High Flying Thrills with a Caribbean Vibe
A European tradition goes tropical in the jungles of Guadeloupe. Adventure parks trace their roots back to French rope training courses from the 19th century, and offer not only zip lines, but also high-flying networks of rope bridges, climbing nets and aerial obstacle courses. On Guadeloupe, a pair of courses now stretches through the forest canopy, reaching heights of 60 feet to challenge both nerve and skill. Harness and safety lines remove the risk while retaining the thrill, and there are courses designed to suit all ages and abilities. As an added attraction, parks include ground-based adventures such as orienteering courses, off-roading trails and treks to Jungle Rivers and waterfalls.
- 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
Ziplining in the Guadeloupe Islands Overview
Guadeloupe's adventure parks are located on the western and northern coasts of Basse-Terre near the island's expansive national forest preserve. This area's steep and heavily wooded terrain is an ideal setting for suspended rope courses and ziplines.
Ziplining in the Guadeloupe Islands Tips
Adventure parks have well-established safety protocols. Pay attention during the orientation briefing and always double check when clipping into a safety line to make sure everything is secure before stepping off a platform. Build confidence on lower courses, then go big.
Best Places for Ziplining in the Guadeloupe Islands
Across from the Guadeloupe Zoo, the 1,600-foot-long zipline at Le Tapeur sends riders soaring through the rainforest canopy. At Magofil, an elevated trail made from chain nets, swinging bridges, suspended logs, and tightrope walks run through the treetops and over a river. Climbing walls and obstacle courses offer challenges on the grounds of a former coffee plantation, where explorers can test their map and compass skills on an orienteering course, or ride ATVs into the heart of the rainforest.
What to Pack for Ziplining in the Guadeloupe Islands
Wear sturdy closed-toe shoes—not flip flops— and shorts or long pants that profile flexibility but won't ride up under a harness. Remove items that dangle or might snag, such as watches and jewelry. Use a universal mounting bracket to attach video cameras or phones to helmets, which will be supplied by the park.
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).