Windsurfing in Guadeloupe

Whether it is the sweeping vistas from mountain trails, the serene underwater worlds of vibrant coral reefs, or the thrill of riding wind and waves in a kite surfing or windsurfing adventure, Guadeloupe is a place where the spirit of exploration is ignited. The island invites visitors to engage with its natural wonders through activities that are as diverse and vibrant as Guadeloupe itself. Safety and environmental consciousness are key, ensuring that these adventures are not only exhilarating but also sustainable, preserving the island’s beauty for generations of adventurers to come. Here are a few suggested activities to get your adrenaline pumping on your holiday. ED: Kevin Parker

Hiking in Guadeloupe is an exciting endeavor for walking enthusiasts. The island’s numerous trails offer diverse and awe-inspiring landscapes. One such notable path is the Trace des Alizés on Basse-Terre. Named after the trade winds that glide across the island, this long-distance hiking path escorts you through varying terrains—from the coastal mangroves to the dense tropical forests and the mist-laden mountain heights. Regardless of your hiking experience, the Trace des Alizés accommodates varying difficulty levels, presenting itself as a perfect channel to embrace the natural allure of Guadeloupe.

As you traverse along the vibrant trails, the island’s rich biodiversity unfolds before you. The trails brim with an array of tropical plant species, ranging from giant ferns to exquisite colorful orchids. Bird enthusiasts can revel in spotting various native bird species, including the Lesser Antillean Pewee and the Guadeloupe Woodpecker, while the swift movements of small mammals and lizards through the underbrush add to the lively experience.

The cultural and historical dimensions of Guadeloupe aren’t left behind. Opting for guided hikes is an excellent way to delve into the island’s past and present. Expert local guides narrate fascinating tales and legends tied to different island regions, and elucidate the significance of various plants in traditional medicine, enhancing your hiking journey with rich historical and cultural insights.

However, before embarking adequate preparation is crucial. Arm yourself with sturdy hiking shoes, ample water, sunscreen, insect repellent, and rain gear. The island’s weather is unpredictable, and trails may become slippery post-rain, underscoring the importance of weather checks, sharing your hiking plans, and equipping yourself with a map or GPS device.

Beyond the Trace des Alizés, Guadeloupe’s trail diversity entices. For a relatively relaxed and family-friendly hike, the path to Cascade aux Ecrevisses leads to a beautiful waterfall nestled in the heart of Guadeloupe National Park. The more adventurous souls can conquer the summit of La Soufrière volcano, the highest peak in the Lesser Antilles. The climb, although challenging, rewards with breathtaking panoramic views, making the ascent a worthwhile venture.

Though the trails in Guadeloupe are generally well-maintained, variable weather conditions can pose challenges. Hiring local guides is a commendable choice for those less acquainted with the terrains or hiking. These guides not only assure your safety but also enrich your hiking experience with their extensive knowledge about the island’s diverse flora, fauna, and captivating history, making your Guadeloupe hiking experience not just a physical adventure but also a journey of learning and exploration.

Diving into Blue Depths

For underwater enthusiasts, Guadeloupe is a premier diving destination. The Réserve Cousteau is renowned for its vibrant marine life, including colorful coral reefs, schools of tropical fish, and historic shipwrecks.

Experience the magic of Guadeloupe’s underwater world in a different light—literally—with a night dive. Watch the nocturnal creatures of the Caribbean Sea come to life and see familiar reefs transform under the moonlight. Night dives in the Réserve Cousteau are a serene and surreal experience.

Guadeloupe is committed to protecting its delicate marine ecosystems. Visitors are encouraged to dive responsibly, following ‘Leave No Trace’ principles. This includes maintaining buoyancy to avoid contacting or damaging coral and not taking marine life, including shells and coral fragments, as souvenirs.

Here are some popular dive locations in Guadeloupe:

  • La Grotte aux Baracudas: A gorgeous blue cave with plenty of huge barracudas.
  • Le Jardin de Corail (The Coral Garden): A dive site in Guadeloupe and Martinique known for its excellent diving.
  • L’aquarium (The Aquarium): Another popular dive site in Martinique and Guadeloupe.
  • Sec Pâté: Often mentioned as one of the best dive spots in the Lesser Antilles, offering deep diving, pumping currents, and incredible marine life.
  • Cousteau Marine Reserve: Located on the western coast of Basse-Terre, it is a popular area for diving with diverse marine life.

Adventure Awaits

Beyond diving and walking, Guadeloupe offers a wide array of adventure sports, including windsurfing at Sainte-Anne and canyoning in the waterfalls of Carbet Falls. For a unique experience, try kite surfing in the lagoons of Grand Cul-de-Sac Marin.

The coastal waters of Sainte-Anne are known for their consistent winds and beautiful turquoise blue color, making them a favorite spot for windsurfing. Equipment rental and lessons are widely available for both beginners and experienced windsurfers.

Carbet Falls, a series of cascading waterfalls in the heart of Guadeloupe’s lush rainforest, is a popular location for canyoning—an adventurous activity that combines hiking, climbing, and swimming as participants make their way down the waterfalls. It’s a physically demanding but exhilarating experience, and professional guides ensure a safe adventure.

This expansive lagoon, protected by a barrier reef, offers shallow, calm waters—ideal conditions for kite surfing. With steady trade winds blowing across the lagoon, Grand Cul-de-Sac Marin is a kite surfer’s paradise. Schools in the area offer lessons for beginners, making this an accessible adventure for those new to the sport.

Guadeloupe Islands – Travel Guide & tourism