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Some say if you’ve seen one island in the Caribbean, you’ve seen them all. And while the similarities between some countries may make that sentiment true, I can say for sure Guadeloupe is not like the rest.

Antilles Françaises
Pointe à Pitre
la cathédrale Saint Pierre Saint Paul

Governed by President François Hollande, Guadeloupe is a part of the French republic, though located in the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean. As such, your French better be superb if you’re considering a voyage to the small island which, by the way, has become easier now thanks to direct flights on Norwegian airlines. (FYI, you won’t get any free snacks or beverages –not even water- on the low-cost European line, but their free WiFi during my four-hour flight worked better than any connection I’ve paid for on an American airline).

Coming across someone who spoke English during my recent 5-night stay at Le Créole Beach Resort and Spa, be it hotel and restaurant staff or strangers on the street, was a true treat — and rarity. I could tell by the number of French Europeans on holiday at the resort that that fact adds to the island’s allure. You’ll also need to check your dollars at the door. Only Euros are good here.

Despite those “inconveniences,” as some might call them, which make Guadeloupe a Caribbean destination that requires a bit more pre-planning than say a quick escape to Jamaica, the island also has a host of offerings you won’t find anywhere else in the middle of the Atlantic. Here are just a few that might make you want to put Guadeloupe on your next travel vision board. But, as one local woman advised regarding my journalistic assignment to entice Americans to visit Guadeloupe: “Tell them they can come, but they need to leave it like it is.”

Entendu (understood).

Plage de Malendure.

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