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Guadeloupe

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Canella Beach Hotel Gosier
Canella Beach Hotel Gosier - dream vacation

Pointe de la Verdure, BP73, Le Gosier

Karaibes Hotel
Karaibes Hotel - dream vacation

Route des Hotels, Pointe de la Verdure, Le Gosier

Hotel Saint John Perse
Hotel Saint John Perse - dream vacation

Quai Des Croisieres, Pointe-a-Pitre

Hotel Residence Golf Village
Hotel Residence Golf Village - dream vacation

96 Les Hauts De Saint Francois, Saint-Francois

Guadeloupe, known as Gwadloup in the local creole, and sometimes known as the Butterfly Island (French: l'île Papillon) on account of the shape of two of its major islands, is a group of islands in the eastern Caribbean, and is a French overseas department. It is located southeast of Puerto Rico.

Islands

  • Basse Terre: green and lush vegetation, mountainous with a sulphuric volcano.
  • Grande Terre: flat and dry with a lot of beaches, some of them very touristic.
  • Marie Galante: the biggest island out of mainland Guadeloupe.
  • Les Saintes: composed of Terre de Haut and Terre de Bas, one of the most beautiful bays.
  • La Désirade: dry and cliffy.
  • Petite Terre: uninhabited and untamed.

Cities

Grande Terre

  • Pointe-à-Pitre: with its suburbs, it is the economic capital of Guadeloupe
  • Gosier: maybe one of the most interesting places of Guadeloupe to enjoy nightlife. (You can enter most nightclubs with proper clothes, that is, no sneakers, no shorts)
  • St François if you go at the eastern point of Guadeloupe, you will reach La Pointe des Chateaux, a scenery made of sand and rocks which have vaguely the shape of a castle. From there, you can look up at the islands La Désirade, Petite Terre, Marie Galante, Les Saintes, La Dominique but also have a perfect view of the islands Grande Terre and far away Basse Terre.
  • St Anne a very nice but also very touristy city and beach (maybe the tourists primary area of Guadeloupe). L'Americano, bd Georges Mandel, 0590 88 38 99: bar/restaurant offers free salsa courses on Saturdays and live performances some days. You will find all kind of bars. You can try Club Med, 0590 85 49 50 fax: 0590 85 49 59 (for instance, others resort may propose this formula too) for a one day all inclusive (breakfast, buffet, bars, drinks, beach volley, windsurf, boat, gym, dance courses...) for about €46, so it may be a good deal (as it costs €7 one hour of windsurf).
  • Morne à l'eau, renowned for its amazing cemetery composed of burial places made of black and white tiles.
  • Anse Bertrand, not far from there, you can visit La pointe de la Grande Vigie, northern point of mainland Guadeloupe. You can also go to Porte d'Enfer, a beautiful still stripe of sea between a scenery of reefs. From there, walk one hour along the cliff, and you will discover a Souffleur, kind of geyser due to the pressure of the sea.
  • Abymes nothing special to see, but the weekend, there are 3 local nightclubs: L'instant, Caraibes and Latin Club. They are located at the same place.
  • Baie-Mahault: the industrial and commercial zone of Guadeloupe, nothing special to do or see. Here stands the biggest shopping mall of the island. Not too far from there, you can find a local bar/nightclub named Bik Kreyol, Beau Soleil, 0590 25 80 46 or 0590 92 06 48 (Entrance €5, Drinks €3). Local music (ragga, zouk, rnb) and local customers. The building is typical, it's a former warehouse.

Other destinations

Don't miss the spectacular waterfalls in the jungle of Basse-Terre (Carbet Falls). Some are within 5–10 minutes walking distance from the nearest parking lot, some require at least 3–4 hours of hiking (those are, of course less frequented by other tourists and you might find yourself alone at a spectacular waterfall in the middle of nowhere - an amazing experience!).

The local rum distilleries offer tours (check for opening times as they may very from season to season) which are certainly worth the while since rum production is a very integral part of Guadeloupe's economy. And sampling the local rums is definitely worth the while.

Even though they might not be the best way to get around the island, a ride on the bus is still an experience you should not miss. Cheap, full of locals, conducted by fearless drivers, you can enjoy the beautiful Caribbean panorama to the sound of Guadeloupean zouk music. Some routes are not good for passengers with weak stomachs.

Understand

Guadeloupe has been a French possession since 1635 except for the years 1813-1814 when it came into Swedish possession as a consequence of the Napoleonic Wars. The island of Saint Martin is shared with the Netherlands; its southern portion is named Sint Maarten and is part of the Netherlands Antilles and its northern portion is named Saint-Martin and is part of Guadeloupe.

Guadeloupe is an archipelago of nine inhabited islands, including Basse-TerreGrande-Terre, Marie-Galante, La Desirade, Iles des Saintes (2), Saint-Barthélemy, Iles de la Petite Terre, and Saint-Martin (French part of the island of Saint Martin).

Climate

Subtropical tempered by trade winds; moderately high humidity.

Terrain

Basse-Terre is volcanic in origin with interior mountains; Grande-Terre is low limestone formation; most of the seven other islands are volcanic in origin.

Get in

Passports and visas

Being an integrated part of France, Guadeloupe is considered as European as Paris politically, so European Union immigration rules apply.

By plane

From the Caribbean

From North America

  • Air Canada[6] connects Guadeloupe with Montreal.
  • Air France[7] connects Guadeloupe with Miami.
  • American Airlines[8] connects Guadeloupe with Miami.
  • Norwegian Air Shuttle[9] has direct flights from Baltimore/Washington (BWI) airport.

From South America

  • Air France[10] connects Guadeloupe with Cayenne (Codeshares with Air Antilles Express).

From Europe

  • Air Caraïbes[11] connects Guadeloupe with Paris.
  • Air France[12] connects Guadeloupe with Paris.
  • XL Airways[13] connects Guadeloupe with Paris.

For more information, you can have a look at Guadeloupe Airport website [14].

From Guadeloupe, to travel in the surrounding places, here is an idea of the prices (roundtrip): Trinidad ~250 €, Barbade ~260 €, Puerto Rico ~300 €, Dominican Republic ~350 €, Cuba ~550 €

You can obtain information at Agence Penchard, 1 bis rue de la République 97100 Basse-Terre, Tel 0590 812 712 Fax 0590 810 711

By car

From some neighbouring islands, you can travel with your car on ferry companies (See section by boat).

  • Rentacar - One of the largest agencies of car rental in Guadeloupe, agency at the airport and English speaking counter agents. All types of passenger vehicles and several types of contracts possible.
  • Quickly - Agency at the airport of Pole Caraibes, presents 14 years on the islands of Guadeloupe. All types of vehicles.
  • Locacar - Car rental implemented on Grande-Terre, near to the hotels. Shuttle from airport services.

By boat

From Martinique, Dominica, Saint Lucia, Marie Galante, Les Saintes: Express des Iles [15], Brudey Frères [16], Star Ferries [17].

  • Windward Islands [18] - Windward Islands, one of the worlds largest yacht charter companies, can take care of all charter requirements, from bareboat to crewed in Guadeloupe, Martinique and St Martin. Operating from its international offices (USA, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Switzerland, Caribbean, Honk Kong, Dubai).
  • Canadian Sailing Expeditions - Tall Ship Caledonia [19] - The Tall Ship Caledonia will arrive in the region in the fall of 2007. Travellers can embark at Pointe-a-Pitre and sail on to various locations such as Deschaies.

Get around

By car

Cars can be hired at the airport in Pointe-à-Pitre. The main roads are of the same quality as metropolitan France, but smaller roads are often uneven, pot-holed and frankly dangerous. Prudence is required! Drivers are often undisciplined, but rarely aggressive.

By boat

  • Windward Islands [20] - Windward Islands, one of the worlds largest yacht charter companies, can take care of all charter requirements, from bareboat to crewed in Guadeloupe, Martinique and St Martin. Operating from 8 international offices (USA, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Switzerland, Caribbean, Monaco).

Talk

See also: French phrasebook

French is the official language, although Guadeloupean Créole (very different from French) is the native language. Everyone speaks French but few people understand English. Most people working in the tourism industry will speak English and sometimes Spanish or German.

See

Natural beauty is perhaps Guadeloups main attraction, and tourists flock to its sandy beaches, azure waters and vast forests. The southern coast of Grande-Terr is the main resort area, where you'll find developed, beautiful beaches and calm waters. It's a good place to kick back and enjoy a cocktail in one of the beach bars or join the many French women bathing in the Caribbean sun. Or, head for one of the many diving schools and explore underwater wildlife. For a fun day trip, hop on a ferry service around the scenic eight islands cluster of Les Saintes, skirting Guadeloupe's southern coast. The gorgeous and rustique island of Marie-Galante makes another perfect trip for a day or even two, as it has lovely scenery, great sands, 19th century windmills and sugar cane plantations to see.

In contrast to the rolling hills and flat plains landscape of Grande-Terr, Basse-Terre (the western wing of the island) has a rough volcanic relief. Here you'll find the splendid Parc National de la Guadeloupe, a 74,100-acre protected rainforest with plenty of trails for expert and novice hikers. The park is home to the 1467m high peak of the La Soufrière volcano, the highest mountain peak in the Lesser Antilles. On its lower slopes are the grand Carbet Falls, a series of 3 waterfalls on the Carbet River and one of Gouadeloup's main attractions. For wildlife lovers, the Zoological and Botanical Park of Guadeloupe offers a great insight in tropical flora and fauna and its animal collection included rare and endangered species.

Basse-Terre city, the administrative capital of Guadeloupe, is home to a range of colonial buildings. Furthermore, there are the 19th century Cathedral of Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul, the main square and adjoining Jardin Pichon. In Pointe-à-Pitre, there are museums, a bustling creole market place and aquarium and of course the impressive colonial fort to explore.

Guadeloupe is the filming location for the Franco-British TV series Death in Paradise, with the island doubling as fictional British Overseas Territory "Saint-Marie". The real village of Deshaies doubles for "Honoré", where the characters' police force is based.

Do

Scuba diving and snorkeling. There is an amazing assortment of tropical fish, even in water less than one metre deep. For those who can't swim, glass bottomed boat trips are on offer.

There are many festivals to attend to in Guadeloupe. In Guadeloupe they call them "parties on the street". They use colourful ribbons and tie them round their wrists to resemble the colours of all the nations. Their parties last all through the night until the early morning. They sometimes call them "swatson".

Buy

Money

Like the rest of France, the official currency is the euro ("€", ISO currency code: EUR). It is divided into 100 cents.

Shopping

  • Characteristic of the Antilles is the colourful tiled Madras fabric.
  • The local made rum is also distinctive and very cheap to buy. Certainly worth sampling (during an evening at one of the beautiful beaches or at home when showing vacation pictures to friends and family to warm everyone up to caribbean temperature)

Eat

Not to be missed, the plate Colombo (chicken, rice, curry), imported from India, has become the typical regional plate. the expected cost for food is anywhere from 4.99 to 38.99

Drink

The local drink is white rum. Do try the "'Ti Punch" (Petit Punch/small Punch) (rum, lime, and sugar cane/brown sugar). Packs a wallop, so be prepared to melt into the island way of life.

Sleep

  • Sunset Surf Camp, 97118 Saint François, Grande-Terre. One of the few (perhaps the only?) backpackers accommodations in Guadeloupe, with both private rooms and dorm-style rooms of three beds. The surf camp is located within a 2500m² tropical garden located a few hundreds meters from Raisins Clairs beach and it takes less than 10mn to walk to the center of Saint François. From €29 per night for a dorm room (high season 2010).
  • 1 Gîtes de l'Habituée, Capesterre Belle Eau (route de morne crossing with chemin baron), ☎ +590 590 98 68 95, e-mail: gites-habituee@wanadoo.fr. 3 fully furnished Bungalows (#1:sleeps 2 #2 an #3:sleep 4) South east of Basse Terre island. Free WiFi. €35-55.
  • 2 Fleurs des îles, Deshaies (plage de Grande Anse), ☎ +590 590 28 54 44, e-mail: contact@location-bungalow-guadeloupe.fr. The flowers of the Islands residence offers bungalow rental and rental cottages in Deshaies on the edge of the Caribbean in the middle of a tropical garden with swimming pool. WiFi. €34-55.
  • PV-Holidays Sainte Anne Holiday Village, ☎ +33 1 58 21 55 84. The self-catering village is made up of exotic 2-floor houses, each of which contains several hotel apartments. It is located “on the water’s edge” and is embellished by tropical gardens. Surrounded by two beaches, sports and water areas and has many on-site shops.
  • Chalets Sous-le-Vent - Réserve Cousteau, Route de Poirier, Pigeon (Basse-Terre Region, 40km from Airport), ☎ +590590989161. 7 fully equipped cottages located in a 2'300sqm tropical garden with a swimming pool and sea view, facing the "Réserve Cousteau" marine park in Guadeloupe. Diving spots and beach 5 min. away by car. One chalet is fully equipped for disabled persons. Swiss owners and alumni of the Lausanne Hotel Management School. Special offers for scuba-divers. Cottages 2–3p, bungalow with aircon 2-4p, twin cottages 4–6p
  • Hotel Amaudo, Saint-François, Grande-Terre. Has the best online reviews by a mile on the whole island, and looks beautiful in photos! From €130 a night (High season 2010).
  • Hotel Karaibes, Le Gosier, Grande-Terre. Two star hotel, basic but clean and fine. From €70 per night (High season 2010).
  • Hotel le Petit Havre, Route de la Plage - Petit-Havre - 97190 Gosier - Grande-Terre. Simple two star hotel From €85 per night (high season 2010).
  • Aloes Vacances, route de la pointe des châteaux la coulée 97118 St François, Grande-Terre. Gites (holiday apartments) in St François, less than 10 minutes walk from the beach and the town. From €85 per night for a studio (high season 2010).
  • Les Gîtes de la Grande Source, Rue du Souffleur - 97127 La Désirade. On one of the most genuine islands of the Guadeloupe archipelago, vacation bungalows in quiet tropical gardens only some 200m from the sea are awaiting you. From €46 per night for a double (high season 2010).
  • Oualiri Beach Hotel, Beauséjour - 97127 La Désirade. Of a reasonably small size allowing personal contacts, the Oualiri Beach Hôtel offers all the charm and authentic atmosphere proper to the island of Desirade. From €60 for a single (low season 2009).

Work

For European people coming from an EU country, working in Guadeloupe is allowed without problem. If you're from outside the EU, you will probably need a work permit - check with the French Embassy in your country. Do not forget though that the unemployment rate is around 28%. But if you work in the health sector (doctor, nurse), it will be much easier. Else you could find a job in bars, restaurants, and/or nightclubs. The better is to have a precise idea of what you want to do, inform yourself and prospect before going there.

Stay safe

The main tourist areas (city center of Point-à-Pitre, Le Gosier, St. Anne, St. Felix...) are pretty safe, especially by day. When it gets dark, you should avoid walking around in Point-à-Pitre alone and stay on the main roads and plazas and be aware of smaller side streets. Always try to keep a low profile as a tourist to avoid attracting unwanted attention.

Stay healthy

There is no particular disease but you should protect yourself from the sun. Sanitary and medical facilities in Guadeloupe are good. Health care in Guadeloupe is controlled by a state-owned organisation (Sécurité Sociale). Doctors are available in almost every village. Tap water is usually safe for consumption. Public sources of water are unsafe if labeled with "Eau non potable" (no drinking water). Visitors from European Union should bring an E111 form with them. Ask details at your local health care organisation.

Emergency phone numbers

  • emergency services: 112 (which can be called from any mobile phone, even if not connected to a GSM network);
  • fire brigade: 18;
  • police station: 17;
  • specialised emergency medical service (called SAMU): 15.

Respect

While officially a part of France, the country does not have a very Europeanized way of life. In fact, life in the Caribbean has a much slower pace. Busses run very infrequently, taxis are hard to find, smaller stores open or close not always on time, queuing in stores is sometimes very time consuming... Try to fall into the local pace and do not complain about minor annoyances as Guadeloupeans will see that as an offense to their way of life. And they are proud of the distinction between caribbean and metropolian (French) life style!

Connect

Phones

Country code: 590

Dialing within Guadeloupe: all numbers have 10 digits. Landlines begin by 0590 and mobile phones by 0690.

Dialing to Guadeloupe: international prefix + 590 + phone number without the first 0 (this leads to dial twice 590 which is normal). If you dial from France, just use the 10 digits number.

Dialing from Guadeloupe: the international prefix is 00.

Calling to a mobile phone is more expensive than to a landline. Number beginning by 0800 are free phone. Number beginning by 089 are premium-rate.

Few foreign mobile phone companies offer international roaming to Guadeloupe so double-check before leaving. Your company should provide specific roaming to Guadeloupe since it has deferent mobile phone companies than in mainland France.

Alternatively, you should be able to get a Pay-as-you-go SIM card from various locations. There is one company offering wireless services: Orange Caraïbe.

Post

Post offices are found in all cities. Letter boxes are colored in yellow.

Rates

Less than 20g (postcard, letter with one or two pages in a regular envelop) :

  • France (including Oversea Territories DOM-TOM): 0,53€
  • area 2 (rest of the world) : 0,90 €

The basic stamp for regular mail is red with the head of "Marianne" (the Republic logo). It does not carry its value and can therefore be used even after a price increase. It is sold in all Post Offices, Bureaux de Tabacs (Tobacco sellers identified by a red lozenge) and postcard vendors. The latter may also carry other common stamps.

In most Post Offices you will find an automatic machine (yellow) with a scale and a screen. Just put your mail on the scale, tell the machine (French or English) the destination, pay the indicated amount and the machine will deliver a printed stamp.

A food traveler went back to the Caribbean island amid growing recognition for its cuisine. That wasn’t the only draw.
For her latest cookbook, the author Tessa Kiros traced the influences of French recipes and traditions in countries around the world.

Travel eGuide: Guadeloupe, Marie-Galante and Saintes islands: Discover a Caribbean paradise!

Cristina Rebière

Would you like a slice of paradise?So… Welcome to Guadeloupe, the paradise island in the Caribbean Sea with a French touch! Do you think that exotic tourism, ever-sunny beaches, incredible flowers  and nature are not for you? Make no mistake: this is possible! Our Travel eGuide will definitely change your mind. Discover at your own pace and browse by photos, places or hobbiesWe have been traveling all around the world since our studenthood and have visited more than 45 countries so far. We love to find convenient and affordable travel solutions in order to maximize our touristic budget and discover hidden treasures during the journey, just like you! We are happy to offer you a UDEMY COURSE included with our tips & tricks to travel free without ruining yourself.Prepare and live your holidays… differently!In this innovative Travel eGuide, a vitaminized additive to other tourist guides, we will share with you our passion for travel and our crush on Guadeloupe, the paradise island that will delight your senses.So, if you do not know where to spend the next holidays, why not pay a visit for a few days to this beautiful Caribbean island? All its treasures are waiting for you!With this responsive eGuide, use your smartphone or tablet without internet connection and browse throughout all the data, choosing one of the 3 intuitive methods available: By location: use a “classical” geographical display with high-resolution maps By photograph: pick-up one of the hundreds of photos and jump to the corresponding section By affinity or passion: tap on one of the colored icons illustrating your interests during a trip and get a list of the matching locations!What are you going to get from this Travel eGuide? + 240 pages of high quality content + 120 photos 16 touristic sections + 15 high-quality pre-downloaded maps 3 mini atlases: trees, flowers and wildlife special for tight budget tested and validated trip A gastronomy section for you to cook some Caribbean recipes back home A free UDEMY COURSE to learn our proven tips & tricks to Travel without ruining yourself What other people say about this course (2000+ students): « I felt like the course was a fantastic refresher! Even though I’ve traveled before, usually within the US, and some of the tips and lectures seemed common sense to me, it has inspired me to begin my research again and reinvigorate me to experience the world. Thank you. » – James Stewart « The course is very helpful & beneficial for new travelers who are interested in visiting new places in the world. I’ve enjoyed the organized sections & the detailed information. » – Kamel Halabi « very informative and knowledgeable on travel » – Rudra Toulon « This was an informative course with actionable information. » – Sheryl M MalzkuhnSo, are you ready for ALL OF THIS?! Yes?Buckle up and Bon voyage!Cristina & Olivier Rebiere

Michelin Guadeloupe Map 137 (Michelin Map)

Michelin

Michelin Zoom Guadeloupe Map 137 is a new addition to the Zoom map series, which focuses on popular vacation areas. The map for this French-speaking Caribbean island includes an index, distance chart, and legend in English for easy reference. Travelers adventuring on their own will appreciate Michelin's high standard of clear, accurate mapping of the main, secondary and back roads as they navigate around Guadeloupe, St Martin and St Barts. The information on scenic drives and sites, recreational activities, points of interest and walking paths will add to the enjoyment of the visit.

Lonely Planet French Phrasebook & Dictionary (Lonely Planet Phrasebook and Dictionary)

Lonely Planet

Lonely Planet: The world's #1 phrasebook publisher*

Lonely Planet French Phrasebook & Dictionary is your handy passport to culturally enriching travels with the most relevant and useful French phrases and vocabulary for all your travel needs. Ask about tucked-away vineyards, bargain with local famers at the market or order wine like a professional; all with your trusted travel companion. With language tools in your back pocket, you can truly get to the heart of wherever you go, so begin your journey now!

Get More From Your Trip with Easy-to-Find Phrases for Every Travel Situation!

Feel at ease with essential tips on culture, manners, idioms and multiple meanings Order with confidence, explain food allergies, and try new foods with the menu decoder Save time and hassles with vital phrases at your fingertips Never get stuck for words with the 3500-word two-way, quick-reference dictionary Be prepared for both common and emergency travel situations with practical phrases and terminology Meet friends with conversation starter phrases Get your message across with easy-to-use pronunciation guides

Inside Lonely Planet French Phrasebook & Dictionary:

Full-colour throughout User-friendly layout organised by travel scenario categories Survival phrases inside front cover for at-a-glance on-the-fly cues Convenient features 5 Phrases to Learn Before You Go 10 Ways to Start a Sentence 10 Phrases to Sound like a Local Listen For - phrases you may hear Look For - phrases you may see on signs Shortcuts - easy-to-remember alternatives to the full phrases Q&A - suggested answers to questions asked Covers Basics - time, dates, numbers, amounts, pronunciation, reading tips, grammar rules Practical - travel with kids, disabled travellers, sightseeing, business, banking, post office, internet, phones, repairs, bargaining, accommodation, directions, border crossing, transport Social - meeting people, interests, feelings, opinions, going out, romance, culture, activities, weather Safe Travel - emergencies, police, doctor, chemist, dentist, symptoms, conditions Food - ordering, at the market, at the bar, dishes, ingredients

The Perfect Choice:Lonely Planet French Phrasebook & Dictionary , a pocket-sized comprehensive language guide, provides on-the-go language assistance; great for language students and travellers looking to interact with locals and immerse themselves in local culture.

Looking for just the basics? Check out Lonely Planet's Fast Talk French, a pocket-sized, essential language guide designed to get you talking quickly; perfect for a quick trip experience. Looking for an auditory guide to pronunciations? Check out Lonely Planet's French Phrasebook & Audio CD.

Authors: Written and researched by Lonely Planet, Michael Janes, Jean-Pierre Masclef, Jean-Bernard Carillet.

About Lonely Planet: Started in 1973, Lonely Planet is the world's leading travel guide publisher with guidebooks to every destination on the planet, and has been connecting travellers and locals for over 25 years with phrasebooks for 120 languages, more than any other publisher! With an award-winning website, a suite of mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community, Lonely Planet enables curious travellers to experience the world and to truly get to the heart of the places they find themselves. The world awaits!

*#1 phrasebook publisher. Source: Nielsen Bookscan UK, US & AUS

Travel Journal: My Trip to Guadeloupe

Travel Diary

This journal is the perfect traveling companion for anyone visiting Guadeloupe. Plan and record all details of your trip, includes lined and blank pages for writing your diary and sketching, with handy information tailored for travelers. Lists to help you pack, plan and set budgets are included in this journal.

Martinique 1:65,000 & Guadeloupe 1:100,000 Travel Map (International Travel Maps)

ITMB Canada

Double-sided, very detailed topographic map of two French Caribbean islands with contours interval 50m. Includes two insets with street plans of central Fort-de-France (1:10,000) and Pointe-a-Pitre 1:12,500). The Guadeloupe map also features smaller islands of Saint-Martin, Saint-Barthelemy, Marie-Galante and Les Saintes. Suitable for cycling and even hiking. Double sided, with full place name index, printed on paper.

Fodor's Caribbean 2016 (Full-color Travel Guide)

Fodor's Travel Guides

Written by locals, Fodor's travel guides have been offering expert advice for all tastes and budgets for 80 years. Fodor’s correspondents highlight the best of the Caribbean, including Anguilla’s powdery white beaches, Bonaire's colorful coral reefs, and the scenic beauty of Jamaica's Blue Mountains. Our local experts vet every recommendation to ensure you make the most of your time, whether it’s your first trip or your fifth. This travel guide includes:· Dozens of full-color maps · Hundreds of hotel and restaurant recommendations, with Fodor's Choice designating our top picks· In-depth breakout features on the reggae of Jamaica; the many different cuisines of the region; renting a villa, and chartering a yacht· Major sights such as Maunday Bay, Playa Grande, Eagle Beach, Crane Beach, Seven Mile Beach, Grand Anse Beach, Baie Orientale, and Negril Beach· Coverage of: Anguilla; Antigua and Barbuda; Aruba; Barbados; Bonaire; Biritish Virgin Islands; Cayman Islands; Curacao; Dominica; Dominican Republic; Grenada; Guadeloupe; Jamaica; Martinique; Montserrat; Puerto Rico; Saba; St. Barthelemy; St. Eustatius; St. Kitts and Nevis; St. Lucia; St. Marteen/St. Martin; St. Vincent and the Grenadines; Trinidad and Tobago; Turks and Caicos Islands; United States Virgin IslandsPlanning to focus on just part of the Caribbean? Check out Fodor's guides to Aruba; Bahamas; Barbados & St. Lucia; Bermuda; Cayman Islands; Cuba; Puerto Rico; St. Maarten/St. Martin, St. Barth & Anguilla; Turks & Caicos Islands; and U.S. & British Virgin Islands.

Guadeloupe Alive

Lynne Sullivan

Guadeloupe is an archipelago in the center of the Lesser Antilles. The main island is actually two irregular ovals hinged together like an open oyster shell. Smaller outer islands float nearby like spilled pearls in the turquoise sea.Grande-Terre, the eastern half of the shell, is basically a flat field of lush sugarcane dotted with colorful towns and rimmed by long, sandy beaches. Basse-Terre is a mountainous forest marked by waterfalls, rivers, hot springs and a volcano. The two are joined by a bridge over the Rivière-Salée, a channel that connects the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. Grande-Terre and Basse-Terre Why, you may wonder, is the smaller, flatter half of the island called Grande-Terre (big land), and the larger, mountainous half called Basse-Terre (low land)? The only theory that makes sense is that early sailors, with their obligatory obsession for wind, noticed that northeastern trade winds blew grande when they hit the flat eastern shore, but basse when they pushed over the mountains in the west.The less developed islands of Marie-Galante, Les Saintes and La Désirade stretch out along the double island's southern shore. Les Saintes is actually a collection of mini-islands that are rocky and steep like Basse-Terre. Marie-Galante is flatter and similar to Grande-Terre topographically. La Désirade is a long, narrow, rugged rock with one road, only a few residents and limited facilities – a nature-lover's dream.Most visitors choose to stay on the main island and take day-trips or overnight excurions to the outer islands.Grande-Terre and Basse-Terre are connected by a highway that bridges the channel between them, so driving from one to the other is simple. Boats leave for the outer islands from four towns on the main island's southern coast, and they are the quickest and least expensive way to island-hop. Air Guadeloupe flies daily from the international airport near Pointe-à-Pitre to Les Saintes, Marie-Galante and La Désirade.Because the island is so diverse, in a single day you can enjoy a drive along both the jagged coast of the wild Atlantic and the pristine coves of the calm Caribbean – or hike uphill into the rain forest then nap on a sunny beach.Several towns on both Basse-Terre and Grande-Terre offer gourmet dining, lively entertainment and world-class lodging. Because the archipelago is a legitimate région of France, you will enjoy French-style comfort and cuisine with a tropical twist wherever you stay. This tropical twist is one of Guadeloupe's many charms. Shops and offices close between noon and 2 o'clock for a leisurely gourmet lunch with wine, as they typically do all over Europe. But, out on the streets, the music has a decidedly African beat. The women wear madras headdresses as they do in India, and the aroma of West Indies spices permeates the air.Another appealing quality is the stable economy that makes Guadeloupe neither rich nor poor. Towns aren't filled with tourist-badgering hustlers or begging street people. At the same time, the islanders are friendly, and a simple "bonjour" breaks the language barrier. There aren't a lot of fancy boutiques or glitzy nightspots, but everyone seems to have plenty of everything they need.This is a complete and highly detailed guide to Guadeloupe - the restaurants, the hotels, what to see and what to do. It is excerpted from our 650-page Martinique, Guadeloupe, Dominica & St. Lucia Alive guide.

Martinque, Guadeloupe, Dominica and St. Lucia Alive! (Martinque, Guadeloupe, Dominica & St. Lucia Alive)

Lynne M. Sullivan

Feeling "alive" is commonly used to describe the state when you are energized, excited, full of life! And that's exactly what these books inspire -- a feeling of eagerness to explore and discover.Alive! Guides are a refreshing change from the "same-old" guidebooks. They are written for the savvy traveler who is looking for quality and value in accommodations and dining, with a selection of activities to fill the days and nights. Each book's introduction covers the basic travel information, including climate, when to go, what to pack, history, package tours, geography and -- for overseas destinations -- currency concerns and health issues. Daytime pursuits are detailed in the "Sunup to Sundown" section, which cover the best beaches, walking tours, driving excursions, nature trips and sightseeing. Shopping plays a big part, with tips on how to barter in island crafts markets and where to find the best deals. And if you're looking for some fun when the stars come out, turn to the "After Dark" section, where you'll find descriptions of the best discos, cigar bars, theaters, movies, nightclubs and happy hours!

Exercise normal security precautions

The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The purpose of this Travel Advice is to provide up-to-date information to enable you to make well-informed decisions.

Crime

Petty crime occurs. Ensure that your personal belongings, passports and other travel documents are secure at all times. Avoid beaches and unpopulated areas after dark. Check with local authorities to determine which beaches are safe.

Demonstrations

Demonstrations occur and have the potential to suddenly turn violent. Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, follow the advice of local authorities and monitor local media. Strikes may occasionally interfere with services.

Transportation

Roads are paved and maintained, and traffic safety is enforced by the police. The use of seatbelts is mandatory. Rented vehicles are available.

Bus services are available in most major towns. However, buses operate only during certain hours. Schedules are unreliable. Ferry services provide transportation to associated islands. Taxis are safe but expensive; fares increase between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m.

Consult our Transportation Safety page in order to verify if national airlines meet safety standards.

Health

Related Travel Health Notices
Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.
Vaccines

Routine Vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.

Vaccines to Consider

You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread by contaminated food or water. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.

Influenza

Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or through personal contact with unwashed hands. Get the flu shot.

Measles

Measles occurs worldwide but is a common disease in developing countries, particularly in parts of Africa and Asia. Measles is a highly contagious disease. Be sure your vaccination against measles is up-to-date regardless of the travel destination.
 

Typhoid

Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives, or with weakened immune systems. Travellers visiting regions with typhoid risk, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should consider getting vaccinated.

Yellow Fever Vaccination

Yellow fever is a disease caused by the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Risk
  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
  • Proof of yellow fever vaccination is required if you are coming from a country where yellow fever occurs.
Recommendation
  • Vaccination is not recommended.
  • Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care provider.
Food/Water

Food and Water-borne Diseases

Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.

In some areas in the Caribbean, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in the Caribbean. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!

Travellers' diarrhea
  • Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
  • Risk of developing travellers’ diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
  • The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.

Insects

Insects and Illness

In some areas in the Caribbean, certain insects carry and spread diseases like chikungunya, dengue fever, malaria and West Nile virus.

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.

Dengue fever
  • Dengue fever occurs in this country. Dengue fever is a viral disease that can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases it leads to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.  
  • Mosquitoes carrying dengue bite during the daytime. They breed in standing water and are often found in urban areas.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine available for dengue fever.

Malaria

Malaria

There is no risk of malaria in this country.


Animals

Animals and Illness

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Some infections found in some areas in the Caribbean, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.


Person-to-Person

Person-to-Person Infections

Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.

HIV

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). 

Practise safe sex while travelling, and don’t share needles, razors, or other objects which could transmit infection.

Remember that HIV can also be spread through the use of unsterile medical equipment during medical and dental procedures, tattooing, body piercing or acupuncture. Diseases can also be spread though blood transfusions and organ transplantation if the blood or organs are not screened for HIV or other blood-borne pathogens.


Medical services and facilities

Medical services and facilities

Good-quality medical services are available. Not all doctors speak or understand English. Payment in advance is often expected.

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

You are subject to local laws. Consult our Arrest and Detention page for more information.

Canada and France are signatories to the European Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons. This enables a Canadian imprisoned in France to request a transfer to a Canadian prison to complete a sentence. The transfer requires the agreement of both Canadian and French authorities.

Dual citizenship

Although France recognizes dual citizenship, dual citizens are considered French citizens and are subject to French laws. Consult our publication entitled Dual Citizenship: What You Need to Know for more information.

Driving laws

The use of seatbelts is mandatory. Children under 12 are not legally allowed in the front seat. An International Driving Permit is recommended.

Illegal drugs

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are strict. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.

Imports/exports

French customs authorities may enforce strict regulations for Guadeloupe concerning temporary import or export of items such as firearms, medications and animals. Contact the Embassy of France in Canada or a French consulate for specific information regarding customs requirements.

Marriages

If planning to marry in Guadeloupe, have all of the required documents before leaving Canada.

Money

The currency is the euro (EUR).

Investments

If you are interested in purchasing property or making other investments in Guadeloupe, seek legal advice from appropriate professionals in Canada and in this country before making commitments. Disputes arising from such activities could be prolonged and costly to resolve.

Climate

Guadeloupe is located in an active seismic zone.

The hurricane season extends from June to the end of November. The National Hurricane Center provides additional information on weather conditions. Stay informed of regional weather forecasts, and follow the advice and instructions of local authorities.