Planning a Trip
From Pointe-à-Pitre, flights depart via Air Caraïbes (tel. 0820/825-825) two or three times a week for the 15-minute ride to Terre-de-Haut, on Iles des Saintes. One-way passage costs 80€; round-trip passage costs 150€. You should confirm these tariffs because of rising worldwide gas prices. The airport is a truncated landing strip that accommodates nothing larger than small propeller planes such as a 20-seat Twin Otter.
Since air connections from Grande-Terre to Terre-de-Haut are scheduled only 3 days a week and are expensive, most islanders reach Terre-de-Haut by ferryboat, for which there are two distinctly different departure points. Every Monday and Thursday at 8am, boats leave Pointe-à-Pitre's Gare Maritime de Bergevin, Centreville, across the street from the city's biggest open-air market, arriving an hour later on Terre-de-Haut. Round-trip passage costs 37€ per person. Returns from Terre-de-Haut for Pointe-à-Pitre are scheduled those same days (Mon and Thurs) at 4pm. For transit information, contact Exprès des Iles at tel. 590/91-11-05.
Other ferryboats, operated by a different carrier, depart twice a day from Guadeloupe's port at Trois-Rivieres (near the southern point of Basse-Terre) at 6:45am and 3:45pm, taking 25 or 30 minutes for the transit to the quays at Bourg, on Terre-de-Haut, for a price of 20€ round-trip. Boats return to Trois-Rivieres from Terre-de-Haut every day at 8:30am and 6:30pm. For transit information, contact the Compagnie des Iles du Sud (tel. 590/98-30-08).
On an island that doesn't have a single car-rental agency, you get about by walking or riding a bike or motor scooter, which can be rented at hotels and in town near the pier. Localizé, at Route Aerodrome in Terre-de-Haut (tel. 590/99-51-99), rents both motorboats and scooters, costing from 15€ to 25€ per day, depending on the model.
There are also minibuses called taxis de l'Ile (eight in all), which take six to eight passengers. A taxi from the airport to the port at Bourg costs 12€.
In the center of town and easy to spot is the Office du Tourisme, 39 rue de la Grand Anse, Bourg, 97137 Terre-de-Haut (tel. 590/99-58-60). Its information, for the most part, is in French, but a map of the island might come in handy.