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Meet Guadeloupe, Your Favorite New Caribbean Islands

by Team Fathom
The Welcome to the Guadeloupe Islands. All photos courtesy of the Guadeloupe Islands.

Presented in partnership with The Guadeloupe Islands Tourist Board.

Imagine designing a perfect island vacation.

You'd start with the land itself. Make it stunning, with gorgeous beaches — hundreds of them! with white and gold and black sand! — and dramatic volcanoes and waterfalls. To ensure as much diversity as possible, you'd make this wonderland five different islands, and, for good measure, would preserve more than half the land as a natural reserves and parks. The surrounding waters, both the Atlantic and the Caribbean, would be ideal for surfing and for mind-blowing snorkeling and scuba. And whale watching! The people — a melting pot of ethnicities — would have rich folklore, language, music, and traditions. The food and drink would be incredible, inspired by the island's many spices, the abundant local seafood, and a strong French influence.

As a final touch, you'd want your island paradise to feel undiscovered, so that you're the first of your friends to go there and get all the bragging rights.

Open your eyes. Welcome to the Guadeloupe Islands.

The Secret Is Out

There's a reason the locals call it "Our Petit Secret," as the islands have been sitting under the radar for far too long. (The French, on the other hand, those global experts on having fun, have been coming here for ages.)

But word will start getting out when JetBlue launches new direct seasonal flights from New York's JFK to Pointe-à-Pitre in February. Leaving three times a week, this will make the formerly hard-to-get-to islands much more accessible, even for short winter getaways. Direct flights are also available from Miami.

Because whether your holiday plans call for a quick weekend escape or a languid sojourn, you'll find more than enough to fill your days.

The Food! The Action! The Beach!

The main islands, Grande Terre and Basse Terre, are shaped like a butterfly (so cute...), with capital city Pointe-à-Pitre in the middle. A sort of the New Orleans of the Caribbean, the city is known for its culture (including Memorial ACTe, the largest slave museum in the world, and the winter Carnival from January to Ash Wednesday), music (Gwo-Ka drumming is inscribed on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity), and cuisine.

The Guadeloupe Islands are part of France, which means the French-trained local chefs serve incredible French-Creole cuisine (notably at Chez Evelyn and La Touna) and that authentic boulangeries, patisseries, and cheese and wine shops are easy to find (beach picnic!). The pastries and ice cream chef Fabienne Youyoutte makes at Désirs du Palais earned her the honor of French artisan of the year. And a bottle of rum made from local sugarcane and sampled at a tasting a Bologne distillery makes a fine souvenir.

You can spend your days hiking the waterfalls Cascade Aux Ecrevisses and Saut d’Acomat; climbing the active (but safe) volcano in Soufrière; exploring Cousteau Reserve, a protected underwater National Park; and zip-lining in Les Mamelles Park — or you can simply lie in the sun doing very little on the one of Guadeloupe's 350 beaches, including popular landmark Grande-Anse or the secluded and beautiful Anse Laborde in Anse-Bertrand and Salines near La Pointe-des-Chateaux.

This is only the beginning of what you can be among the first to do and discover in the Guadeloupe Islands, the best-kept secret in the Caribbean — and your new favorite island getaway.

Win a Trip to Guadeloupe

To celebrate the new JetBlue direct flights from New York's JFK, Guadeloupe Islands are giving away a trip, with two round-trip tickets to Pointe-à-Pitre and seven nights at ClubMed La Caravelle, a newly-renovated, all-inclusive, four-star, beachfront resort.

Enter now!

Presented in partnership with The Guadeloupe Islands Tourist Board.

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