Last Minute Winter Escape to Guadeloupe

Escaping winter to Guadeloupe in the Caribbean

When a friend of mine called from the Caribbean, where he was visiting family, the last thing I expected was an invite to join. He had found a cheap flight (not common!) and wanted some company to explore the island with. At first I said no. I mean how can you just drop everything and hop on a plane to a tropical island? But the more I thought about it, the simpler the decision was becoming.

Guadeloupe mapHis family lives on the French island of Guadeloupe. It’s a beautiful, butterfly shaped island in the Caribbean. I have been to this place a couple times before and the opportunity to return again at such a deal seemed silly to pass up. I reminded myself how short life is and that I would probably come to regret not jumping on the plane.

I got the time off work, arranged for the dog to be taken care of (thanks mom!!) and booked my flight. I would be leaving four days after booking. A last Flight layover in Pheonixminute, escape from winter holiday.

Now getting cheap deals does come at a price. Just not financially. My trip there would take a few stops along the way. I had a stop in Phoenix and a long layover in Boston, where I managed to get a few winks in. Then I flew down the east coast of the United States and watched the sun rise, with nothing but sea meeting sky. It was pretty beautiful.

In Guadeloupe it is common for people to stay in apartment rentals as opposed to hotels. They are called Gites. For the first couple days of my stay we stayed in the gite Couleur Soleil. It’s in a beautiful house right next to a river. It tends to stay slightly cooler, which makes for easier sleeping, and the bugs don’t seem to be as bad there either. Which is a huge plus!

Playing with a cicada in Guadeloupe

Top priority was hitting the beach. So after stripping off the layers of winter clothes, I threw on a swim suit and some flip flops, and we headed out. We brought Curtis’ parents dog along, and because dogs at the beach are frowned upon, we chose a beach, plage thomas, that is a bit of a walk to get to and generally pretty quiet.

Trail head to a beach in Guadeloupe   Trail to a beach in Guadeloupe

Beach in Guadeloupe in the Caribbean

There were some people there but no one really seemed to mind the dog and we were able to swim, and explore some of the abandoned buildings.

All smiles at the beach in Guadeloupe          Swimming with the dog at the beach in Guadeloupe

Cool old abandoned building at the beach

Abandoned building in Guadeloupe          Some graffiti in Guadeloupe

Crab trap on the beach in Guadeloupe

We stuck around for the sunset, relaxed and got goofy.

Sunset from the beach in Guadeloupe

Dog and sunset on the beach in Guadeloupe         Being silly on the beach in Guadeloupe

The snorkeling in Guadeloupe is amazing! So we packed up the gear (left the dog at home) and headed to plage malendure. There is a lot of sea grass in this area so the likelihood of seeing turtles is pretty good. And boy we were not disappointed!  Within minutes we spotted a big turtle with three suckers hanging out on its back.

Turtles and suckers while snorkeling in Guadeloupe

Turtles and suckers while snorkeling in Guadeloupe

We also spent some time following around another turtle. I’m pretty sure this was the prettiest turtle I have ever seen. The teal blues and rich browns were beautiful! The photos just don’t do it justice.

Swimming with turtles while snorkeling in Guadeloupe

Swimming with turtles while snorkeling in Guadeloupe

Swimming with turtles while snorkeling in Guadeloupe          Swimming with turtles while snorkeling in Guadeloupe

We spent a day heading over to the east side of the island. It’s a peninsula that extends out into the Atlantic called La Pointe des Chateaux. There is a hike up to a clifftop where a large cross stands. The view is breath taking and the big waves crashing below your feet are impressive to say the least.

Trail leading up to the cross at Pointe des Chateaux

The view at Pointe des Chateaux          La Pointe des Chateaux

Looking west from the clifftop at Pointe des Chateaux         The view of the cross at Pointe des Chateaux

The cross on the clifftop at La Pointe des Chateaux

Food menu at a beach restaurant in Guadeloupe


We had a good lunch at a beach restaurant and sipped on punch coco’s (which are amazing!!) The menu sign was really funky and helped with ordering.


On the way back we stopped at a cemetery in Sainte-Anne. I always enjoy tomb style cemeteries. I suppose it’s because we don’t deal with our dead that way here at home and I love the art, tradition and ceremony involved with tombs. We explored around and took some photos and got out just as a funeral procession was coming down the road. We sat back and watched and listened to the mourning. As tragic as it was I still found it beautiful.

A cemetery in Sainte-Anne Guadeloupe

Cemetery in Sainte-Anne Guadeloupe    A tomb in the cemetery in Sainte-Rose Guadeloupe   Cemetery in Sainte-Anne Guadeloupe

Photographing tombs in the cemetery in Sainte-Rose Guadeloupe

Pelicans in Sainte Rose Guadeloupe

Another spot I wanted to check out was Sainte Rose. It’s on the north west side of Guadeloupe. The pelicans hang out where all the fishermen come in and I love those birds! Their old eyes and the way they waddle around, and watching them fly and dive for fish. They make for good subjects to photograph so we drove over around lunch time to see the birds.

Pelicans in Sainte Rose Guadeloupe

Pelican in Sainte Rose Guadeloupe          Pelican in Sainte Rose Guadeloupe

On the way back we stopped where we felt like, wandered and explored, found critters and just had fun. Ah holidays.

Hermit crab on the beach in Guadeloupe

Windy point in Guadeloupe          Crab in the sand in Guadeloupe

Hiking the volcano La Soufriere in Guadeloupe


On a previous visit, we hiked to the top of an active volcano, La Soufriere, and it was completely socked in. You could hardly see your hand in front of your face, let alone smoke from the volcano or a view of the island. So this visit we gave it another try. And luck was with us!


The hike begins with a nice rocky path, some stairs and pops you out into an open area where you can get a glimpse of the volcano you’re about to climb. Then it gets a little harder. It’s a rocky ascent, sometimes quite steep, that takes a little over an hour to do. It’s well worth the work and you get to look forward to the climb down. The photos can speak for themselves.

Hiking La Soufriere in Guadeoupe   Hiking La Soufriere in Guadeloupe    Hiking the volcano La Soufriere in Guadeloupe   Hiking the volcano La Soufriere in Guadeloupe

The view from the top of the volcano La Soufriere in Guadeloupe

Hiking the volcano La Soufriere in Guadeloupe          The view from the volcano La Soufriere in Guadeloupe

The view from La Soufriere in Guadeloupe                    The smokey volcano La Soufriere in Guadeloupe

Hiking the volcano La Soufriere in Guadeloupe

Hanging out in the river at Couleur Soleil in Guadeloupe


To beat the heat we would go and hang out in the river next to Couleur Soleil, letting the fish nibble our toes.


The river at Couleur Soleil

We had family time, ate good food, drank good rum, explored the island and played in the water.

A different Ti Punch for lunch in Guadeloupe   Ti punch in Guadeloupe    Baby goat in Guadeloupe   Grasshopper in Guadeloupe

Beers in the beach in Guadeloupe

Snorkeling in Guadeloupe          Snorkeling in Guadeloupe

Little sea creature in the coral   Playing with a sea snake while snorkeling in Guadeloupe    Playing with a star fish while snorkeling in Guadeloupe   Playing with sea life while snorkeling in Guadeloupe

Relaxing in a hammock in Guadeloupe

Enjoying a beach in Guadeloupe

Saying goodbye is hard. I feel so at home in this place. Andre and Steffani at Couleur Soleil and Gerard and Joan at Les Balisiers make the visit one of a kind. I’ve left in the past feeling like a permanent goodbye was being exchanged but somehow I make it back. Now I feel like it’s not “Goodbye Guadeloupe”.


So it’s back to a wintry Canada until I find myself sitting on a plane destined for this tropical paradise again. Until next time Guadeloupe! Thank you for having me!

On the plane home from Guadeloupe to Canada

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2 Responses to Last Minute Winter Escape to Guadeloupe

  1. Joan says:

    Gerard and I just read your write up on your holiday here in Guadeloupe. You have so many talents…you are a great writer and you are a wonderful photographer. Makes us miss you and Curtis big time and we are all very impatient to see you both back here once again. Would be nice to see you out here before our busy season starts so we can do more together! We would have loved to share some of our favorite haunts with you…..maybe next time……. you are always welcome in our home and you know you have a special place in our hearts. In Cassie’s too! Waaaaaa! We miss you so come back soon! Big hugs to both you and Curtis from your other MOM and DAD

    • Breezy says:

      Being with you guys there feels like being home. Can’t wait to return! Thank you guys again for making my visits as great as they are. I look forward to exploring more of the island with you next time! xo

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