I binge watched ‘Death in Paradise‘ last year, which influenced my trip to Guadeloupe. The show is set on a fictional island in the Caribbean but filmed in Guadeloupe. I’ve been to the British, US and Spanish Caribbean and felt this was a good opportunity to explore the French. Besides the flight and accommodations, I purposely didn’t make plans. We stayed in Deshaies, which is an easy 1 hour drive from the airport.
Guadeloupe is about 2.5 hours drive from one end to the other. Grand Terre is modern and more commercial, while Basse-Terre is quiet and boasts exotic beaches and jungle. If you’re a party traveler Grand-Terre is the area for you. For relaxing, surfer, adventurous travelers Basse-Terre is better suited. I was pleasantly surprised at that the infrastructure on the island. Roads are well maintained which made for easier driving.
Guadeloupe has an impressive number of waterfalls and if you’re up for a little adventure you can explore many breathtaking falls. I am not adventurous, so I opted for the Cascade aux Ecrevisses due to the cleanly paved paths and shallow water. On my next trip I’ll grab a pair of waterproof hiking shoes and go to one of the more remote waterfalls (Carbet Falls, Cascade Paradis, Bras de Fort Jump or Carbet Falls).
My favorite part of the beach experience was the sand. We went to four different beaches and the sand varied from black, rust, powdery white and pebbles. The water along Basse-Terre was very aggressive, so you might just go for a tan and save the swimming for Grand-Terre. We drove along the coast and stopped at numerous small beaches, which were endless and easy to access.
Cultural Excursion : Fort Delgres
I wanted to experience some of the islands culture so I took a day trip to Fuerte Delgrès. It was a little complicated to find (no help from google maps). The Fort was created as defense against British invasion. The view is one of the most spectacular Caribbean views I’ve ever seen. The grounds adorned with abstract trees, statues, and a small museum.
I would be lying if I said I truly enjoyed the food. I went to about eight restaurants and only choose to write about two of them. Please note that many restaurants close two days of the week and the day varies depending on the restaurant.
We were pleasantly surprised by the cuisine at Cafe Paradise The decor is Caribbean shabby chic. Most of the seating is outdoor and beach front and the staff is extremely pleasant. Most important the food is GREAT. The cuisine is Asian fusion and the menu often changes. I highly recommend making a reservation as we were turned away our last night because we didn’t make one. The waitress was nice enough to walk us to a neighboring restaurant across the street.
Mahina comes highly recommended and is a great option for lunch or dinner.
The exterior decor is Mediterranean and while the interior is Afro-Caribbean. The cuisine can only be described as French Caribbean with fresh fish and finely cut steak.