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Basse-Terre Island

Basse-Terre is Guadeloupe’s trump card. Despite its name meaning 'low land,' it rather confusingly boasts soaring peaks, including the active La Soufrière volcano, and is by far the more dramatic of Guadeloupe's two main islands. Indeed the entire center of Basse-Terre is covered in thick rainforest and makes up the impressive Parc National de la Guadeloupe.

But this magnificent scenery is not at the expense of good beaches, and you'll find some wonderful stretches of sand on Basse-Terre as well as one of the best dive sites in the Caribbean around Pigeon Island. The northwestern corner of Basse-Terre is the most scenic. Starting from the western 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, with tantalizing glimpses of the azure bays below. Whatever you do in Guadeloupe, do not miss Basse-Terre.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Basse-Terre Island.