Guadeloupe consists of two main islands, southeast of Puerto Rico, between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean. A narrow channel divides Guadeloupe into the larger, western Basse-Terre Island and the smaller, eastern Grande-Terre. Basse-Terre is volcanic in origin with interior mountains. Grande-Terre is low limestone formation. Most of the other minor islands are volcanic in origin, including Îles de la Petite-Terre, Grand Ilet des Saintes, and Terre-de-Haut Island. The highest point is La Grande Soufrière volcano at 1,484 meters (4,813 feet).
The Archipel de la Guadeloupe Biosphere Reserve covers both the Guadeloupe National Park and the marine nature reserve, Grand Cul-de-Sac. A series of waterfalls on the Carbet River, known as Carbet Falls, one of the most popular tourist sites in Guadeloupe. Other protected scenic areas include Pointe de la Grande Vigie and Pointe des Châteaux. There is a botanical garden in Deshaies, Jardin botanique de Deshaies. Centre international de Plongee leads scuba diving adventures in the Jacques Cousteau Underwater Reserve, as does Les Heures Saines.
In 1493, during his second trip to America, Christopher Columbus became the first European to land on Guadeloupe, while seeking fresh water. Columbus is credited with discovering the pineapple there. The island has been settled by French people since 1635. The British successfully invaded Guadeloupe in 1759, and the defeated French agreed to trade their lands in Canada for Guadeloupe. However in 1790, following the outbreak of the French Revolution things got messy, and the British intervened again in 1794. After the islands’ slaves had rebelled and been freed, Napoleon Bonaparte restored slavery and sent a force to the island that wiped out some 10,000 rebellious Guadeloupeans in 1802. In 1810 the British seized the island again. By 1816 the French had regained control of Guadeloupe, following Napoleonic France’s defeat and surrender. Slavery was not definitvely abolished on the island until 1848. The colony of Guadeloupe did not became an overseas department of France until 1946, and now has deputies in the French National Assembly in Paris. In 2007, the island communes of Saint Martin and Saint Barthélemy were officially detached from Guadeloupe.
On Terre-de-Haut Island in the Îles des Saintes, Fort Napoléon has been turned into a museum and botantical garden. Today, the music of Guadeloupe encompasses a large popular music industry, which gained in international renown.
- L’Éco-agro-tourisme: une expérience endogène de développement local entreprise en Guadeloupe by J Raboteur & V Losange, 2011
- Valorisation de la biodiversité marine et écotourisme en Guadeloupe et dans la Caraïbe. La réintroduction de mammifères marins menacés au bénéfice d’offres alternatives de tourisme de nature by JM Breton, 2010
- Sustaınable development of tourısm in Guadeloupe by N Sonuç, 2006
- The Economic Impact of Tourism in Guadeloupe by P Bogino, 1987
- Guadeloupe: preparing spa resorts for tourism by Y Raynouard, 1985
- Tourism in Guadeloupe by JC Baptistide, 1982