Called Karukera, “the island of beautiful waters”, by the indigenous Caribbean people, Guadeloupe is a hotspot of marine and aquatic biodiversity that is unique in the world. What are you waiting for to explore it, in the company of experienced local guides? By way of water, you will discover the land differently …
On the flanks of the Soufrière volcano, the tropical rainforest is scattered with streams and rivers, pools and waterfalls. Ranging from calm waters to rapids, they’re great for relaxing and getting back to nature, but also for exciting water-based trails. A little further north, on the route of La Traversée, you’ll see many more rivers and other watercourses during your hikes.
A protected, thriving and unique ecosystem
Situated between Grande-Terre and Basse-Terre, the Grand Cul-de-Sac Marin has the largest coral barrier in the Lesser Antilles, and the best conserved wetland habitats (mangroves and swamp forest). With its coral reefs, underwater meadows, fish of all kinds and many species of birds, the area is full of life that the landbound hiker would never suspect …
During a boat trip, kayaking adventure or paddleboard excursion, try to spot the Brown Pelicans or Cabot’s Terns in the trees, mangrove trees growing in the water or wading birds along the shore … During your dives, you can observe sea turtles and striped butterflyfish or admire the coral reef carpeted in multi-coloured sponges and sea fans!
Admire the spectacle of the Carbet and Soufrière waterfalls
The easily accessible waterfalls of the Soufrière volcano, nicknamed the Old Lady, will impress you with the quantities of gas and smoke that bear witness to its intense underground activity. The clouds that cover its flanks give rise to the Basse-Terre’s many waterfalls and rivers. The Carbet Falls provide an exceptional spectacle: the highest rises 115 metres, the lowest plunges 20 metres into a circular sublime pool that swimmers could only dream of. Contemplate it all accompanied by the soothing symphony of nature, mingling birdsong, the croaking of frogs and the wind.
Explore the enchanting surroundings of the Route de la Traversée
A little further north, the La Traversée road runs between the Mamelles, the emblematic broad mountains of Guadeloupe. The landscapes that surround it harbour abundant fauna and flora, and many rivers. Starting from the Maison du Forêt visitor centre, the trail through these enchanting surroundings will take you to the Bras David river. Not much further on there is the Petit Bras David picnic area, ideal for a relaxing day out with family or friends, under a traditional “carbet” shelter.
Wonder at the biodiversity of the Grand-Cul-de-Sac Marin lagoon
After its long journey through the tropical forest, the waters of the rivers flow into the sea, particularly the Grand-Cul-de-Sac Marin. There are various ecosystems that cohabit this immense, multi-tinted blue lagoon, such as marine habitats, mangroves and swamp forest. Because of its extraordinary biodiversity, the Grand Cul-de-Sac Marin is a top spot for ecotourism in Guadeloupe. Here, simply observing the fauna and flora will give you a magical experience.