There are five main islands in the archipelago, which together are home to just 400,000 people, and designated a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, one of just 25 in the world. The two largest islands, Grande-Terre and Basse-Terre, are close enough to be connected by a short bridge, and together their outlines form the wings of a butterfly. If that’s not enough poetic nature, the native people who first inhabited this land called it Karukera, meaning “the place of beautiful waters.” Whatever the word is for “the place of beautiful rain forest” would have been a strong contender too.
We will likely make landfall in the capital Pointe-à-Pitre on the Grande Terre. Located in front of the harbor  overlooking the Caribbean Sea, Pointe à Pitre is the heart of Guadeloupe Islands. It is lovely just to soak up the magical atmosphere of the city, admire the colonial buildings such as the Place de la Victoire or the Marché Saint-Antoine and smell the spices, fruits and vegetables in all the markets.

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Next, we can head off to Pointe des Châteaux, the easternmost point of the Grande-Terre island. Here are the sharp-pointed rocks that give the beach this “Castles Point” name. The waves here are spectacular and the landscape, the turquoise waters and the white sand of the ‘Castles’ Cove (Anse des Châteaux) are unmatched.

Coming from Sainte-Anne, we can take a trail that weaves through sandy beach, dry forest and even mangrove, so you get a little taste of Guadeloupe’s nature before you get to the magnificent Anse Gros Sable.

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