GUADELOUPE: The French Caribbean Archipelago

Guadeloupe mapGuadeloupe is a French Caribbean archipelago located in the Leeward Islands, in the Lesser Antilles, with a land area of 1,628 square kilometres and an average population of 406000 inhabitants.

Guadeloupe is constituted of 5 islands connected by an efficient inter-island network:

– The two main islands are Basse-Terre to the west and Grande-Terre to the east and the other islands are: Les Saintes, Marie-Galante and La Désirade.

Guadeloupe is an archipelago with a splendiferous landscape composed of:

– Nice beaches with crystal clear turquoise waters adorned with gold, white, brown and black powdery sand and cascading waterfalls.

– An active volcano the “Soufrière” also called the “tall lady” which is the highest mountain peak in the Lesser Antilles.

– A luxuriant flora with a tropical dry forest, a rainforest, a mangrove swamp, aquatic plants, multifarious flowering plants encompassing more than 100 varieties of orchids and 270 varieties of ferns.

– A vibrant and vigorous aquatic and terrestrial fauna with sea turtles, shellfish, fishes, coral reef, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates and a wide variety of birds including a unique indigenous bird called the black woodpecker.

 Guadeloupe is a rich cultural heritage and traditions made up of:

  • A plentiful culinary heritage which blends Caribbean, European, Indian, African and Oriental influences, representing a diverse palette for the palates:

– Succulent seafood, farm-fresh meats, tropical fruits and vegetables and an array of spices which allows the population and over 200 local restaurants making innumerable recipes as appetizers, main dishes, desserts, jams and fresh juices.

– The “Bokit” which is the traditional and typical fried sandwich.

– The local aperitif “Ti Punch” which is prepared from the traditional and national drink “the rum”, lime and brown sugar

– The high quality and original pure Arabica coffee

  • A multi-faceted identity where Indian rites, African memory and the rule of the 17th-century colonists are part of everyday life. Islanders enjoy many traditional music and dance styles as well as modern international influences including:

– Gwo ka – Biguine – Quadrille – Zouk – Reggae / Dance hall – Hip Hop

  • A good deal of celebrations, festivals, parties during the year conveying the population joy of life:

– The best known and most animated annual festival is the Carnival which is an explosive period of cheerfulness during 2 months and special days of celebration.

  •  A bilingual archipelago:

– The official language is French but the majority of Guadeloupeans are Creole-speakers. The Creole is the regional language and reflects our history based on a mix of French, African and Amerindian languages. There is a university degree in Creole since 2000.

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