top of page

Guadeloupe - Caribbean island in a double pack (Part 2: Basse Terre)

Guadeloupe Basse Terre
Basse Terre Guadeloupe

If you go on vacation to Guadeloupe, you get more for your money, because there are actually several islands to discover. We spent two weeks on each of the two main islands "Grande Terre" and "Basse Terre" - two parts of the island that couldn't be more different.


As described in our last blog, Guadeloupe is shaped like a butterfly. The two wings are only separated by a river, a strait if you like, and connected by a bridge - they unite what belongs together and yet is so different.


Mountainous jungle island

In contrast to Grande Terre, Basse Terre is anything but flat. The Soufrière volcano, which last erupted in 1976, is the highest point on the island at over 1,400 meters and is now a popular excursion destination. If you want to get up here to enjoy the magnificent view, you need a large supply of water and one thing above all: stamina.


There are slightly fewer beaches on this part of Guadeloupe than on Grande Terre, but the quality leaves nothing to be desired. We went on a few excursions with our two children (9 and 13) and visited a few beaches. We definitely recommend renting a car in Guadeloupe, as the public transportation is not the best (but still better than elsewhere).

Basse-Terre Guadeloupe
Maps of Basse-Terre

Excursions that we did

  • Deshaies: One of our favorite series "Death in Paradise" is filmed in the well-visited coastal town of Deshaies, so of course we had to go. We visited the fictional "Honore Police Station" (you have to pay 15 euros per person to get in) and the beach bar "Katherines Bar". A stroll through the pretty town is also a good idea. There is also a botanical garden in Deshaies that is well worth a visit.

The "Policestation Honore" from the BBC Series Death in Paradise.
The "Policestation Honore" from the BBC Series Death in Paradise.

  • Grande Anse near Deshaies: Shortly after Deshaies is the beautiful Grande Anse - a great place to swim and relax.

The Grande Anse near Deshaies is one of the most beautiful beaches of Guadeloupe.
The Grande Anse near Deshaies is one of the most beautiful beaches of Guadeloupe.

  • Anse de la Perle: A short distance after Grande Anse is this magnificent beach. This is also the location of the main detective's hut from Death in Paradise, but it is dismantled after each season's filming.

Der Anse de la perle bei Deshaies.
The Death in Paradise inspector's hut is located on Plage de la perle - but this is only set up during filming.

  • Plage de la Grande Anse: The black beach of the village of Grande Anse near Trois Rivieres is a great change of pace. The water is a little wavy but is otherwise bathtub quality.

  • Sights along the D23: There are a number of somewhat overcrowded excursion destinations along the connecting road between the east and west of the island of Basse Terre. We visited the "Cascades aux Ecrevisses" waterfall. Unfortunately, there are a lot of tourists here and bathing in the natural pool of the waterfall loses a lot of its flair as a result. About one kilometer after the waterfall you come to the parking lot of the hiking trail "Maison de la Foret" - here, too, it is regularly overcrowded and unfortunately we did not find a parking space and had to continue to the ascent "Mamelles de petit Bourge".  Here you can climb to the "summit" in around an hour, but beware: if it has rained, the path becomes a muddy hike (like ours). If you continue along the D23, you will pass the zoo and botanical garden "parc zoologique et botanique" and a park with a flying fox. The D23 offers excursions for every taste.

  • Town of Basse Terre: In the capital of the part of the island of the same name, there is a rather unspectacular market and a few shopping opportunities. We particularly enjoyed our visit to "Fort Delgres". The former gunpowder store, a thick walled bunker, was also the command center during the volcanic eruption of Soufriere in 1976. No entrance fee and well worth a visit.

 Our tip for a day trip: Parc de la source

  • The Parc de la source near the village Bouillante is at the end of a very steep road, but the drive up is worth it. This project and excursion destination is a mixture of local recreation area, agriculture and botanical garden. The area is ideal for long walks and the waterfall is one of the most beautiful on the island. There are numerous covered open rest areas, which are even equipped with simple barbecue facilities. Having a barbecue here must be an absolute pleasure. You also learn a lot about the local flora and see plants such as cocoa, coffee, vanilla and many others. A great excursion!


Wasserfall parc de la source
The waterfall in the Parc de la source is one of the most beautiful on the island.

 The area around the volcano La Soufriere

  • Three waterfalls trail: The three waterfalls, or "Chutes du Carbet", are not for those without stamina. Waterfalls 1 and 2 are best reached via the D4 - at the end of the winding road you come to the parking lot or the entrance to the national park. It is also advisable to arrive early here (by 9 am). If you want to see waterfalls 1 and 2, you have to pay an entrance fee - families with 2 children pay the group rate of 7.50 euros - very ok. However, most visitors only come to the second waterfall, as the first one is higher up and can only be reached after a very difficult and strenuous walk (supposedly in 1 hour 35 minutes, but we know that's tight). We turned back with the children after around 45 minutes as it was getting steeper and steeper. The third waterfall can be reached via the D3. There is also a parking lot here, which marks the start of a 45-minute hike. Unfortunately, the destination is disappointing, as the last few meters to the waterfall are closed due to a landslide and you can only get an idea of how beautiful this natural phenomenon is. Still, it was a nice walk. Don't forget: Wear good shoes for all these hikes!

Excursions you can also make:

  • Visit the rum museum or one of the many distilleries: Rum is one of Guadeloupe's national drinks and the choice is huge. The drink made from the remains of the sugar cane harvest is extremely popular here and is very tasty. The "Musée de Rhum" is located in the north of Basse Terre near the village of Sainte-Rose.

  • Waterfalls and hikes: There are several waterfalls and natural bathing pools all over the island of Basse Terre, as well as quite a few hiking routes, some of which are very strenuous. A good example is the ascent of Soufriere, the highest mountain in Guadeloupe at over 1400 meters. Get information and maps from the countless tourist information offices.


  • Visit cities and towns: There are no major cities on Guadeloupe, but there are several towns worth visiting e.g. Petit-Bourge, Goyave, Baie-Mahault and others. - Visit the associated islands: There are daily ferry connections from the port in Trois Rivieres to the small archipelago of Les Saintes. The islands of "La Désirade" and "Marie Galante" are also worth a visit.

  • Visit the associated islands: There are daily ferry connections from the port in Trois Rivieres to the small archipelago of Les Saintes. The islands of "La Désirade" and "Marie Galante" are also worth a visit.


Affiliate-Link, Ad

Paradise accommodation with a flaw

On our six-month long-term trip, we are reliant on accommodation in the lower to mid-price segment - big jumps are simply not an option. After a long search, we decided on the Gites chez Marie-Christine in Basse Terre. "Gites" means "huts" and Marie-Christine is the extremely friendly hostess of these simple but beautifully situated bungalows in the village of Trois Rivieres.

Our "hut" had 76 square meters, two bedrooms, a bathroom and a simple kitchen and terrace with a fantastic view. The furnishings were basic to spartan and the kitchen equipment left a lot to be desired, but what do you need in a tropical dream garden with a small pool and breathtaking sea panorama? Your own requirements change here, time passes differently and we were thrilled as soon as we arrived. It doesn't matter if the already weak internet only works very irregularly (very annoying when it's the only connection to home, but you have to get through it).


Hospitality in the accommodation

We felt right at home with Marie-Christine. You almost have the feeling of being welcomed into a family here, as the hostess and her loved ones also live on the well-kept grounds. The two or three accommodations are very basic, but the price is lower than elsewhere. An important argument for us. Marie-Christine or her husband came by several times and brought freshly squeezed juice or delicious accras - a Caribbean fried specialty made from manioc. It makes you feel even more welcome.

(Ad, Affiliate-Link)


The thing with the local language

As already emphasized several times, French is spoken in Guadeloupe. We had the impression that younger islanders in particular already speak English to some extent, otherwise you won't get very far with English. On the contrary: on some occasions we even had the impression that we were deliberately ignored as customers who spoke English and not French. It is therefore advisable to learn a basic vocabulary of French words and phrases, even if it's just: "Nous ne parlons francais tres bien."

We don't speak French very well.


Driving in Guadeloupe

On the whole, the locals drive relatively well-mannered, (especially in comparison to the Dominican Republic, but more on that in the next blog )even if the rules that apply here are sometimes interpreted very loosely. Nevertheless, you have to be particularly careful when driving a car here, as accidents and their consequences are relatively common. One example of the local driving style is frequent overtaking in blind spots and crossing the center line. Especially on bends, it is important to be careful and drive as far to the right as possible. After all, you don't want to end up in a Caribbean ditch or in hospital.

Basse Terre Dschungel
Basse-Terre is an incredibly lush island.


The Basse Terre part of the island is a welcome change after two weeks on Grande Terre and completes the picture of this versatile Caribbean island. Guadeloupe is not a very well-known destination in German-speaking countries. It is mainly visited by guests from France and international cruise ship groups, which is a shame as the island has a lot to offer and is very well maintained. Learn a few sentences of French and come to Guadeloupe. You won't regret it, even if the costs are higher than in other vacation destinations. We certainly enjoyed our time in Guadeloupe at the start of our long-term trip.

We send warm greetings to all those staying at home and all travelers. Our next blog will be about the highlights of our stay in the Dominican Republic - there will be some surprises too,

Max, Steffi and the kids.


our Shopping Tips for your Guadeloupe-journey

The MICHELIN zoom map Guadeloupe is the ideal travel companion to fully explore this French tourist destination thanks to its easy-to-use format and its scale of 1/80,000. The map covers the areas and cities of St Martin & St BarthelemyThe Zoom collection are characterized by the high precision of their detailed scale, specially adapted for very touristy areas or with a high density road network, including new developments and industrial areas. In addition to clarity, reliability and up-to-date information, all Michelin cartography features include a wealth of practical information: places and monuments of tourist interest, picturesque tours, areas for sports and leisure activities ... Useful plans of cities and a practical index of localities. Also the maps contain places of interest and signposting of tracks for bicycles and green-ways.MICHELIN ZOOM MAPS are perfect to discover major tourist areas, with a high level of details in an easy to use format.They nicely complement our Michelin Guides and include:* Various leisure activities, such as water parks, tourist trains, horse racing, etc* Scenic routes and tourist sights crossed referenced with the famous Michelin's Green Guides* Camping sites information from Michelin's Camping Guides* Hotel information from the world famous MICHELIN Guides


Some links (marked) are affiliate links, i.e. advertising - especially the shopping tips. At best, these links provide us with modest income to recoup some of the blog costs. We thank you for your understanding.

2 views0 comments


bottom of page