THE ISLAND OF BASSE-TERRE, LUXURIANT AND AUTHENTIC
Basse-Terre is the biggest island in the Guadeloupe archipelago. It is also the most mountainous part, with the highest point being the Soufrière volcano (1467m). Basse-Terre is mainly covered with highly dense, humid tropical forest. Here you will find lush vegetation, numerous rivers, waterfalls (called “sauts” on the island), pools and a wide range of hiking trails. The Guadeloupe National Park is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and occupies a large part of the island. Basse-Terre also has pebble or ochre, black or pink sand beaches, as well as the internationally famous Cousteau underwater reserve.
Basse-Terre was the first region in Guadeloupe to be inhabited, and is still the most authentic today! The inhabitants are particularly welcoming to visitors who are interested in their country. Here you can visit a number of old, typical villages, most of the archipelago’s distilleries, as well as the main botanical parks and zoos.
Come and stay in Petit-Bourg, a green town and the regional capital of hiking! Petit-Bourg is in the east of the island of Basse-Terre, on the banks of the Petit Cul-de-sac Marin bay in Guadeloupe. This is the biggest extensive town in the archipelago (131 km²) and, most of all, the ideal spot to explore all of Guadeloupe, since it is at the centre of the island.
A HOST OF SITES AND ACTIVITIES NEAR YOUR VILLA (WITHIN A RANGE OF JUST 30 KM!)
La Traversée (RD23) – 9km, 10 mins.
The RD23 is a mountain road running through the Guadeloupe national park, enabling visitors to cross the Basse-Terre mountains, from Petit-Bourg to Pointe-Noire via the Col des Mamelles (altitude 600m). You’ll make your way through very dense tropical forest, which has survived intact for centuries! This is a tourist route filled with not-to-be-missed sites: the Cascade aux Ecrevisses, the Maison de la Forêt and Bras David, Mamelles Park, etc.
La Cascade aux Ecrevisses – 19km, 19 mins.
An attractive little waterfall in the tropical forest, easy to access (10 minutes’ walk beside the River Corossol, along a path in the shade of lush vegetation). You can take a swim at the foot of the waterfall in a small natural pool dug out of the rock. This is the most visited site in Guadeloupe!
Mamelles zoo and botanical park – 29km, 26 mins.
A wonderful walk in the midst of plant species, with a chance to see animals from tropical regions: raccoons, iguanas, jaguars, monkeys… around 80 species in all!
La Trace des Ruisseaux – 22km, 22 mins.
An immersion in a green paradise, with impressive, interweaving tree roots, creepers and plants of an incredible size! Alternating flat passages, climbs and descents amid lush vegetation. And with the rippling sound of the river into the bargain…
Roseau beach – 11km, 15 mins.
With its fine, white sandy beach, this is the best beach on the eastern coast of Basse-Terre! Several man-made bays, shaded banks, karbays for picnics, the company of kingfishers and pelicans… A great place to take a swim.
Le Saut de la Lézarde – 14km, 17 mins.
The water hurtles down a dozen or so metres into an impressive turquoise pool! The River Corossol starts here, with a series of large stones… The site is forbidden by a local by-law, however, due to potential dangers.
Les Chutes du Carbet – 30km, 35 mins.
The most beautiful and impressive waterfall in the Lesser Antilles. The three waterfalls can provide three different hiking trails. With the varying height and rate of the waterfalls, the duration of the hikes and varying difficulty of access – there’s something here for everyone!
Les Jardins de Valombreuse – 13km, 17 mins.
A green setting that’s perfect for relaxation and wellness. A botanical and leisure park with hundreds of tropical plants, a palm grove, a natural waterfall… and not forgetting a play area, a horse-riding centre and restaurant areas.
Montebello Distillery – 2km, 5 mins.
A small, traditional distillery with a unique and ancestral production method using two-centuries-old steam machines. The visit is not really organised, but this is a very authentic experience. The distillery is on a human scale, and visits are more personal than in other distilleries on the island! Varied tastings, a small but well-supplied shop (factory store), with high-quality rum. Best visited during the sugar-cane season (January to June, depending on the year).
Le Jardin d’eau – 4km, 8 mins.
An enchanting setting for a relaxing stroll, with water as the main theme: roche qui pleure (“weeping rock”), koi carps, pools and rivers…
If you love nature, then you’ll be delighted by the area in and around Petit-Bourg!
OTHER SITES NOT TO BE MISSED IN BASSE-TERRE (50 KM AWAY MAXIMUM)
The Soufrière volcano range (Saint-Claude), the world-famous Cousteau underwater reserve (Bouillante), Fort Delgrès (a listed historic monument, Basse-Terre), the Botanical gardens (formerly the property of the French comic Coluche, Deshaies), La Grivelière (its coffee and cocoa once made its name, Vieux-Habitants), the beaches of Grande Anse (Pointe-Noire) and Clugny (Sainte-Rose), and the Saut de l’Acomat (Pointe-Noire).
MAIN SHOPS CLOSE BY YOUR VILLA
Three minutes away, the farmers’ market “Jaden Peyi Tibou” takes place every Friday afternoon (real local colour – don’t miss it!). Less than 10 minutes from Collin’s shopping centre: Carrefour Market, Super U, Baguet shop, Picard, FNAC…
Petit-Bourg (5 minutes away), Goyave (10 minutes), Capesterre-Belle-Eau (15 minutes), Baie-Mahault (10 minutes), Jarry industrial zone (10 minutes), Pointe-à-Pitre (15 minutes), Les Abymes (15 minutes), Gosier (20 minutes), Saint-Anne (35 minutes).
Your villa is close to the island’s main road (the RN1, 3 minutes away) and Guadeloupe Pôle Caraïbes airport (just 20 minutes away! Very handy when you’re arriving after a long flight).