Pointe-à-Pitre is the largest city in the French Overseas Possession of Guadeloupe in the Caribbean.
Aéroport International Pole Caraibes is 5 km (3 miles) away from Pointe-à-Pitre. This modern airport may be reached by flights from nearby Caribbean islands, or by direct flights from select airports outside of the Caribbean. Atlanta (American Airlines) and Miami (Air France) offer direct flights. Most other flights from North America go via San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Another way to reach Guadeloupe and Pointe-à-Pitre is by ferry from the nearby islands of Dominica, St. Lucia and Martinique.
Pointe-à-Pitre is not the capital of Guadeloupe. It is, however, the largest town and main commercial center of the territory. Pointe-à-Pitre is located on Grande-Terre, the larger of the two main islands that make up Guadeloupe.
Pointe-à-Pitre is a hot, congested and vibrant town. The city has suffered from several natural disasters over the years, including earthquakes, fire3s and hurricanes. In the past few decades, it was hit by the hurricanes Frederick (1979), David (1980) and Hugo (1989). Some of the town’s remaining French colonial buildings can be seen on one side of rue Frébault.
Near the waterfront, old warehouses have been turned into a new cruise ship terminal called Centre St-John Perse. Within the terminal are Hotel St-John, restaurants and stores. Ferries leave this terminal for Dominica, Galante, Martinique, St. Lucia and Iles des Saintes.
The center of the old city is the place de la Victoire. Nearby is the tourism office. The place de la Victoire takes its name from Victor Hugues’ 1794 victory over the British.
Pointe-à-Pitre’s marketplace lies between rues St-John, Perse, Frébault, Schoelcher and Peynier. This noisy marketplace contains a wide array of foodstuffs, including spices, herbs, papayas, breadfruits, christophenes, and tomatoes.
The Cathédrale de St-Pierre et St-Paul, at rue Alexandre Isaac and rue de L’Eglise, is an impressive example of French architecture. The cathedral was built in 1807 and has managed to survive the various hurricanes that have hit the town since then.
Musée St-John Perse is dedicated to Guadeloupe’s most famous poet, Alexis Léger, better known as St-John Perse. Perse received a Nobel Prize for literature in 1960. The museum contains some of his poetry and personal belongings. Also in Point-à-Pitre is Perse’s birthplace, at 54 rue Achille René-Boisneuf. The museum is at rues Noizières and Achille René-Boisneuf.
Musée Schoelcher is dedicated to Victor Schoelcher, the abolitionist who fought for the emancipation of slaves in the French West Indies in the nineteenth century. The museum is at 24 rue Peynier.
The Aquarium de la Guadeloupe, at Place Créole, off route N4, is an aquarium that contains a collection of tropical fish, moray eels, coral and crustaceans.
Places to eat in Point-à-Pitre include the Caraibes Café, at place de la Victoire. This is a Parisian-style café; it is closed on Sunday. Also at place de la Victoire is Deli France. Deli France is part of a French food store chain.
Point-à-Pitre is a large and vibrant town on the island of Guadeloupe.