SUP Adventures at the Beach and Beyond
The Guadeloupe Islands has embraced the stand-up lifestyle. It begins at resorts all around the island, where guests launch rental SUPs for quick paddles down the strand. But there's much more to the stand-up paddleboard scene. From town landings and beaches all across the islands, tour guides offer an exciting range of adventures. Some lead groups into a labyrinth of mangrove channels in a marine preserve, others organize one-way routes that carry paddlers along rugged shorelines to secluded beaches and the mouths of jungle rivers. For the truly adventurous, there are even long distance races and group paddles between islands.
- Best for: Solos, couples and families, beach lovers and adventurers
- Best season to visit: Year round
- Weather: Steady trade winds account for relatively minor differences in seasonal air temperatures, which range from the 70s into the mid 80s. Rain showers are less common from December to May
Guadeloupe Islands Information
Board Sports in the Guadeloupe Islands Overiew
With 70% of its territories classified as a Natural Reserve, the Guadeloupe Islands are definitely an Eco-Tourism destination where the protection of the environment has always been a priority with over 30 years of protecting sea turtles, national days dedicated to cleaning sea beds, the coastline and rivers. The Guadeloupe archipelago is also a proud UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. A breathtaking environment that travelers are encouraged to discover through environmentally-friendly crafts such as paddle sports.
Board Sports in the Guadeloupe Islands Tips
If you are considering a SUP trip into open water, it's best to do so with a tour group. A number of operators organize one-way routes along the coast that follow downwind routes, allowing you to paddle with the wind and waves for increased enjoyment.
Best Places for Board Sports in the Guadeloupe Islands
Coral heads and fish are visible from the surface in the reef-lined lagoon at Saint-François. On the northern corner of Basse-Terre Island, the bay at Anse de Petit-bas-vent opens to the deserted beaches of Isle Kahouanne. The mangrove channels of Grand Cul-de-sac Marin offer hours of exploration. Downwind paddles from Petit-Canal to Port Louis give access to beaches that can't be reached by road. Sunset paddles launch for the beach of La Datcha in Gosier.
What to Pack for Board Sports in the Guadeloupe Islands
Water shoes provide a firm foundation for paddling, and a water shirt will provide sun protection while remaining comfortable when wet. A backpack-style hydration bladder will prevent thirst. Attach a float to sunglasses. Rental services should provide personal flotation vests and whistles.
Passport and/or Visa Requirements
Entry Requirements: U.S. citizens must have a valid Passport and a return or ongoing ticket. Passport must be valid for 6 months beyond date of entry and 1 page required for entry stamp.
No vaccinations or preventative medications are required for travel to Guadeloupe Islands. Yellow Fever is not a problem here. Check with the Centers for Disease Control on recommended vaccinations for travel at cdc.gov.
Culture and Customs
The Guadeloupe Islands are a department of France, but they are also very much a part of the Caribbean. In bustling Pointe-à-Pitre, a stroll along Rue Frébault provides boutiques stocking perfumes, haute couture and delicacies straight from Paris. The scene shifts at Rue Duplessis when shoppers are immersed in the sights, sounds and scents of the St. Antoine Spice Market. In this open-air celebration of micro-capitalism, animated vendors hawk handicrafts, seafood and produce, and the smells of exotic spices permeate. Similar dualities abound across the islands. One can linger over buttery croissants and cafe au late at a sidewalk cafe, or duck into a corner rum shop for a bokit sandwich washed down by a Ti Punch. A local favorite, bokit is similar to fried naan bread stuffed with delicious hams and cheeses. Guadeloupe's dining scene is among the most celebrated in the Caribbean, with island chefs drawing on both French and Creole traditions. Lively dance traditions such as zouk, quadrille and toumbélé are enjoying newfound popularity in a culture that celebrates its roots, but also enjoys fusion jazz and dancehall music. The islands also support a vibrant arts community and have produced some of the region's most respected writers. For an immersion in island culture, plan a visit to the lively market days staged on alternating Sundays at the towns of Le Moule, Sainte-Anne and Saint-Claudeon. Grande-Terre's magnificent beaches host a number of upscale hotels, while the green slopes of Basse-Terre are home to nature preserves and parks where hiking trails lead to hidden waterfalls. Harbors on the island's western shore are launching points for whale watching excursions, and as many as 15 species of marine mammals are known to frequent the area. A network of excellent roads facilitates land travel while an efficient ferry system making island hopping easy. Favorite destinations include postcard-quaint bays of Les Santes and the quiet island of Marie-Galante, which provides a glimpse of old-school Caribbean life. When on Les Saintes, be sure to try a Tourment D’Amour -a pastry that resembles a height- challenged cupcake flavored with coconut and tropical fruits.
Electricity, Phone and Internet Access
Electricity is 220 Volt, 50 cycle with European standard wall plugs. U.S. appliances will require an adapter. WiFi is available at many hotels.
Guadeloupe Island's country/area code is 590. It is recommended that you check with your local provider to see what data plans are available or roaming charges will apply.
The water is safe to drink Guadeloupe. Many brands of local and imported bottled water is available for purchase at most restaurants and stores if preferred.
Language & Currency
French is the official language of the Guadeloupe Islands. You will hear locals speaking Creole. While at the hotels and tourist areas, English may be spoken, but outside of these areas very little English is spoken. A French translation book is recommended.
The Euro is the currency in the Guadeloupe Islands. U.S. Dollars and sometimes traveler checks may be accepted. It is a good idea to rely on your credit cards for purchases. Please let your credit card company know that you will be travelling out of the country to make sure your card is available while on vacation and see if they charge any foreign transaction fees due to the currency exchange.
Guadeloupe Islands is on Atlantic Standard Time (AST) and does not observe Daylight Savings Time. Guadeloupe Islands are 4 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (-4 GMT).
Location, Size and Population
Guadeloupe Islands are located in the Leeward Islands of the Caribbean and are part of the Lesser Antilles. The islands encompass nearly 630 square miles including the 2 connected main islands of Basse-Terre and Grand-Terre and the smaller islands of Les Saintes, Marie-Galante and La Desirade.
The population of the Guadeloupe Islands is 470,755 (2016).