When Norwegian Airlines first invited me to Guadeloupe, I leaped at the opportunity but had no idea how to experience Guadeloupe and I vowed to create The Ultimate Travel Guide to Guadeloupe, because there wasn’t one I saw online.
The trip was explicitly based on discovering the Black Heritage of the small French Caribbean Island. While many islands in the Caribbean have strong African roots, it is incredible to dive into many historical elements of a new destination.
When you visit Guadeloupe (because you must!), here is a blueprint for you to follow. From experiencing the history, culture, food, and spiritually of the island. You can also view the video travel guide here.
While this guide is only for four days, you should make time to discover other parts of the island like a hike to La Soufriere a ‘lightly active’ volcano, scuba diving, whale watching, and much more!
One of the easiest (and least inexpensive) ways to get to Guadeloupe is a flight on Norwegian Airlines, where you’ll arrive via Pointe-A-Pitre Airport.
Pro Tip: Rent a car if you want to want to get around and explore the island quickly. Moncarter ( an Uber- like service) and taxis are also available as well, if you do not want to or feel comfortable driving.
Start your exploration to the South of the island in Deshaies, Basse- Terre and stay at Fort Royal Resort Langley Resort. This is a cute and quaint boutique hotel right on the water. The ocean views are beautiful to wake up to every morning. Not to mention the food is terrific!
Langley Resort Fort Royal
Take a drive to Fort Delgres in Basse Terre.
In 1802, Louis Delgrès, a free man of color born in Guadeloupe, led a doomed rebellion against Napoleon’s General Antoine Richepanse to prevent the return of slavery in the French Caribbean. Over 200 years later, the fort where he made his last stand now bears his name.
Fort Delgres in Basse Terre
The views of the coast are stunning here.
Fort View – Guadeloupe
Rum Tasting at Bologne Distillery
You cannot come to the Caribbean without trying “rhum” (as it spelled in Guadeloupe). Make sure to take a tour of Rhum Bologne and join them for some rum tastings! There were about 12 types of rum, and I tried ALL of them (not ashamed lol).
Some of the crowd faves were: passion fruit, coconut, and VSOP rums.
Fun Facts About This Distillery:
It was originally black-owned.
They recycle EVERYTHING, like using the skin of the sugar cane for fuel, etc.
Rum Tasting – Rhum Bologne
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Lunch & Coffee Plantation visit at La Griveliere
Next up, stop at La Griveliere for a quick, authentic lunch and a tour of an original coffee plantation. You’ll walk around the grounds and see the original process of coffee harvesting on the island.The plantation sits at the top of a hill so the views are stunning.
Coffee Plantation Views
Take a drive back down Pointe-A-Pitre (the town where the airport is), where you’ll dive deeper into more of the culture of the island.
Memorial ACTe Museum
Hands down, if you don’t do anything else in Guadeloupe, you must visit Memorial ACTe. This museum goes through the history of enslavement of the people of Guadeloupe and all over the world.
The reason I enjoyed this memorial is that it took you through a journey that involved listening to stories of enslaved people from inception and organizations that are fighting against human enslavement and trafficking today.
Honestly, it’s one of the best museums I’ve ever been to – and I’ve been to a lot of museums.
Today, experience the local cuisine by having bokit at a small restaurant. Bokit is a 100% Guadeloupe dish of deliciously fried bread stuffed with yumminess! You can make it sweet or savory. I had a bokit filled with fresh conch with lettuce, tomatoes, and some house-made sauce.
Dance & Drum Lesson:
One of the best and easiest ways to be fully immersed in any culture is to tap into the music and dance culture. If you love dancing or feeling the rhythm and vibrations, then you do a Gwo- Ka Initiation. The fellas can learn to play “ka” which are drums and women learn how to dance to “gwo-ka.”
To hell with CrossFit, HIIT, and biking – this was an intense workout!
Gwo Ka – Gwada
If you’re in the mood to try a famous and busy restaurant (i.e., hard to get a seat), then go to La Kaz A Soup. It’s a small restaurant that specializes in different types of soups. This ain’t ya mama’s chicken noodle soup either!
The specialty soups change every evening. The night we came, I tried the conch soup and a pumpkin and shrimp soup.
There’s also an option to have quiche and salad.
The decor is very New Orleans Mardi Gras, which was a lot of fun.
Where to Stay:
Since you’re back Pointe-A-Pitre, you should stay at Le Creole Resort and Spa. It’s right on the beach, so it’s imperative that you make time to have a cocktail and watch the sunset! Not to mention the incredible service, fantastic food, and easily accessible to lots of sites.
Today, you should explore the small island of Marie Galante!
You’ll need to take the ferry from Pointe-A-Pitre to Marie Galante.
While you can bring your rental car on the ferry, it’ll probably be easier to grab a guide to take yours around the small island.
Habitation Murat Sugar Cane Plantation:
The largest sugar cane plantation in Guadeloupe, this plantation is massive and also have a museum.
More Rum Tasting:
Though smaller, do a rum tasting at Bellevue Distillerie. This is the first rum factory that was fully committed to protecting the environment by reusing or recycle every step in the rum making process.
Bellevue Distillerie – Rum Tasting
Beach & Lunch:
There’s a ton of small, beachside restaurants on the island. After lunch layout on the beach for a few hours with a few rum punches! Feuillere is a beautiful beach to enjoy some quiet, undisturbed stretch of beaches.
Beaches in Guadeloupe
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Today you’ll dive a bit deeper into the culture and spiritually of ‘Gwada.’
You will want to take a drive out to Petit- Canal, Grande- Terre. This part of the trip is a bit heavy, but something you should see on the island.
Petit-Canal is the port in which enslaved people coming from Africa were brought. As soon as they were taken on the ships, and you look up the hill, you’ll see a Catholic church. The steps that lead up to the church called “Les Marches des Esclaves” or “The Slaves’ Steps.
To cool off from that experience, stop by Le Souffleur beach for a few hours. It’s a beautiful beach, great for families and groups of friends.
For lunch, stop by La Croisette. It’s a small, local, and authentic family-owned restaurant on the beach. The offer a lunch buffet with lots of Guadeloupean and French dishes that are heavily creole based.
Mural in Guadeloupe
From here, you must see ‘Cimetiere des Esclaves’ or the Slave Cemetery. It won’t look like much except a beach coast of the Atlantic Ocean. However, bones of slaves were discovered there many years ago leading researchers to discover it was a cemetery for slaves.
Thought: I found interesting that slaves were brought to Guadeloupe on the water and essentially sent back to the water after passing on.
Lastly, finish off your day with a beautiful and mini-hike to La Poine des Chateaux in Saint Francois. It’s only about a 10-15 minute hike to the top of a hill with the most amazing views in the entire world!
La Poine des Chateaux
There you have it, folks, did you enjoy the Ultimate Travel Guide to Guadeloupe?
Have you ever been to Guadeloupe? Would you consider going?
**This trip to Guadeloupe was in partnership with Norwegian Airlines and Guadeloupe Islands Tourism and all opinions are my own.