Cruise ships will tender you close to the center of town.
Printable map to take along.
Watch a destination video.
On Terre-de-Haut, part of the Iles des Saintes, you'll find pristine beaches and families descended from Breton sailors.
There is no finer beach than Plage de Pompierre, which curves around the bay like a half moon, and is set against a backdrop of palms. The beach lies only a 15- to 20-minute walk from where the ferry from Basse-Terre docks. Unless a cruise ship is in port, the beach is generally uncrowded, filled with mainland French enjoying the powdery-white sand wearing next to nothing. If you want to bare all, head for Anse Crawen on the western coastline. It is the legal nudist beach, although people often go nude on the other beaches, too. The best snorkeling is on the southern coast at Plage Figuier, which, chances are, you'll have almost to yourself.
Buses: several private bus lines connect Pointe-à-Pitre or Basse-Terre with all villages. No timetables, stop on sign.
Taxis: fares are set by the government; they are pretty expensive as soon as you leave the cities.
Rental cars: there are lots of car rentals, but reservations especially between December and April are advisable.
The currency is the Euro.
Most banks and bank machines accept most international credit cards.
Credit cards: are welcomed almost everywhere, the best known is Visa.
There are cyber-cafes in Saint-François, Sainte Anne, Mare-Gaillard, Pointe-à-Pitre... there are also terminals in some post offices and other public sites.
The official language is French. Most people speak creole. In big tourist centers and at the northern islands (Saint-Martin, Saint-Bartholomew), they also speak English.
Stores are usually open 8.00 am to noon and from 2.00 pm to 6.00 pm. Businesses are closed Saturday afternoons, Sundays, holidays and very often Wednesday afternoons.
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