Known for its lively nightlife, clear waters and stunning beaches, Guadeloupe is a group of nine islands with a population of about 400,000 and a land space of 1,628 sq kilometers. Originally the American inhabitants called the island ‘Karukera’, which signifies ‘the island of beautiful waters’. Located in the Eastern Caribbean, Guadeloupe comprises two major butterfly shaped islands of Grande-Terre and Basse-Terre and several smaller islands such as La Desirable, Marie-Galante, Iles des Saintes, Saint-Barthelemy, Saint Martin and Iles de la Petite Terre, of which St Martin is contributed to the Dutch Kingdom. The Isles were occupied by the French in 1763.
In 1493, Christopher Columbus visited the island and renamed it after a Spanish monastery, Virgin Mary. The Carib Indians however opposed the Spanish attempts to inhabit the islands. In 1635, the French colonists came across the islands and since then it became a French colony. In the eighteenth and the early nineteenth centuries, British made several occupations of Guadeloupe but finally it was reinstated to France. By 1946, Guadeloupe became a certified French Department and a region of France since the 1980s.
Guadeloupe is divided into two islands by the narrow bridged strait, Riviere Salee. They are the smaller, eastern wing Grande Terre and the larger, western wing Basse Terre. They are generally observed as the wings of butterfly, relaxing on the Caribbean. These islands are famed for its rainforest, brimming with wildlife and highest rainfall and indeed white sandy stunning beaches, most of which are wonderful and well sheltered for seaside fun and swimming.
Grande Terre offers tourists plenty of fun in the sun. From beach bars to surfing schools to vast stretches of sand, Grande Terre has series of beach towns, flat plains and rolling hills. As compared to the eastern wing, the western wing, Basse Terre is wetter and cooler on its highest point, La Soufriere. It is also an abode to the national park; hiking trails and offers unlimited adventure for those who seek for refreshing holidays.
Being a part of France, the island belongs to the Eurozone and the European Union and hence its currency is Euro. Basse-Terre is the capital of Guadeloupe. Biguine is the popular dance form of the island, which till now is performed in colorful Creole dress. The culture and people of the place are a pleasant blend of African, European and East Indian origin. Guadeloupe is in fact an amazing place to learn French, especially all through the cold winter months. It is usually considered as having one of the best diving spots in the world.
To visit Guadeloupe, there are regular flights from Montreal, Miami and Paris and from other Caribbean islands. Ferry services are also available to the tourists from nearby islands such as St Lucia and Martinique. The best time of the year to travel to Guadeloupe is from December to May. It is because at this time the weather is dry and warm, while the rest of the year, that is between July and November, the weather is wet, hot and humid. Tourists seeking more information of the place can search for it on the Internet.