24 JANUARY – 02 FEBRUARY 2018
Discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493, Guadeloupe became a French territory in 1835. Its string of islands in the Lesser Antilles is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea to the west. The main island of Basse-Terre and Grande-Terre resembles a butterfly. Endowed with one of the best primeval forests and a volcanic chain a visit to the highest point ‘La Soufrière’ is one of the special days of the tour. Orchids, anthuriums and bromeliads in the forest contrast with the red mangroves of the marine reserve.
Our Swiss botanist, Beat Fischer, has prepared and will lead the tour with his usual enthusiasm and knowledge. Plant lists are prepared for everyone. The diversity of habitats and plants is quite exceptional on these islands.
We have chosen typical, local-style, hotels and our base on Basse-Terre is high above the sea, surrounded by lush, forested hills. Welcoming and family-run, Le Rayon Vert has a good restaurant with Creole specialities. For the final few days we take a boat to the islands of Les Saintes, to Terre-de-Haut, to stay at Hotel Le Bois Joli situated on the edge of the beach and shaded by palm trees. A perfect escape from winter in the northern hemisphere combined with a fascinating insight into plants and life on a Caribbean island. All-inclusive with packed lunches on excursion days and dinner each evening.
Guadeloupe enjoys a dry season early in the year with pleasant sea breezes ‘les Alizés’ with a temperature of about 20–26º C on Basse-Terre. The direct flight with Air France from Paris takes 7 hours 30 minutes and is overnight on the return.
The climate at the end of January is warm with occasional short tropical shower.
Meals included are shown as B (breakfast), L (lunch), P (picnic) and D (dinner). Often guests meet for drinks before dinner (optional).
Lightweight clothes with a shower proof light jacket for the rainforest visits – in case.
Casual wear for the evening. Good comfortable walking shoes/trainers. Swimwear for those who enjoy a dip and for the mangrove day.
Wifi is available at each hotel.
Guadeloupe is a French overseas region and euros are the official currency.
Reasonably active. Botanical walks with ascents and descents (not steep). Steep ascent to the volcano (optional).