While spending a whole month in Guadeloupe, we were working, chilling and sightseeing. Since public transport on the island is kind of complicated, we were not able to go everywhere by bus. And we were still too shy (and evidently silly) for hitchhiking. That’s why we decided to use a car rental in Guadeloupe.
Since the Western side of the island – Basse-Terre – was hiding such wonderful spots, we couldn’t give them up. Thanks to a
And if you want to know all our expenses for the trip to Guadeloupe and Martinique, click below and download my complete financial report from this adventure. For two months I was noting every little penny spent on the journey. This cheat sheet will help you plan your own travel!
Wanna know the complete
costs of traveling to
Grab my free financial report!
Do you wanna try other ways of transportation in Guadeloupe and Martinique and maybe save some money? Get some more information about buses, taxis and hitchhiking from my earlier post.
Car rental in Guadeloupe – how to find your ideal offer?
In Guadeloupe, we have an opportunity to benefit a
Local rental agencies
While looking for a car, first I tried to reach some local rental agencies. Usually, they have a
International car rental agencies
The option that we chose was a car rental from a big international agency. Since it was my very first rental to my own name, I preferred to do it that way. Plus, some big agencies allow you to purchase full insurance, so you don’t need to worry about any scratch on a car.
We booked our car via the Internet (on Europcar) one day before its pick up. The price was 106 EUR including full insurance. We rented it on Thursday morning and returned it on Monday morning in Saint-François. So it was 4 days of an intense road trip + drop off on 5th day in the morning.
We chose a small car and received a brand new Kia Picanto, which had only 180 kilometers of mileage. It was so pleasant to drive it. We made it around 600 kilometers and spent 59,17 EUR on petrol. So in total car rental in Guadeloupe cost us 165,17 EUR.
A thing to remember: Since I purchased full insurance, I thought I did not be obligated to pay any deposit. Well, I was wrong. We needed to pay 800 EUR of deposit while picking up the car. We had some problems with completing this amount of money in agency’s office because we were keeping our financial resources in 5 different bank accounts (
Carfully – a more social option
When I was looking for a car rental in Guadeloupe I found a very interesting option on the Internet.
- Local people can earn some extra money in their own pocket
- Their cars have a mission to accomplish, while they are not used by the owners, so they do not rust in a garage
- Travelers can find a cheaper car rental opportunity
- Everything happens on the Internet
- The cars are assured
- As we were said, local people use
Carfullyin daily routine – if someone needs a car even for one day he could simply register in Carfully’swebsite and find a car to rent from his neighbor – really cool option!
The other inconvenience is that Carfully doesn’t offer full insurance yet. There is an option to lower an excess, but not to 0. Since it was my first rental ever, I preferred to purchase full insurance.
But anyway I think it’s a really great initiative and you should think about it next time when you will be in French Antilles.
How the roads in Guadeloupe look like?
This question many people asks before reaching for a car rental in Guadeloupe. Is the condition of roads good? Is it safe to drive there? How do other people drive?
The answer is: don’t worry about anything. The roads are much similar to European. Maybe there are not many highways there, but in general, roads are simple and are well maintained. You don’t need to worry especially about the signs, because they are exactly the same as in continental France.
People drive rather safely and the thing that I liked the most was their chill on the road. Even if the speed limit was 110 km/h, they were cooly driving 80 km/h. No one was there in a hurry, so driving was really enjoyable. So a car rental in Guadeloupe could be a really nice journey for you.
Some sidelong roads are more narrow and have a lot of turns, especially in Basse-Terre region, where the terrain is rather mountainous. While driving to places like La Soufrière or Chute du Carbet you need to be careful and focused on a road. These are not the main routes, but they could be crowded with tourists.
4-days road trip in Guadeloupe – our plan and schedule
Here you can check out or 4-days intense Guadeloupian road trip. Hope it will be helpful, while you’ll be planning your own Caribbean vacation!
Day 1 – Porte d’Enfer and Pointe de la Grande-Vigie
At day 1 we picked up a car at 11 AM from Saint-François. Since it was far away on the Eastern shore of the island, we decided to stay in Grande-Terre that day. Our first spot was Porte d’Enfer – Hell’s Gate.
Porte d’Enfer in Guadeloupe is an amazing place with a stunning view. It is actually a really deep grotto, which actually looks like a way to hell. The best view can be achieved from the sea. But if you’ll take a trail named Trou de Madame Coco you will be able to peek amazing forces of nature.
TRAVEL TIP: While looking for Porte d’Enfer starting from Saint-François, you need to be very focused, because on the way… there is also another Porte d’Enfer. Just before Le Moule city. First, we went there, trekked a little, and after 40 minutes we figured out that we were in the wrong place! The spot that we found was charming too, but it was not what we were looking for. So go far to the North!
Pointe de la Grande-Vigie
The second spot was a place that is located the most to the North on the island. It is called Pointe de La Grande-Vigie. The walk is not really long, but it’s worth going there
Day 2 – Chutes du Carbet & Bassin Paradise
The second day was much more active than the first one. Thanks to the
Near the parking, there is also another wonderful place. Bassin Paradise is a spot which local inhabitants love. It’s a quite big basin below a small waterfall, where a lot of people come during weekends to enjoy a refreshing bath in a mountain river. Beautiful place!
Check out the whole story! I described our trip to Chutes du Carbet and Bassin Paradise before.
Day 3 – Deshaies Botanical Garden, Coffee Museum & Basse-Terre
Deshaies Botanical Garden
Day number 3 was assigned to more calm activities. We took a loop around the whole Basse-Terre region. Our first spot that day was the wonderful Botanical Garden in Deshaies. This place is so magical and colorful that I highly recommend visiting! We spend there 3 hours admiring stunning greenery from around the globe and feeding some animals living there. I still cannot decide which species was my favorite: colorful lorikeets or charming goats!
This was a wonderful trip! Read more about Deshaies Botanical Garden in a previous post.
Firstly, we planned to visit Maison du Cacao. But unfortunately, it was closed. So we head to Maison du Café which was not so far away. This place was created next to a coffee plantation. There we had an opportunity to learn how the coffee actually is made. Cocoa also had there its small section. And in the end, we could enjoy a degustation. The museum was not really big, but so adorable and filled with information. And smells!
Even if Pointe-à-Pitre is the biggest city in Guadeloupe, it is not the capital of the island. All the authorities actually sit in Basse-Terre city. It is located on the Western shore, with a view of the Caribbean Sea. We visited this amazing city at the end of our third day. And actually, we were really surprised.
The city looked like abandoned. It was almost no one there! We were shocked because even if it was a small city, it was still a capital. We visited it on Sunday at around 6 PM. Yeah, I know that most of the people were home, having a dinner, but still… The shops, pharmacies, offices were closed. Only a few people were hanging around. I felt almost like it was just before the volcano eruption when the city had to be evacuated.
The feeling was not what we expected, but it was kind of thrilling.
Day 4 – Volcano La Soufrière & Cascade aux Ecrevisses
The last day of our trip we dedicated to the most popular trekking trail in the island. Our adventure with climbing the volcano La Soufrière was just great! The whole trail took us around 5 hours to accomplish, but it was a really nice journey.
Wonderful views, challenging steps and the scent of sulfur gave us a lot of adrenaline. And in the end, we reached the highest peak of Lesser Antilles! It would be hard to experience all of these without car rental in Guadeloupe.
Wanna climb the volcano too? Check out the full trail description and tips about how to get there.
After this intense activity, we visited one more waterfall. It was raining, but even so, we wanted to see Cascade aux Ecrevisses. This adorable small waterfall is located just near the main route called Route de La Traversée, which goes by the middle of the Basse-Terre region. When the weather is sunny, you could take a refreshing bath there. And this place is also accessible for people moving in a wheelchair.
Roadmap with a schedule
Car rental in Guadeloupe is a great option because thanks to it we were able to see some of the most interesting places on the island. I can recommend it to everyone, especially when you are not staying too long in the Caribbean.
Soon I will be publishing a downloadable map of the best spots in Guadeloupe! So if you found this post useful stay with me and you will have access to a pill of information about what to see in Guadeloupe!
And for now, you can use this Google Map of our trip. Enjoy!
Wanna learn more about Guadeloupe? Check out those articles:
- Food, drinks, and snack you must try in the French Antilles
- The list of the best things to see in Guadeloupe
- Where to stay in Guadeloupe? The reasearch of the accommodation for any budget
- 15 easy tricks that helped me save 3000€ in 8 months for my Caribbean adventure
- The Revolut multicurrency card – is it worth to use it in for traveling?
Like it? Pin it!
Disclaimer: This post contains some affiliate links. That means that if you click on them or make any purchase via them, I receive a small commission. But don’t worry, this will not cost you anything and in a few cases, you can even receive a special discount! And I will still be able to chase my dreams. So thank you!
Dominika is a founder of Sunday In Wonderland and she recently switched her life to be local independent. She aims to travel the world and admire all of its wonders. She is much focused on sustainable life, self-development and making this world a better place.