Guadeloupe, the butterfly island

Guadeloupe papillon

travel suitcase  travel as a couplemedium budgetFrance
Travel made in May 2019
Duration: 10 days

Welcome to Guadeloupe !!

Hello bubblers! If I tell you “butterfly island “? What destination are you thinking of? You know this beautiful volcanic island in the Caribbean that is nicknamed for its butterfly shape. bravo! You are well transported in Myoxybubble Guadeloupe.
This island is full of wonders with its tropical vegetation, its paradisiacal beaches, its exceptional seabed, its breathtaking landscapes, its volcano La Soufrière and its very welcoming inhabitants. Guadeloupe is composed of two islands with on the east side “Grande Terre” and on the west side “Basse Terre“.
Follow me for new adventures to discover this island of a thousand wonders. 

Our itinerary

You can click on all the photos in this article in order to view them in large format

Guadeloupe, the butterfly island

Day 1 : In the footsteps of the tip of the castles

I advise you to start your Guadeloupean road trip starting with Grande Terre. Go to the surroundings of Sainte-Anne. A vehicle will be essential to move around the island. Check bsp-auto for your car rental.
I highly recommend you to stay in Pomme Kanel, with Patrick and Annick. It takes 35 minutes to get to their home from the airport. They are lovely hosts. Upon arrival, they graciously offered us a local coconut punch and evening meal with a delicious homemade botik and soup.

homemade botik and its soup

The same goes for breakfast the next morning. That’s good because this morning it’s my birthday! A royal breakfast for my 40th birthday! 😊 .

royal breakfast for my 40th birthday! 😊 . royal breakfast for my 40th birthday! 😊 . fresh soursop juice

They didn’t know about it but when they found out, they gave me a small symbolic gift. Very nice attention from them.
Patrick is an outstanding cook! He makes you travel by transmitting his knowledge on botany. He will be pleased to make you discover and taste all the fruits and vegetables of the country and especially those of his garden (Soursop, cinnamon apple, passion fruit, milk apple of Martinique, mango, sapotille, apple lanier etc.). A real pleasure!

passion fruit milk apple from Martinique mango Julie Apple cinnamon sapotille Flower

We thank them for this culinary journey. Your room and bathroom will be clean and welcoming.

housing apple Kannel housing apple Kannel housing apple Kannel housing apple Kannel

There is also a personal kitchen area outside if you want to cook for yourself. I highly recommend without hesitation! 

# The tip of the castles

After filling your stomach, it’s time to exert yourself and finally discover the surroundings. I suggest you start this day by going to the extreme east of grande terre from Saint-François to the tip of the castles (14km).

point of the castles point of the castles point of the castles point of the castles

The walk is on a small path accessible to La Croix overlooking the coast. It offers an exceptional panorama of the ocean and islands such as Désirade, Les Saintes or Marie-Galante. Allow 1 hour round trip with photo breaks and time to enjoy the coastal landscape.

coastal landscape of the tip of the castles coastal landscape of the tip of the castles

The view of the sea from the tip of the castles is magnificent.

view of the sea the sea from the tip of the castles view of the sea the sea from the tip of the castles view of the sea the sea from the tip of the castles

On the way back, you can continue your day by stopping on the most beautiful beaches along Saint-François. 

# Anse de la gourde 

Very nice wild beach of white sand. The water is transparent. There is a little current so be careful during your swim. Provide small slippers of water to enter the sea because there may be rocks and sea urchins. Possibility also to snorkel. There are many small fish so remember to take your fins, mask and snorkel. 

Anse de la gourde Anse de la gourde beach Anse de la gourde beach Anse de la gourde

# Shower beach

The shower beach is a very intimate and romantic place. Above all, if you arrive and the place belongs to you! Hidden behind a small undergrowth, will reveal before your eyes a magnificent natural pool with a direct view of the ocean.

Shower beach Shower beachShower beach Shower beachShower beach

Stand on the edge and take a salty shower!   You’ll love it!

# Caravel beach

Personally, I was very disappointed. The beach is very beautiful but the place is very (too) touristy with the Club Med of Saint Anne which grabs the beach and spoils the landscape. not to mention that the club’s buildings are ugly. All the deckchairs glued next to each other distort this place which at the base is magical with its coconut trees and turquoise blue water. 

Caravel Beach Caravel Beach Caravel Beach Caravel Beach carved palm tree Caravel Beach

# Bois Jolan Beach

Still in Saint Anne, the beach of Bois Jolan is my favorite! This beach is very wild and very well maintained. You are not glued to each other. It is long so you will find without worries your little corner of intimacy. The beach is shaded by the many coconut trees. Idyllic little piece of paradise.
The water of the sea is clear, shallow for several hundred meters so ideal for children. Be careful because swimming is unsupervised. You can easily park your car at the car park for free. I hope you will enjoy my little piece of paradise!  

Jolan Wood Beach Jolan Wood BeachJolan Wood Beach Jolan Wood BeachJolan Wood Beach Jolan Wood BeachJolan Wood Beach

At nightfall, stop to eat at the pirate rum factory.

the pirate rum factory

Below the restaurant you will find beautiful shellfish and if you are lucky you will find a fisherman.

shell of conch fisherman pirate rumpy double bass fish of the day!

I advise you to ask for a table with a view of the sea. The colors of the sunset are beautiful and the terrace of the restaurant overlooks the sea.

the pirate rum factory the pirate rum factory view of the pirates' rum factory

We tried for you the delicious and hearty grilled lobster and a fricassée of Ouassous (large crayfish).

grilled lobster fricassée of Ouassous

The service is a bit long but the waiters are welcoming.
You will spend a pleasant time at the rum factory of pirates!

Day 2 : A day at La Désirade 

Refer to the article “A day at La Désirade

# The Gate of Hell

When you return from La Désirade, the day is not over. I propose you a beautiful little hike with a beautiful sunset at the gate of hell. The place is part of the commune of Anse Bertrand. Park at the free car park. 2 possibilities are available to you:
– go down the steps straight in front of you and you will arrive on the beach of the gate of hell. From below, the gate of hell will seem majestic to you and you will feel very small. The place is beautiful. Behind you is a nice little prayer corner.

the gate of hell the gate of hell place of prayer

– then go up to the car park and take the path on your left. From here you will start a splendid coastal walk. You are going to have a wonderful view of the lagoon. Time seems to stand still.

the gate of hell the gate of hell lagoon Anse Bertrand lagoon Anse Bertrand lagoon Anse Bertrand

Pay attention when you return. Night falls quickly. We made the return like Blair Witch project with the flashlight of our phone! 

sunset gate of hell

Day 3: The route of the crossing 

After a last hearty breakfast at Annick and Patrick’s, you are off to discover the crossing route that will take you to Basse Terre. It is the only road to move from one continent to another. The route of the crossing is also called the ” route of the udders ” because crossing the pass of the same name and the national park. The crossing is in the middle of the lush tropical forest for the pleasure of your pupils!  Many hikes and stops will be offered to you on your way. 

# Crayfish waterfall 

Access to the crayfish waterfall is fast: about 200 meters. The way to get there is very lush. The waterfall and the place are magnificent. You will be in the middle of the jungle and you will have the opportunity to swim. The water is cool but very nice when it’s hot! A real moment of pleasure.

tropical forest of the crayfish waterfall tropical forest of the crayfish waterfall the crayfish waterfall the crayfish waterfall

# Walk of the Bras-David 

All close to the house of the forest, park and go on the trail of the Bras David ! Have fun from the start by crossing a suspension bridge where the Bras-David River flows below. Turn left, and on your way play Tarzan with the vines! Follow the markers and you are off for a beautiful loop in the middle of the rainforest.

on the trail of the Bras David on the trail of the Bras David on the trail of the Bras David on the trail of the Bras David on the trail of the Bras David

Bring good hiking shoes! The path can be very muddy and slippery especially if it rained in the night.

on the trail of the Bras David on the trail of the Bras David

Count about 45 min or 1 hour of hiking depending on the state of the terrain.

# Neck of the udders

On your way, you will enjoy a superb view of the col des mamelles. Do not hesitate to make a photo stop! The pass rises to 786m.

Neck of the udders Neck of the udders

Possibility to do many hikes. It’s up to you! Our walks finished, we went to the beautiful botanical garden of Deshaies.

# Deshaies Botanical Garden 

The botanical garden of Deshaies is located on the island of Basse Terre, in the small town of Deshaies. This garden will transport you to the heart of the West Indies with its diversity of plants, exotic flowers and tropical trees (traveler’s tree, bougainvillea, hibiscus, porcelain rose, baobab, palm trees and many others).

traveler's tree Palm trees Garden of Deshaies Garden of Deshaies porcelain rose Garden of Deshaies Garden of Deshaies Garden of Deshaies Garden of Deshaies Garden of Deshaies

You will see a beautiful palm tree called Talipot. Its history is impressive! This tree has a lifespan of 80 to 100 years. He dies just after giving his only flowers! 


This garden is a haven of greenery! It is beautiful and will offer you a moment of escape and relaxation. It is very well maintained. Allow a good 2 hours to visit it quietly. The walk will offer you freshness and wonder. I advise you to enter the aviary in the middle of multicolored birds called Loriquets with blue head.

Blue-headed lorikeets . Blue-headed lorikeets .

Allow a few 50-cent coins to take seeds from the dispenser and feed them. The experience is quite fun for young and old! The entrance to the botanical garden of Deshaies will cost you 15,90€ per adult.I highly recommend this botanical garden which is also the former property of Coluche. 

Your day over, I can advise you to stay on the side of Capesterre-Belle-Eau in Bananier at the Hostelbana. This rental will be an ideal location to get to the Carbet Falls and the Soufriere volcano. At Patrice’s you will feel at home! The place is very laid back. We had a room in a cabin with ocean views in the distance.

Hostelbana Hostelbana Hostelbana patrice home viewHostelbana Hostelbana

You will enjoy taking a coconut punch in the small living room on your way back from your exhausting excursions and cooking a piece in the collective kitchen.  

Day 4: The Soufriere volcano and the Longueteau distillery

# Volcano of the soufrière 

We advise you to arrive around 8:30 am at the yellow baths,  starting point of the hikes of the soufriere.

yellow baths Guadeloupe yellow baths Guadeloupe

You will start your walk through the rainforest with a path laid out with steps.

on the way to the soufriere!

Arrived at a plateau after about 30 minutes, will then begin the real ascent.
Several possibilities are available to you including the classic hike leading to the soufriere of 1h35 (time go since the departure of the yellow baths). We chose to do the grand tour starting from the top of “L’échelle”, then join the top of the soufriere and return by the path of the ladies. This tour took us 5 hours.

path of the soufrière

Choose your day well to climb on the old lady! At the top of the Soufriere volcano, the view is rarely clear and it often rains. The number of rainy and cloud days is more than 300 days/year. It is the place where it rains the most in the world (10 to 12m of water per year).
On the day of our hike, the old lady was crying! We still had the pleasure of facing it even if at the top the visibility was zero. I would have preferred a nice unobstructed view but she decided otherwise.
In bad weather, bring good hiking shoes, a k-way, a bottle of water
 and something to eat to keep energy. Follow the beacons on the ground to find your way. The terrain is very muddy and slippery in places. You even have the impression of going up streams and not a path so much water runs down the mountain.
It’s impressive!

soufriere volcano soufriere volcano soufriere volcano soufriere volcano beacon of the volcano of the soufriereon the way to the soufriere! the great flaw place of prayer

At the top, take a break from the refuge.

refuge of the soufrière refuge of the soufrière refuge of the soufrière

The soufriere is the highest point of the Lesser Antilles with its 1467 meters.

top of the soufriere

It is a volcano that is still very active. Going down, we had the right to some thinning and were able to admire the vegetation.

soufriere hike vegetation of the soufriere

Remember to have a dry change in the car for your return. You’ll enjoy it! Some people on their return bathe in the yellow baths. The water is at 28 degrees. Personally, I do not recommend it because the pelvis is filled with an amoeba responsible for meningo encephalitis that can be fatal in healthy children and young adults. Do not dive or put your head under water! A sign at the entrance to the yellow baths indicates the risk. This is at your own risk even if many bathe.

yellow baths in Guadeloupe

I highly recommend this hike of the essential sulfur of the island in good or bad weather, the experience will be unforgettable in any case.

# The Longueteau distillery

In the afternoon, I propose a much more relaxing activity such as visiting a banana plantation, the cocoa house or even better, the Longueteau rum distillery in Capesterre-Belle-Eau.

Longueteau rum distillery in Capesterre-Belle-Eau. Longueteau rum distillery in Capesterre-Belle-Eau. Longueteau rum distillery in Capesterre-Belle-Eau. Longueteau rum distillery in Capesterre-Belle-Eau.

For the latter, the entrance will cost you 8 € and will be free for children under 18 years old. It is interesting to make the visit in the morning if you want to see the machines in operation. The visit is accompanied by explanations on the process of making rum from sugar cane. The estate and the sugar cane fields are very beautiful.

The estate of the distillery The estate of the distillery bamboo field

The guide is very friendly and passionate. His explanations are clear. At the end of the day, you will enjoy the tasting in store at aperitif time! 

Day 5 : The magic of the fauna and flora of Basse Terre 

# The Carbet Falls 

Are you fond of hiking? Green in nature? Come and take a breath of fresh air in the middle of the lush tropical forest of Capesterre-Belle-Eau and the Carbet Falls. I propose you to go to the 2nd fall of the Carbet. Allow 40 minutes of hiking round trip. At the entrance, the reception agent of the national park will ask you for a contribution of € 2.50 per person for the maintenance of the premises.
Access to the fall is not difficult except for a succession of steps to get there and green vegetation.

fall of the Vegetation carbet fall of the landscape carbet fall of the vegetation carbet

The view is exceptional and the fall impressive by its height of 110 meters and its flow of water. 

2nd fall of the carbet 2nd fall of the carbet

Access to the Carbet 1 waterfall is closed due to a landslide.
On site, the agents forbid the hike for your safety.

As for the fall of the Carbet 3, you will have to take the car back because the access is from another starting point.
Allow 2 hours round trip depending on weather conditions. We had made this fall while it had rained a lot in the night. The terrain was very muddy and slippery. Bring good walking shoes. The waterfall is very difficult to access at the end of the hike. It is necessary to make a descent of a wall of 5m with the help of a rope. Access is dangerous or even impossible for young children, the elderly or people with reduced mobility. The lift is just as sporty for the return!

abseiling fall of the carbet 1 abseiling fall of the carbet 1

The reward for this effort will be exceptional with the discovery of the fall. It’s wonderful! jungle fall from the carbet fall of the carbet 1 fall of the carbet 1 fall of the carbet 1 fall of the carbet 1

Possibility to cool off and swim at the feet of it.
This 3rd fall of the carbet is much less high and impressive than the second. It is 20m high but the setting is idyllic and cut off from everything. We were alone because the path was not very accessible. and that it rained intermittently.

# The beach of Malendure 

Need some relaxation and escape after your morning hike? Go to the beach of Malendure. Take your fins, mask and snorkel and join the aquatic world! Malendure beach is famous for being the turtle beach! A childhood dream for young and old. The beach of malendure is part of the Cousteau reserve. Now, brush yourself with a waterlover sunscreen or in other words eco-protect of the environment. Put on your snorkeling gear and open your eyes wide.

The turtles come to the beach of Malendure to feed because the bottoms are composed of seagrass beds. The latter are increasingly rare since Hurricane Maria which devastated everything in 2017.
Malendure beach is a natural aquarium. To the left of the beach,  at the level of the rocks will parade in front of you Thazard, damselflies and full of species of very colorful fish. Do not hesitate to palm up and down and across! Good things come to those who wait! You have to be patient. I ask you to respect this aquatic world and touch it with your eyes only. The sea is polluted enough not to add more. In summary, the beach of Malendure is a snorkeling spot par excellence. 

Day 6 and 7: Les Saintes

Refer to the article “Two days at the Saintes

On your return from Les Saintes, I propose you to continue your dream with two nights under the stars in … the room to the stars !
The latter lives up to its name because you will sleep under a glass roof allowing you to admire the starry night. The owners are very attentive and we were given a personalized note to welcome us.

Room for the stars Room for the stars Room for the stars Room for the stars Room for the stars

Day 8: The pigeon islet and the Cousteau reserve 

Welcome to Malendure beach! Malendure beach is a very well maintained black sand beach, located north of Bouillante.

view The pigeon islet from the beach of Malendure malander kayak beach The islet pigeon sunset

To get to the islet pigeon, rent a canoe kayak on the beach. The rental for 1 canoe 2 places will cost you 25 € for 3 hours or 30 € for 4 hours. We went through the Caraibe kayak rental center. We had brought our own snorkeling equipment. From the beach, row to the pigeon islet for 20 minutes. Be careful, the crossing can be difficult and sporty in case of wind or waves. Arrival in the heart of the islet, many snorkeling spots are available to you including the swimming pool, the coral garden and the aquarium.

the islet pigeon guadeloupe the islet pigeon guadeloupe the islet pigeon guadeloupe the islet pigeon guadeloupe the islet pigeon guadeloupe map l'îlet pigeon guadeloupe the islet pigeon guadeloupe

The site is part of the Cousteau reserve. The seabed is beautiful with many colorful fish like the royal ballista or corals.
You will have to respect on site some safety rules previously explained during a briefing before departure. If the return is too difficult because of the headwind, it is possible to call the rental center. The latter will pick you up by boat.
Don’t forget your total waterlover screen index 50 for example! I insist on the fact that we must use sun protection that respects the aquatic environment. Also remember to take small slippers of water to circulate on the island. Pebbles on the island can be sharp and hurtful. The Caribbean kayaking team is very friendly. You will appreciate on your return the little punch they will 😋 offer you.

It’s noon, snorkeling and kayaking it digs! I invite you to discover the Dankit ! It is a calzone-style bread with a fluffy dough. You will be able to choose its filling (chicken, cod, eggs, ham) and its sauce (ketchup, mayonnaise, American sauce or dog sauce! ). This sandwich is very good and nourishing.
Enjoy your meal!

Dankit Dankit

Do you have your level 1 or more of diving? You are a beginner and you want to do a dive baptism? The Cousteau reserve is the ideal place for beginners or advanced. So do not hesitate, book at CIP guadeloupe. Being level 1 and not very comfortable underwater, the team put me in confidence and supervised me very well. I was able to make my dive to 20 meters deep and enjoy. The seabed in Guadeloupe is of exceptional beauty.

Day 9: The coral reef and large marine cul de sac

# Large marine cul de sac

To end your stay, I suggest you discover the large marine cul de sac in Sainte Rose. The large marine cul de sac is a maritime nature reserve located in the heart of the butterfly island, in the north, between low land and large land. The bay is bordered by a 25km long coral reef recognized as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.
Go to the port of Sainte Rose where many providers offering excursions are located. This time, we opted for an excursion accompanied by a guide to benefit from explanations about the bay and the mangrove. You leave aboard a small boat that you will steer alone while following the guide.

large marine cul de sac large marine cul de sac large marine cul de sac

During your excursion, you will discover the mangroves and learn a lot about its fauna and flora! Do you know the particularity of crabs living on mangroves? The crabs walk straight and not crab! This peculiarity is due to the fact that they had to adapt to the branches otherwise they would fall.

large marine cul de sac mangrove crabs mangrove crabs mangrove roots

You will also learn the secret of mangrove reproduction. Do you know him? Not. I didn’t know it in any case. The trees forming the mangroves are mangroves. These trees have a particularity! They are able to grow in salt water. It is the only tropical tree that makes up the mangrove. These trees give rise to mangrove seeds. Do you see them? They look like pointed beans in the photo.

mangrove seeds

These seeds detach, fall into the water, drift for several days, months or years. One day, the seed meets a sandbank that will allow it to straighten up, crash head down and freeze! From there, a small islet of mangroves will be born, or even several.

mangrove islet mangrove islet mangrove islet mangrove islet mangroves large marine cul de sac in Sainte Rose mangroves large marine cul de sac in Sainte Rose mangroves large marine cul de sac in Sainte Rose

At the foot of these mangroves, you can discover a very rich fauna with fish such as Barracuda babies, anemones and many microorganisms. You must respect and preserve this wildlife. It has been enormously affected by cyclones in recent years.

You will also make stops at the different islets (Caret, small doe or white island), swim or snorkel in the paradisiacal lagoon with turquoise blue and clear waters of the large marine cul de sac. 

large cul de sacs marin large cul de sacs marin ilet large cul de sacs marin ilet large cul de sacs marinilet large cul de sacs marin

After the discovery of this reserve, we take the road again for new adventures in this last afternoon before taking the return flight of the evening.
Direction the tip of the great Vigie ! From Sainte-Rose, it will take you 1 hour to get there.

# Tip of the great Lookout

The tip of the Grande Vigie is located at the northern end of Grande Terre. You will park in a parking lot and you will leave on a path a little bumpy. It is best to bring sneakers to avoid a sprain. The trail is short but remains very pleasant. All along, the views follow one another, all more magnificent than the others. Here, at the Grande Vigie, there is like an air of Brittany!

pointe de la grande Vigie pointe de la grande Vigie pointe de la grande Vigie

# La Chapelle Beach in Anse Bertrand

Now, head to the beach of La Chapelle in Anse Bertrand to land and end our day. This city is the childhood city of football player Lilian Thuram. This white sand beach is beautiful and clean. We can observe pelicans plunging their beaks to feed in the turquoise blue water. The beach is peaceful with the sound of the waves and coconut trees along it. Today, only remains of the chapel remain.
It was destroyed by Cyclone Huguo in 1989.

vestige chapel Anse Bertrand Sea Anse Bertrand the beach of La Chapelle in Anse Bertrand

That’s it is the end of our stay on this beautiful butterfly island. there is so much to do and see! I highly recommend this island paradise.
I hope you have made a pleasant trip with me and I tell you very soon for a next MyOxyBubble destination !

Feel free to leave your comments on this article and share your own experiences (the form can be found a little further down).
Need advice to organize your trip? Contact me!



We strongly advise you to rent a car to be autonomous and free. Especially since the cost of rentals is very cheap on the island.
We went through the bsp-auto comparator and got a price below 90 € for our entire stay in category A.
But we strongly advise you to put a few euros more and take at least a category B in order to benefit from a more powerful engine.
Indeed, there is relief in Guadeloupe and the roads and streets can be very steep. With a small engine, this could prove difficult. On the other hand, the distances are small.
Apart from that, there is no particular difficulty in driving on the island. The driving is similar to the metropolis with roads that resemble our country departmentals. Note the presence of fixed radars.


No particular point of vigilance. CB is accepted just about everywhere.
The only points of attention concern the small islands around.
See the advice section of the articles on Les Saintes and La Désirade.

Before you go

Do not forget to take:
– sunscreen and sunglasses
– seasickness medicine if you want to go to the surrounding islands.
– Your fins, masks and snorkel if you want to snorkel, your diving license if necessary.
For electrical outlets, they are identical to those in metropolitan France.
Don’t forget your hiking shoes.

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