Îlet Caret: An heavenly islet
Îlet Caret is an uninhabited islet located in the Grand Cul-de-sac marin in Sainte Rose Township (Basse-Terre Island). As seen in previous posts, Guadeloupe Archipelago is composed of 5 main islands: Basse-Terre Island, Grande-Terre Island, Marie-Galante Island, Les Saintes Archipelago, La Désirade Island. On top of these islands, multiple islets such as Îlet Caret are also part of the archipelago’s scenery.
The name of the islet comes from sea turtles also called Caret turtles found in the area. At some point during the year, the Caret turtles come to the islet for the mating.
With white powdery sand, clear turquoise waters and multiple coconut trees. The creation of the islet is due to submarine movements following numerous earthquakes as well as the wind and sea daily activities. Each year, the shape of the islet changes letting some sandbanks disappear in favour of new ones.
Îlet Caret: A rich fauna and flora
Îlet Caret is situated in the North-western part of Grand Cul-De-Sac-Marin, next to the coral reef. Due to its location, the water is warmer and the seabed is highly diversified. There is a wide variety of shellfish, mollusc and fishes. Some of the coral fishes include parrotfish or surgeonfish. Also, you might be lucky enough to meet a turtle or a lobster hidden under the rocks. Finally, the vegetation made with coconut and palm trees provides shelter for various species of birds.
Excursions and activities
If you love ecotourism, seaside tourism or sports tourism, an excursion on Îlet Caret will definitely please you. There are several activities to enjoy whether it is to reach the islet, snorkel in the coral reef or just swim in the clear turquoise water.
If you are sporty and a daring person, you might want to do some kayaking or jetskiing to get to the islet. Some companies are specialised for this kind of activities.
On the other hand, multiple companies have boat trips towards Îlet Caret on offer. There are different formulas going from half a day to a full day to spend in the coral reef and the islet. Usually when you are going for half a day, you start by exploring the underwater flora and fauna in the coral barrier and finishing with an aperitif or lunch on Îlet Caret. If you fancy a full day, you will be doing the same plus a visit to other islets as well as the mangrove swamp.
Here are some highly recommended boat trips companies: Guadeloupe Évasion Découverte, Gwadaventure, Icigo, Le Flibustier, No limit Excursions, Regybalade and Xtrem excursions. All of them have a good reputation with excellent feedback.
A typical day on Îlet Caret
Half day (Only Îlet Caret) :
8am-8.30am – Boarding and departure from the Township (Sainte-Rose, Le Gosier, Saint-François are the most common)
8.45am-9.15am – Visit of the 25-km coral barrier which is the biggest of the Lesser Antilles.
10am- 10.45am – Visit of Îlet Caret and swimming in the lagoon
11am – Cocktail hour on Îlet Caret’s beach (Planteur, ti-punch, tropical fruits punchs, soft drinks and a snack)
12am-12.15am – Lunch time featuring a local food made with seafood etc…
Full day (Îlet Caret and other islets):
Same half day plus:
2pm – Tour guided of the mangrove swamp
3pm – Visit of others islets (Ilet aux Oiseaux, îlot de palétuviers )
4pm – 4.30pm – Way back to the port
7 steps excursion in the lagoon of Grand Cul-de-sac Marin with Le Flibustier
First step – Boarding and departure from Le Gosier Marina
Second step – Educational tour guided of the mangrove swamp through Rivière Salée
Third step – Snorkelling session at a wreck next to the Coral reef
Fourth step – Arrival to Îlet Caret, swimming in the clear turquoise water and aperitif on the boat
Fifth step – Swimming in the nature reserve of Îlet Fajou located at the heart of Grand Cul-de-Sac Marin
Sixth step – Stop at the end of Aéroport pôle Caraïbes’ runway
Seventh step – Way back to Le Gosier Marina