About Pointe a Pitre
Pointe-à-Pitre is the largest city of Guadeloupe and economical capital on this Caribbean archipelago. It is located in the southwest portion of the island Grande-Terre and is the best starting point for the west or east side of the Grande-Terre and Basse-Terre islands. Car hire at Pointe-à-Pitre International Airport will take you through the mesmerizing island of this French overseas territory. You will have the opportunity to enjoy a mix of French and Creole culture, the overwhelming beauty of rainforests and beaches. Car hire in Pointe-à-Pitre will offer you the ride through the city’s 19th-century architecture, vibrant marketplaces and nearby islands.
Basic info and car hire in Pointe a Pitre
- Location: Pointe-à-Pitre, Grande-Terra island, Guadeloupe Islands
- Population: 16,340
- Official language: French, Creole
- Currency: Euro (EUR)
- Weather: Pointe-à-Pitre has a tropical climate year-round. There are two distinct seasons on the islands. A dry season, called Carême (Lent), from January to June. The driest month in February and the warmest month of the year is June with an average temperature of 26.9 °C. A rainy season, called Hivernage (Wintering), from July to December with its peak in October. The coldest month is January with an average temperature around 23.5 °C.
- Public holidays in Pointe-à-Pitre: There are several holidays and festivals celebrated in Guadeloupe each year. Main ones are January 1: New Year's Day, May 1: Labour Day, May 27: Emancipation Day, June 21: Fête de la Musique, July 14: Bastille Day, July 21: Schoelcher Day and December 25: Christmas.
- Internet coverage: This island is a part of France, so it is well-developed, and some local communes are even supported by the optical fibre. Most of the accommodations on the island offer WiFi.
- Road conditions: Since public transport is not developed will in Guadeloupe, hiring a car at Pointe-à-Pitre International Airport is the best way to get around. Most of the roads in Guadeloupe are maintained and in fairly good condition. On Basse-Terre, you will find more mountain roads which can be in poorer conditions and require more skilful driver due to sharp turns and steep hills. These roads may also not be lit at night, so avoid driving at night.
Driving in Pointe a Pitre
- Age limits: To hire a car in Pointe-a-Pitre driver needs to be 21 years and has to hold a driving permit for at least 1 year. Many rental companies require drivers to be at least 25 years of age.
- International Driving Permit: A driver needs a valid driver's license from their home country in order to legally drive in Guadeloupe for up to 20 days. After this period a driver needs an International driving permit.
- Additional papers:
- Additional requirements:
- Children in the car: Children under the age of 12 are not allowed to travel in the front of the vehicle.
- Driving side of the road: Right-hand side.
- Lights: Some mountain roads at Basse-Terre may not be marked or lit, so avoid driving at night.
- General speed limits: Speed limit in the cities is 50km/h, outside the Pointe-à-Pitre area, most highways have a single lane in each direction and a 70-80km/h speed limit.
- Parking suggestions: During the day parking is possible on streets but do avoid marketplaces. You can park in Marina and take the local bus to the city centre.
What to see in Pointe a Pitre
Our favourite spots
Market at Darse
Picturesque market at Darse which takes place every morning (except Sundays) will impress you with its offer of fresh fish sold directly from the fisherman and with the diverse choice of exotic fruit and vegetables. For a colourful and lively experience, be sure not to miss it.
Place de la Victoire
Place de la Victoire is a large public park located by the sea. If you want to take a rest, you can enjoy in the shadow of the orderly placed palm trees. You will also find the local tourism office located in the neoclassical colonial-style building.
Hotels in Pointe a Pitre
Drive your rental car around Pointe a Pitre
If you hire a car in Pointe-à-Pitre you can easily explore all the Guadeloupe. Perfect beaches and more than 35 surfing spots are on your doorstep. The main spots are Le Moule, Saint François, Petit Havre and others on Grande Terre, but we believe Bananier on Basse Terre is the best spot for learning and training. With your rental car, you can explore the island’s hidden bays and fascinating landscapes.
Road signs and symbols are in French, so it is good to know a few basic words. A kindly advise - don’t park under the palm tree, since falling coconuts can damage your car.
Where to eat, drink and party in Pointe a Pitre
Placed in the Pointe-à-Pitre marina its most famous for its legendary giant kebabs and other BBQ specialities served in the restaurant part. To enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere, have a drink in the bar or dance the night away in the disco club.
For more than 30 years Restaurant le Planteur located in an authentic Creole hut in a green setting offers a mix of culinary delights from Creole and French cuisine.
For the tastiest soup, you need to come to La Kaz a soupe where you can join the locals, choose your size of the bowls and have a delicious soup from local ingredients. If you like soups, this place should certainly be on your bucket list!
Little New York
If you are looking for a place to dance especially during the weekends, visit Little New York cocktail bar. It's an open bar with one or more DJs, the admission is free, but the consumption is mandatory.
Major events and festivals in Pointe a Pitre
One of the most important festivals in the Antilles takes place each January and you can take part in the carnival with parades, costume contests and many other activities.
The Pointe-à-Pitre carnival will last from for two months each January and February.
If you are more a sports person you will enjoy the fun, sporty regatta on the islands of Guadeloupe. The regatta attracts over 350 sailing crew members and over 50 sailboats compete in a speed challenge.
The regatta takes place for 4 days at the beginning of November.