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What you need to know before visiting Guadeloupe

Have you decided on the dates of your stay, booked your plane tickets and reserved your gite rental in Guadeloupe? Find out more about the island before you leave.


Guadeloupe enjoys a tropical maritime climate. The Azores anticyclone directs an easterly wind, better known as the Trade Wind, towards the islands. The temperature of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean is around 27°C, peaking at 28° 29° in summer. The air temperature averages 27°C and can rise to 32°C.

There are two seasons with more or less marked transitions.

A dry season called Lent from December to May. The Azores High is shifting southwards. The air is drier and showers are infrequent. Temperatures are pleasant and trade winds generally well established.

And a wetter season called "wintering" from July to October, accompanied by periods of frequent and intense rain. The tropical depression and cyclone season starts around July. Cyclones can form over the Atlantic. These extremely violent phenomena most often affect the northern half of the Caribbean arc. Guadeloupe is located in the center of the arc, and may also be affected by one of these phenomena.

The sun rises around 5 a.m. in summer and 6 a.m. in winter, setting around 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. respectively.

There is a 5-hour time difference in winter and a 6-hour time difference in summer between Metropolitan France and Guadeloupe.

Guadeloupe beach with palm trees in the sun
The "butterfly island" or mainland is made up of Basse-Terre (850 km2), where housing and economic activity are concentrated. This part of the island is mountainous, and the famous La Soufrière volcano, still active, towers over the island at over 1,467 meters.

Motto and hygiene

The local currency is the euro. We recommend that you have a payment card. Numerous ATMs are available, and standard payment cards are accepted everywhere.

Hygiene and health
Hygiene conditions are comparable to those in France. Numerous doctors, many pharmacies and a large hospital center ensure optimum health coverage. No special vaccinations are required. However, a few precautions should be taken:

- Avoid insect bites and take insect repellent with you, especially for children. It's a good idea to put some air-conditioning in the bedroom before bedtime, as lowering the temperature numbs the mosquito and renders it harmless. Alternatively, to make sure you're not bothered at night, use a mosquito net.

- Avoid excessive exposure to the sun, especially in the hot hours between 11am and 3pm. Use high SPF creams for the first few days and after-sun lotions. Don't forget to bring hats, caps and sunglasses for the whole family.

This advice is particularly important for vulnerable infants, for whom colored creams are recommended to ensure they are properly protected.

In the event of sunburn, there are some very good creams available from chemists that soothe burning sensations and help the skin rebuild its natural defenses.

- Straws are recommended for canned and bottled drinks, and fruit skins should be thoroughly cleaned before consumption, especially coconuts.

- Tap water is safe to drink. However, for the more sensitive, with a stomach weakened by the change in diet, we recommend switching to bottled water. River water, although apparently clear and unpolluted, is not fit for drinking.

- Avoid bathing in swampy areas and in the hot puddles of the Carbet Falls, where the heat maintains a bacteriological microcosm. To fully appreciate the hot springs in the best conditions, visit the Ravine Chaude spa in Le Lamentin.

- Avoid walking barefoot anywhere but the beach, and use a mat or towel to lie on the sand.

For further information, consult the tourist offices.

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