Destinations > Caribbean > Guadeloupe

Guadeloupe Facts & Figures

Flag of Guadeloupe
Total area: 1,780 sq km (687 sq mi)
Population (2007 est.): 456,698
Capital: Basse-Terre - 44,900 (urban area)
Largest city: Abymes - 65,700; Pointe-à-Pitre - 20,000
Currency: Euro
Languages: French 99% (official), Creole patois
Ethnicity: black or mulatto 90%, white 5%, East Indian, Lebanese, Chinese
Religions: Roman Catholic 95%, Hindu and pagan African 4%, Protestant 1%
Time zone: GMT-4; Daylight Savings Time is not observed
Electricity: AC 230V/50Hz; European two-pin plugs are used

Guadeloupe is a French overseas department, located in the eastern Caribbean, at the arc of the Leeward group of islands of the Lesser Antilles. Guadeloupe comprises five islands: Basse-Terre Island, Grande-Terre (separated from Basse-Terre by a narrow sea channel called Salt River) and the adjacent islands of La Désirade, Les Saintes and Marie-Galante.

The two main islands of Guadeloupe, Grande-Terre and Basse-Terre form a shape of a butterfly, thus sometimes Guadeloupe is called the "Butterfly Island". The eastern island, Grande-Terre, covering area of 590 sq km (228 sq mi) is the economic center of the region, with ports, airports and industrial zones in or near its capital, Pointe-a-Pitre. Large white sand beaches and sugarcane plantations cover majority of the rest of the island.

While Grande-Terre is geologically a low limestone formation featuring rolling hills and flat plains, the west island, Basse-Terre, that covers 848 sq km (327.4 sq mi) is volcanic in origin. It features green and lush vegetation, interior mountains and the active volcano of the Soufriere which is the highest point of the Lesser Antilles (1,467 m / 4,813 ft).

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