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Guadeloupe is considered one of the hidden gems of the Caribbean. While this French overseas territory has gained popularity in recent years, it has benefited from being a lesser known vacation spot. The culture of the islands is well-preserved, as is its incredible ecology.
When it comes to Caribbean travel, the islands of Guadeloupe are home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the region. You’ll find many different types of beaches on the islands, from picturesque white-sand shores to mud-filled swimming holes that are great for your skin.
Beyond the beach, Guadeloupe has so much nature to explore. At Guadeloupe National Park you’ll find beautiful waterfalls, miles of hiking trails, and La Grande Soufrière Volcano, an active volcano with natural hot springs.
Guadeloupe has been under French rule since the 1600s, when French settlers colonized the islands to cash in on the booming demand for sugar cane. The effects of the sugar plantation economy are still visible today, as most of the islands’ citizens are descendants of enslaved people and indentured servants from Africa and India.
The Memorial ACTe cultural center in Pointe-à-Pitre preserves the memories of those enslaved people as well as the repercussions of the slave trade throughout the Americas. The museum, built on the site of a former sugar factory, is absolutely worth a visit.
The islands’ blend of Creole, French, Indian and African cultures makes for lively and exciting music, festivals, and cuisine. Street eats like bokit and accras are an absolute must while in Guadeloupe.
Keep reading for some serious travel inspiration and to dive into resources that will help you with planning a trip to Guadeloupe in the Caribbean. Traveling alone? Also note that the destination is a top pick for solo travel in the Caribbean.
Note that this travel guide to Guadeloupe contains affiliate links to trusted partners!
- Guadeloupe Map
- Guadeloupe Things To Do
- Top Guadeloupe Tours
- Guadeloupe Hotels
- Guadeloupe Travel Insurance
- Renting A Car In Guadeloupe
- Guadeloupe Travel Guide FAQ
- Q: What islands are included in the Guadeloupe archipelago?
- Q: What do I need to know before going to Guadeloupe?
- Q: Can you drink the tap water in Guadeloupe?
- Q: Is Guadeloupe expensive to visit?
- Q: If I want to explore traditional cuisine, what Guadeloupe food should I try?
- Q: What are some top Guadeloupe tourist attractions?
- Q: Do you need a visa to travel to Guadeloupe?
- Q: What is the best time to visit Guadeloupe?
- Q: Are credit cards accepted in Guadeloupe?
- Q: Where is the Guadeloupe international airport?
- Q: What is the local currency in Guadeloupe?
- Q: Do people in Guadeloupe speak English?
- What would you add to this Guadeloupe travel guide?
- Caribbean Travel Tips
Use this Guadeloupe travel map to begin planning your trip!
Click here for an interactive version of the above map.
Guadeloupe Things To Do
Plan your Guadeloupe itinerary using the following guides.
Caribbean Travel Tips
Make your Caribbean vacation even more memorable with the help of the following travel guides!
Top Guadeloupe Tours
Book a Guadeloupe tour and get to know the culture through a local.
- Sailing and Snorkeling Day Tour to Les Saintes from Saint Charles
- Guided Guadeloupe Kayak Excursion from Morne-A-l’Eau
- Sunset Cruise in Deshaies
- Flight Over Guadeloupe In Autogyro from Saint-Francois
- Small Day Cruise from Les Abymes
- Diving In Cousteau Reserve from Bouillante Guadeloupe FWI
Prefer self-contained stays?
You can also use this map to search for local stays:
Guadeloupe Travel Insurance
It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling solo or with a group on a Guadeloupe tour. When visiting Guadeloupe — or any other country in the world — make sure to get travel insurance to protect your health and safety.
In my opinion, the best travel medical insurance for travelers is SafetyWing as they’ve got a large network and offer both short-term and long-term coverage — including coverage if you’re traveling for months as well as limited coverage in your home country).
Additionally, SafetyWing is budget-friendly and offers $250,000 worth of coverage with just one low overall deductible of $250.
With coverage, you’ll have peace of mind as you embark on your Guadeloupe itinerary.
Renting A Car In Guadeloupe
Renting a car in Guadeloupe?
Use Discover Cars to quickly compare your car rental options.
Their comparison tool does the homework for you, so there’s no need to have up 10+ tabs trying to figure out which company is the most affordable. Actually, you can save up to 70% using their tool!
Guadeloupe Travel Guide FAQ
Below, find answers to frequently asked questions about traveling to Guadeloupe.
Q: What islands are included in the Guadeloupe archipelago?
The Guadeloupe archipelago is a French Caribbean destination featuring six inhabited islands, including Basse-Terre and Grande-Terre — the main islands that tourists spend time on — as well as Marie-Galante, La Désirade, and the Îles des Saintes.
Q: What do I need to know before going to Guadeloupe?
As a French overseas region, French is the official language of Guadeloupe. Unlike many Caribbean countries, though, you won’t find many English speakers outside of the tourism industry. Try to learn a little bit of French before you leave, particularly if you are planning to venture out into the town. Even just a few phrases will help you get by.
There are two main seasons in Guadeloupe – dry (December through May) and rainy (June through November). Though the weather is fairly temperate year round, the dry season is the best time to visit as the rainy season puts Guadeloupe in the path of tropical storms and hurricanes.
Insect repellent is a must when visiting Guadeloupe, particularly at night, as the humid air attracts mosquitos.
Q: Can you drink the tap water in Guadeloupe?
While the tap water on the islands is potable, those with more sensitive stomachs may want to stick to bottled water during their trips. And be sure to clean off the skin of fruits, particularly coconuts, before eating them.
Q: Is Guadeloupe expensive to visit?
Guadeloupe falls somewhere in the middle of the cost-per-day spectrum when compared to other Caribbean destinations. The average traveler to Guadeloupe should budget about $235 USD per day to cover expenses like accommodations, ground transportation, food, and more.
This cost will go up or down depending on your travel style and there are accommodation options to fit any budget.
Round-trip airfare costs will depend on your departure city, but you can find fairly inexpensive non-stop flights from Northeastern US cities like New York and Boston.
Q: If I want to explore traditional cuisine, what Guadeloupe food should I try?
Influenced by Creole flavors, traditional French cooking and Caribbean favorites, Guadeloupe’s traditional cuisine is definitely worth a try.
Street food fans should grab a bokit, a cornmeal flatbread sandwich stuffed with meats and cheeses. Accras, or spicy fried fish fritters, are a staple of Caribbean cuisine and easy to find on the streets of Guadeloupe. And of course, you’ll want to try some of the island’s fresh fruit and seafood, available in both food stands and high-end restaurants!
Q: What are some top Guadeloupe tourist attractions?
Guadeloupe’s top attraction is its nature! As an archipelago, the islands are home to many mountains and volcanos like La Grande Soufriere for hikers to explore. Basse-Terre’s Guadeloupe National Park, designated a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, houses over 100 species of orchids as well as gorgeous jungle waterfalls and unique wildlife. And of course, the beaches of Plage de Grande-Anse and Plage du Souffleur are a huge draw to tourists from around the world.
Those looking to learn more about Guadeloupe’s history and culture should head to the city of Pointe-à-Pitre. Here you’ll find the Memorial ACTe, a cultural center and museum dedicated to the dark history of the slave trade. Beyond the museum, walk through the city to check out the historic French architecture, traditional Creole houses, and lively markets.
There are also many opportunities to experience traditional Creole music and dance throughout the islands.
Q: Do you need a visa to travel to Guadeloupe?
Citizens of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and many other countries do not need a visa to travel to Guadeloupe. Check with the French consulate in your home country for full information on travel requirements.
It’s recommended to view your country’s Guadeloupe International Travel Information page for the most up-to-date information on entry and exit requirements. You can also contact the Embassy of France.
Q: What is the best time to visit Guadeloupe?
For warm and dry weather the best time to visit Guadeloupe is December to May.
Q: Are credit cards accepted in Guadeloupe?
Major credit cards, particularly Mastercard and Visa, are accepted around Guadeloupe, though it’s recommended to carry some cash for making purchases from smaller restaurants and street stalls.
Q: Where is the Guadeloupe international airport?
Guadeloupe’s international airport is Pointe-à-Pitre International Airport, located in Pointe-à-Pitre on the island of Grande-Terre.
Q: What is the local currency in Guadeloupe?
The local currency in Guadeloupe is the Euro (€).
Q: Do people in Guadeloupe speak English?
As Guadeloupe is an overseas region of France in the Caribbean the official language is French, though some locals do speak English.
Still, you’ll have the opportunity to learn a language while traveling.
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