Observe some of the Caribbean’s more exotic species in Guadeloupe’s spectacular zoological park, followed by a hike to one of the island’s most beautiful waterfalls.
Depart from the pier and drive west onto Basse-Terre, the less developed of the main islands that comprise Guadeloupe. Here, in the shadow of sprawling Guadeloupe National Park, you will find the Zoological and Botanical Park of Guadeloupe.
Nature reigns supreme in this hilltop park. Its collection of exotic and endangered flora and fauna presents a side of the tropics rarely seen. The forest paths are flanked by a variety of flowering plants such as birds of paradise, bright yellow cannas and wild orchids. For an entirely different perspective of the tropical foliage, you may follow the suspended wooden bridges through the treetop canopy. Standing on the walkway, 65 feet or so above the forest floor, you will enjoy a literal bird’s-eye view of the surrounding area.
The park originally served as a protected nature reserve for raccoons and today, the diversity of animals within the park is remarkable. Spider monkeys, squirrel monkeys, jaguars, ocelots and all sorts of colorful parrots can be seen. There is even an unusual insectarium with displays featuring industrious cassava ants and massive Hercules rhinoceros beetles, named for the hornlike structures on the heads of the males.
After exploring this park, you will drive into nearby Guadeloupe National Park and walk to Crayfish Falls, known as Cascade des Ecrevisses on French Guadeloupe. It’s a lovely setting to relax and enjoy nature before driving back to the pier.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 2 1/2 hours of easy to moderate walking. There will be uneven and natural terrain to negotiate which can become slippery if wet. The wooden suspension bridges can have some significant movement and sway and there is space between the wooden slats. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and may not be suitable for those with mobility concerns who will not be able to participate in the treetop walk across the bridges. Those with a fear of heights are also cautioned against participating in the treetop walk. Light-weight clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; insect repellant; a bottle of water from the ship; and flat, comfortable hiking/walking shoes with a non-slip sole are recommended.