Staying In The ‘Loupe’: An Essential Guide To Guadeloupe Islands
My most recent post was a running diary of my time in the Guadeloupe Islands. This time around I want to dig into the more practical details that will help you organize your trip to this beautiful archipelago. This is going to be your one stop shop for all things Guadeloupe.
HOW TO GET THERE:
The Guadeloupe Islands are no longer an unattainable destination for those in the U.S. who are in need of a change of pace and tropical weather. Norwegian airlines have launched direct flights to the heavenly French Caribbean island, along with Martinique, with departures from New York, Baltimore/Washington and Boston. Unlike many Caribbean getaways the price point for a ticket is very reasonable (I found fares starting from $180 roundtrip – including all the fees and taxes) and the length of the flight is around 4 hours. Don’t let the affordable cost fool you. This is no bargain basement discount flight. Just the opposite, you get an amazing experience at a budget price which is a testament to the quality of Norwegian. They offer a flawless service that makes you feel as if your vacation has begun the minute you board.
WHERE TO STAY:
Situated between Basse Terre and Grande Terre and facing the Islet of Gosier, La Creole Beach and Hotel Spa is a four star hotel and spa in the middle of a tropical garden. It is close to a beach known for its white sand and crystal waters. The 211 rooms – that range from comfort to suite – are smartly built in a way that they frame an inner courtyard that is home to palm trees, hibiscuses, bougainvillea, birds and geckos. The rooms are spacious, the service is impeccable and the staff is willing to accommodate your most unique request. Though the local cuisine is amazing there are on premises restaurants that rival anything in major cities and can fit any mood.
Le Zawag is the perfect dining call for a date. Nestled in a wood enclosure by the bay, waves crushing on the rocks will be your soundtrack for the night. The menu offers creole dishes as well as international cuisine. Among the specialties are lobsters “du vivier” and local fish in the creole style.
La Routes des Epices is open from breakfast and offers buffet menus from Creole, French, Italian, American and Asian cuisine. You can enjoy your internationally flavored meals while enjoying the view of the pools and the sea.
If the purpose of your trip is to recharge and unplug then Tendacayou, EcoLodge Boutique Hotel & Spa is your perfect option. Located in the heart of the untouched wilderness of Basse Terre, Tendecayou EcoLodge is a collection of 11 lodges that vary in style from ornate tree houses to creole style cabins. As I mentioned this is the place to unplug so forget about TV, your mobile phone and wifi. This is a chance to return to the basics and connect to the natural environment around you. If that is not enough you can indulge yourself more by taking advantage of the spa with its waterfalls, a Zen garden for meditation, a jacuzzi, turkish baths, massages and a solarium with picture perfect views.
WHAT TO PACK:
👜 Guadeloupe Islands is a French territory so Euros are the currency of choice and the official language is French. An European passport will make the customs process a fast one. A U.S passport will be longer but not in a meaningful way. (A visa is not required for American visitors who stay up to 90 days).
👜 Though you should be unplugging if you need wires you will need European chargers.
👜Guadeloupe is in the Caribbean so it is basically summer all year long. Make sure you carry summer basics: bikinis, sundresses, sunglasses, sandals, shorts, high sunscreen protection and mosquito repellent. I would also suggest a long sleeve cotton or linen top for the night to help keep away mosquitoes.
👜 If you are planning a hike in the rainforest and La Soufriere Volcano make sure you pack a rain jacket, good sneakers or hiking boots as the climb ranges from moderate to steep depending on your ambition.
👜 Carry a map with you, if you are renting a car, google maps won’t be very helpful so for directions go with the analog method.
👜 Guadeloupe Islands offers some of the best tropical reefs in the Caribbean so scuba divers and snorkelers can explore to their heart’s content.There are plenty of places to rent equipment so go forth and dive.
For more info on Guadeloupe Islands visit the official tourism board website.