Petite-Terre is a groupe of 2 islands not far from the shore of Grande Terre, the biggest island of Guadeloupe. A protected Nature reserve, only one island can be accessed by humans to discover the rick land a marine fauna. Welcome to paradise!
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INFO & PLANNING TIPS - Petite Terre islands
Since 1998, both islands of Petite Terre are protected as a marine and terrestrial nature reserve. One island (Terre-de-haut) is not even accessible to people in order to preserve the wildlife balance both on the land and in the sea. It is especially a great living place for tutles and a special breed of iguanas.
Terre-de-bas is accessible to people with respect to the fauna and flora. Rangers are stationned there year-round.
TIPS FOR TRAVEL PLANNING ADDICTS - Petite Terre islands
Getting to Petite Terre Islands
- Petite Terre can be reached by catamaran (1h30) or speed boat (less than 1 hour).
- Only few boats and companies are allowed to organize tour to these Islands
Review of Catamaran Day Trip with Uhaina Cruises
Note: I selected that tour myself and I paid fully for it.
- Boat: the boat as in great shape. There was sufficient space for people to chose where to settle: on the net, on the outside floor, inside, on the higher benches (for those who get sea sick)
- Team: Generally they were all nice and competent. However I got a bit annoyed by some comments by the pilot
- Food: fantastic. They cooked what we caught in the net during the morning sail over a fire and then soem bananas 🙂
- Snorkelling equipment: in good condition
Departing at 7:30 from Saint Francois harbour, the beginning of the sailing was quiet as we moved along Grande Terre all the way to pointe des chateaux. As we progressed, the waves started getting bigger and it was time to protect the camera!
Small hike on the island
We disembarked the catamaran via small speed boats and walked along the beach to settle next to the cooking facilities. While lunch was being prepared, it was time to walk around to discover the lighthouse, a bit of history of the island and stunning views with the rock formations of Pointe des chateaux in the background.
The iguanas of Petite Terre, Iguana delicatissima, are a protected. They are roughly 10000 on both islands (one third of the total population). If you look for them, they are easy to spot on top of the trees or absorbing the heat on rocks. They even sometimes come say hello on the beach.
They are vegetarien and can reach 1m60 long!
I also spotted an iguana on Grande terre, at the La Caravelle beach.
Relaxing and eating under the palm trees
The palm trees are not native from the island. It is quite obvious when you see they are only at one stop and well aligned. However we still enjoyed the shade while we were savoring our fresh fish and bananas
Petite Terre has some of the best beaches in Guadeloupe.
Petite Terre: the marine life
Petite Terre has a coral barrier that is easy to reach from the beach. There we observed many colorful and transparent fishes.
There is also another location where turtles tend to swim. My friend and I were lucky to swim over one which came to the surface to breathe and then dived back. We also quickly saw a lemon shark.
Later I spotted another one (or was it the same) and I was been luckier as it stayed at the surface swimming next to me. One of my best experience so far.
Sadly I had no waterproof cameras so no pictures of those amazing observations.
Want to see MORE of GUADELOUPE?
Discover more things to do with planning information and photos in my online Guadeloupe Travel Guide.
Looks like paradise, doesn't it?
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