Travel Guide Caribbean Guadeloupe Basse-Terre



Basse-Terre is the capital of the island of Guadeloupe and has a total population of roughly 20,000 inhabitants, making it the second largest city, after Point-a-Pitre. It is located along the southwest coast of Basse-Terre Island, the western part of Guadeloupe. Although it is the administrative heart of the island, Point-a-Pitre remains much more important regarding the cultural and economical position and is as well the major transportation hub of Guadeloupe. The town was founded in 1643 and even today remains a quiet small place with some traditional French influences. Most of the place is centre around the main square and the Cathedral of St.Peter and St.Paul. And although small, it makes for a nice day trip from other parts of Guadeloupe.



Events and Festivals


A week before Ash Wednesday, islanders dress in colorful and extravagant costumes and parade the streets. The main events are held in Basse-Terre and Pointe-a-Pitre. On the day before Ash Wednesday, people are dressed as white and black devils and go outdoors to dance.

Guadeloupe International Zouk Festival

This internationally renowned festival honors the zouk music genre and is held in July. Spectators can enjoy local performances by renowned artists and traditional musicians.

Fete des Cuisinieres

The Festival of Women Cooks in August is one of the most spectacular events on Guadeloupe. Contestants serve a banquet of French and Creole foods, and everyone is welcome to participate and sample the dishes. Parades and dances also take place, and the attendees dress in traditional Creole costumes.

Creole Week

International Creole Day is the highlight of a full week which honors the Creole heritage in Guadeloupe in October. Festivities include theater performances, concerts and poetry readings.

Documentary Film Month

An event that should not be missed for movie buffs and fans of independent films, every year in November French films that are rarely shown to the public are screened in Guadeloupe’s theaters, libraries and schools for all to appreciate.




Basse-Terre has a hot and humid tropical climate with average daytime temperatures throughout the year of 30 °C and average nights around 23 °C. Most rain falls between June and October with a change of hurricanes from August onwards. Therefore, the drier (and slightly cooler) December to April period is the best time to visit weather wise. Unfortunately prices rise sharply during this period and the months of November and May still have good weather. So budget wise these latter months may be a good option as well.



Getting There

The commune is at the foot of the Soufrière volcano and is connected to the rest of the island by three main roads:

  • The N1 which exits the commune in the south on the coast and continues inland to Gourbeyre then all the way around the coast to Pointe-à-Pitre on Grande-Terre.
  • The N2 which goes north along the coast to Vieux Habitants and continues all the way around the coast to join the N1 at Baie Mahault.
  • The N3 which traverses the length of the commune and continues to Saint-Claude inland.





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Keep Connected


There's wifi available in some places like hotels and restaurants. It might be free, but sometimes there's a charge.


See also International Telephone Calls

Guadeloupe's international country code is 590.

Few foreign mobile phone companies offer international roaming to Guadeloupe so double-check before leaving. Your company should provide specific roaming to Guadeloupe since it has deferent mobile phone companies than in mainland France.

Alternatively, you should be able to get a Pay-as-you-go SIM card from various locations. There are two companies offering wireless services: Bouygues Telecom Caraïbe and Orange Caraïbe.


Post offices are found in all cities. Letter boxes are colored in yellow. In most Post Offices you will find an automatic machine (yellow) with a scale and a screen. Just put your mail on the scale, tell the machine (French or English) the destination, pay the indicated amount and the machine will deliver a printed stamp.


Accommodation in Basse-Terre

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Basse-Terre searchable right here on Travellerspoint.


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Basse-Terre Travel Helpers

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This is version 8. Last edited at 8:44 on Aug 23, 18 by Utrecht. 4 articles link to this page.

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