Guadeloupe – Where Beaches, History and Fun-Loving People Reside
Guadeloupe, or the Butterfly Island, is an island group in eastern Caribbean. Its two main islands are separated by the Salt River, thereby forming a butterfly-like shape. Its exotic beaches, lush forests and dramatic mountains make it a desirable tourist destination.
The Arawak Indians were the first inhabitants of Guadeloupe. They were replaced by the Carib Indians. The island was named as Guadeloupe by Columbus in 1493 after a Spanish monastery. Guadeloupe was an important shipping junction during the 16th century. The French managed to colonize it by defeating the Caribs in 1635. It was politically united with the French kingdom in 1674 only to be exploited through various events such as the Black Code, the Seven Years war and French Revolution. Since 1792, the island changed hands between the French and British for a number of times. Today, it exists as a peaceful overseas department of France.
Popular Places and Attractions
Guadeloupe beaches are well-known for their beauty and sporting facilities. The beaches of Feuillere, Capesterre, Saint-Louis and Vieux-Fort are just some of the well-known beaches here. Visitors can enjoy sunbathing, swimming, swimming, windsurfing, snorkelling and diving at these beaches. The beach’s coral reefs can be directly used by snorkelers. The Cousteau Reserve and Pigeon Isles are ideal places for diving and snorkelling. Sailing competitions are also periodically organized here. Le Moule, Anse Bertrand, Petit-Havre, Saint Francois, Saint-Anne and Port Louis are ideal surfing locations.
Guadeloupe offers great outdoor recreation opportunities such as hiking and trailing. The Parc National offers trails leading to Eastern Caribbean’s highest waterfall, a volcanic peak called La Soufriere and through the fragrances of ancient rainforests and botanical gardens.
Some other popular attractions include the art galleries in Pigeon and Pointe-a-Pitre, waterfalls of Chutes du Carbet, deep bays and volcanic hills of Terre-de-Haut and Caribbean’s largest aquarium in Pointe-a-Pitre.
Buses, cabs, rented bikes, mopeds, cycles and cars, and ferries are the available options for moving around Guadeloupe and its islands, a good guide is to keep some small notes handy to pay for your travel.
Places for Entertainment
Seaside restaurants, nightclubs, cultural festivals and carnivals are great places of fun. The bars and nightlife of the Grand-Terre Island are especially popular. One can enjoy the rich spices and delicious cuisines of Guadeloupe by participating in the August festival where bright-coloured Creole dressed women cooks participate in a culinary competition. Other than water sports, bicycling competitions are also popular in Guadeloupe. Rum lovers can opt for taking a rum tour offered by the local rum distilleries. Rum production is extremely important to Guadeloupe’s economy.
Beach resorts, budget hotels, youth hostels, country inns, bed & breakfast, guesthouse, rural cottages and rented villas are the most preferable staying options in Guadeloupe.
The official currency adopted in Guadeloupe is the Euro, check the news and internet for the latest exchange rates. But, traveller’s cheques, credit cards and U.S Dollars are also widely accepted. Currency can be exchanged at airports and major banks.
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