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Courtesy of the Tourist Board Council of the Guadeloupe islands

Key Info

Les Saintes

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Free, Neighborhood/Area, Sightseeing Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 4.0Food Scene
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Les Saintes consists of a group of islands (most of them uninhabited) skirting Guadeloupe's southern coast. The picturesque cluster gets its name from explorer Christopher Columbus who, after discovering them in the 15th century, named them Los Santos (translated to Les Saintes in French). Terre-de-Haut, the main island – and the biggest of the bunch – features a variety of bistros, shops and sunny beaches. If you don't mind stripping off layers, head to Anse Crawen, a tranquil, clothing-optional beach on Terre-de-Haut often overlooked by tourists.

Recent travelers said it's fairly easy to see all of Terre-de-Haut in a daytrip, but that doesn’t mean it's boring; there are plenty of things to see and do.

A variety of ferry companies offer transport from Grande-Terre and Basse-Terre to Terre-de-Haut. For additional information, consult our guide to Getting Around Guadeloupe.

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#1 Parc National de la Guadeloupe (Guadeloupe National Park)

Tucked amid Basse-Terre's verdant mountain landscape sits the Parc National de la Guadeloupe (Guadeloupe National Park), a 74,100-acre rainforest filled with picturesque traces (walking trails). The park's trails brush past lush forest foliage, magnificent waterfalls and the summit of La Soufriere volcano. The trails range from short- to long-distance routes that vary in difficulty. Before you strap on your hiking gear, you'll want to pick up a "Guide to the National Park" brochure from the Guadeloupe tourism office (located in St. Claude, Basse-Terre) to map out your journey. If you would prefer to admire the park's natural splendors from behind the wheel, drive along the Route de la Traversee, a scenic 16-mile road that cuts through the forest.

Recent travelers recommended packing bug spray and snacks for the trip and said there is plenty to see and do in the park. Reviewers also warn that the park is muddy – plan to wear shoes with good traction.

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