Accessible by sea (45 minutes from Saint-François) or by air (15 minutes from the Pôle Caraïbes airport), the island has a single road that runs its length and is fun to explore on foot, by bike or scooter. This peaceful and remote island is an 11-kilometer stretch of tabular rock. Swimmer, divers, and hikers alike flock to the island for its beautiful white sandy beaches protected by long coral reefs and the warm hospitality of its inhabitants.
La Désirade is now classed as a national natural reserve. It is the second site in Guadeloupe to make it in the Journal Officiel (official gazette of the French Republic), the sixth of the French Overseas Territories, but the very first entirely classified Geological Natural Reserve. As a result, Guadeloupe’s Ecotourism has been thriving since 2009, and they have since signed a Charter of sustainable development (installation of a wind farm in 1993).
Major sites include:
Petite-Rivière—the ideal beach for scuba diving
Le Morne du Souffleur—a short, one-hour hike that promises the most breathtaking views
Beauséjour—a long, fine sandy beach
The ruins of the old leprosy hospital and the former cotton plant
Petite-Terre—two islands that were classified a nature reserve in 1998. A site of remarkable biological diversity due to the juxtaposition of different natural environments over a small surface area (forests, salt marshes, sandy beaches, cliffs, the lagoon, coral reefs, and a lush marine environment)