Guadeloupe is an overseas French territory much like it’s sister island Martinique. However, Guadeloupe is clearly the ugly twin and cannot be held in the same breath as the much nicer, classier and safer Martinique. Guadeloupe is not without some virtues of course but I have to admit after being in Martinique and having a blast, I was hoping for a little more of the same in Guadeloupe but that was not to be. It’s no wonder why Guadeloupe is the forgotten Caribbean island, often skipped by cruises and only visited by off the beaten track tourists and of course the French.
As soon as you arrive in the airport at Pointe-a-Pitre, the capital city, you notice the difference between the islands. While I hate to hold Guadeloupe up to the high standards of Martinique, I cannot help it because of so many imperial similarities. The city itself is a dump and very dirty and trafficky. It looks mostly like a Central American capital like Tegucigalpa or something like that and feels unsafe although I don’t really think it is. As you drive out toward Gosier and Saint Anne where the nice beaches and areas are; you pass through shanty type towns and you are shocked that the French actually govern this place and they let it get this way. I have been to all of the other French Caribbean territories and they are all very nice including French Guyana.
Finally, I arrived at my hotel which was called the Pierre Vacances and it was very nice. It is a French style family resort which I wasn’t expecting-that’s what happend when you just randomly book something on hotels.com. However, it made for a lot of entertainment from just watching the French interract and dance, etc.
The place was actually really nice with two huge pools and a great French style bar serving the coldest Corsaire beer on the island I was told. While the Guadeloupe Creole food was excellent, the pizza left much to be desired. I generally hate staying at resorts unless there are no other viable options and that’s how I felt about Guadeloupe. I felt like I got the best experience driving around the island and just relaxing in comfort at a French resort. The rest of the island didn’t really present too much as far as I could see. It’s true I only had a day on the island which I am sure could be more thoroughly explored-but I am happy sitting on Saint Martin relaxing on the beach right now instead.