The hardest part of our trip to Guadeloupe was deciding on where to go. From stunning beaches and lush rainforests to vibrant markets and delicious cuisine, Guadeloupe has something to offer to every type of traveller, and it is a fantastic destination for nature lovers. In this 10-day itinerary, we have carefully curated the best spots to help you make the most of your time in this enchanting French overseas territory, including tips for accommodations and restaurants.
Accommodation for this 10-day Guadeloupe itinerary
We relied on Booking.com* for all our accommodation bookings, which proved incredibly convenient. The platform handled payment seamlessly, relieving us of any payment-related concerns. It was a reliable and hassle-free experience throughout our trip.
We don’t mind packing and changing accommodations a few times when we travel to experience different atmospheres. I’ve included where we stayed in the itinerary. But distances are rather short in Guadeloupe, and bridges link the two main islands, Grande-Terre and Basse-Terre, so you could stay in a single accommodation and still follow the same itinerary (except for the overnight stay in Les Saintes).
Just keep in mind that traffic can be bad during peak hours in the morning towards Pointe-à-Pitre and at the end of the afternoon from Pointe-à-Pitre, so plan accordingly if you have a meeting time for an activity on a different island.
Going around Guadeloupe
Ensure you download Google Maps in advance to navigate the archipelago smoothly when offline. While most areas have reliable phone reception, a few spots still have limited or no internet connection. To stay connected throughout your visit, you might find it useful to use an e-SIM*.
New to the concept of eSIM? Prepare to be amazed. We find that when travelling abroad, nothing beats the ease of setting up and topping up an eSIM. It’s not just convenient, it’s also more affordable than traditional SIM cards. Plus, you can say goodbye to the anxiety of risking your precious home SIM card. While eSIMs primarily cater to data usage, you can still make calls using WhatsApp if your interlocutor uses it. For reliable eSIMs, we recommend Airalo*. Find out if your phone is compatible here*!
During our time in Guadeloupe, we had a few experiences where Google Maps suggested shortcuts using smaller, dirt or narrow roads. If the estimated travel time is relatively similar, I would advise opting for the major roads instead. This decision will likely save you time and ensure a smoother journey.
You can also find paper maps at the airport or conveniently download them here to plan your Guadeloupe itinerary.
To fully explore Guadeloupe and follow this itinerary, renting a car is for sure the most convenient option. You can easily find car rental services at the airport or in major towns across the island. While there have been reports of untrustworthy car rental companies that may try to find damages in order to withhold part of your deposit, we had a positive experience with SLV Pro Location, and our friends had no issues with AutoDiscount.
It’s recommended to be cautious and document the condition of the car by taking photos when you receive it. This way, you’ll have evidence to protect yourself in case of any disputes regarding the return of your deposit, and it will provide you with peace of mind during your trip.
Alternatives to driving
If you don’t want to drive, you will struggle to follow this 10-day Guadeloupe itinerary.
Taxis are available and can transport you to your accommodation. However, not having your own vehicle would mean joining organised tours* to explore other parts of the island. While this is feasible, it can become expensive and more challenging to arrange.
It’s important to note that public transportation options are limited, making it unreliable for visiting tourist attractions. Therefore, I wouldn’t recommend using public transportation for your tourist excursions.
10 days in Guadeloupe: itinerary day by day
I’ve put together an awesome list of places to check out and must-do activities for your 10-day itinerary in Guadeloupe. The numbers in brackets correspond to the numbers on the map at the end of the article.
Day 1: Arrival in Pointe-à-Pitre
Upon arrival in Pointe-à-Pitre, take it easy on your first day to recover from your flight and adjust to the new time zone. Honestly, the capital of Guadeloupe isn’t all that charming and not the best way to start your adventure in the archipelago. I was quite surprised to see so many run-down and shabby buildings around. So I highly recommend skipping straight to one of the picturesque coastal villages nearby.
Consider visiting the unique Morne-à-l’eau cemetery (1) on your way, known for its black and white tombstones arranged in geometric patterns. Then, relax on the beautiful beaches of Port Louis (2) or Anse-Bertrand (3), but protect yourself from midges with long pants, socks, and insect-repellent spray if you stay until sunset.
If you’re hungry, Plage du Souffleur (Port Louis) has stalls for a quick bite or tasty treats like local sorbet coco. In town, you’ll find restaurants with lovely sea views. If you’re in the mood for a leisurely walk, check out the mangrove between the two villages (4)
In the evening, I recommend heading to Chez Tof (5) in the countryside of Port Louis for dinner. This awesome spot serves some seriously delicious local cuisine in a friendly, laid-back atmosphere.
If you forgot to pack a few things or have an issue with your luggage, you’ll find a large shopping centre just a few minutes away from the airport, called Milenis. Alternatively, you’ll find plenty of smaller supermarkets and shops outside Pointe-a-Pitre.
We stayed at Gites Kaladja*, a cozy gem outside Port Louis. They’ve got a handful of charming chalets nestled in a beautiful, serene garden that was bliss for unwinding at the beginning of our trip. And the host baked the best bread we found during our entire stay in Guadeloupe.
You could also look for your perfect spot near Le Moule* or even on the south coast of Grande-Terre (Saint-François* or Sainte-Anne*). Since the island isn’t that big, you can easily hop in a car and drive around without any hassle.
Day 2: Discover the Northern Coast of Grande-Terre
You’re in for breathtaking views from stunning cliffs on your second day in Guadeloupe as you explore the spectacular northern coast of Grande-Terre, starting with Pointe de la Grande Vigie (6), the northernmost point of the archipelago. Stop at the many lookouts along the road (7, 8) and consider hiking to the blowhole Trou du Souffleur (9) from Plage de la Porte d’Enfer (Hells Door Beach). The hike took us 2.5 hours return.
Back on the beach, enjoy a cold drink and local lunch at the creole restaurant Chez Coco (10) while admiring the splendid views.
If you skip the hike, you should have time to explore the mangrove of Grand Cul-de-Sac Marin (11). Renting a kayak or SUP* is great to have a closer look at the mangrove. It’s a fascinating ecosystem home to various wildlife, including birds, fish, and crabs.
We stayed for a second night at Gites Kaladja* near Port Louis.
Day 3: Explore the Southern Coast of Grande-Terre
On your third day in Guadeloupe, embark on a journey along the picturesque southern coast of Grande-Terre. Visit Pointe des Châteaux (12), a popular tourist destination with stunning cliffs and secluded beaches (13). Try to beat the crowds by arriving before 10 am. Take your time exploring the 2.5km loop; it took us more than one hour to complete the circuit as we stopped many times to snap some awesome photos and soak in the incredible views. When you’re back at the car park, treat yourself to a refreshing and delicious sorbet coco.
Afterwards, relax on the beaches near Saint François (14) or Sainte Anne (15), where you can also go surfing* or windsurfing if the weather conditions allow it. You can also visit a few rum distilleries nearby, including the renowned Damoiseau distillery (16) – one of the largest and most famous rum producers in Guadeloupe.
In the evening, visit the vibrant night markets in Saint François (Tuesdays), Le Moule (Wednesdays), Sainte Anne (Thursdays), or Le Gosier (Fridays) for a chance to try local cuisine, sometimes with the rhythms of local music.
We recommend staying for a third night (your last night there) near Port Louis.
Day 4: Sail to Petite Terre
Take a sailing trip from Saint François to Petite Terre (17), a small uninhabited island southeast of Grande Terre. We were fortunate to be guided by the amazing team from Uhaïna Croisières, who took us there on their stunning catamaran. Everything was top-notch, and what really stood out for me was how the staff took the time to educate us on the potential downsides of tourism for the local environment. It’s great to see people who care and make sure we’re all aware of how to be responsible travellers. Kudos to them for keeping it real and fun!
Don’t forget your snorkelling gear to explore the crystal-clear waters teeming with marine life. If you don’t have your own gear, no worries! You can grab a mask, a snorkel and fins from the Uhaïna Croisières office before setting off.
Responsible travel tip: Did you know that your sunscreen could harm the fragile ecosystem of the coral reef? It’s essential to be mindful of what you’re applying to your skin when snorkelling or swimming near the reef. The best way to protect your skin from the sun is to cover up with long sleeves and pants. If you must use sunscreen, choose a mineral-based one to avoid harmful substances (see the full list here). Mineral ingredients are less harmful to the environment and provide excellent protection. Apply the sunscreen at least 20 minutes before entering the water to ensure maximum effectiveness.
We could observe green turtles and squids in the shallow area seconds after entering the water. We were thrilled to spot pelagic fish, including a massive barracuda, a nurse shark, and large tarpons and trevallies when we explored deeper. Surprisingly, you don’t even have to venture far, as some of the big ones were casually chilling beneath our catamaran.
Make sure to respect the island’s protected nature reserve status and keep it pristine. While there, take a walk to see dozens of the endemic Lesser Antillean iguana, a rare sight as they’re critically endangered and even instinct on many other Caribbean islands, mainly because of the introduction of the green iguanas – native from America.
Responsible travel tip: Feeding wildlife can change their
After your sailing adventure, head over to the west coast of Basse Terre. It’s a bit of a drive, but you’ll be ready to explore a fresh part of Guadeloupe the following day. You won’t have any trouble finding some amazing and cozy villas near Deshaies* (18). We decided to stay in the even quieter village of Pointe Noire*, and if you can splurge a little, the two-bedroom house at Tropical Soul*, the balcony is an absolute gem! Picture yourself chilling in the suspended chair, soaking up the stunning views as the day ends; it’s pure bliss.
Day 5: Visit the North of Basse-Terre
If you didn’t get to explore Grand Cul-de-Sac Marin earlier, now is the perfect time to join a boat tour* of the protected lagoon from Sainte Rose (19), located in the north of Basse-Terre.
Make sure to set aside some time during the day to discover the delightful village of Deshaies and its renowned beaches, Anse De La Perle (20) and Grande Anse (21). We had a fantastic experience at Le Madras (18), where we enjoyed lunch while spotting turtles popping their heads out of the water. You might even recognise this place from the popular TV show “Death in Paradise,” and it’s not uncommon to see visitors exploring the filming locations, such as the Honore police station near the church or the detective’s house on Anse La Perle beach.
The Botanical Garden (22) is another popular attraction in Deshaies for those interested in seeing a diverse collection of plants and flowers from the Caribbean and around the world.
You can stay around Deshaies for another night.
Day 6 and 7: Discover Les Saintes Islands
Les Saintes is a small archipelago south of Guadeloupe with two main islands, Terre-de-Haut and Terre-de-Bas. You should absolutely include Terre-de-Haut in your Guadeloupe itinerary.
Many visitors only organise a day trip to Les Saintes but consider staying at least overnight to experience its beauty. We’ve been all over Guadeloupe, and Les Saintes is our favourite spot, renowned as one of the world’s most beautiful bays.
Ferries from Trois-Rivieres, Pointe-a-Pitre, or Basse-Terre connect you to Les Saintes. To explore the hilly island without walking, rent an electric cart or scooter.
Don’t miss Fort Napoleon (23) for stunning archipelago views, wander around le bourg, the town centre of the charming village of Terre-de-Haut (24) with its colourful houses and sample delicious local cuisine, especially the fresh seafood at waterfront restaurants.
Make sure to visit Plage du Pain de Sucre (25), often listed among the world’s most beautiful beaches, and enjoy excellent snorkelling around the headland. Les Saintes is also a favourite in Guadeloupe for scuba divers too. Those with enough experience might be able to visit one of the Caribbean’s top dive sites, Sec Paté.
We chose to stay at Chez Claire & Eric*, a stunning two-bedroom apartment offering breathtaking views of the bay. We enjoyed relaxing at the dining table, sipping a refreshing drink and contemplating our next adventure. Since it’s situated atop a hill, renting an electric cart or scooter was a convenient way to get around without exerting too much energy on a hot day. If you prefer, a few taxis are also available on the island.
Day 8: Hike in Basse-Terre National Park
After enjoying the stunning beaches of Les Saintes, it’s time to venture back to Basse-Terre for a change of scenery to explore the captivating Guadeloupe National Park.
Hike to the summit of the majestic active volcano La Soufrière (26), the highest peak in the Lesser Antilles at 1,467 meters. The ascent offers a chance to discover an enchanting forest and admire panoramic views – if you’re lucky. If it’s not shrouded in clouds, the views of the volcanic landscape at the summit are very rewarding. Keep in mind that the volcano has very frequent rainfall (10 times more than the nearby coast!), so it’s best to remain flexible in your itinerary to seize a clear day for the hike.
Within the Guadeloupe National Park, you’ll also find the popular Carbet Waterfalls (27). There are three waterfalls in total, each providing a unique experience. The second waterfall is the most renowned and easily accessible, with a 45-minute round trip on a boardwalk to witness the impressive 110-meter (360 feet) cascade. It takes approximately one hour to drive from La Soufrière to the Carbet Falls. However, note that the second waterfall can get quite crowded, and viewing it from a distance may be the only option. That’s why we initially planned to hike to the first falls, a series of two waterfalls measuring a total of 115 meters (377 feet), reachable after a 1.5-hour forest hike.
Regrettably, we could not find the time to visit any of the Carbet Falls. Instead, we returned to La Soufrière, as we finally had one day with clear weather. Unfortunately, we didn’t have sufficient prior planning to hike to the top of another nearby volcano, La Citerne.
We absolutely loved the beautiful views of the mountains, including La Soufrière, and the sea from our chalet at Paradis Tropical* in Basse-Terre. The best part was that we could easily change our plans when we woke up to a cloudless sky on La Soufriere on our last day in Guadeloupe!
Day 9: Discover the West Coast of Basse-Terre
Head out in the morning to Distillerie Bologne (28) for a guided tour and a tasting session if it’s not too early for you. Those interested in history won’t want to miss Fort Delgrès (29), a free visit with signage that gives an opportunity to learn more about the island’s past, the various countries fighting over it, and Louis Delgrès, who played a pivotal role in resisting the reinstatement of slavery under Napoleon Bonaparte. It’s pretty shocking that France was the only country that brought back slavery and continued until 1848 when it was finally abolished.
Then, make your way up the scenic west coast of Basse-Terre.
Don’t miss a visit to the iconic Plage de Malendure (30), home to the Cousteau Reserve, named after the famous explorer Jacques Cousteau who fought for it to be protected. While it wasn’t my top choice for scuba diving in Guadeloupe, we still had a great time underwater.
You can explore the reserve in various ways, including guided tours on glass-bottom boats. We opted for kayaking to Pigeon Islet (31), where we snorkelled and took a short hike to a breathtaking viewpoint. Snorkelling didn’t offer as much marine life as scuba diving, and the coral and sponges weren’t as impressive, but it was still a fun experience. We even encountered an octopus and a couple of snake eels that we didn’t get to see during our numerous dives.
Take a break for lunch at the Restaurant Les Tortues (32), where you can enjoy delicious local cuisine and stunning ocean views.
Next, make your way to Bouillante, known for its black sand beaches and geothermal hot springs. You’ll have the opportunity to take a dip in the warmest sea waters you’ll ever experience. The town’s geothermal factory offers a unique beachfront swimming spot with warm water. Outside town, we tried a bath that was way too intense (probably above 42°C), but swimming at the beach in front of the factory was delightful. If you don’t like hot water, consider visiting the Acomat waterfall (33) instead for a rejuvenating dip!
For the most adventurous among us, check out the options to go canyoning in Guadeloupe to connect even closer with nature. We did canyoning in the tropical paradise of Cairns in Australia, and let me tell you, it’s an incredible feeling to come out of that refreshing water without freezing your socks off! But this time around, we decided to skip canyoning while in Guadeloupe to avoid any potential painful bruises before our long journey back to Australia.
Spend your last night in Guadeloupe in Basse-Terre at Paradis Tropical*.
Day 10: Farewell to Guadeloupe
As your 10-day trip to Guadeloupe comes to an end, you may have a few hours to spare before your flight. On your way back to Grande-Terre, where the international airport is located, take a scenic drive along Route de la Traversée and stop at La Cascade aux Ecrevisses (34).
I regretted that we ran out of time to visit the Mémorial-ACTe museum (35) in Pointe-à-Pitre to learn more about Guadeloupe’s complex history, including the legacy of slavery, colonialism, and the struggles for freedom and equality.
So for our final hours, we decided to check out the spice market (36), which our travel guide highly recommended. To be honest, I was a bit let down as it seemed more geared towards tourists, and many of the souvenirs didn’t feel genuinely local. Compared to the other charming places we visited in Guadeloupe, Pointe-à-Pitre didn’t capture the same appeal. However, if you are interested in trying or purchasing spices, you might have a different experience. Unfortunately, we couldn’t bring any spices back to Australia due to restrictions.
Places that we couldn’t fit into this 10-day itinerary
Guadeloupe has a ton of incredible stuff to offer, so let’s be real – even with 10 days, you won’t have enough time to cover everything. Trust me, it’s already going to be a challenge to squeeze in all the cool things we’ve mentioned in this itinerary! We thought about throwing in some more islands like La Desirade (37) and Marie Galante (38), but we didn’t want to rush through everything.
I totally believe in taking your time when you travel. My advice? Don’t go overboard trying to squeeze everything in. Enjoy the moment, soak in the vibes, embrace the island life and if you somehow find yourself ahead of schedule, just add more activities later. That’s how you’ll have the absolute best time exploring Guadeloupe!