Guadeloupe National Park, Basse-Terre Island Parc National de la Guadeloupe
One of six French National Parks, Parc National de la Guadeloupe on Basse-Terre Island is a tropical forest preserve 33,500 ha / 82,745 ac in size. It was established in 1971 and now draws an average of over one million visitors per year.The hiker can sample some of the 300 km of walkable paths. The photographer can capture the peaks of la Soufrière (1,467 m / 4,812 ft) and Col de la Matéliane (1,298 m / 4,257 ft), a wide range of flora and fauna, from 100 species of orchids to 11 species of bats, and much else. The birdwatcher can look for the black woodpecker, the pearly-eyed thrasher, the lesser Antillean pewee, and many others.
La Soufrière volcano
La Soufrière volcano is an active volcano, which has erupted eight times since 1660. Its barren black sides are punctuated by hot springs, mud pools and fumaroles. Following the Chemin des Dames path for two hours can ascend it. Depending on the weather, the visitor may achieve panoramic views from the highest points of the massif.
Trace Victor Hughes
The visitor can walk through the park by following the scenic Trace Victor Hughes hiking trail. It begins in the village of Matouba, climbs through the hills of the park, reaches a maximum height of 1,354m/4,442ft at Sans-Toucher, and descends to the town of Montebello. There are numerous good views from the trail, which takes 10 hours to walk.
Route de la Traversée (D23)
Visitors may tour the Parc National de la Guadeloupe by the D23 road and see a wide variety of tropical forest vegetation such as ferns, bamboo and mahogany trees along its length. There are lookouts, picnic areas, jungle waterfalls and a staffed roadside center at Maison de la Forêt.
Address: Route de la traversée D.23, 97170 Petit Bourg, Guadeloupe
Opening hours: 10am-5pm
Cascade aux Ecrevisses
Cascade aux Ecrevisses is a small waterfalls along the Route del la Traversée in the Parc National de la Guadeloupe, where visitors sometimes stop to enjoy a quick swim.