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Guadeloupe is an archipelago or a group of islands in the eastern Caribbean, located in the Leeward Islands in the Lesser Antilles. Guadeloupe has a land area of 1,628 square kilometres, and is also called Butterfly Island due to the shape of two of its major islands which resemble wings of a butterfly. The largest city is Pointe-à-Pitre, but the administrative capital is Basse-Terre. The two main islands of Guadeloupe are Basse-Terre to the west and Grande-Terre to the east. As an overseas region of France, the official language of Guadeloupe is French.

What to see & do

Saint-François - Saint-François, lying on the southeast point of Grande-Terre, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Guadeloupe. Activities in Saint-François include but are not limited to sea kayaking, jet skiing, traditional sailing, kitesurfing, and windsurfing. The beaches provide the perfect waves for those who are only learning how to surf, body board, and long board, and there are also other spots for the more experienced surfers. Saint-François also has some of the best diving spots in Guadeloupe.

Pointe des Châteaux Grand National Site - Also in Saint-François, this tourist site is located in the extreme west of the island. Pointe des Châteaux Grand National Site provides extraordinary views and 10 kilometres of hiking trails all the way up to a Cross.

Guadeloupe Archipelago Biosphere Reserve - The Guadeloupe National Park can be found on Basse-Terre Island, offering hiking trails, the La Soufrière volcano, and Col de la Matéliane. The park contains a wide diversity of both flora and fauna, most notably 100 species of orchids and 11 species of bats. Adjacent to the park is the marine protected area called Grand Cul-de-Sac Marin Nature Reserve. The two protected areas comprise of the Guadeloupe Archipelago biosphere reserve.

Plage du Souffleur - In the small fishing village Port-Louise, Grande Terre is Plage du Souffleur, one of the most beautiful beaches Guadeloupe has to offer; gorgeous white sand, shallow waters, blossoming flame trees, and wide open spaces.

How to get around within Guadeloupe

It is recommended not to rely too much on buses in Guadeloupe, as the service is infrequent and unreliable. Some French is also needed for travellers to effectively use the bus system, and there is no direct service from the airport to Pointe-à-Pitre. You can take a taxi instead, which are readily available at the airport. Legal taxis are supposed to have meters, but in case you get on one without a meter, make sure you negotiate with the driver before setting off. Taxis are legally entitled to charge passengers 40% more than the regular fare from 7:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. Tours by taxi are possible and can be arranged by the hotel, but tend to be expensive. Perhaps the most efficient way to explore Guadeloupe is by renting a car from the airport.

How to get there

Pointe-à-Pitre International Airport, or Pointe-à-Pitre Le Raizet Airport, is the airport serving Pointe-à-Pitre on the island of Grande-Terre. The airport is situated in the commune Les Abymes, 2.4 kilometres north-northeast of Pointe-à-Pitre. It is served by the airlines Air Antilles Express, Air Canada, Air Caraïbes, Air France, American Airlines, Corsair International, LIAT, Seaborne Airlines, Winair, and XL Airways France, to provide flights to Guadeloupe from Antigua, Fort-de-France, Montréal, Cayenne, San Juan, Miami, and other cities.

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