Peak season in Pointe-a-Pitre runs from December to June when the weather is slightly cooler and less tumultuous. Savings can be made however by travelling during the wet and windy season which runs from July to November. The four day Guadeloupe Carnival which culminates on Ash Wednesday each year sees Pointe-a-Pitre accommodation booked up and travel at a premium. Those visiting during carnival time should book well in advance.
Pointe-a-Pitre boasts its own unique brand of French Caribbean life, the perfect blend of two distinctive cultures. Found on the Grande-Terre Island of Guadeloupe, Pointe-a-Pitre is surrounded by deep azure lagoons and postcard perfect beaches where visitors can enjoy impeccable cuisine alongside a solid infrastructure and excellent amenities.
Pointe-a-Pitre is the largest city of the Guadeloupe archipelago and many of the most important landmarks and attractions are found here. Pointe-a-Pitre’s most popular landmark building is the Cathedral of St Pierre and St Paul, the so called ‘iron cathedral’ thanks to its ingenious iron protection form hurricanes. Further notable buildings in Pointe-a-Pitre include the Musee Schoelcher, a former private residence of Victor Schoelcher the man who abolished slavery in Guadeloupe. The exhibition relates to the wider topics of slavery as well as displaying his personal artefacts.
For short day trips from Pointe-a-Pitre visitors can travel the half hour drive to the east of the island to Le Moule, where they can find out more about Amerindian cultures that lived on the island before it was colonised at the Edgar Clerk Archaeological Museum. Alternatively visitors can drive 40 minutes west to Troise Riveries on Basse-Terra to view the petroglyphs at the Parc De Roches Gravees, another place to learn more about the islands early settlers.
Much of Guadeloupe’s appeal lies in its natural beauty. Guadalupe beaches are famed for their cleanliness and some of the best around include St. Anne on Grande-Terra and Plage de la Perle on Basse-Terra. The area close to Pointe-a-Pitre is also famed for its mangrove swamps which can be explored on a choice of tour boat.
Enjoying sport in the great outdoors is very popular and within a short drive from Pointe-a-Pitre is a championship golf course and selection of scuba diving and snorkelling spots. Those who want to see the abundant and diverse marine life without getting wet can take the underwater trail at the Gosier Iselt.
No trip is complete without a visit to some of the smaller islands either by ferry or plane from Pointe-a-Pitre. The most beautiful is frequently cited as Les Saintes, a glorious place to spend the day on the beach, to sample local seafood and enjoy a rum cocktail.
The city of Pointe-a-Pitre can be easily explored on foot but for those wishing to travel further afield a choice of bus services begin in the city centre. Destinations are written on the front of the bus and tickets can be purchased on board. Many visitors hire a car to explore the rest of the Grande-Terra and Basse-Terra, although there is a good choice of tours operating out of the city. The other islands of Guadalupe can be discovered by ferry from the port at Pointe-a-Pitre.
Pointe-a-Pitre International Airport (PTP) is located just 2 miles (3 km) north of the city centre. Taxi stands can be found outside the main terminal and offer a quick and easy journey into the centre. Taxis in Pointe-a-Pitre are relatively expensive compared to other Caribbean islands and visitors should agree a price first.