Traveltalkonline.com Forums


TTOL Sponsors
Forum Statistics
Forums39
Topics30,127
Posts223,146
Members25,409
Most Online2,218
Jan 21st, 2020
Top Posters(30 Days)
GaKaye 57
Kennys 43
RonDon 38
Cathyg 30
Member Spotlight
polaris
polaris
MD, USA
Posts: 632
Joined: October 2003
Show All Member Profiles 
Today's Birthdays
No Birthdays
Who's Online Now
3 registered members (dmwieser, cacapasa, 1 invisible), 161 guests, and 265 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate Thread
Guadeloupe Trip Report May 2015 #55292
05/18/2015 07:32 PM
05/18/2015 07:32 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 48
Broken Arrow, OK, USA
OkieGuy Offline OP
Traveler
OkieGuy  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 48
Broken Arrow, OK, USA
I had looked to TTOL for information about Guadeloupe before departing, so here is out trip report!

My wife and I went to the Island of Guadeloupe for 2 weeks for our 25th wedding anniversary. No one we talked with had ever been there and I first became aware of it looking at one of the guides to Caribbean Islands. As it turns out, Guadeloupe is a very popular destination for the French and those who speak French, but few others visit that much. My wife speaks no French and my vocabulary is limited to greetings and a few essential phrases, but we managed well. If you are not adventuresome and afraid of going somewhere where you might have difficulties communicating, Guadeloupe is not for you. If you are willing to adventure a bit out of your everyday comfort zone, it is amazing! The key words we learned quickly: langouste (lobster), lambis (queen conch), poulet (chicken), ouassous (giant shrimp), boeuf (beef), poisson (fish), jambon (ham) and eau (water). If you know these words, you can survive in most restaurants very well.


The people of Guadeloupe were amazing. Even though we struggled greatly with our limited French, when it came to communicating, they were really helpful and friendly. Once in a while we met someone with some knowledge of English, but that was rare. We never worried about that and managed very well.


Travel: Direct flights are not easily found from the states. We ended up overnighting in San Juan, Puerto Rico each way, which actually worked out well, Seaborne Airlines has a relationship with American and provides service from San Juan to Pointe-A-Pitre, Car Rental, which also worked out well, since their agent at the airport spoke no English. We had a VW Polo, which was a roomy mini car. The roads in Guadeloupe were among the very best that I have seen in the Caribbean. All of the main roads and traffic circles were well marked, so we never got lost. The only exception to this was the exit off the freeway heading to the airport from the east side of the island. We missed that exit and ended up driving around for a bit until we found the right road again – just a little more adventure!


Accommodations: I found our apartment on VRBO. Since I had read that there were a lot of nice beaches with gentle surf east of Sainte-Ann, so that is where I concentrated my search. We ended up at Anse des Rochers, just east of Saint-Francois, which had a beautiful sandy beach. There were a number of properties listed in this gated condo community, but I focused on one with a queen size bed and a washing machine, so that we could cut down packed clothes. We ended up with perhaps the best unit available, on the third floor of the building next to the beach. The only thing between our end unit and the water was the little restaurant, Ti Coco, which was not even open every night. We have always judged Creme Brulee, based on how it compared to Captain Oliver’s at Oyster Pond in St. Martin – Ti Coco made it even better – thin with a crisp coating in every bite! We spend a number of days on that beach and were very happy!


We tried a number of restaurants in St. Ann and St. Francois, and never had a bad meal at any of them. Some were mentioned on Trip Advisor and some we found by chance. The thing to keep in mind is that service is rarely fast, and you will most likely need to go to the counter to request your bill and settle up. Tips were never included, nor were they expected. Everything was so good that we chose to tip. I happen to like Conch, and I had it in ways I have never before encountered, including a stroganoff – all good! I could list a bunch of places to eat, but as I said, all the meals were good and we were not really depending on a list of the best places. I will mention I Pate in St. Francois, however, since this was an authentic Italian restaurant, rather than the seafood places we ate at most of the time. It was outstanding and did have an English language menu.



We managed to drive around almost all of the coastline of both Grande Terre and Basse Terre. Not too far south of Sainte-Rose on Basse Terre are the Severin Rhum Distillery and the Musee du Rhum, both worth a stop. The distillery was not giving tours on the day we were there, but they have a great shop with an enormous variety of rums. The museum tells the history on cane sugar and rum on the island with displays in both French and English and a shot film offered in a choice French, English, Spanish and Itallian, plus a great tasting bar. Upstairs in the museum, totally unrelated to rum, are displays of insects and sailing ships, along with a number of large plastic animals. It was really a hoot.


The drive through the rain forest on Basse Terre is definitely worth the experience. There are multiple places to stop and it does take you up into the clouds over that part of the island. If you are a hike, there are lots of well-marked trails to waterfalls and up the old volcano.


The groceries on the island were great. Leader Grand and Super U are two big names. If you see sign for Geante Casino and Petit Casino, just be aware that these are groceries as well and not places to gamble. Outside every grocer we visited as a bakery with a large selection of both sweet and savory pastries as well as the wonderful baguettes. The bread from these shops dried out quickly, but it was so good that you did not let it sit around for days at a time. We had lots of sandwiches on the beach while we were there. (There are real casinos on the island as well, but we only visited one. We had some grins but definitely were not winners!)


We did check out Anse Tarara, not far from the eastern most tip of Grande Terre, the eastern half of the main island of Guadeloupe. This is the naturist beach. You can find it by turning on the road of Chez Man Michael, a great restaurant that is open for lunch most days. The beach is a short hike down the hill behind the restaurant. It is a beautiful beach protected by a reef. There were a few local men, however, some of who just sat, fully clothed and watched people, and a couple of whom might approach couples is the water and display an erection. This was something that we had never encountered on naturist beaches in the past, and took away from the fun. We indicated we were not interested and were not bothered after that, but I would not recommend this beach to a single woman. This was not a monitored beach, like Orient Beach in St. Martin, so I guess that you cannot expect to always encounter proper beach etiquette. We did not let those actions spoil out enjoyment of the beach that day!


I could go on for 50 pages, but this should give you a sort of brief overview of the island. It was a great adventure and we are both very glad to have been there. The limited ability to communicate definitely took my wife out of her comfort zone, but it hardly deterred us from have a great time and an anniversary trip that we will remember forever!


Life is too short not to be happy!
Sponsors
Re: Guadeloupe Trip Report May 2015 [Re: OkieGuy] #55293
05/18/2015 10:10 PM
05/18/2015 10:10 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 108
C
CJIMI Offline
Traveler
CJIMI  Offline
Traveler
C
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 108
Thanks for the report. I have not been back to Guadeloupe since 2002. I first visited in 1979 - on a non-stop charter flight from Philadelphia.

The roads were excellent in 2002, and it is hard to get a bad meal. I can't wait to return.

Re: Guadeloupe Trip Report May 2015 [Re: OkieGuy] #55294
05/23/2015 08:37 AM
05/23/2015 08:37 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 71,916
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
Traveler
Carol_Hill  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 71,916
Central Florida!
thanks very much for the report! As you said, there's not much info here regarding Guadelupe.


Carol Hill
Re: Guadeloupe Trip Report May 2015 [Re: Carol_Hill] #55295
05/25/2015 06:37 PM
05/25/2015 06:37 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 483
Florida
RobT Offline
Traveler
RobT  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 483
Florida
Nice trip report. That is pretty much the Guadeloupe I found earlier this year in March. My wife speaks fluent French, so that helped a lot.


Beach Hunter
Re: Guadeloupe Trip Report May 2015 [Re: OkieGuy] #55296
05/31/2015 01:07 PM
05/31/2015 01:07 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 3,160
Greensboro, NC
charlieh Offline
Traveler
charlieh  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 3,160
Greensboro, NC
You had the adventure I've wanted for many years. Sort of reminded me of driving through France, which I've done a good bit. Going from town to town with no hotel reservation anywhere - just winging it and enjoying the people and scenery (and wine).

We know a little French, but don't really speak it, and we managed in France. I've always heard about how popular Guadeloupe is with the French.

Simply a GREAT trip report. Really sounds like France.

Re: Guadeloupe Trip Report May 2015 [Re: OkieGuy] #55297
06/17/2015 02:12 PM
06/17/2015 02:12 PM
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 6,918
Yonkers, NY
fabila Offline
Traveler
fabila  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 6,918
Yonkers, NY
Thanks for your trip report Guadeloupe use to be on my "must see" list but as you mentioned getting there from the states isn't direct.

Re: Guadeloupe Trip Report May 2015 [Re: fabila] #55298
06/17/2015 02:45 PM
06/17/2015 02:45 PM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 55
geogrl Offline
Traveler
geogrl  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 55
Don't let the indirect access deter you from going. I think that's part of why this island isn't ruined yet. It's a wonderful place to visit - there's so much to see and do.

Re: Guadeloupe Trip Report May 2015 [Re: OkieGuy] #55299
08/10/2015 10:51 PM
08/10/2015 10:51 PM
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 6
M
milgreen2 Offline
Traveler
milgreen2  Offline
Traveler
M
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 6
Thanks for the great trip report, this really helps focus our planning for a winter 2016 trip. We're hoping to spend 6 nights on Guadeloupe and and a week on Marie-Galante.

We are having trouble deciding where to stay, however, between the area around St Anne, on Grand Terre, and Sainte Rose on Basse Terre. If you had to choose for your next trip, would you go back to Anse Rocher and environs as a home-base?

Re: Guadeloupe Trip Report May 2015 [Re: geogrl] #55300
08/11/2015 07:52 AM
08/11/2015 07:52 AM
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 131
Maryland
S
ScottW Offline
Traveler
ScottW  Offline
Traveler
S
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 131
Maryland
Norwegian Air is starting service from Boston, Baltimore & JFK.

Re: Guadeloupe Trip Report May 2015 [Re: ScottW] #55301
08/13/2015 09:30 AM
08/13/2015 09:30 AM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 55
geogrl Offline
Traveler
geogrl  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 55
Hi milgreen2! I spent 5 weeks in Gwada back in 2010 and I can say without a doubt St. Anne is nicer than Sainte Rose. However, I would also add that while I LOVE LOVE LOVE Marie Galante, there's much more to see and do on the "mainland". You may want to consider splitting your time differently, e.g. 4 days on MG and 10 on the mainland with 5 on Grand Terre and 5 on Basse Terre.

The great thing about St. Anne is the fruit market (IMHO). It's a touristy place but the beach is beautiful and you can walk most places depending on where you're staying. You can definitely explore the WHOLE butterfly from just one location but it's really much bigger than it looks and you'll spend too much time in the car. AND, traffic can be bad in some places at some times (the main drag that goes through town can be a parking lot. Staying on each side of the island will give you the opportunity to see so much with less time on the road - and there is MUCH to see.

Re: Guadeloupe Trip Report May 2015 [Re: geogrl] #55302
08/14/2015 01:30 PM
08/14/2015 01:30 PM
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 6
M
milgreen2 Offline
Traveler
milgreen2  Offline
Traveler
M
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 6
Thanks for the tips, Geogrl! We're still working out the details, but are leaning toward spending as much time as possible on Marie Galante, and just do an overnight on the main island coming and going. We can easily spend 10-12 days just tooling around discovering little beaches and hanging out by the pool........and after the busy year we've had so far in 2015, some real rest and relaxation will definitely be in order :~).

Re: Guadeloupe Trip Report May 2015 [Re: milgreen2] #55303
08/14/2015 05:10 PM
08/14/2015 05:10 PM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 5,884
St. Thomas, USVI
Nutmeg Offline
Traveler
Nutmeg  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 5,884
St. Thomas, USVI
And spend some time on Iles des Saintes! One of the best spots in the Caribbean, IMHO...


[color:"red"]NUTMEG[/color]
Today is the tomorrow you talked about yesterday.
Re: Guadeloupe Trip Report May 2015 [Re: geogrl] #55304
08/27/2015 11:53 AM
08/27/2015 11:53 AM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 48
Broken Arrow, OK, USA
OkieGuy Offline OP
Traveler
OkieGuy  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 48
Broken Arrow, OK, USA
We would not hesitate going back to Anse Rocher. You will find a large selection of apartments at VRBO in this location (look for the same pool photo in each one, though we never used it but went to the beach instead.) The location is quiet, but provides easy access to that end of this half of Guadeloupe, with multiple restaurants and groceries within a short drive.


Life is too short not to be happy!

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.1