La Désirade

Guadeloupe, with La Désirade in the northeast
La Désirade Lighthouse
Pointe Doublé
Phare de la Pointe-Doublé.jpg
Pointe Doublé lighthouse in 2009
La Désirade is located in Guadeloupe
La DésiradeLa Désirade is located in Guadeloupe
La Désirade
LocationLa Désirade
Coordinates16°20′0.4″N 61°0′20.1″W / 16°20′0.4″N 61°0′20.1″W / 16.333444; -61.005583
Year first constructed1933 (first)
Constructionconcrete tower (current)
cast iron skeletal tower (first)
Tower shapetriangular prism tower with hexagonal prism balcony, lantern atop a pedestal (current)
hexagonal pyramidal skeletal tower with balcony and lantern (first)
Markings / patternwhite tower, red balcony and pedestal (current)
Tower height20 metres (66 ft)
Focal height50 metres (160 ft)
Light sourcesolar power
Range20 nautical miles (37 km; 23 mi)
CharacteristicFl (2) W 10s.
Admiralty numberJ5724
NGA number14812
ARLHS numberGUA-005[1][2]

La Désirade is an island in the French West Indies. It forms part of Guadeloupe, an overseas region of France.

Geography and geology

The island of La Désirade is located at the eastern end of Guadeloupe island group, in the Lesser Antilles. It lies about 8 km off the coast of Grande-Terre, which is the eastern half of the island of Guadeloupe. Its coordinates are 16°19′N 61°3′W / 16°19′N 61°3′W / 16.317; -61.050.

The island is 11 km long and 2 km wide; the interior of the island forms a central plateau.[3] It has a land area of 20.64 km2 (7.97 sq mi) and a population of 1,595 in 2006, with a population density of 77 inh. per km² (200 inh. per sq. mile) in 2006. Most residents live in the settlement of Beauséjour (formerly known as Grande-Anse).

Geologically speaking, La Désirade is the oldest island in the Lesser Antilles with its most ancient rocks, at 145 million years old,[4] being found at the easternmost point of the island. The beach at Pointe Doublé is frequently visited by geologists who come to examine the basalt and composite rocks, which give the area its striking multi-coloured appearance. The island has its own lapidary, which transforms the rocks found on the island into jewellery and souvenirs.