Guadeloupe is one of the best places in the Caribbean to dive, snorkel, hike, bird watch, explore a pristine tropical rainforest, discover a unique culture or simply relax on one of the secluded beaches. With its exclusive resorts and fine dining, this island destination appeals to the discerning visitor. Sprawled over an area of 1,702 sq km, Guadeloupe nestles in the eastern Caribbean Sea. It is a conglomeration of five separate islands of Basse-Terre, Grande-Terre, La Désirade, Les Saintes and Marie-Galante. More or less flat plains amidst rolling mountain ranges are the common topographical features of Guadeloupe with the exception of Basse-Terre, which has an active volcanic region. Hurricanes are the most common natural hazards of this island region.
First explored by Columbus in fifteenth century, Guadeloupe was home to Arawak Amerindians for a long time. French colonisation began in 1635, and in 1674 Guadeloupe became part of the domain of France. In 1946, it graduated to an overseas department of France and is one of such 26 French territories around the world. Apart from tourism, Guadeloupe’s economy survives on agriculture, light industry and services.