Though generally safe, the real threat you might face in Guadeloupe, or any other tropical island in the way of a storm alley, Mother Nature. Tropical storms and hurricanes are known to ravage the eastern reaches of the Lesser Antilles, so it is best to be always informed.
Is Guadeloupe a Safe or a Dangerous Island to Visit?
Guadeloupe is considered generally safe for tourists to travel because of its low crime rate, just like its French Caribbean sister, Martinique. Gang-related violence is a growing concern because of its repetitive occurrence; however, these occurrences are only limited to locals who’ve had illegal dealings.
Still, just like any city, whether in your own country or anywhere in the world, it is always best to exercise caution, as petty crimes always target unsuspecting tourists. Criminal activities, whether petty or larger forms of crime increase their likelihood at night, so being vigilante at night is the best practice, like avoid walking alone at night, and going to sketchy, dimly lit parts of town.
As a French territory, overtly influenced by French culture and mentality, expect to witness at least one demonstration. Rallies, strikes, and other public demonstrations are a thing in the entire French republic. They may disrupt services, and transportation systems so expect spoilers like these during your travel. It is also best to be watchful around these protests as they can get violent.
The real danger you have to watch out for in Guadeloupe is Mother Nature. While beautiful and bountiful, Guadeloupe lies in the hurricane belt in the Caribbean. Storms and other destructive weather systems may put you at risk, or better yet, spoil your vacation.
What Is the Crime Rate in Guadeloupe?
For traveling, the archipelago is rated as a “low risk” destination. This means, although generally safe, travelers are encouraged to practice a normal level of precaution as they can still fall victim to petty crimes like pickpocketing, and fraud.
Currently, Guadeloupe is one of the safest islands in the Caribbean, despite having bad streaks of violent crimes in 2016, due to high unemployment rates, putting the country out of the must-travel list in the Caribbean for a time. Now, the country’s safety index has surpassed the crime rate, making it a good destination to travel to and even live in.
How Many Hospitals Are There in Guadeloupe?
Plenty of modern and state-of-the-art hospitals speckle Guadeloupe, not just in the capital of Pointe a Pitre, but in other communes in other islands as well. Some of the best public hospitals in Guadeloupe are the Centre Hospitalier de la Basse Terre, and the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Guadeloupe Pointe a Pitre.
There are four more hospitals located in Capesterre-Belle-Eau, Pointe-Noire, Bouillante, and Saint-Claude. The archipelago also does research in environmental hygiene, vaccinations, and public health, headed by the Institut Pasteur de la Guadeloupe.
Can You Drink the Water in Guadeloupe?
Water from the tap is drinkable in major cities in Guadeloupe, however, it is chlorinated and can upset the stomach and may spoil your travel plans. It is best to drink from bottled water if you tend to have a sensitive stomach when traveling, if not then tap away.
Is It Safe to Swim in Guadeloupe?
Seeing as it is surrounded by water with gorgeous coasts on every side, you would expect that it would be great it swim in Guadeloupe, and it is, plus, it is an archipelago, so there are plenty of beaches to go about. However, some coasts and beaches are better suited for just sightseeing than others.
Not every beach in Guadeloupe is perfectly safe for swimming. The beaches on the northern coast of the Basse-Terre, the largest island are dangerous for swimming, no matter how experienced you are. The Plage de Cluny is known to have large waves and has had several deaths by drowning.
However, there are still plenty of other beaches to swim in for that famous beach experience in Guadeloupe. Many of the best beaches meander Grand-Terre along Gosier and Saint Francois. On the same island, you also have the Le Bas du Fort, close to Gosier and east of Point a Pitre. Some of Grande-Terre’s best beaches include the Sainte Anne area and the Plage Caravelle.
In Basse-Terre, other notable desirable beaches are Le Grande-Anse and Plage de la Malendure which have tranquil waters and idyllic soft white sands. With this many beaches, you will never run out of places to explore in Guadeloupe, the key is to speak to the locals with your best French and ask about intimate information about the beaches on the archipelago.
Are There Sharks in Guadeloupe?
If there’s one shark that is famous in Guadeloupe, it’s the notorious Great White. Famous for its size, sharp teeth, and penchant for killing other sea animals, you can spot Great Whites on the island, but not in a way you think.
Certain tour companies in Guadeloupe offer what you call Shark Cage Diving, as part of a shark encounter activity. You can encounter these majestic hunters in their natural environment immersed under the sea inside a submersible cage made of steel.
You can have a full view of Great Whites circling the cage submerged 30 feet deep where they usually lurk. However, these encounters are not violent as chums aren’t used to luring them, they’re natural curiosity and relaxed nature will have them checking you out.
Other than the famous Great White Shark, other sharks present around the archipelago’s waters are the Scalloped and Great hammerhead sharks, silky sharks, and the Oceanic whitetip shark.
Are There Mosquitoes in Guadeloupe?
Mosquitoes are always present in tropical areas like the Caribbean, however, their increased presence and activity depends on the wetness or moisture of the area, the winds, and the presence of vegetation in the area.
If you’re staying by the riverfront in the forest, or the outer edges of jungles chances are they might flock at night. Mosquitoes can increase greatly after rain, so it’s best to bring mosquito repellants if you’re visiting Guadeloupe during the rainy season.
Also, avoid any moist surroundings with still water during sunsets as they tend to flock during those hours. If mosquitoes bother you, it’s probably best to book accommodations that are air-conditioned or at least have anti-mosquito/bug facilities, like mosquito nets.
Are There Any Snakes in Guadeloupe?
Another curious thing about all of the Caribbean is its interesting fauna, with a diversity that includes turtles, lizards, snakes, small to large mammals that are often endemic in many of the region’s islands. As for Guadeloupe, it also boasts an extensive fauna diversity and that includes its four species of snakes.
Luckily, all of the snake species in Guadeloupe are non-venomous, and non-aggressive, which means they tend to shy away from human contact and prefer to spend time in less-populated areas. The Guadeloupe racer is endemic to Guadeloupe and known to grow up to less than a meter. It is carnivorous and feeds mostly on lizards and small rodents.
Other notable species include the Terre-de-Bas racer and the Terre-de-Haut racer, both endemic to the islands of Terre-de-Bas, and Terre-de-Haut, respectively. It feeds on smaller animals, and are both endangered and well-protected due to their limited habitat and number.
Julia’s ground snake is a species most commonly found in Dominica and Guadeloupe, it is also considered to be near threatened due to its small number that may have something to do with the mongoose population, known to kill snakes. This snake is a carnivore, mostly feeding on lizards, frogs, and insects.
Are There Spiders in Guadeloupe?
Other than the notorious mosquitoes, spiders are also another small critter that seems to have a certain presence on the island. Although not at an alarming rate, there are plenty of species of spiders present on the island, like the wendilgarda, mermessus, a chrysometa species native to Guadeloupe, and a few others. Many of these are harmless orb weavers, ray spiders, and many smaller species.
Are There Tarantulas in Guadeloupe?
Tarantulas are known to be present throughout the Caribbean, especially in Antigua where tourists heard reports of encountering tarantulas in hotel rooms, however, these claims were never supported. In Guadeloupe, there are plenty of spider species, it just that they are non-venomous, rare to encounter, and are significantly small. They don’t pose a threat to tourists and even locals.
Are There Other Dangerous Animals in Guadeloupe?
The only dangerous animals you have to look out for in Guadeloupe are the pesky mosquitoes at certain times of the day, especially during the rainy season. Mosquitoes are known to be disease carriers, like Dengue and the Zika Virus. However, Guadeloupe never had any outbreak in recent times, but dengue transmission peaks from July to January.
How Safe Is Guadeloupe for Tourists?
Health, and Security-wise, Guadeloupe is considered to be generally safe, with low to medium risk especially during tourist season where crowds are at a high. However, safety levels tend to be threatened during hurricane season as nothing can ever stop Mother Nature. But, overall, the archipelago is incredibly safe to travel and explore around in, just make sure to practice normal levels of precaution when in cities, and walking in nature.
Traveling in the Caribbean has its ups and downs, but luckily, Guadeloupe is one of the safest islands out there, with an entire archipelago to match, there is plenty of reasons to visit the French department, especially during the summer.