Visit to the Memorial Acte

The “centre caribéen d’expressions et de mémoire de la traite et de l’esclavage” (caribbean center for the expression and memory of the slave trade) exhibits permanent and temporary, live performances and screenings of documentaries.

Located at the mouth of Pointe-à-Pitre port, the building stands like a ship in the heart of the Guadeloupe archipelago. This former Darboussier sugar factory dates from the industrial era and is a symbol of the collective memory. Every Guadeloupean has a friend, neighbor or acquaintance who has worked here. With the ACTe Memorial, architect Pascal Berthelot completely trans – formed the building, describing it as an “architectural response tinted with emotion, as it is the substance of the act of remembrance, the expression of a people whose memory was so often oppressed and denied.” An essential visit, to understand these crimes against humanity and pay tribute to the victims.

An idea of activity you can do as a family !

Faustine François

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Les Saintes, Terre-de-Bas

Les Saintes, Terre de Bas
Les Saintes, Terre de Bas – Guadeloupe

Wild and frozen in time

Much less visited than its sister island, Terre-de-Bas is the second inhabited island by size in the Les Saintes archipelago with about 2000 inhabitants, mostly concentrated on 2 villages: bourg of Grande-Anse and bourg of Petite-Anse. Terre-de-Bas, with its mountains peaks and cliff drop looks keeps an overall wild and natural theme that seems to have frozen in time. The main activities in the island are fishing and local handcraft like the famous Salako, a manmade hat from the island that looks like the hats you can find in Vietnam.

Les Saintes, Terre de Bas
Les Saintes, Terre-de-Bas – Guadeloupe

Les colors of Mother Nature

If you love Nature, you will fall in love with Terre-de-Bas! Whether you like to spend time on the beach or rather take a deep in the ocean and snorkel or deep dive, you will find you elements there. For the hikers and people who likes to explore the ground, you will be able to hike many paths into the wild nature of the island. There are for main hiking paths in the island ([the Cliff hike] Trace des Falaises, [hike about the pond] Trace du dessus de l’Etang, [hike at the pond shore] Trace du pied de l’Etang and [the Hill hike] Trace du Morne). All the hiking paths meet at the center of the island where you will be able to have a broad view of the region and get familiar with the area with the large map display at the “Citerne” location. From the top, a unique sightseeing spot overlooking Guadeloupe with a clear view of the islands of Marie Galante, Desirade and Dominica! As you will go through those hiking paths, you will be able to appreciate the wide array of bright colors that Mother Nature displays, from the warm colors of the savanna to the deep intense green of the rain forest balanced with the nuances of blue between the sky and the ocean! Whether you are an avid hiker or it is your first time, you will find the hiking path that will meet your needs. Novice will be able to engage on the 45 minutes hiking path while the expert can walk onto the cliff hiking path for a 3 hour of pure fun!

Neither to say, you will need good comfortable shoes to adventure on those paths along with enough water and a good sunscreen protection.

Grande Anse beach is the famous spot in the island with a ¾ mile of white pristine sand and coconut trees but you will not meet a lot of people there; swimming is not recommended at this location as the beach is facing the ocean with very strong waves but still is a great location to relax on the sand, get a nice tan while listening to the waves breaking up on the shore. Only 10 minutes from the ferry dock, this location is easily reachable.

Plongée sous marine aux Saintes
Diving – Les saintes, Terre-de-Bas 

Unique spot of deep diving!

Grande Anse beach is the famous spot in the island with a ¾ mile of white pristine sand and coconut trees but you will not meet a lot of people there; swimming is not recommended at this location as the beach is facing the ocean with very strong waves but still is a great location to relax on the sand, get a nice tan while listening to the waves breaking up on the shore. Only 10 minutes from the ferry dock, this location is easily reachable.

For the avid divers, Grande bay beach is the way to go! It is a small beach with black sand carved into a lush vegetation. Make sure to get your equipment ready and use fins to be able to keep up with all you will have to see underwater as it has a very rich fauna and flora.

If you are looking for swimming location with quiet waters, you will go for this small black sand beach near by the fisherman wharf. This beach is exposed on the Caribbean Sea side and is an ideal location for a great swim with quiet waters.

Pêcheurs des Saintes
Les pêcheurs de Terre de Bas – Les Saintes

The best fishersmen in Guadeloupe

The fisherman in Terre-de-Bas are known to be the best in their category in the archipelago of Guadeloupe! You will need to be there when they come back from the sea after a long day at large!

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Les Saintes, Terre-de-Haut

Baie des Saintes
La Baie des Saintes, Terre de Haut

La baie des Saintes

2 of the islands are populated: Terre-de-Haut and Terre-de-Bas. It is worth a trip there! Jump onto the ferry leaving from the Capital Point a Pitre, St Francois or Trois Rivieres.

Le tourment d'amour, spécialité des Saintes
Spécialité Saintoise : le tourment d’amour

Le tourment d’amour

A quick boat trip and you will reach the wharf where the Tourment d’Amour is offering you the local delicacy of the island: a cute little pie made of sponge cake with shredded coconut, a pinch of lime zest, a touch of vanilla and a taste of cinnamon sprinkle. The recipe came from the tradition of the fishermen wives preparing daily this delicacy for their husbands coming back from work after a long day of labor at sea, giving them a taste of home, sweet home

Terre-de-Haut island is a paradise where no cars are allowed (except electric cars); you can walk all over the island or rent a bicycle or mini scooter to discover the island.

Vue du Fort Napoléon - Les Saintes
Scenic view onto les Saintes from Fort Napoléon (Napoleon Fortress)

Napoleon Fortress

Napoleon fortress, the only fortress where we ever heard a gun shot! Fort Napoleon was mostly used as a jail then was converted into a museum dedicated to the lifestyle of the islanders. Surrounding the fort, you will be able to walk through the botanical garden following the custom guard path where the vigils were protecting the island and looking for invaders and smugglers.

On the top, a breathtaking view overlooking the island of Cabrit holding the vestige of the Josephine fortress, but also the Guadeloupe islands, Dominica and Marie Galante islands.

Maison bateau d'Adolphe Catan
Maison bateau d’Adolphe Catan

The Boat house d’Adolphe Catan

An interesting construction of a house shaped as a boat that was built by Guadeloupian photographer Adolphe Catan in 1942. The building was donated to the town of Terre-de-Haut as a residence for the doctors in the islands in 1955.

Plage de Pompierre, Les Saintes
Terre de Haut – Plage de Pompierre

Pompierre beach

Probably the best beach in the island. Pompierre beach is naturally protected by a rocky barrier which provides a quiet beach perfect for swimming with family and kids. 1500 feet of white sand beach with shade areas provided by the coconut trees and the Paletuvier trees along the beach. It is also the favorite beach for the local iguanas and they will come to you as they are used to share the beach with humans.

Le Pain de Sucre, Les Saintes
Le Pain de Sure – Les Saintes

The famous sugar loaf

Famous beach fitting perfectly in a postcard moment, this is a landmark in the island! It will take you about 45 minutes walking to reach this famous location unless you rent a boat and reach the beach from the ocean. Ideal location for snorkeling with lots of colored fishes and smashing corals, a lot of local sailors Anker nearby this beach for a day to relax.

Plage de Crawen - Les Saintes
Wild beach – Les Saintes

Wild Crawen bay

Another dream location is Crawen, bay, a little wild beach far away from the town where you will feel like Robin Crusoe on his deserted island. This area is a great spot for snorkeling with a large variety of fishes and magnificent corals. Wait for the sunset before you leave as it is one of the best in the island.

But there is more to Terre-de-Haut with lots of charming little beaches like Anse Rodrigue or Anse du Figuier for example.

Débarcadère de Terre de Haut
Arrivée à Terre de Haut, Les Saintes

Take your time to discover the island

Ideally, you will need 2 days to truly embrace the island life at Terre-de-Haut; it will give you enough time to discover all the magic corners of the island, explore the villages with their colorful architecture, meet with the fisherman and the local market and enjoy the island lifestyle.

 

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