Guadeloupe Travel Guide
Everything you need to know before you fly to Guadeloupe
Guadeloupe – one of the French islands in the Caribbean, is an archipelago. A collection of five islands, Guadeloupe includes the main islands of Basse-Terre and Grande-Terre along with the smaller islands of Marie-Galante, La Désirade, and the Îles des Saintes. With history influenced by Indian, African, and French traditions, Guadeloupe is rich in culture as well as beautiful natural sites! Dedicated to preserving the natural terrain, residents of Guadeloupe strive to protect the island’s resource and keep the unspoiled landscape the way that it is.
These beautiful islands have something for everyone. Beautiful beaches where sunbathing and strolling along the shore are exciting pastimes to engage in, water sports that are considered the best in the world, historic forts replete with dungeons and battlements to explore, and Creole cuisine, unlike anything that you’ve tasted elsewhere. Guadeloupe is the total package and offers much to even the most seasoned of travelers.
If you have always wanted to dive, Guadeloupe is the perfect place to learn. Crystal clear waters that are protected as part of the Grand Cul-de-Sac Marin Nature Reserve surround the island. Considered to offer some of the best diving in the world, Guadeloupe offers interesting dives that will introduce newbies to the wonder of the world below and challenge experts to use their skills. The array of tropical fish will amaze you as will the clarity of the water and the feeling of peace that envelope you as you glide. You won’t believe how easily you can see the wonders of the deep; exploring the world under the sea is a heady rush.
Surrounded by waters from both the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, Guadeloupe is perfectly positioned for a diver’s wonderland.
Other water sports can be enjoyed as well, such as Jet Skiing along the surface of the water, taking a catamaran out, snorkeling, and good, old-fashioned sunbathing. UNESCO designated Guadeloupe as a biosphere reserve. The beautiful greenery that is abundant in Guadeloupe is a matter of pride for the islanders. Nature lovers can spend hours interacting with the beautiful flora and fauna.
Food is a tradition on the island. Effectively mixing French cuisine with Caribbean practices yields a unique style of food that visitors can’t get enough of. Try island favorites like clam blaff or conch stew. Sample the homegrown produce available at farmer’s markets and taste the difference in the quality and flavor of the food. Take a tour of one of Guadeloupe’s nine rum distilleries and sample the national drink yourself.
Enjoy Guadeloupe. In this lovely archipelago, anyone can find the perfect activity to get involved in. Let yourself go. Truly embody the meaning of the word vacation in Guadeloupe.
See the island in as much depth as you would like. Whatever you choose, there is something sure to tickle your fancy.
Where To Stay In Guadeloupe
Visitors to Guadeloupe stay in a wide variety of accommodations, including private rental, guesthouses, and luxurious all-inclusive hotels. Some of the best hotels in Guadeloupe include:
- La Creole Beach Hotel & Spa
- Club Med La Caravelle – Guadeloupe
- La Toubana Hotel & Spa
- Le Relais du Moulin
- Auberge de la Vieille Tour
- Caraibes Royal
- Mahogany Hôtel Résidence & Spa
Activities In Guadeloupe
Major tourist activities in Guadeloupe include:
- Exploring Point-a-Pitre on Grande-Terre an intriguing mix of French and Caribbean influences
- Hiking at Guadeloupe National Park which stretches over 12,000 acres
- Checking out the Arawak Indians rock carving at the Parc Archelogique des Roches Gravees
- Visiting Terre-de-Bas, a tiny island in Guadeloupe with coffee plantations and traditional villages
- Climbing to the top of LA Soufriere which is still an active volcano
- Snorkeling and diving at top sites like Reserve Cousteau at Pigeon Island off Basse-Terre.
Facts About Guadeloupe
660 square miles
Telephone Country Code:
right side of the road
Queen conch fricassee
230 V/50 Hz – plugs are European standard with two round prongs
Visa Information For Guadeloupe
Guadeloupe is an Overseas Department of France, and as such French immigration rules apply. That said, no visa is required for citizens of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, and most other European countries.
All visitors to Guadeloupe must have a passport with at least another six months’ validity. Furthermore, all visitors must have a return or onward ticket plus sufficient means to support themselves during their stay in Guadeloupe.
How Long Does It Take To Get A Visa For Guadeloupe
With a valid passport and supporting documents, it can take between 5 to 20 working days for a Guadeloupe (French) visa application to be processed by the nearest French Embassy. Approved visas for entry to Guadeloupe are valid for a stay up to 90 days.
Is It Safe In Guadeloupe
In comparison to major American and European cities, Guadeloupe is relatively safe, and crime levels are low. That said, it is though recommended that visitors be vigilant at all times, especially when away from the major hotels and tourist areas.
How To Get To Guadeloupe
Most visitors to Guadeloupe arrive via the Pointe-à-Pitre International Airport (IATA: PTP, ICAO: TFFR) located on the island of Grande-Terre.
From Canada, book flights to Guadeloupe via:
- Air Canada Montréal–Trudeau
- Air Transat Seasonal: Montréal–Trudeau
From the United States, book flights to Guadeloupe via:
- American Eagle: Miami
- JetBlue: New York–JFK
From Europe, book flights to Guadeloupe via:
- Air Belgium: Charleroi
- Air Caraïbes: Paris-Orly
- Air France: Cayenne, Fort-de-France, Miami, Paris–Orly (Seasonal: Paris–Charles de Gaulle)
- Alitalia (seasonal charter): Milan–Malpensa, Rome–Fiumicino
- Condor (seasonal charter): Frankfurt
- Corsair International: Paris–Orly
- Level: Paris–Orly
- Neos (seasonal charter): Milan–Malpensa
With the Caribbean region, book flights to Guadeloupe via:
- Air Antilles: Dominica–Canefield, Dominica–Douglas-Charles, Fort-de-France, Saint Barthélemy, St. Maarten (SXM), St. Martin (SFG), San Juan, Santo Domingo–La Isabela, Santo Domingo–Las Américas
- Air Caraïbes: Fort-de-France, St. Maarten (SXM), St. Martin (SFG), Santo Domingo-Las Américas
- Air France: Port-au-Prince (seasonal charter: Havana)
- Servicios Aéreos Profesionales: Punta Cana
- Winair: Dominica-Douglas-Charles
When To Go To Guadeloupe
The most popular time to visit Guadeloupe is from mid-December to May when the weather is warm, sunny, and typically dry. From August to late October is the low season as temperatures are hot and muggy; also, there is an increased risk of tropical storms. Some upscale close during the low season for renovations and others offer discounts.
Major events attracting visitors to Guadeloupe include:
- February – March: Guadeloupe Carnival
- July: Traditional Sailing Tour of Guadeloupe
- July – August: International Zouk Festival
- August: Tour De La Guadeloupe
- October: Journée du Créole, Créole Day
- November: Route Du Rhum, transatlantic sailboat race
Weather In Guadeloupe
The weather in Guadeloupe is tropical all year long. The temperature remains in the 80s. Their rainy season is from June to November. The most expensive time to visit Guadeloupe is during Christmas, the French February holidays, July and August.
Getting Married Guadeloupe
Couples looking to get married in Guadeloupe will need to get a special license, which takes three weeks to process. This is obtained from the Town Hall in the city where the marriage will take place.
In addition to the completed application for marriage, both the bride and groom will need their:
- birth certificates along with driver’s licenses or other forms of identification
- certificates of no impediment or single status report
- certificate of Law to be obtained from the French Consular Division
- resident certificates and residency card
Also, if applicable:
- divorce papers i.e., decree absolute and/or death certificate of spouse
- proof of parental consent if under 18 to be witnessed by a French Consular Officer if not a resident in France
- proof of name change by Deed Poll, stamped and signed by a solicitor
Note: All documents much be translated into French. A “Bulletin de Marriage” and “Livret de Famille” are delivered at the ceremony.
Either the groom or bride must reside on the island for at least three months.
Two witnesses must be present at the ceremony.
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