Marie Galante
Near the Island of Guadeloupe

Marie Galante is a small island next to Guadeloupe Island and belonging to the French Caribbean Islands. It is becoming an important tourist attraction in the French West Indies.

They call it the best kept secret of the Caribbean. It features spectacular French Beaches and turquoise lagoons as well as picturesque villages adorning the beautiful green hills.

Picturesque Marie Galante in the French Caribbean

Picturesque Marie Galante in the French Caribbean

One of Guadeloupe Islands

The island, located about 28 Km south of Guadeloupe Island, is round and flat and has an area of 158 Sq Km or 63 sq miles.

It has 12,500 inhabitants and hosts three important towns or villages. It is easily accessible from Guadeloupe. It takes 45 minutes by boat or 15 minutes by plane.

Getting there

First you have to arrive to Guadeloupe Island. There are flights from Europe and North America as well as many flights from Puerto Rico and the other Caribbean Islands to Pointe A Pitre.

Map of Guadeloupe and its islands

Map of Guadeloupe and its islands

Getting around

  • By bus

There are some bus services that offer one day tours to visit this tranquil and laid back island.

  • By car rental

There are a few car rental companies offering this service. It is very easy to get around the island. It’s small and the people are friendly. There are not many road signs, so be prepared to get lost a few times. That may result into great experiences. Driving is on the right hand side of the road.

  • By scooter or bike

The real explorers enjoy visiting the island with their bikes or scooters. It gives them the comfort of visiting exotic beaches and coves, that couldn’t be reaches otherwise.

French law requires you wear a helmet and have a driving license if you want to use a scooter

Marie Galante

One of the idyllic beaches of the island

One of the idyllic beaches of the island


The beaches are considered among the best in the Caribbean. In the many beaches that this island offers you can find all kind of water sports like Caribbean Snorkeling and Scuba Diving.

But there is more than beaches in this little paradise, as an example the breathtaking Gueule Grand Gouffre (The mouth of the Giant) and the Trou a Diable (The Devils Hole) with its subterranean lake.

World renowned rum of the island

World renowned rum of the island

Sugar cane

The island is essentially rural and the growing of sugar cane is part of the island’s culture.

Grande Anse Refinery is one of two sugar processors in Guadeloupe and is located in this tiny island. They also have a few distilleries preparing one of the world’s best rum.

The busiest town where most of the inhabitants live is Grand Bourg and the rest are evenly divided among the other coastal villages of Saint Louis and Capesterre.

Gueule Grand Gouffre or the Mouth of the Giant

Gueule Grand Gouffre or the Mouth of the Giant

When you arrive on the island is like you are visiting the Antilles 50 years ago, before the arrival of modernity and masses of tourists to the bigger islands.

It has remained rural over the years and it is common to see wooden chariots loaded with sugar cane hauled on oxen pulled cabrouets. T

hese sights are what make Marie Galante worth a visit. Traditions are well kept here and everything you see on the island is genuine.

The traditional rum distilleries still function a la “Old Time” and sugar cane is still carried to the distilleries by oxcarts. Close your eyes, and think you are back on the 19th Century.

By the way, the rum is excellent and can be purchased on the spot.

A visit of a few days or even for a day tour to Marie Galante is an exceptional experience. Visiting this tiny island will bring you back to those days when the Caribbean was untouched by big hotels and resorts and all advances of modern life.

For more information visit Guadeloupe Tourism websie

Go back in time when visiting this amazing island

Go back in time when visiting this amazing island

Image Credits:
marie galante beach by lefalther

All courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

From Marie Galante go to French Caribbean

Go to Tuchman Beaches Guide Home Page

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