Nathalie

Greer, South...
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210 posts
153 reviews
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4. Re: Guadaloupe advice needed

Hi Jet--

We just returned from 9 days in Guadeloupe last week. Just to reply very briefly, I would second the opinion that you should go to Basse Terre. Grande Terre was not great for any of the activities you are really looking for. To be honest, we were sorely disappointed with Grande Terre and will never return there. It is very commercialized, but I would suggest staying on Basse and just do some driving exploration there.

We did two eco adventures that go with what you're asking about. We scaled/hiked La Soufriere with Zion Trek. The guides are all licensed by the French govt' and are extremely knowledgable. If you do La Soufriere, you want someone that is licensed so you will be permitted to go to the crater and see the sulfur pouring out!

We also did a sea pedal-boat kayak adventure with Archipel Aventure through mangroves. Guy is great! Also absolutely wonderful.

I would say that both of these activities pertain to the not-to-be-missed category. A+ for both!

Also, the Jardin Botanique in Deshaies is nice "eye-candy" for plants. The Route de la Traversee has many trail heads for self-guided hiking.

As far as hunting, I would doubt that there is any to do as there are not many species on the island and most of those that are there are endangered.

We never encountered a single problem with safety, anywhere (we also stayed in Martinique a week beforehand, too). We have it on good, personal advice from an editor at Lonely Planet that Point-a-Pitre is really not safe...in fact, he told us that it/people can be like the monsters in Thriller on crack. :)

If you want more advice, just e-mail me. We actually are going to be featured in Budget Travel Magazine about this trip in September.

Good luck!

England
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1,713 posts
49 reviews
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5. Re: Guadaloupe advice needed

Wouldn't argue with any of previous commentns apart from the mention of safety in Pointe a Pitre. We and some friends on seperate occasions walked around the city and didn't have any problems.It's just like any other big city where you will have 'no go' areas but we all found the locals friendly and helpful.It's not the most scenic of places mind you.

Basse terre and Grande terre are complete opposites.

France
3 posts
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6. Re: Guadaloupe advice needed

Hi,

I came across an article which was very helpful for me as it listed all the places to see in guadeloupe along with some pictures.

You can find information on:

* Grande-Terre

* Basse-Terre

* Iles des Saints

* Iles des les Petite-Terre

* Marie Galante

* La desirade island

villabelleallee.com/things-to-do-in-guadelou…

Guadeloupe is huge, with some much stuff to do and see.

All the best,

Jared.

7. Re: Guadaloupe advice needed

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