The active volcano La Soufrière, in the south of Basse-Terre, produces Peléan eruptions that spew viscous lava; its last violent eruption dates back to 1976-1977. Since then, La Soufrière has been constantly monitored, so rest assured you will be closely watched over for the three hours it takes for ascent and descent. You can organise this hike on your own or with an experienced guide who will show you all the depths and chasms of the 'Old Lady'.
Depending on the weather, try to opt for a morning walk to get to the top under a cloudless sky. If you leave from the Bains Jaunes carpark, you should reach the top in 90 minutes. On a clear day the view over Les Saintes, Marie-Galante, and Dominica is beautiful. Enjoy this interlude before the rocky path of the Chemin des Dames, no less than 300 metres up.
To really test your commitment, the last 50 metres of the climb are the steepest. Your reward at the top is the spectacular 360° view of Guadeloupe and its surrounding islets. It is just as beautiful on a cloudy day, when the landscape appears lunar and spooky.