The tropical forest and the mountains of Basse-Terre are areas of exceptional bio-diversity and have been protected since the 1970s when the local council decided to protect natural heritage by creating a park, managed by the ONF (national forestry) and equipping it with trails and facilities. By 1977, the idea of protecting the park further by creating a natural reserve was forwarded, although it was not implemented until February 20, 1989. The management of the Natural Reserve of Grand-Cul-de-Sac Marin created in 1987 was turned over to the National Park in 1990. The UNESCO gave international recognition to the Natural Reserve by designating it as the biosphere reserve of “ Guadeloupe Archipelago”.
Information concerning all protected sites:
Flora and fauna are protected throughout natural reservations.
Under water, several guidelines are to be followed for an enjoyable sea hike.
– Keep your flippers away from coral reefs, coral is fragile and breaks easily, remain in a floating position and lower your flippers onto sandy beds only.
– Refrain from touching any living creatures, especially those which may be dangerous such as stingrays, lionfish, barracuda, lemon shark. As for turtles and dolphins, they should be given a wide berth and observed without being touched or fed.
– Shells and coral skeletons should be left where they are found, rather than taken away from the beaches where they will erode and become sand.
– On land observe rather than touch, iguanas can be approached and actually enjoy posing to be photographed. Do not attempt to touch them, however.
Plants are also protected and should neither be touched nor picked.
Enjoy your visit
Source: Guadeloupe Forever
The most interesting sites in the Natural Park are:
– The Soufrière volcano, 1, 467 meters the highest point of the Petites Antilles
– The Grand Sans Toucher and the Petit Sans Toucher
– The Carbet waterfalls, the le saut de la Lézarde waterfalls and the Ecrevisse waterfalls
– The Deux Mamelles et the Traversée route
– The Roches Gravées, in Trois Rivières
– The natural reserve of Grand-Cul-de-Sac-Marin
– The trails and paths, which cover the park territory
– The Petite Terre isles, which became Natural Reserve and managed by ONF (national forestry) in 1998. Access to the desert isles is limited to protect natural heritage.