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January 2023

A crowded island with some nice spots.

Guadeloupe ticks all the boxes: cloud forest peaks, pretty little beaches, a tropical climate, and quaint villages. It should be a fantastic island to visit. Unfortunately, it's not. The towns are fairly dirty and run down. The beaches, for the most part, are way overdeveloped and hugged by broken-glass-filled parking lots and crumbling concrete and rebar with groups of people blaring loud music. Traffic is a near constant snare slowly moving through each of the islands many roads. You're almost continuously staring at someone's brakelights in front of you as you fight your way forward. Getting around can be frustrating, and many spots on the island can be disappointing, including the lackluster main city of Pointe-a-Pitre.

It's not all sour, however. We spent two weeks on Guadeloupe, renting a little cottage in banana fields and driving to different spots every day. We illegally dropped a very pretty canyon called Riviere Noire, which I published on Ropewiki for other cautious adventurers. We hiked up high into the mountains in a daily torrential downpour. We ferried out to the pretty (but crowded) Des Saintes archipelago. For the most part, I'd recommend a few days on Guadeloupe to see it. But, in our experience, similar to neighboring Martinique, it's not an island paradise.

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