Transportation in Guadeloupe

By sea, regular connections are provided to the dependencies and nearby islands. In Guadeloupe, departures are made from the dock of Pointe à Pitre for Les Saintes, Marie-Galante, and Désirade, from Trois Rivières for Les Saintes, and from Saint François for Marie-Galante and Désirade. Thus, Marie-Galante and Les Saintes are served several times a day. The uninhabited islets are only accessible with specialized tourist companies

By air, several airlines share the Caribbean sky. Small local airlines such as Air Caraïbes or LIAT ensure the exchanges with the dependencies of Saint Barth and Saint Martin and the small islands. The national airline Air France connects Guadeloupe and Martinique to Cayenne, Haiti, Puerto Rico, and Miami.

On land, the bus is an essential and picturesque means of transportation for the visitor. Country cabs” are owned by small private companies and serve all localities. But there is no question of fixed stops or schedules. Here, one waits and hails the bus as it passes. Also, the driver must be asked to stop and payment is made when getting off.

Cabs are mainly found in airports and large cities. Fares are regulated, but the price of a taxi ride quickly increases as soon as you leave the city, especially to reach your hotel. In addition, some cabs are illegal and charge unbelievable rates. The ideal, when arriving in the Caribbean, is to have chosen a package with transfers included or to rent a car.

Renting a car remains the ideal solution to discover Guadeloupe in the best conditions. Although this solution is the most expensive, in front of the anarchy of the public transport, you save a lot of time. A French driving license is required and the minimum age is 21 years old. Road infrastructures are of very good quality and many agencies are available in cities or in airports. Many small rental companies offer very attractive rates but the condition of the vehicle often leaves something to be desired or the insurance is minimal. If your budget allows it, prefer larger rental companies to fleets of new vehicles or contact your travel agency before leaving.

Guadeloupeans love cars and the incredible number of registrations, proportionally to the population, testifies to this immoderate taste. So much so that some roads are regularly jammed at certain times.

Driving in the West Indies requires a lot of caution. If the main and secondary roads are in very good condition, under the action of the tropical rains, the small roads are sometimes full of potholes or ostrich holes! In addition, the roads are extremely winding and the driving style of the West Indians, sporty and fast, invites to redouble caution. Other dangers threaten: the numerous bicycles and mopeds are often poorly or not at all lit at night, many stray dogs, cows and goats poorly tied to the side of the road cause gaps and accidents.