Dive in the islands of Guadeloupe with Léa Camilleri

Léa Camilleri in the Guadeloupe Islands.
We often forget that Guadeloupe is an archipelago with islands each more beautiful than the next. Follow me for a trip to these five jewels nestled in the Caribbean Sea.

Heading to Basse-Terre

To start off this adventure in Guadeloupe, we climb into a boat with a very cool association, the Shelltone Whale Project, made up of marine biologists and bioacousticians who study whale songs.

Today, we accompany Naël and Léa to observe and take a census of the cetaceans of the Agoa sanctuary. We head for the deep blue to say hello to the dolphins.
With the Shelltone Whale Project, it is the cetaceans that decide if they want to see you. Respect and protection of the species is of paramount importance.

Suddenly, a dolphin. Then two dolphins. Then two hundred dolphins! It's completely crazy, I've never seen anything like it in my life. A show worthy of Kamel Ouali's most beautiful choreographies!

And when we reach the port... Beaked whales! What is the probability that this rare and shy species decides to follow our boat? I am content to admire whales for the first time in my life and to keep a little dignity so as not to cry... Already a lot of emotions for a first day!

Shelltone Whale Project (External link)
Basse-Terre (External link)

Eye candy at Tendacayou Ecolodge & Spa

Do we agree that this is the craziest tree house in the world? Tendacayou is the perfect place to chill out in the trees with the sounds of the forest. And it's a good thing because we need a good night's sleep for the adventure that awaits us tomorrow...

Tendacayou Ecolodge & Spa (External link)

to tackle the Soufrière

In order to climb to the top of the famous Soufrière volcano, you need to be accompanied by a mountain guide. And it's Abel, from the Bwa Lansan association, who does it. The thing about La Soufrière is that at the top, there are only 50 days of clear sky per year. So when you go up, you're not sure you'll see anything.

It's the craziest hike of my life, between humid forest and desert landscape. I'm aching all over, my mouth is dry, I don't really know why I decided to come. Come on, one more effort! That's it, we are at 1 467m on the Soufrière volcano. It's breathtaking!

This 200,000 year old volcano with burning smoke is still active. It does not spew lava but a mixture of acidic, toxic gases and water vapour. You have to wear a gas mask to go any further.

The landscape is rocky and chaotic, almost lunar, bristling with peaks. It's like being on another planet with all these craters. We are all speechless, we have lost track of time. The rain starts to fall without us even noticing, it's time to start the descent.

Bwa Lansan (External link)

In canyoning mode

As we didn't have enough yesterday, we decided to go back to the wilderness, in the jungle, this time in canyoning mode. Close your neoprene suit, adjust your helmet and tie your laces because we're going to rappel down the canyons of Bouillante... And we're hot!

We are with Ryko from Canopée Guadeloupe, the reference in jungle. On the program: 22 meters abseiling on a rope, hiking, 8 meters jump... It is really the perfect activity to dive head first into the tropical jungle and discover the richness of the Guadeloupean landscapes.

Canopée Guadeloupe (External link)

Boarding to Les Saintes

Let's go and discover a new island in the Guadeloupe archipelago... and not the least, so hang on! Les Saintes, an archipelago made up of two islands: Terre-de-Haut and Terre-de-Bas, is only 1 hour by boat from Basse-Terre. Be careful with your eyes because Les Saintes is part of the ultra closed club of the most beautiful bays in the world! And it is completely deserved because Les Saintes is a paradise on earth, with a beauty to die for.

Here is the ideal panorama to jump into a transparent kayak and admire the Caribbean Sea and its corals which, in spite of the hurricanes, grow back with colours each more crazy than the other.

You can't come to Les Saintes without tasting the local pastry: the "tourment d'amour". The name alone makes you want to try it! And it's Ciellette's that you have to try.

Les Saintes (External link)

Heading to Marie-Galante

We'll have to wait until nightfall to tell you why we're here. In the meantime, what better way to discover this island than by taking a walk, which I only knew from Laurent Voulzy's song!

It's pure chill! Once reserved for sugar cane plantations, the island has an impressive craft and historical heritage but is also ideal for enjoying the beauty of its tropical landscapes.

The long awaited moment arrives. We take the road towards the beach of Folle Anse to join Cyril from the association EcoLambda and patrol with him this night to monitor the laying of sea turtles. We walk along the beach in search of turtle tracks that would come up from the sea.

We've been walking for nearly three hours. Some nights there are no turtles laying eggs on the beach but just patrolling under the stars is magical.

I don't know if we have a lucky star since we are in Guadeloupe but when we turn back... A huge turtle laying eggs.

What I liked about EcoLamda is the most respectful approach possible, the benevolence and the desire to share a love for a whole biodiversity.

EcoLambda (External link)
Marie-Galante (External link)

Stopover in Petite Terre

Let's now stop over in Petite Terre, a tiny wild island that belongs to the island of Désirade, which is itself part of the islands of Guadeloupe. Do you follow me? On this island, the iguanas are the sheriffs, no joke!

We spend the afternoon swimming in the turquoise water of the Caribbean Sea... When suddenly... A turtle! Well... Ok I stop. I think I'll never get tired of swimming with a turtle. It's the best feeling in the world!

La Désirade (External link)

Last stop in Grande-Terre

Our last stop is Grande-Terre (External link) . We could not come to the islands of Guadeloupe without pushing the door of the Caribbean Centre of Expression and Memory of the Slave Trade, the ACTe Memorial. It is located in Pointe-à-Pitre and is a symbolic place.

As a visitor to the archipelago, it is important to better understand its history. In addition to being the direct history of Guadeloupeans and the inhabitants of the Caribbean, the history of slavery and the slave trade concerns all of humanity.

Offering a place of remembrance and research means uniting the world around a common past, but above all it means committing to the question of freedom, all freedoms and living together. The ACTe Memorial allows us to tell the world that this fight for human dignity is not over.

Thus ends our adventure in the islands of Guadeloupe. An intense journey through the five islands of the archipelago, each more beautiful than the last.

During these few days, I was amazed. I filled my heart with beautiful encounters like Taïna our guide (External link) who accompanied us 24 hours a day. I laughed, I cried, I had a hard time but above all I fell in love with the islands of Guadeloupe...

Getting to the Islands of Guadeloupe