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Guadeloupe Map






  Facts about Guadeloupe  
Guadeloupe IslandTerritory of France
Coordinates16° 15′ 0″ N, 61° 35′ 0″ W
LocationLeeward Islands
Capitalprefecture
Area1,628 km2 (629 sq mi)
Population403977 (1 January 2012)
Official languageFrench
Currencyeuro
GovernmentJosette Borel-Lincertin
Time zoneECT (UTC-04)
Dialing code:+590
Internet TLD.fr

Guadeloupe is an overseas territory belonging to France. It is a group of islands located in the Caribbean Sea in the Lesser Antilles. It consists of two major islands, namely, Basse-Terre and Grande-Terre and several smaller islands like Marie Galente, Le Desirade, and Iles des Saintes. Guadeloupe covers an area of 1,628 sq km and had a population of 403,977 in 2012.

The islands were first settled by the Arawak who called in Karukera in 300 AD. The Amerindian population was killed off by the Caribs who came here in the 8th century. The island was later discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493, who named it Santa María de Guadalupe de Extremadura. In 1635, the French first settled in the islands and Guadeloupe was annexed to France in 1674. The islands then became important producers of sugar. Britain however, occupied the islands several times. The islands were finally granted to France by the Treaty of Vienna in 1815.

Geography : 
Guadeloupe is located in the southernmost part of the eastern Caribbean Sea. The two main islands of Basse-Terre and Grande-Terre are separated by a narrow water body called the Salt Channel. The island has a variable relief ranging from volcanic hills to rolling hills and uplands. The highest peak of Lesser Antilles is La Grande Soufriere (1,467 m) and it lies in this region.

How to reach (transport) : 
You can travel to Guadeloupe in the following ways:
  • The islands are served by the Guadeloupe Le Raizet Airport located to the north of Pointe-a-Pitre. Flights are available to various destinations of Caribbean, USA, and to France.

  • Cruise ships regularly call at the Guadeloupe islands.

  • A regular ferry service is available from a number of Caribbean islands like Martinique, Dominica, and St. Lucia. Some of these ferries also allow you to transport your car.

Weather : 
Guadeloupe enjoys a tropical type of climate. The temperature remains comfortable throughout the year. The area receives high rainfall, most of which is concentrated from July to November. February to April is the driest period. The islands have been hit by several hurricanes during the modern times.

When to visit : 
The best time to visit Guadeloupe is from December to May. The climate is warm and dry and this is the best time to enjoy all the various activities that the islands have to offer.

Points of interest (places to visit) : 
The most important sights in Guadeloupe are as follows : 
  • The Fort Napoleon is a good place to join the guided walking tour and get a feel of the history of the place. The naval museum is quite detailed, while you can see the iguanas in the cactus garden.

  • The Grande Anse is a delightful white sand beach where no hotel development is permitted. The conditions are perfect for surfing.

  • The Cathédrale Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul de Nantes is also known as the iron cathedral as it is held up by iron girders to protect against earthquakes and hurricanes. It is a weathered sand-colored church which is definitely worth a visit.

  • Musee Schoelcher is dedicated to the life of Victor Schoelcher – an abolitionist and items of his use are displayed here.

  • The southwest beaches are best suited for diving, swimming, and snorkeling.

  • The Edgar Clarke Archeological Museum contains excellent examples of Native American pottery, petroglyphs, and tools of shells and stones.

  • Musée Saint-John Perse is dedicated to exhibits related to the life of the poet and Nobel laureate, Alexis Leger or St. John Perse.

  • Damoiseau Distillery is a nice place to wander around and see wine being distilled.

Accommodation : 
There are several accommodation options in Guadeloupe to cater to your needs. For example, 4-star hotels like Hotel de la plage Mahogany, Bord de Mer Hotel, La Toubana, and La Creole and 3-star hotels including Hôtel la Métisse, Amaudo, Grande Anse, and the Karibea beach resort serve as good options if budget is not a constraint. Those on a lesser budget can choose 2-star hotels like Karaibes Hotel, Le Rotabas, and Hotel Saint John Perse etc.

Last Updated : January 03, 2014