Les Saintes#2 in Best Things To Do in Guadeloupe
Price & Hours
- 4.0Food Scene
Les Saintes consists of eight islands 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 beach on Terre-de-Haut often overlooked by tourists.
Recent travelers say it's fairly easy to see all of Terre-de-Haut in a day trip. "We rented a scooter […] The scenery is gorgeous all around and beaches are fairly quiet," says one TripAdvisor user.
A variety of ferry companies offer transport from Grande-Terre and Basse-Terre to Terre-de-Haut. A popular ferry service, L'Express des Isles, offers round-trip rides from Pointe-à-Pitre to Terre-de-Haut everyday for about €42,60 EUR per adult (about $55 USD). 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 Soufrière 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 Traversée, a scenic 16-mile road that cuts through the forest.
Recent travelers recommend packing bug spray and snacks for the trip. One TripAdvisor user notes, "The area is kept very natural and the hiking trails are well-marked [...] Remember to bring proper foot wear as the trails can be muddy if it has been raining."
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