Welcome to the French West Indies: Guadeloupe is one of seven territories under French sovereignty located in the Lesser Antilles of the Caribbean. French Guiana, although located on the mainland of South America, is often lumped in.
The main butterfly-shaped landmass of Guadeloupe is actually two islands separated by a salt river. The western island is Basse-Terre, and the eastern island is Grande-Terre. Indeed there are only two bridges that connect them.
The Pointe-à-Pitre international airport (PTP) is located on Grande-Terre and centrally located. An extensive national park, Parc National de la Guadeloupe, spans almost the entirety of Basse-Terre island, with the highest peak in the Lesser Antilles, La Soufrière (an active stratovolcano, mind you), in the southwest corner. Also take note of the three major Guadeloupean islands just a short ferry-ride away: Îles des Saintes, Marie-Galante, and La Désirade. Interested in birding on all three? You can!
Iconic waterfalls (chutes d’eau), wet tropical forest speckled with Caribbean tree ferns, and black volcanic sand beaches (plages) offer but a few backdrops for you to enjoy some of the best birds (oiseaux), including the:
- Guadeloupe Woodpecker (Melanerpes herminieri)
- Forest Thrush (Turdus lherminieri)
- Plumbeous Warbler (Setophaga plumbea)
- Purple-throated Carib (Eulampis jugularis)
- Brown Trembler (Cinclocerthia ruficauda)
- Antillean Euphonia (Euphonia musica)
- Ringed Kingfisher (Ceryle torquata stictipennis)