Sailing#11 in Best Things To Do in Guadeloupe
Guadeloupe's brilliant waters cast magnificent hues of green and blue, luring seafarers to set sail. But before you hoist anchor, you should note the strong winds and currents can be challenging for novice sailors, to say the least. If you would rather relax aboard and let someone else take the helm, there are plenty of luxury yacht charter operators that cruise around Grande-Terre, Les Saintes, La Désirade, and Marie-Galante.
Sunsail, a reputable yacht-charter company, offers sailing courses taught by experts. Sunsail also boasts sailing expeditions led by a skipper and crew. Boats depart from St-François (about 25 miles east of Pointe-à-Pitre in Grande Terre) to Les Saintes and other surrounding islands. Another charter company, Antilles Sail (website in French), offers a wide variety of package deals, with prices varying by catamaran size, meals, and crew services. If you would rather skim the waves on a kayak, board, or other floating device, many sailing companies rent kite boards and kayaks for daily use. You'll find most chartered sail companies located in and around Pointe-à-Pitre. For more information, consult Guadeloupe's official tourism board website.
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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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