Places in Guadeloupe
Basse-Terre is Guadeloupe’s trump card. The bigger of the two main islands (and yes, they are separate entities despite being joined by a road), it’s also by far the more dramatic, boasting soaring peaks and thick rainforest within the huge Parc National de la Guadeloupe as well as some excellent beaches and one of the best dive sites in the Caribbean around Pigeon Island.
From the outskirts, Pointe-à-Pitre looks pretty uninviting – a concrete jungle of high-rises and sprawling traffic. Venture into the center, though, and you’ll find a much more attractive old town with peeling colonial architecture and palm-fringed streets. The town hub is Place de la Victoire, an open space punctuated with tall royal palms.
The northern half of Basse-Terre offers interesting contrasts. Starting from the west side of Route de la Traversée, most of the west coast is rocky and many of the drives snake along the tops of towering sea cliffs. There are a couple of attractive swimming beaches – Grande Anse is the most popular.