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Guadeloupe is located at the southern tip of the Leeward Islands, to the northern end of the Windward Islands. While Dominica cuts Guadeloupe from Martinique, the dual islands are often regarded as next door neighbors.Guadeloupe was initially lived on by the Arawaks. However, such as the occupants of a lot of other Caribbean islands, they had to leave eventually after the Carib tribe came here in the ninth century. Columbus and other Spanish language settlers found the area fairly inhospitable, especially because of the hostile welcome Caribs, also it was in France they who eventually settled within the 17th Century.
The Îles des Saintes were named by Columbus on November 4, 1493. He saw a cluster of small islands, and named them. Technically, you will find eight islands that comprise Îles des Saintes: Terre-p-Haut, Terre-p-Bas, Îlet-a-Cabrit, La Coche, L'ensemble des Augustins, Grand Îlet, Le Redonde, and Le Pate. Upon closer inspection however, just the first couple of islands can be considered islands, because the other six are essentially huge rocks.
Îles des Saintes remains largely undeveloped, that is a real treat when in comparison towards the mega-resorts that have started to typify other Caribbean locales. These islands would be the perfect spot to relax.
Although Îles des Saintes consists of eight small islands, 3 are really visited: Terre-p-Haut and Terre-p-Bas. Terre-p-Haut is how you'll most likely spend much of your time. The majority of the action is focused on Le Bourg, a street that winds along near the water. The majority of Terre-p-Haunt's clients are carried out about this street, but Le Bourg can also be ideal for walking and individuals watching. What little remains of Fort Napoleon today is mainly ruins, although a few of the barracks are fairly well-maintained. You may also begin to see the drawbridge plus some prison areas.
Diving is among Îles des Saintes' greatest growth industries. The ocean around Fort Napoleon is considered the most interesting in most from the Caribbean, with underwater grottoes just pleading for the exploration. Obviously, the shore beckons here, because it does all around the Caribbean.
Docking & Local Transportation
Cruise ships pier in Pointe-à-Pitre, on Grande-Terre. After that, ferry motorboats hook you up to Îles des Saintes, a twenty-five minute boat ride. The ship terminal is 5 minutes walk from city centre and yes, you need a bus or much more expencive taxi to go for a beach break. Do learn some French as most people do not speak English, and don't try to pay in dollars as this is the Eurozone. The easiest method to circumvent in Îles des Saintes is as simple as bike or scooter. Localizé is a great rental agency on Terre-p-Haut. The taxis here are really small minibuses, and difficult to find. Obviously, the islands are sufficiently small, and you could cover lots of ground by walking.
By Rental Car -- You may want to rent a car on Guadeloupe so that you can explore Basse-Terre; the loop around the island is one of the most scenic drives in the Caribbean. Car-rental kiosks at the airport are open to meet international flights. Rental rates at local companies may appear lower, but several readers have complained of mechanical problems, billing irregularities, and difficulties in resolving insurance disputes in the event of accidents. We recommend reserving a car in advance through Hertz (tel. 800/654-3001 in the U.S. and Canada, or 590/21-13-46; www.hertz.com) or Avis (tel. 800/331-1084 in the U.S. and Canada, or 590/21-13-54; www.avis.com), both of which are headquartered at the airport. Many of the major hotels also have car rental desks. You'll have to pay a one-time airport surcharge of 20€ and VAT (value-added tax) of 8.5%. Prices are usually 20% to 25% lower between March and early December, excepting July and August.
Driving is on the right-hand side of the road, and there are several gas stations along the island's main routes. Because of the distance between gas stations in outlying regions, try not to let your gas gauge fall below the halfway mark when driving outside of the capital.
By Taxi -- You'll find taxis when you arrive at the airport, but no limousines or buses. From 7pm until 6am, cabbies are legally entitled to charge you 40% more than the regular fare. Some taxis in Guadeloupe have meters, although the driver will either activate them or not, depending on a complicated set of parameters involving the time of day, your destination, and his whim, even though fares are technically regulated by the French government. If the taxi you're about to enter doesn't have a working meter, always agree on a price before getting in. Approximate fares are 30€ from the airport to the hotels of Gosier, or about 20€ from the airport to anywhere within Pointe-à-Pitre. Taxis can be contacted throughout Guadeloupe by calling Radio Cabs at tel. 590/82-00-00. It's possible, but very expensive, to sightsee by taxi. Usually, the concierge at your hotel will help you make arrangements. Fares are usually around 200€ for a 7-hour day for up to four passengers.
By Bus -- Small buses link almost every hamlet to Pointe-à-Pitre. However, you may need to know some French to use the system. In Pointe-à-Pitre, you can catch a bus from the following departure points: If you're going anywhere in Basse-Terre, you'll depart from the Gare Routière de Bergevin. If the northern half of Grande-Terre is your destination, catch a bus at the Gare Routière de Mortenol. For the southern end of Grande-Terre, the buses depart from the prolongement (extension) of the Marché de la Darse. Infrequent and somewhat erratic service is available daily from 5:30am to 7:30pm. There is no direct bus service from the airport to Pointe-à-Pitre. To travel the entire island would cost around 5€. Many visitors find it easier, especially when they first arrive on Guadeloupe, to take a taxi.
Things To See and Do
In the Eastern Caribbean cruises, the island archipelago of Guadeloupe enchants visitors with its evocative blend of natural beauty, Creole and French culture, and fascinating history.
Originally inhabited by the Arawaks, and later the Caribs, Guadeloupe was also coveted by the Dutch, attacked by pirates, and briefly occupied by Britain. Today the archipelago is an overseas region of France, and its food, language, and culture reflect this tie.Guadeloupe proper resembles a butterfly in shape with two main islands, Grand-Terre in the east and Basse-Terre in the west, separated by a narrow mangrove channel called the Rivière Salée. Pretty palm-fringed beaches rim the coastline, and the interior is lush and mountainous with waterfalls, hot springs, an active volcano, and great opportunities for hiking. Most tourist facilities are located on the southern shore of Grand-Terre, which is also home to the largest city and cruise port, Pointe-a-Pitre. Composed of volcanic mounds and ridges, Basse-Terre is high and rugged, with well-preserved tropical forests and the active volcano of La Soufrière.
The archipelago also encompasses the smaller islands of La Desirade, Les Saintes, and Marie-Galante, which offer many natural attractions of their own. All of Guadeloupe's islands boast excellent opportunities for birding, photography, hiking, and water sports such as surfing, snorkeling, swimming, and diving. Guadeloupe also hosts many colorful carnivals and festivals, including the five-day Mardi-Gras Carnival ending on Ash Wednesday.
Guadeloupe National Park, Basse-Terre Island
Designated a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, Guadeloupe National Park (Parc National de la Guadeloupe) on Basse-Terre Island, often draws more than one million visitors per year. The park encompasses 300 kilometers of hiking trails, La Soufrière volcano at 1,467 meters, Col de la Matéliane at 1,298 meters, and a wide range of flora and fauna, including 100 species of orchids and 11 species of bats. Birdwatchers will enjoy the diversity here with resident species such as the black woodpecker, pearly-eyed thrasher, and lesser Antillean pewee. A good way to tour the park is via Route de la Traversée (D23). This scenic trans-coastal highway winds through the tropical forest of majestic mahogany trees, giant ferns, and bamboo. Along this route, visitors will find lookouts, picnic areas, jungle waterfalls, and a staffed roadside center at Maison de la Forêt. Many visitors also stop for a cooling swim at Cascade aux Ecrevisses, a small waterfall spilling into a pond.
Address: Habitation Beausoleil Montéran, 97120 Saint Claude, Official site: www.guadeloupe-parcnational.com
La Soufrière
The highest peak in the lesser Antilles, La Grande Soufrière is an active volcano, which has erupted eight times since 1660. Hot springs, mud pools, and fumaroles punctuate its barren black sides. Hikers can ascend the volcano along the Chemin des Dames trail, an approximately two-hour climb with panoramic views from the highest points of the massif, as long as the weather is clear. The triple waterfall of Chutes du Carbet cascades down the eastern face of the La Soufrière massif, from a height of 115 meters, with lookouts over each waterfall. Hikers who follow the trail to Etang As de Pique will find one of the largest of the mountainside lakes formed in craters on the volcanic massif surrounded by lush hillsides.
Address: Habitation Beausoleil Montéran, 97120 Saint Claude, Official site: www.guadeloupe-parcnational.com
Terre-de-Bas Island
Terre-de-Bas is the western island of Les Saintes and features small fishing villages swimming beaches and hiking trails. Two hours is sufficient to cross the island, which is considered one of the most natural and wild in the Guadeloupe archipelago. Grande Anse on Terre-de-Bas features a small 17th century church, a pretty bay and beach with huts for swimming and snorkeling, and a hiking path to the promontory of 273-meter Grande Montagne. Gros-Cap is the main village of Terre-de-Bas with a ferry landing, hotel, restaurant, and the starting points of roads and hiking trails.
Terre-de-Haut Island
Terre-de-Haut Island, the eastern island of Les Saintes, exudes a more European character than its western counterpart. The terrain and climate were unsuited to raising sugar, so the settlers were mainly fishermen. The pastel-colored houses and brightly-painted fishing boats (saintoises) provide excellent photo opportunities. At the island's main village, Bourg des Saintes, "Sugarloaf" volcanic hill overlooks a curved blue bay fringed by white sands. The houses here are European in character, with whitewashed walls, red tile roofs, and flower gardens. Located on a hill overlooking the bay, 17th-century Fort Napoléon with its historical museum and Exotic Garden is one of the island's main tourist attractions. Another highlight, Morne du Chameau is the highest point on the island and takes around two hours to ascend from Terre-de-Haut village. Across the bay, Ilet à Cabrit is a small island where the ruins of 19th-century Fort Joséphine still stand.
Lying in the shadow of the Soufrière volcano, Basse Terre is the administrative capital of Guadeloupe and one of the oldest French settlements in the Caribbean. Banana boats fill their holds at the harbor, and the town is a mix of French colonial architecture and modern government buildings. Points of interest include 17th-century Fort St-Charles (also called Fort Louis Delgrès), the town square (Place du Champ d'Arbaud) and its adjoining park Jardin Pichon, and the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul. At the Archaeological Gardens history buffs will find a series of Arawak petroglyphs and wildlife lovers will enjoy the Zoological and Botanical Park. Overlooking town, the suburb of St Claude is home to large colonial mansions, former homes of the fugitive French aristocratic families who founded sugar plantations in the 18th century. Hiking trails ascend the volcanic massif with sea views.
Zoological and Botanical Park
An easy drive from Pointe-a-Pitre, the Basse-Terre Zoological and Botanical Park is a popular hilltop garden and nature reserve on the banks of the Rivière aux Hérbes. Children love the animals here. Hiking trails thread through the tropical rainforest where visitors may spot tortoises, raccoons, monkeys, jaguars, and parrots. One section of the park is strung with rope bridges leading through the canopy with spectacular views over the mountainous terrain.
Address: Route de la traversée, D23, Official site: http://www.zoodeguadeloupe.com/
Pointe-a-Pitre Shopping
Shoppers will find Guadeloupe's best buys in the archipelago's largest town, Pointe-a-Pitre. French perfumes, jewelry, cosmetics, crystal, and fashion tempt shoppers at the Center Saint-John Perse as well as the stores along Frébault, Nozières, and Schoelcher Streets. The colorful outdoor markets are fun to visit as much for the ambiance as their merchandise with many market vendors dressed in colors as bright as the tropical fruits they flaunt. The harborside market sells spices, flowers, crafts, and clothing, and fishing boats tie up here to sell their catch. Other markets around town include Saint-Antoine, Saint-Jules, and the Flower market.
Sainte-Anne, Guadeloupe (Grand-Terre):
At Sainte Anne, visitors will find a settlement dating to the 17th century and one of the finest beaches in Guadeloupe. Sainte Anne was the capital of Grande-Terre until 1759, and today the ruins of sugar mills surrounding town are a testament to its former status as an important sugar exporter. A seaside promenade invites travelers to stroll under the palms, and the beach here is busy, but beautiful with white sand and shallow water in dreamy shades of blue. Visitors will also find a selection of restaurants and a market selling local crafts near the beach.
La Désirade
Meaning "The Desired One" in French, La Désirade certainly lives up to its name. A 45-minute boat ride from Saint-Francois, this peaceful island, is ringed with beautiful palm-fringed beaches and protected by long coral reefs. Snorkeling, swimming, and diving are all popular pursuits here, and a hiking trail at Le Morne du Souffleur offers spectacular sea views as does Grande Montagne, the island's tiny village. Composed of tabular rock, this beautiful island was once a leper colony, but is now a geological nature reserve. Not far from La Désirade lie Petite-Terre, two uninhabited island nature reserves known for their biodiversity.
La Pointe des Châteaux (Grande-Terre)
La Pointe des Châteaux is a scenic isthmus at the easternmost point of Grande Terre. The windy, wave-battered point with castle-like rock formations exudes a rugged beauty reminiscent of Brittany. A botanical path leads from the village to a vantage point among great black rocks, which gives a clear view to the islands of La Désirade, Petite-Terre, and Marie-Galante.
Port-Louis (Grande-Terre)
Port-Louis, a small fishing village is home to one of Guadeloupe's prettiest beaches, Plage du Souffleur. This wide-open stretch of beautiful white sand is fringed by flame trees, which look especially beautiful when they blossom in the spring. Brightly painted wooden houses and vintage iron lampposts give the town a cheery feel. A drive through an area of desert vegetation leads to Pointe de le Grande Vigie, the northern-most point in Guadeloupe, with 360-degree views across the sea to neighboring islands on clear days.
Marie-Galante Island
Called the Big Pancake by its inhabitants, Marie-Galante is a round, flat island known for its gorgeous beaches. Sugar farming and tourism are the primary industries and visitors will see the ruins of many windmills around the island. Sunbathing, swimming, hiking, and local events are all popular activities. At Habitation Murat, an eco-museum honors Marie-Galante's arts and culture, including the history of its sugar industry. Also on-site are a restored colonial mansion, windmill tower, and the ruins of a sugar factory. Feuillere Beach is one of the nicest stretches of sand on the island.
Jacques Cousteau's Underwater Reserve
Off the coast of Basse-Terre near Bouillante, the waters surrounding Pigeon Island comprise the popular Jacques Cousteau Underwater Reserve (Réserve Cousteau) with some of Guadeloupe's best sub-aquatic scenery. Visitors can snorkel along the shallow water reefs, scuba dive, or view the coral from a glass-bottom boat. The dive sites cater to all skill levels. Turtles and large schools of fish, as well as parrotfish, trumpetfish, and barracuda frequent the coral gardens here, and the area offers good wall and wreck dives. Travelers can also kayak over to the reserve from the mainland.
Address: Bouillante, Guadeloupe , Plage de Malendure 97125
Jardin Botanique de Deshaies
Brimming with beautiful tropical flora and many colorful species of birds, Jardin Botanique de Deshaies is a peaceful botanical garden on Basse-Terre's northwest coast. Paths lined with bright splashes of bougainvillea wind throughout the grounds where visitors stroll among cascades, lily-topped ponds, and gazebos. Children will love feeding the fish as well as the rainbow lorikeets, which descend on outstretched arms. A hilltop restaurant provides beautiful views of the gardens and the sea.
Address: Deshaies 97126, Guadeloupe (Basse Terre), Official site: http://jardin-botanique.com
Since the Îles des Saintes are extremely small, practically the whole area is a large beach. Beaches on Terre-p-Haut are beautiful, and you shouldn't have any problem locating the perfect stretch of sand. Anse Crawen, on Terre-p-Haut, is an especially lovely beach.
St. Anne beach is realy very nice for beach days. It is possible to take a bus from La Darse bus station - ask for it people in the La Darse  square /10 minutes walk from pier/ for 2,80 Euro /one way. / they go very often all day long. To the station you will go around church, constructed by Eiffel. Worth to visit for a few minutes to see his construction. The way lasts around 30 minutes
The beach in St. Anne is white with soft sand and calm clear water, beach bars and stalls. Not many vendors - all of them nonaggresive and polite. The bus station back is 250 m from beach in square at the left side of church in St. Anne.In Guadeloupe / like territory of France/ you need euro for payments.

Deep-Sea Fishing
Blue marlin, wahoo (known locally as thazar), and yellowfin tuna can be fished throughout the year; the season for dorado (mahimahi) is limited to November to May. Hotels can usually recommend a deep-sea outfitter or two. A well-recommended outfitter is Le Manolo (tel. 590/90-75-49), who's usually moored offshore the Plage de Malendure, but who moves his craft to various ports on Guadeloupe and its offshore dependencies, depending on the tides, the season, and business. For a "very full" half-day experience at big game fishing, with a departure at 7:30am and a return scheduled for around 3pm, he charges 120€ per person, with all equipment included, minimum three passengers.
Guadeloupe's only golf course is the well-known Golf de St-François ??, avenue de l'Europe, 97110 St-François (tel. 590/88-41-87), opposite the Le Kalenda Resort. The course runs alongside a 320-hectare (791-acre) lagoon where windsurfing, water-skiing, and sailing prevail. Designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr., it's a challenging 6,755-yard, par-71 course, with water traps on 6 of the 18 holes, not to mention massive bunkers, prevailing trade winds, and a particularly fiendish 400-yard, par-4 9th hole. The par-5 6th is the toughest hole on the course; its 450 yards must be negotiated in the constant easterly winds. Greens fees are 40€ per day per person. You can rent clubs for 15€ a day; an electric cart costs 36€ for 18 holes. Hours are daily from 7:30am to 6:30pm.
The 30,000-hectare (74,132-acre) Parc Naturel de Guadeloupe (tel. 590/80-86-00) contains some of the best hiking trails in the Caribbean. The 290km (180 miles) of trails cut through the deep foliage of rainforest, passing waterfalls and cool mountain pools, hot springs, and rugged gorges along the way. The big excursion country, of course, is around the volcano, La Soufrière. Another highlight is Les Chutes du Carbet, one of the tallest waterfalls in the Caribbean, with a drop of 240m (787 ft.). More details are available in the notes on the Windward Coast near the end of "Around Basse-Terre," earlier in this chapter.
Hiking brochures are available from the tourist office. Hotel tour desks can make arrangements. For information about this and other hikes in the national park, contact Organisation des Guides de Montagne de la Caraïbe, Maison Forestière, Matouba (tel. 590/92-06-10).
Warning: Hikers may experience heavy downpours. The annual precipitation on the higher slopes is 6.3m (248 in.) per year, so be prepared with rain gear.
Aquatic Sports
Diving fanatics consider Îles des Saintes to be among the premier diving locations within the entire Caribbean, and possibly the entire world. Plenty of dive shops have popped up all around the islands to focus on this flourishing industry. A good option to dive from Îles des Saintes is near Fort Napoleon on Terre-p-Haut. You will find some fascinating underwater grottoes worth exploring.
Scuba Diving
Guadeloupe is more popular for scuba diving than any other French-speaking island. The allure is the relatively calm seas and La Réserve Cousteau, a national park where the underwater environment is rigidly protected. Jacques Cousteau once described the waters off Guadeloupe's Pigeon Island as "one of the world's 10 best diving spots." Sergeant majors become visible at a depth of 9m (30 ft.); spiny sea urchins and green parrotfish at 18m (59 ft.); and magnificent stands of finger, black, brain, and star coral at 24m (79 ft.).
The most popular dive sites include Aquarium, Piscine, Jardin de Corail, Pointe Carrangue, Pointe Barracuda, and Jardin Japonais. Although scattered around the periphery of the island, many are in the bay of Petit Cul-de-Sac Marin, south of Rivière Salée, the channel that separates the two halves of Guadeloupe. North of the Salée is another bay, Grand Cul-de-Sac Marin, where the small islets of Fajou and Caret also boast fine diving.
Reacting to the rich diversity of underwater flora and fauna, which thrive at relatively shallow -- and relatively safe -- depths, several entrepreneurs have set up shop. One of these is Les Heures Saines, Rocher de Malendure, Bouillante (tel. 590/98-86-63; www.heures-saines.gp), whose trio of dive boats departs two times a day at 10am and 2:30pm, for explorations of the waters within the reserve. With all equipment included, dives -- depending on the level of expertise of the participants and the intended destination -- cost from 45€ each. Novices, at least for the very first time they engage in the sport, pay 50€ for what is referred to as a baptème (baptism).
Les Heures Saines maintains its own 13-unit hotel, Le Paradis Creole (tel. 590/98-71-62; www.guadeloupe-hotel.net). Here simple motel-style accommodations rent for 80€ in winter and 60€ off season. All have either air-conditioning or ceiling fans, but no TV or phone, and very few frills. Many of them are occupied almost exclusively by avid divers and, to a lesser degree, hill climbers, on tour-group holiday from the French mainland.
This outfit's slightly larger competitor, located a short distance away, is Centre International de la Plongée (C.I.P. Bouillante), Lieu-Dit Poirier, Malendure Plage, Pigeon, 97125 Bouillante (tel. 590/98-81-72; www.cip-guadeloupe.com). It's acknowledged as the most professional dive operation on the island. In a wood-sided house on Malendure Plage, close to a well-known restaurant, Chez Loulouse, it's well positioned at the edge of the Cousteau Underwater Reserve. Certified divers pay 31€ for a one-tank dive. A "resort course" for first-time divers costs 46€ and is conducted one-on-one with an instructor. Packages of four dives are offered for 136€; PADI open-water certification costs 515€. It's usually awarded as part of an 8-day instruction ritual, but in a pinch, if its participants are extremely motivated, it can be passed in 3 days if you communicate your wishes and ambitions in advance.
For an intensive immersion in the sport, consider enrolling (along with lots of like-minded aficionados) in one of the windsurfing programs at UCPA (Union des Centres de Plein-Air), 97118 St-François (tel. 590/99-54-94; www.ucpa.com). This organization devoted to outdoor warm-weather sports has its own hotel-style bungalows, each of them beach-fronting affairs built in 1986, set close to a swimming pool and dining hall. They all contain simple and durable furniture and ceiling fans, but none have TVs, phones, air-conditioning, or any other grace notes. If you're already an experienced windsurfer, you can always drop in for a practice run -- windsurfers rent for 30€ for a half-day -- but participants are encouraged to remain on-site for between 5 and 7 days, buying sports packages whose arithmetic makes each individual session cost a lot less. With half-board included, per-person rates, double occupancy, cost from 380€ to 450€ per week. Packages can be built around windsurfing, surfing, kite surfing, and golf.
Eating Out
Two restaurants attract plenty of site visitors on Terre-p-Haut. L'ensemble des Amandiers offers excellent Creole fare. The menu is very varied, although sea food where the emphasis is. Le Genois is definitely an exceptional eatery situated around the water.
 Îles des Saintes has a non-existent nightlife. The best bet for nocturnal party lovers is to head to Grande-Terre. There are plenty of casinos in the region to keep visitors busy. The Casino p la Marina is within St-François, around the eastern coast of Grande-Terre. In Gosier, the Gosier-l'ensemble des-Bains offers Slots, blackjack and roulette options.
Guadeloupeans claim that la biguine was invented here, not on Martinique, and they dance it as if it truly was their own. Of course, there's also calypso, technically imported from points farther south such as Trinidad; merengue sounds from the Dominican Republic; salsa from Puerto Rico; and fusion jazz from Cuba, too -- the islanders are known for their dancing.
Ask at your hotel for details on the folkloric Ballets Guadeloupéens performances. This troupe makes frequent appearances at the big resorts.
The major casino, one of only two on the island, both administered by the same company, is Casino Gosier-les-Bains, 43 Pointe de la Verdure, Gosier (tel. 590/84-79-69). A casually elegant spot, it's open daily from 10am until 3am (4am on Fri and Sat), although the hottest games -- those associated with roulette, chemin de fer, and blackjack -- don't open till 9pm. ID is requested. All areas of the casino are free of admission.
A smaller casino, with fewer slot machines, is Casino de St-François, avenue de l'Europe (tel. 590/88-41-31), near the Le Kalenda Resort in St-François. It is open daily 10am to 2am.
If you don't like casino action, you can find other nighttime diversions in Guadeloupe, although these tend to be seasonal, with more offerings in the winter. Sheathed in wood and open to the outdoor breezes, the Zoo Rock Café at La Marina in Gosier (tel. 590/90-77-77; www.zoorockcafe.com) offers a revolving series of theme parties ("Midnight in Rio" and "Carnival in New Orleans") that might remind you of something in St-Tropez.
Cuban salsa and Latin dancing draw patrons to Lollapalooza, 122 Montauban, Gosier (tel. 590/84-56-18), where pictures of dictator Fidel and the long-dead Che Guevara decorate the walls. If you get tired of this joint, try Fanzy Bar, Mathurin Poucette (tel. 590/84-41-34), where musical styles might include 1980s-style French disco, Bob Marley reggae, and, in an occasional orgy of nostalgia, Edith Piaf singing songs from the 1940s and '50s. All these bars are free, but the island's dance clubs charge a uniform fee of about 20€, which includes the cost of a first drink. After that, most cocktails are a pricey 10€ to 15€.
The clientele and psychedelic colors of Bar Americano, sur la Plage in Ste-Anne (tel. 590/88-38-99), might make you believe that the 1960s era of flower power is still alive and thriving. Set directly adjacent to the beach and artfully grungy, it's the kind of hangout that might remind you of your college years. More animated, but open only Friday and Saturday nights, is La Cascade, in Gosier (tel. 590/84-33-69), which rocks and rolls, often to salsa or other Latin beats, for an audience of locals and short-term holidaymakers.
Among the world's most original shops is located the following on Terre-p-Haut.These beautiful bits of work would complement any home. They're a little bit costly, but the standard from the work truly sticks out. Otherwise, shopping around the island is rather routine, with a lot of small shops providing the usual Caribbean mementos.
The luxury items that you can purchase in Guadeloupe are all imported from France. You'll find lingerie, perfumes, designer fashion, jewelry, china, cheese, patés, and liquor all with French labels.
If you are looking to really support the local economy, try picking up products made right in Guadeloupe. As you browse the markets, you'll find dolls dressed in madras, fishermen hats woven of split bamboo, woven items, spices arranged in baskets, coffee, and locally distilled rum.
The best shopping to be had in Guadeloupe can be found in the city of Pointe a Pitre. Here there are a number of open air markets, where ladies sell spices and handicrafts alongside food booths. The Central Market is located atPlace de la Victoire, the main square. Frebault, Nozieres, and Rue Schoelcher are the main streets to wonder down for boutiques featuring French products. Also, at the Darse on the first Sunday each month, there is a flea market selling simliar products as the open air markets. Moule, Sainte-Anne and Saint-Claude also hold flea markets on alternating Sundays.
Carrefour, which is located just outside Le Raizet Airport, offers the best mall experience on the island. There are also a number of art galleries situated throughout the island, if you are after the works of local artisans.
Specialty Shops
One of the more popular specialty retailers in the area is Pascal Foy. They are located on Terre-de-Haut, in southwestern Guadeloupe. Local artist Pascal Foy paints pictures of traditional Creole architecture, pieces that continue to grow in popularity each year. These days, prints are often made into murals and wall hangings which are favored by tourists. Guests will be able to find them on Route a Pompierres.
A second option is Golf de St-Francois Pro Shop, which is located 33.6 mi. (54.0 km) to the northeast of Pascal Foy. All of your golf needs are readily handles at this pro shop, which features a staff well-versed in the sport. Customers can contact them at (059) 088-4187.

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