Lightweight cotton clothing is recommended.
More formal attire is suggested for the evening.
Bring along some good walking shoes and a light raincoat (k-way} for hiking.
Finally, a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen are indispensable during the day.
Hotels are diverse and offer a wide range of accommodations : traditional and luxury hotels with 1 to 4 stars, Relais Créoles, Tourism Residences, rooms with local inhabitants, cottages, and other accommodations.
Today there are about 10,000 rooms available on the island. Some are traditional while others are more modern, but they are all very comfortable. The number of hotels is constantly growing.
Tap water is potable and available everywhere.
In the shops and restaurants, you will find excellent, local mineral water as weIl as the better known brands from continental France.
Electric current : 220 volts - 50 Hz.
The telephone network is automated and linked to metropolitan France and most foreign countries.
10-digit telephone numbers are standard in aIl of Guadeloupe.
You will find telephone booths available in most towns. They accept telephone cards from continental France as weIl as credit cards.
The Post Office
There are post offices in aIl of the towns.
The postal rate is the same as in metropolitan France.
The currency is the French franc and will soon be the Euro.
Coins and bills are the same as in continental France.
On Saint-Martin/Sint-Maarten, the American dollar reigns, although the French franc and the Belgian guilder are the officiai currencies.
Banks-Currency Ex change
The principal French banks are represented in Guadeloupe.
Checks that are not local are often refused.
Automatic Exchange Tellers and Exchange Bureaus are available.
AIl banks and some hotels will exchange currency and cash traveller's checks.
AIl credit cards are accepted in most hotels, restaurants, shops and department stores.
Numerous ATM's are available in the principal towns and communities in Guadeloupe.
Although French is the official language, Creole is omnipresent and is still widely used.
Interestingly, English is more widely spoken on the northern islands of Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy.
English is increasingly spoken by professionals working in the tourism industry.
Medical and Sanitation services are large and modern. The University Hospital Center is located on Guadeloupe (CHU).
Handicrafts - Shopping - Souvenirs
Each of the islands of the archipelago has developed its own handicrafts and production is in full expansion in Guadeloupe : articles are made out of cotton, coconut fibers, palm leaves (latanier), and seashells. There is also basket making, sculpture, pottery and paintings...
Hand-crafted art objects : The goldsmith's craft - famous for its Creole-style jewelry - and the highly refined embroidery of "the days".
The most popular souvenir to bring back is a bottle of White or Old rum, which can be found in other forms as weIl : delicious fruit punches - lime, coconut, guava, passion fruit...
There is also sugar cane, vanilla cinnamon, cocoa, coffee and delicious fruit jams, without forgetting the hot peppers and warm spices : saffron, pepper corns, cumin, cloves, ginger... on sale in aIl the supermarkets. This is the moment to stock up before departing!
If you liked our flowers, specialized florist shops can ship anthuriums, alpinias, China lilies, etc. anywhere you like.
Finally, if you want to find some bargains, Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy offer numerous duty-free boutiques.