A visit to Guadeloupe can be as varied as the flowers, cuisine and music found on the six idyllic inhabited isles and a handful of smaller ones that make up its archipelago. Reactions to Guadeloupe often fall into the love-it-or-hate-it category. For some visitors, the beauty of the geography, the warmth of the native Creole population, the superlative cuisine and the potential for adventurous activities are so compelling that they never leave. Others, particularly those who arrive here for a few hours of frenzied shopping and don’t venture past the decrepit Pointe-a-Pitre, do not care for what they experience and never return.

For many newcomers, this set of outcroppings in the blue waters of the Lesser Antilles is paradise, thanks to the pristine beaches, accommodation options and French-inspired cuisine. The boisterous backdrop of gwo-ka music, beguine dancing and other colorful Creole traditions are unique and unforgettable. Guadeloupe offers something for all tastes, budgets and philosophies in one location.

Dust off your French-language dictionary, but don't be overly concerned about your grammar. Guadeloupe natives are Creole speakers, meaning that you will hear a melange of words borrowed from English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and African dialects, spoken in a singsong patois. Listen to the locals talking among themselves and you will soon understand that laughter is never far away from any verbal exchange and that Guadeloupe is about passion for life in many forms. So relax, smile a lot and begin each attempt at communication with a sincere "Bonjour." The rest will pleasantly surprise you.

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