Those taking the trip up the mountain can enjoy unobstructed views of the surrounding area
The Guadeloupe Islands offer a Caribbean experience that few destinations can match. The ports of Basse-Terre, Pointe à Pitre and Deshaies offer a range of activities for cruise guests, enabling them to take in the local culture and landscapes. Pointe à Pitre’s four berths enable the port to accommodate cruise ships up to 360 metres in length, while Basse-Terre’s berth can accommodate a 210-metre-long vessel. Ships visiting Deshaies, meanwhile, can stay at anchorage and tender passengers ashore to enjoy the local botanical garden, distillery and restaurants.
One of the highlights for cruise guests who are staying overnight in Guadeloupe is a night-time Klendenden hike, which is named after the Creole word for firefly. Run by eco-tourism tour operator Maranatha Tours, the trip lasts around six hours and enables groups of 10 to 12 people to hike up to ‘The Old Lady’, an active volcano also called ‘La Soufrière’ that is home to rare species including fireflies, scarab beetles and more.
The walk starts at sunset at the Yellow Baths, a relaxing natural spa which welcomes both local people and visitors. The hike continues along the Pas-du-Roy trail, which leads through the heart of the tropical forest and was once the only crossing for reaching the volcano foothills. During the walk, the guide will tell local stories and legends, including tales of the Soukounian, a mythical figure of Caribbean folklore.
At twilight, the tour proceeds to the volcano ascent by the Ladies’ path. Once guests finally reach the summit, they can enjoy a light meal made from local produce while watching the moon. The mountain offers unobstructed views of Basse-Terre and the surrounding neighbourhoods of Baillif, Gourbeyre and Trois-Rivières. When the sky is clear, it is possible to see across to the island of Grande-Terre, the second island of Guadeloupe.
This article was first published in the Spring/Summer issue of Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.
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