Guadeloupe
Yacht Charter & Sailing Vacations

Guadeloupe • Where to go • When to go • What you should know • How to Book

The French Butterfly Island! The French Creole archipelago of Guadeloupe in the Leeward Islands is centered around two main (connected) islands that form a butterfly shape—Grande Terre in the east and Basse-Terre in the west.  These, plus the other archipelago islands including the Iles des Saintes, Marie-Galante, and the Desirade, provide a dramatic landscape with volcanic and tropical scenery (2/3 of the islands are “natural reserves”) and crystal clear blue waters full of marine life.

Although less frequented than other sailing destinations, the French Creole culture and cuisine, vibrant music, fruit plantations, and activities on land and at sea make Guadeloupe a sailor’s paradise perfect for “la belle la vie”—the beautiful life. Guadeloupe is one of our top picks!

What is a sailing vacation, yacht charter, etc..? Learn more here ›

sailing in guadaloupe islands

GUADELOUPE YACHT CHARTER SUMMARY

We’ve been there!

With nothing better to do one Christmas, we jumped a flight and explored the Guadeloupe archipelago for 7 days on a sailing yacht. Afterward, we toured around the lush island of Grande Terre in the east. Turns out, we were right. There is nothing better to do than this type of trip. And now, Guadeloupe is a favorite including Iles des Saintes where we woke Christmas morning touring the bay in our dinghy announcing Merry Christmas while wearing a Grinch suit. Never to be forgotten! Oh and best ever Croissants – of course they are – it is a French Island after all.

The Grinch in Iles Des Saintes

The Grinch in Iles des Saintes

Climate and When to go?

A Guadeloupe yacht charter is generally a year-round sailing destination.

  • Jan-June is prime-time and is the driest season but the waters and winds are most calm during summer.  The winter season can bring about higher winds.
  • While June through November is typically the Caribbean hurricane season, Guadeloupe is decently far south to not generally be affected.

Guadeloupe has a tropic climate with two main seasons:  the dry season between January through June and a wet season from July to December.  During this wet season, you’ll encounter short tropical rain storms.  Winds average 20-25 knots.  Temperatures average between 80-86 F year-round.

Sailing Requirements

Guadeloupe Bareboat charter requirements:

Sailing Resume

Certification

License

Learn more at Yacht Charter Resources ›

Sailing Skill Level

Knowledge – Skills – Experience:

✔ Intermediate Plus

This charter area provides for line-of-sight sailing.  There are plenty of protected bays for mooring but winds and current can be irregular during the rainy season. However, there are many reefs requiring that navigation skills are paramountly important. With stronger trade winds come bigger seas – check the wind and swell forecasts every day and plan accordingly.


Sailing Skill Levels ›

How to get there?

Fly into Pointe-à-Pitre International Airport (PTP).  Many US cities provide regular flights to Pointe-a-Pitre.  Or you can find connecting flights through neighboring islands such as St. Martin or Antigua.  The charter bases are primarily located in Bas du Fort about 10 -15 min away from the airport.

Cuisine and Interest

Guadeloupe has a rich culinary culture: Creole fusion.  A mix of Caribbean, Indian, African, and Asian influences produce delicious fresh seafood and fruit/vegetable dishes.  In the morning enjoy French croissants and pastries; for lunch, dine on delicious cheeses and champagnes, and for dinner you’ll find a mix of upscale lobster/seafood dishes to the national dish of curry spiced stew (porc-colombo) to the bokit street food sandwich carefully designed with seafood/meat, curry sauce, and cheese wrapped in fried dough.

Jacques Cousteau himself declared the Guadeloupe area as a world’s top site for diving and snorkeling. If you are visiting Iles des Saintes (a must) visit Pain de Sucre (https://www.snorkeling-report.com/spot/snorkeling-pain-de-sucre-guadeloupe/)

Here is another good resource for snorkeling spots in Guadeloupe – https://snorkelaroundtheworld.com/2020/12/guadeloupe-snorkeling-spots/

Must See & Do

  • Visit Pointe-à-Pitre, the island’s biggest city and center of tourism also dubbed the New Orleans of the Caribbean
  • Island hop to the other Guadeloupe archipelago islands.  Short sail to several other islands of the archipelago including  Les Saintes, La Desirade, Petite Terre, Marie Galante.
  • Water activities: kitesurfing, windsurfing, scuba diving, snorkeling, and fishing
  • Enjoy the culture of zouk music and dance
  • Wanting a longer sail?  Sail to Dominica.  Dominica is located about 20-mile jump south from Iles des Saintes.
  • Colorful beaches—black sand volcanic beaches, golden Granse Anse beach, and Sainte Anne white beaches.
  • Scuba diving and snorkeling.  Visit Guadeloupe’s Jacques  Cousteau Underwater Reserve (Réserve Cousteau).  Suitable for beginner snorkelers to advance scuba divers, this reserve hosts a variety of marine life.
  • Nature Parks.  Visit the Guadeloupe National Park in Basse-Terre, a UNESCO reserve
  • Trek the La Soufrière volcano. La Grande Soufriere is an active volcano in Basse-Terre.  It rises over 1400 m high.  Although the last formal eruption was during the 1500s, there was substantial enough activity in the late 1970s to lead to a mass evacuation and small eruption
  • Rum tasting/tours.  Visit a distillery and sample of Guadeloupe’s finest runs. They are famous for the increased alcohol content as compared to other Caribbean runs.

Guadeloupe Bareboat Charter Sample Itineraries

Where to go on a Guadeloupe sailing vacation?

Scroll below for sample itineraries or use the map to explore.

Sample Itineraries:

A 7-day Guadeloupe yacht charter is going to go by very quick – thus we recommend 10 days if you can. In particular, you’ll want to spend a few nights at a minimum in Iles Des Saintes where there is plenty of snorkeling and hikes.

Guadeloupe Sailing Vacation Related Blog Posts

NauticEd Guadeloupe Customer Experiences

We had a great time in Guadeloupe and everything with the charter was great. We sailed about 135 miles and also visited the islands south of Guadeloupe. I’m already thinking about the next Caribbean trip, which might be a couple weeks in St. Maarten in January.

Thank you for your help arranging things!

Kevin W.

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Guadeloupe was amazing and we especially loved scootering around Marie Galante and visiting the islands of Iles Des Saintes. The French culture in the middle of the Caribbean made it a very fun and culinary delight of an adventure.

We appreciate the insight and help you gave to make our vacation the best.

Deborah C. and crew

A GUADELOUPE YACHT CHARTER SOUNDS AMAZING!
I’D LIKE TO…

NauticEd are expert Guadeloupe yacht charter agents. We don’t charge you a fee and can more than likely save you money on all your sailing vacations. We search the world’s databases for over 8,000 yachts in 55 destinations. We give expert advice on where and when to go – likely, we’ve been there. Make an inquiry and book your sailing vacations through NauticEd Sailing Vacations.

Additional Notes

Sailing Skill Levels

Local Knowledge + Education: as Sailing Vacation Experts, NauticEd’s team has chartered and sailed in almost all these locations – providing you with the “local knowledge” you need when planning a sailing vacation. And, as the leader in sailing education, NauticEd assigns different skill levels based on the knowledge-theory and practical/experience needed for chartering in different sailing locations.

Recommended Knowledge-Theory Courses for chartering: Bareboat Charter Master Bundle (six bareboat and near coastal courses), Catamaran Sailing Confidence (if chartering a Cat), Yacht Charter Crew Course (for your crew).

Skill Levels notably emphasize the overall practical experience and competency that is required to sail in certain areas. Of course, the “devil’s in the details” on specifics, and we recommend you contact us when planning a sailing vacation. We’ll save you money on your vacation – which is great – but being prepared to have safe fun experiences that will last a lifetime is priceless!

• Intermediate = Near Coastal <5nm within sight of land, some navigation hazards (always be aware), and generally mild weather conditions. Good seapersonship (i.e., “seamanship”) skills, knowledge, and experience apply.

• Intermediate +Plus = Near Coastal <15nm, within sight of land in clear atmospheric conditions, moderate navigation hazards, and/or challenging weather. Good seapersonship skills, knowledge, and experience apply.

• Advanced = Near Coastal <20nm, within sight of land in clear atmospheric conditions, many navigation hazards, and/or potentially difficult weather. Expert seapersonship skills, knowledge, and experience apply.

*Atmospheric conditions: from the deck of a sailboat, your “visible horizon” is about 12nm on a clear day (considering typical freeboard + your height). Visibility is decreased by haze, fog, rain, smoke, and similar atmospheric considerations. Navigating by line of sight is obviously greater if your destination has features such as mountains, lighthouses, tall buildings, etc…

*Navigational hazards may include features such as rocks, shoals, rough inlets or anchorages, challenging tides and currents, lee shores, commercial traffic, etc…

*Weather: examples of challenging or difficult weather include thunder/lightning storms, areas prone to high winds, or even seasonal risks such as excessive heat.

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