The main Island Guadeloupe, the butterfly-shaped island, is a fusion of two landscapes. Grande-Terre has the commercial capital and the main port, and Basse-Terre has the administrative capital and is a vast, fertile, nature reserve. The Guadeloupe archipelago has seven Islands, in addition to Basse-Terre and Grande-Terre which are the two main islands, five other Islands belong to the archipelago of Guadeloupe: Les Saintes, la Désirade and Petite Terre, Marie Galante, and finally in the north Saint Martin (split into a French and a Netherland section) and Saint Barthélémy (St Barts), who are independent from Guadeloupe's administration and French overseas communities of their own.


Christopher Columbus discovered Guadeloupe on November 04th, 1493. He named the Island to thank Santa Maria de Guadeloupe de Estremadura when he disembarked at Sainte-Marie de la Capesterre. The first inhabitants several hundred years before Christ were the Arawaks, an Indian tribe, peaceful, but highly developed fishermen. They became extinct around the 9th century by the men eating warriors of the Karibs, who still inhabited the Island Caloucaéra (Karukera in Creole language). Then the Karibs themselves got killed by epidemics, alcohol and guns. Later on, the Island was owned by the “Compagnie des Indes”, then by King Louis XIV; the island survived attacks by the Dutch and occupation by the British. New plants like cotton and spices were introduced.   During the 18th century was the peak of the buccaneering and the Caribbean islands mostly lived of attacks and looting of foreign cargo vessels.  In 1635, Guadeloupe became French. Influenced by the French Revolution, on February 4th, 1794, the Convention in Paris voted for the prohibition of slavery and sent Victor Hugues to Guadeloupe to control the implementation. A big number of estate owners who were loyal to the king and slave masters got executed by the Guillotine. In 1802, Napoleon Bonaparte reinstated slavery, but at the same time an opposition movement stood up. First under the commando of Louis Delgrès in 1802, later under the British, who forbid slavery in 1807, then at the Congress of Vienna in 1815. But only on April 27th, 1848, the French parliament voted for the Abolition Decree, brought in by Viktor Schoelcher, the founder of the Abolitionist Society. On March 19th, 1946, Guadeloupe becomes a French Overseas Department. Saint Martin and Saint Barts voted for their independence from Guadeloupe's administration and got French overseas communities of their own since the referendum held on December 07, 2003.


In Guadeloupe’s people you will find a centuries-old fusion of Creole and French reflected in our elegant culture, clothes and faces. The atmosphere is cool and relaxed. With the abundance of mixed cultures there will always be something happening somewhere in Guadeloupe, in the countryside or in the towns and villages.


To See

Pointe-à-Pitre, the commercial centre, and Basse-Terre, the capital city. National Park rain forest and La Soufriere volcano. Pre-Columbian drawings at the Archaeological Park. Hindu Temple of Changy. Fort Delgres. Fort Fleur d'Epee. Pointe des Chateaux, Pointe de la Grande Vigie, and the Carbet Falls. The remains of the plantation economy, the old Creole houses and of course the numerous natural beauties of the Islands are also a must to discover with the magnificent beaches of white or volcanic sand.

Usefull Information

Airports: International Airport of Pointe-à-Pitre le Raizet "Guadeloupe Pôle Caraïbes".

Area: 1702 square kilometres.

Business: Light business attire, shirt and tie are recommended for meeting. Offices are open from Monday to Friday, 8am to noon and 2pm to 6pm.

Capital: Basse-Terre.

Climate: The Guadeloupe islands have two seasons – "carême" which is dry and "l'hivernage" which is wet. The dry season runs from December until May, and the wet season is from July to October.

Clothing: Light cotton clothes are the main things to pack. A slightly smarter outfit is advisable for evening wear and visits to religious sites. Bring good walking shoes and a light raincoat for forest hikes. Leisure attire is widely accepted but people like to dress up for dinner and night clubs.

Currency: Euro.

Customs: Guadeloupe being a department of France, duty free exemption is the same as France.

Economy: The economy of Guadeloupe depends on agriculture – 1/3 of the total area of the Island is for sugar cane, and bananas culture as well as pineapple, coffee and vanilla in smaller quantity - tourism, light industry, and services. It also depends on France for large subsidies and imports.

Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50 cycles.

Entry & Departure requirements: Please refer to the official Guadeloupe tourism website (link below) or ask us.

Health: Health and medical facilities are substantial and up-to-date. There are plenty of pharmacies to help with minor ailments. General practitioners and specialists are available just about everywhere.

Holidays: New Year’s day (01 JAN), Mi-carême-carnival (FEB-MAR), Easter Monday (MAR-APR), Labour Day (MAY), Victory Day (MAY), Ascension Day (MAY), Abolition Day (MAY), Whit Monday (JUN), National Day (14 JUL), Schoelcher Day (JUL), Assumption day (AUG), All Saints' s Day (NOV), Armistice Day (NOV), Christmas (25 DEC).

Language: Although French is the official language, Creole is still widely used everywhere.

Political status: Overseas department and administrative region of France.

Population: 440,000.

Religion: Mainly Catholic since its origin, the Guadeloupe population is now also getting into other numerous churches such as Baptist, Adventist, etc.

Security: There are basic rules to follow to avoid problem and stay alert in some areas of the Island. Don’t go on beaches at night; don’t stay alone, days or nights, in places too isolated. Finally, we recommend some special care to women not accompanied.

Shopping: From Monday 830am to 6pm and Saturday from 0830am to 1pm. Import goods such as perfume, wine, alcohol and Lalique crystal. You will also find spices, coloured clothes like the famous “Madras” and arts and crafts. Finally rum, fruits and jams are some specialities too.

Taxes & Service charges: Same as in France. Service and tax are included in the prices, but tips, usually 10% are always welcome. There is also a visitor’s tax between 0.50 to 1.00 EUR per person per night to be paid locally.

Telecommunications: The International Dialling Code for Guadeloupe is 590 followed by the 9 digits of the telephone number (++590-5 90 21 04 32 (fixed set) or ++590-6 90 41 09 23 (mobile phone).

Time: GMT – 4 hrs. Guadeloupe Time does not operate Daylight-Saving Time.

Transportation: Road links (no tolls) are well developed, well maintained and provide access to the main tourist attractions. Taxis are a widely used mode of transport, available just about everywhere on all the islands of the archipelago. Public transport is well developed on all the islands in the archipelago. A modern and comfortable bus service links up the various towns and villages. Picturesque and easy to use, it is an ideal opportunity to get a feel for the real Guadeloupe. All the main national and international car hire companies are represented. Most of them are concentrated in the airports and main tourist areas. Local hire companies are also available. You can also hire two wheels: bicycle, mountain bike, scooter, or motorbike.



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From: 4195 CHF/3395 €
St Maarten & St Barthelemy : Islands Combination !!!!
From: 4195 CHF/3395 €

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