Guadeloupe: Deshaies

The commune of Deshaies sits on the northwest coast of Basse-Terre Island. The term “Deshaisiens” is the name given to the 4,000 residents who inhabit the area. Historical evidence suggests that the Deshaies was established in 1493. Explorers considered the bay to be deepest and best protected along the Caribbean coast, serving as an ideal shelter and hiding place for pirates and other adventures. Many believe hidden treasure lies somewhere on the island. Due to its remote geographical location, settlers formed an independent colony there during the 1700s. In 1732, the Governor recognized Deshaies as an official community. The long distance of 31 miles (50 km) between Deshaies and Basse-Terre caused many issues. A road connecting the chief town of Basse-Terre to Point Noire was constructed in 1922 to resolve this problem. In 1957, the route was further extended to the town of Deshaies.