They have a 'Pani Problem' philosophy in Guadeloupe which translate in No Problemo. Altough it's the perfect philosophy for a vacation, it can gets in the way of your important stuff, like catching your flight back! Double-check even if they tell you everything is under control. Same rules apply if you rent a car; I've been warn that some dealers are illegal.
If you don't know French, learn as much as you can before you go. Very few people speak English. Even at the Tourism Office in Guadeloupe's largest city, I could not find anyone who spoke English. My high school French just wasn't enough. If you try to speak French, no matter how poorly, people will be more willing to try their poor English. Usually (but certainly not always), their poor English was way better than my poor French.
Guadeloupe was called Karukera - island of beautiful waters - by the Caribs who inhabited it when Columbus first landed on Basse Terre. Guadeloupe became a French colony (except the many times when it was seized by the English) based on a slave economy. The Carib were killed or forcibly removed to nearby Dominica. Slavery was finally abolished by official decree in 1833. Since that time, groups of Indians and Chinese were brought in as laborers. A majority of citizens now are either black or mulatto. It is a visibly well-blended society.
Since 1946, Guadeloupe has been a French overseas department with all the rights (ostensibly) and benefits belonging to other French citizens. Its dependencies are la Desirade, Marie Galante, les Saintes, St. Barthelemy and St. Martin.
There have been movements for independence, autonomy and federalization. There remains some resentment toward 'bekes' (Creole term for the white landowners) and the 'French French' but, at least on the surface, every one appears to get along well.
The main culture is Creole.
Remember that this is a Catholic country especially if you need to do any thing on Sunday. The only places open in Point a Pitre on Sunday were a Kentucky Fried Chicken and a McDonalds. Luckily sidewalk stands opened up upon the arrival of a passenger boat from Les Saintes. Oddly enough, most St. Anne grocers, bakeries and ice cream stores and some restaurants were open for at least part of Sunday.
take your time to do things as they mostly do there especially in the smaller villages and dont worry if for example the shop keeper carry on talking to his/her friend instead of serving you.
I worked at this place for 6 months. It was a Club Med, and was later closed. Lbelieve it is still...more
We stayed here in 1999 and it was the best vacation we ever had. Grand Case Beach Club was clean,...more
Route de Sandy Ground 1, Marigot, St. Maarten/St. Martin, 97150, Caribbean
Good for: Families