The main city of the Guadeloupe Island, Pointe a Pitre boasts a long and rich history. Possessed by Britain for a short period, it became a French territory in the mid XVIII century, when the city has experiences significant growth and prosperity, partly due to the freebooters who had their headquarters in Pointe a Pitre. The city has been destroyed many times, with the greatest damages resulting from earthquake in 1843 and fire in 1871.
Currently it is an animated town, where a number of industrial areas have been created over several past decades and big holiday ships stop daily at the city port. And despite the fact that it doesn't possess the old world charm of Fort-de-France on Martinique, its beauty is still attractive and captivating.
Damaged and rebuilt so many times, Pointe a Pitre lacks today its distinctive character. The narrow streets of the town are overcrowded during the day, which creates constant traffic jam, and modern apartments form a high rise backdrop over industrial suburbs. However, the town becomes quiet and deserted at sunset, with the only charm left being that around the waterfront.
For the majority of visitors Pointe a Pitre is a renowned shopping destination, boasting a large outdoor market and a wide variety of designer shops and boutiques. The town center, place de la Victore is popular with travelers as well, featuring old sandbox trees planted by the mulatto Victor Hugues. With the completion of the Center Saint John Perse, the town's waterfront has been transformed from cruise terminal buildings and old warehouses to modern architectural complex, composed of a hotel, 80 shops and boutiques, a bank, three restaurants and the headquarters of Guadeloupe's Port Authority.
The center of Pointe a Pitre is designed in contemporary French Caribbean style blending with the town's traditional architecture. Limited in the south-east by the Marina, in the east by the Commune des Abymes and in the west by the Salted River, the Old Town is a center of commercial activity, whose fascinating animation offers a number of attractions and curiosities, like the Schoelcher, Nozieres and Frebault streets where salesmen and craftsmen work; the church St Pierre and St Paul with its wonderful stained glasses and imposing frontage; the St Antoine Market with spice perfumes and colored fruit mountains; and much more. Some must sees during your stay in Pointe a Pitre include Place de la Victoire, recognized as the green heart of the city; the small harbor La Darse; the flower market at the square Gourbeyre, the Market St Jules and the Darse Maarket offering vegetables, fruits and species.
Art lovers are welcome to Museum Schoelcher and Museum Saint John Perse. For your stay consider Hotel Saint John Perse, offering its guests small rooms that are simple, clean and furnished with mahogany pieces. These and many other attractions can be found in Pointe a Pitre, attracting crowds of visitors annually.
The town's charm places it with the most tourist towns of Guadeloupe, including St Anne, Saint Francois and Le Gosier among others.