Guadeloupe Register Travel insurance Destinations
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Guadeloupe - Take normal security precautions
Take normal security precautions in Guadeloupe.
Safety and security
Safety and security
Although the violent crime rate is higher in Guadeloupe than in mainland France, criminals don’t usually target tourists.
Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and bag-snatching, occurs, including by thieves on motorcycle. There is an increased risk of criminal activity at night, especially in the old town centre of Pointe-à-Pitre, which is a port of call for Caribbean cruises.
- Avoid deserted beaches and isolated areas after dark
- Don’t walk alone at night
- Don’t carry large amounts of cash or wear expensive jewelry
- Ensure that your belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times
- Never leave personal belongings, such as money, credit cards, cell phones and other electronics, unattended, especially on beaches
Credit card and ATM fraud occurs. Be cautious when using debit or credit cards:
- pay careful attention when your cards are being handled by others
- use ATMs located in well-lit public areas or inside a bank or business
- avoid using card readers with an irregular or unusual feature
- cover the keypad with one hand when entering your PIN
check for any unauthorized transactions on your account statements.
Demonstrations and labour strikes occur from time to time. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
If you intend on hiking:
- never do so alone and always hire an experienced guide from a reputable company
- buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation
- ensure that your physical condition is good enough to meet the challenges of your activity
- ensure that you’re properly equipped and well informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard
- inform a family member or friend of your itinerary, including when you expect to be back to camp
- obtain detailed information on trekking routes before setting out and do not venture off marked trails
Hiking on the volcano “La Soufrière” can be restricted by the Prefecture under certain circumstances.
Volcanic activity of the Soufrière - Préfet de la région Guadeloupe (in French)
Coastal waters can be dangerous.
- Exercise caution when swimming
- Respect the flag warnings, which provide notice of water conditions and safety risks on beaches
- Follow the instructions and warnings of local authorities
- If you rent equipment or take scuba diving or sailing classes, ensure that your travel insurance covers such activities
Pointe-à-Pitre is a cruise ship stop.
Roads are well-maintained but they are narrow and winding. Night driving can be dangerous, especially in the mountains and on rural roads.
There are no street lights.
Be prepared to pay tolls around roads leading to the sea.
Bus services are available in most major towns but operate only during certain hours.
Taxis are safe but expensive. By law, they must contain a working meter.
Ferry services provide transportation to the islands that make up Guadeloupe.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
Guadeloupe is a French overseas department. However, it is not part of the Schengen Area.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the French authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months beyond the date of expected departure from Guadeloupe.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.
Tourist visa: not required for stays up to 90 days
Business visa: required
Student visa: required
Other entry requirements
Customs officials may ask you to show them a return or onward ticket and proof of sufficient funds to cover your stay.
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
- There are no updates at this time.
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health professional about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world.
Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from or have transited through an airport of a country where yellow fever occurs.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
- Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
- There is currently a shortage of the yellow fever vaccine in Canada. It is important for travellers to contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of their trip to ensure that the vaccine is available.
About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in the Caribbean, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in the Caribbean. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
- Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
- Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
- The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.
Travellers visiting regions with a risk typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.
Insects and Illness
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is currently a risk of chikungunya in this country. Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.
- Dengue fever occurs in this country. Dengue fever is a viral disease that can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases it leads to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.
- Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
Zika virus infection
Zika virus infection is a risk in this country. The mosquito that spreads the virus is found here.
All travellers should protect themselves from mosquito bites and other diseases spread by insects.
There is no risk of malaria in this country.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Some infections found in some areas in the Caribbean, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome).
High risk activities include anything which puts you in contact with blood or body fluids, such as unprotected sex and exposure to unsterilized needles for medications or other substances (for example, steroids and drugs), tattooing, body-piercing or acupuncture.
Medical services and facilities
A fire significantly damaged the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire in Pointe-à-Pitre/Abymes in November 2017. Since then, health care services have been importantly reduced. Serious medical cases will likely require medical evacuation to Martinique or mainland France for treatment.
Construction of the new hospital is underway and the delivery is planned for 2022.
In clinics, payment in advance is often expected.
Not all doctors speak or understand English.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
If you use prescription or over-the-counter medication, bring a supply to last your entire trip. Don’t expect to obtain prescription or over-the-counter drugs in local stores or pharmacies.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
Laws & culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Guadeloupe is a French overseas department.
Canada and France are signatories to the European Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons. This enables a Canadian imprisoned in France to request a transfer to a Canadian prison to complete a sentence. The transfer requires the agreement of both Canadian and French authorities.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.
French customs authorities may enforce strict regulations in Guadeloupe concerning temporary import or export of items such as firearms, medications and animals.
If you wish to marry in Guadeloupe, you should consult the Embassy of France in Canada for information on documents and procedures.
- Foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada
- Get married in France - Embassy of Canada in France
- Marriage abroad
If you plan on buying property, or making other investments in Guadeloupe, seek legal advice in Canada and in Guadeloupe. Do so before making commitments. Related disputes could take time and be costly to resolve.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in France.
If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of France, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.
You may drive in Guadeloupe with a valid Canadian driver’s licence for up to 20 days. After that period, you must have an international driving permit.
The legal driving age in France and its territories is 18. However, many rental car companies require drivers to be at least 25 years of age and have two years of driving experience.
The currency in Guadeloupe is the euro (EUR).
Natural disasters and climate
Natural disasters & climate
Volcanoes and earthquakes
Guadeloupe is located in an active seismic zone. Earthquakes and tremors have occurred.
The Grande Soufrière volcano is active. It is located on the south side of Basse-Terre Island.
Volcano plan – Préfet de la région Guadeloupe (in French)
Hurricanes usually occur from mid-May to the end of November. During this period, even small tropical storms can quickly develop into major hurricanes.
These severe storms can put you at risk and hamper the provision of essential services.
If you decide to travel to a coastal area during the hurricane season:
- know that you expose yourself to serious safety risks
- be prepared to change your travel plans on short notice, including cutting short or cancelling your trip
- stay informed of the latest regional weather forecasts
- carry emergency contact information for your airline or tour operator
- follow the advice and instructions of local authorities
- Hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones and monsoons
- Large-scale emergencies abroad
- Active storm tracking and hurricane watches and warnings - United States’ National Hurricane Center
Dial 112 for emergency assistance.
There is no resident Canadian government office in Guadeloupe. Canadians can obtain consular assistance and further information from the Embassy of Canada in France, in Paris.
Paris - Embassy of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada in France, in Paris, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
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