Astounding Self-Drive Week in Guadeloupe – Volcanos to Beaches – Part 2

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This is the second and final part of my one week in Guadeloupe adventure. Hope you enjoyed (or going to enjoy) reading the first part of this astounding adventures vacation!

As I showed in the previous part, this is not your typical destination guide which means I won’t provide food recommendations. I cook my own food when I travel which to save a fortune for future adventures.

Guadeloupe is a unique destination which I personally don’t consider a beach destination. It is a perfect island for active travelers looking for adventures in rainforests exploring mountains, volcanos, waterfalls, and rivers with occasional relaxation by its gorgeous beaches.

The gorgeous island of Guadeloupe, is a French department with French as its official language and Euro as the currency. For my previous travel reports, head to my Travel section on the blog.

Day 4 – PCR Test in Guadeloupe & Gorgeous Views

Guadeloupe is so confusing when it comes to PCR test. You’d never imagine that having a paid PCR test can be so complicated. This is the official source on where to get Covid tests including Rapid Antigen or PCR in Guadeloupe. However, booking isn’t as easy or straightforward as we are used to it in Canada.

I tried multiple clinics using my Canadian VoIP.MS number. This is the great benefit of using a VoIP phone versus a traditional SIM card. You keep the same number anywhere in the world so can be reached by the same number.

In addition, if you have 2FA (or MFA) enabled using your phone, you can keep accessing the code so avoid getting locked out of your accounts. Here is my detailed review of using VoIP.MS.

Back to the main topic, it was Christmas eve and Christmas then weekend and none of Guadeloupes’ clinics were performing a PCR test. Shocking but I knew about this before arriving in Guadeloupe.

Anyway, on a Monday, I ended up driving to the airport clinic. Luckily, there was a free parking lot dedicated for those coming for vaccination. I parked in this free parking lot in PTP airport, and walked 5 minutes to the PCR test location.

PCR Test Queue in PTP Airport, Guadeloupe

I got there by 10 AM but there were about 40 people ahead of me already. I ended up staying there till 1:10 PM when after paying €49.60 Euros I could get my PCR test done. I then left the airport, and looked at my map to see where I can go now!

I ended up driving to Les Marches des Esclaves which is a historical momentum about the slavery in Guadeloupe island. There is also a nice boat launch area and picnics by the beach to enjoy. However, it was too hot, so I decided to keep driving to the other side of the island.

Les Marches des Esclaves, Guadeloupe

I drove more until I reached Pointe de la Grande Vigie which is the most northern edge of Guadeloupe island. The views were amazing. There is a small hike to do with no entry fees which is very much worth it.

After spending about an hour exploring, I headed back to the car and started driving the 1 hour all the way to the south. I stopped along the way when I saw something interesting.

Pointe de la Grande Vigie, Guadeloupe

After a nice drive, I reached Pointe des Chateaux almost by the sunset. The beach here face the Atlantic Ocean and isn’t calm but there were many people in the water enjoying themselves.

Pointe des Chateaux, Guadeloupe

The highlight here was to walk up the hill where there is a Cross. The views from the top are unbelievably beautiful. It is so magical during sunset. Words can’t describe the beauty in a perfect weather when the sun reflects in the water from far and golden shining reflection off the big rocks laying around the sea.

It is just magnificent, and you should see it by yourself to realize the beauty of this region! After darkness, I got back to the car and started driving all the way back to the hostel which is located on the opposite side of the island. All the way from east south to the west north with a brief stop by an interesting looking mall on my way just to check out a Guadeloupian malls.

Route From Pointe des Chateaux to Happy Hippies House

It took me 1.5 hours to make the trip which shows how small the island is. Also, before falling asleep by midnight, I received my negative PCR test result which means less things to worry about!

Pro Tip: You can almost always pay with a credit card in Guadeloupe. I used my Crypto.com Visa card and kept earning 5% on each transaction in $CRO. Also, there is no foreign exchange fee or any other kind of fees when I used my Crypto.com Visa card to pay or to withdraw money from an ATM. Apply for Crypto.com and get a free $25 in Bitcoin to start your Crypto adventure!

Day 5 – A tour Around the Island with Hostel Friends

So, you might wonder, why another tour when I have already seen the whole island multiple times? Glad you asked! When I took the rental car, the tank was 5/12 full. However, I forgot and ended up filling the tank which cost me €75 Euros. I asked the rental company if they’d consider buying the extra gas from me, but unsurprisingly, they didn’t even bother responding.

This meant, I needed to burn some fuel and offered a free tour of the island to the hostel guests. Three of them happily joined. We ended up touring the island again. We stopped by beaches and towns. I also took them to the Cascade Ecrevisses Waterfall which was too crowded this time.

And as a thank you, I got invited to lunch paid for by the guys.

Pro Hint: You can always get a free lunch by offering a service in return while traveling.

Day 6 – Touring Guadeloupe’s Largest City, Pointe-à-Pitre

I didn’t have plans for this day. How ironic! Well, my initial plan was to stay five days in Guadeloupe but because of Covid and no PCR tests during the weekend, I had to extend my stay by 2 more days.

On day 6, I woke up and had breakfast slowly. Then hung around the hostel till early afternoon when I finally headed out toward Guadeloupe’s largest city. It was the first time I experienced traffics in the island. I planned to just walk around and see the Memorial Acte museum from outside.

After 35 minutes of drive, I reached the museum. Parked the car and walked inside. I was handed over an audio guide in English. There were no fees for when I visited but I am not sure if this is always the case.

This museum was one of the most educational museums I’ve ever visited. It displays the history in a very fun and interactive way so visitors won’t get bored at all. I highly recommend visiting Memorial Acte museum. In fact, I didn’t plan to even go inside but I ended up spending 2.5 hours learning about Guadeloupe.

I learned a lot about the slavery culture and abuse on the island. On top, there were many conflicts between the Spanish, French, and British for ruling the island.

After the museum, I took the stairs behind the museum to go all the way up and walked on the bridge to absorb a more interesting view of the city and the sea.

Afterwards, I just drove around PTP which looked a bit shady. I don’t really think there is anything other than this museum worth seeing in Pointe-à-Pitre.

While driving around, I stopped by the ferry terminal to check it out and saw one of the burned cars during the recent riots in Guadeloupe.

One of Many Damaged Cars During Recent Demonstrations in Guadeloupe

Day 7 – Departure from Guadeloupe to Dominica by Ferry

My ferry from Guadeloupe to Dominica was scheduled to depart at 8 AM. I pre-arranged an early 6:30 AM drop off for my rental car and then a ride for €13 Euros to the ferry terminal which was only a 5 min drive.

The gentleman who received the car didn’t even bother checking anything which made me suspicious! He didn’t check the gas but drove me to the ferry, and I asked for his signature on the rental papers confirming everything is in order and I will receive my full refund.

The ferry terminal wasn’t organized, and I saw many people in different lines. I had to ask around to find out which line I should join. It was the Guadeloupe check in line which opened at 7 AM. I provided all the required papers including authorization to travel to Dominica, PCR test, proof of payment for an Antigen test upon arrival in Dominica, and the vaccination passport.

After checking in, I queued up for the immigration and provided my departure documents to get my exit stamp. We then embarked the ferry but it was late 50 minutes late without any provided reason to the passengers. I think that’s how things work in the Caribbean!

Express de Iles Ferry Between Guadeloupe, Dominica, Martinique, and Saint Lucia

The ferry ride from Guadeloupe to Dominica costs €69 Euros by Express de Iles and was a very refreshing journey. The views while reaching Dominica were amazing. The same ferry continues to Martinique and St. Lucia!

Cost Breakdown & Final Thoughts on My One Week in Guadeloupe Adventure

For simplicity, I am putting the prices in Canadian Dollars. I used a combination of HSBC World Elite Mastercard which offers great travel and rental insurance and Crypto.com Prepaid Visa Card which offers fantastic returns in $CRO.

Both cards come with no Foreign Transaction fees. Crypto.com card also comes with limited free withdrawals per month. Join and earn $25 in $CRO upon your first $100 of Crypto deposit.

Hint: Alternative credit card for no FX fees & Global WiFi access can be the free Brim Financial MC. Read my detailed review of this card here.

Flight Montreal YUL – Guadeloupe PTP: Paid by Aeroplan Points gathered through credit card bonuses

Car Rental: West Indies Car Rental 6 days $270.69 CAD

Car Rental Gas: $109.15 CAD

Grocery: $33.1 CAD

PCR Test: $72.18 CAD

Hostel (Happy Hippies House): $173.65 CAD

Ferry to Dominica: $100.11

Total: $758.88 CAD ($600.5 USD, €528.64 Euro)

Guadeloupe is a unique island which combines mountains, volcanos, waterfalls, cultures, and beaches all in one package. It is not the typical beach destination. One challenge in the island is the language, French.

Majority of people I met didn’t speak any English which included airport workers and even Covid test technicians. Food prices are hyperinflated similar to everywhere in the Caribbean.

All in all, I’d say spending one week in Guadeloupe is a good enough time to enjoy and absorb its beauty.

I hope you enjoyed this journey as much as I did and stay tuned as I will be posting about my adventure in Dominica in the next post.

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