One experience in Guadeloupe that is an absolute must for those who crave a bit of untouched Caribbean – a rarity these days – is hopping on a ferry to spend the day on the islands of Îles des Saintes. Literally meaning “Islands of the Saints”, these small islands are largely a secret that most Americans and rarely, and I mean rarely, seen by those who travel to the Caribbean.
As a visitor to Guadeloupe, you can reach the islands by boarding a large ferry in Poite-à-Pitre, which will transport you in roughly an hour to the beautiful island of Terr-des-Haut. Or, you can drive to the town of Trois-Rivières on the wilder Basse-Terre part of Guadeloupe, and catch a smaller boat which will allow you to reach Îles des Haut in under 20 minutes.
I reached the islands through the latter option, and it was a beautiful journey to get there. Once on the island of Terre-des-Haut, I was instantly mesmerized by the crumbling Caribbean architecture, small homes, quaint village and kindness of the people.
As these islands are very, very French in their influence, it might be difficult to find an English speaker – which is the same for Guadeloupe. But, that adds to the charm.
I spent the day going in and out of boutiques and cafes, art galleries and down little alleyways to the quiet beaches. It was pure bliss. But, my favorite part of spending the day here was eating at the incredible Ti Kaz La.
Ti Kaz La is a passion project created by French transplant Mr. Philippe Dade and his wife. The location couldn’t be better as the dining room is open-air and situated directly on the sea. You can sit with your cocktail and look out over the small fishing boats in the harbor. I was a guest here the day I visited, and was treated very well.
Once seated, I was presented a menu overflowing with local specialties, seafood and Creole options that made the decision very hard to make. What was I going to choose when everything looked so incredible?
After my appetizer, entrée and dessert I was stuffed, and I didn’t want to leave.
But, I had to catch my ferry back to Guadeloupe. Îles des Saintes, in their entire splendor, is a sight to see. You cannot miss this experience when you’re in the area.