PRACTICAL INFORMATION FOR TRAVEL IN GUADELOUPE
Passports and documents
Guadeloupe is part of the European Union, so it's just an
identity card for all European citizens.
Bring your passport if you plan to visit some nearby
islands or a cruise boat out of. To hire a car is simply
Guadeloupe is 5 hours behind London, 4 hours in the winter during
daylight saving time. For example it is now 9.30 am in Guadeloupe,
therefore it is 1.30pm UK time.
What language do you speak?
The official language is French, but the local Creole is often used
to talk between locals. English is taught in the schools and in the
tourism industries you will be able to get along.
Guadeloupe is in Europe so uses Euros.
Most major credit cards are accepted, (Hotels,
restaurants, supermarkets, etc.). And you can easily
withdraw cash from ATMs/cash machines. It is how-ever
better to check with your bank on the charges withdrawal
limits, as well as to notifying them you will be leaving
the UK on holiday. Please note that at Desirade there is
only one cash machine and at Beausejour, in Les Saintes,
there are only two, one in Terre de Bas, Petite Anse,
and one in Terre de Haut.
Warning! No cash in the banks & No cash back.
offices and shops
Banks and many offices are generally open from 7.30 to
16.30, with a lunch break. On the eve of public holidays
banks are closed in the south.
Shops are open Monday to Friday from 8:30 to 18:00, on
Saturday they close at 13.00.
Shopping centers and supermarkets are generally open
every day from 8:30 pm to 20:00 and Sunday morning.
Remember that on Wednesday afternoons, nearly all shops
The climate in Guadeloupe
The climate is tropical in Guadeloupe, with two main seasons:
The dry season, from mid-November to mid-May: lightning storms
are rare, temperatures are very pleasant and at around 28-29
degrees. The winds from the east, called trade winds are
The dry season is cooler and drier than the rest of the year.
The rainy season is hot and humid from mid-May to mid-November.
The trade winds nearly disappear and it rains often and
intensely and the temperature is around 30-31 degrees in the
For more information
Telephone and Internet
You 'can use public phones with prepaid cards instead of
your mobile phone. The cards are widely available and
allow you to make calls to Europe with significant
reductions. Be careful as the cards expire.
Mobiles will work with ORANGE, DIGICEL and ONLY: you can
send and receive calls and SMS.
Internet is widespread in Guadeloupe, you can easily
find internet points, open wifi and internet cafes in
the major tourist areas.
To call Guadeloupe:
Water and Electricity
Tap water is potable.
The current is 220 Volt, 50 Hertz. The plugs how-ever
are French style and two pointed, so you will need a
Guadeloupe is subjected to French regulations and
standards of health. There are public hospitals and
private clinics throughout. Pharmacies follow the
European standards, you can find them in the town
centres and they are well supplied.
A European Health Insurance Card, is recognized, ask
your local post office before you go.
You do not need any vaccinations or prophylaxis for get
into Guadeloupe. As in all tropical countries take care
yto treat small wounds and avoid stagnant water.
Avoid Mancinelli (see side).
Some mosquitoes carry the dengue virus, (Symptoms
similar to a severe cold). Avoid getting bitten buy
mosquito's, use a repellent and a bed net.
Some fish may contain toxins that cause the Ciguatera
virus, avoid reef fish high up in the food chain, like
Beware of the millipedes their bite is similar to that
of a scorpion and is very painful.
Attention to sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS is
unfortunately a sad reality in Guadeloupe.
Centre Hospitalier et Universitaire Center
Route de Chauvel-97159 Pointe-à-Pitre
Tel: + 590 (0) 5 90 89 10 79 / 0590 89 10 10
Fire service: 18
Gendarmerie: 0590 82.00.89
Sea rescue: 05220.127.116.11
SAMU (paramedics): 0518.104.22.168
Airport departures: 0522.214.171.124
Airport arrivals: 0590.903232
In addition to the most famous Christian holidays, public
Ascension - 40th day after Easter
Pentecost - 8th Monday after Easter
Abolition of Slavery - May 27
Bastille Day- July 14
Schoelcher's birthday - July 21
Assention - August 15
All Saints' Day - November 1
The Armistice Day - 11 November
Keep an eye out for mancinella!
The mancinella is a tree which is found
commonly on the beaches of Guadeloupe and many Caribbean
islands. All parts of this plant are highly toxic and dangerous:
leaves, bark and fruit (Resembling a small green apples.) DO NOT
TOUCH, DO NOT TASTE, DO NOT SHELTER UNDER MANCINELLA IF IT
RAINS, DO NOT BURN IT!
On most popular beaches the trees are usually marked with a red
- Always ask before taking photos of
- Be friendly and smile.
- Do not leave anything in parked cars
- Drive with caution and pay attention to other motorists, often
the local drivers are somewhat erratic, turning with no
indication, stopping with no warning to chat etc. Be careful of
the gulleys at the sides of the roads, which are often hidden by
- On the beach always keep an eye on your belongings, especially
on less crowded beaches.
- Remember to drink plenty of water even if you don't feel
thirsty, you're in the tropics and it is important to not
dehydrate even if you feel the heat is bearable.
Use high protection sunscreen, the wind can sometimes trick you
into thinking it is cooler than it is.
- If you plan to visit the smaller islands, travel with a
lighter bag, it will be easier when travelling by boat.
- In case of rain avoid trekking, the routes can become
- For walking excursions wear suitable walking shoes.