Guadeloupe is a terrific travel destination. Known for its clear waters and white sands, it is THE travel destinaton for those who want to relax as the beach. Besides swimming at beaches, what can you do in Guadeloupe?
Pointe-a-Pitre is a lively city with many markets and colonial homes. Deshaies is great for fishing and has many cool gardens, and La Gosier has many seaside resorts. There is no reason to be bored in Guadeloupe.
What also would not bore you is dealing with an expensive roaming bill you will get from roaming with your provider in Guadeloupe. Roaming can be expensive in many cases, which is why many travelers prefer to buy a local SIM card in Guadeloupe.
Mobile data in Guadeloupe is average for Caribbean standards. However, most from the EU/EEA should be able to roam for free in Guadeloupe because the island is considered an overseas department of France, and France is in the EU/EEA. In that case, you can roam for free in Guadeloupe.
In this article, I will go over everything you need to know about buying a SIM card in Guadeloupe. Let's do this.
Telecom Providers in Guadeloupe
Guadeloupe has 3 telecom providers:
- Orange Caraïbe
- SFR Caraïbe
- Digicel Caraïbe
All operators have 2G, 3G, and 4G/LTE networks.
Guadeloupe also has 1 Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO):
- La Poste Caraïbes Mobile
La Poste Caraïbes Mobile uses the Orange Caraïbe network.
Which of these Guadeloupean operators have the best prepaid SIM card and prepaid offering?
If you want to buy a SIM card in Guadeloupe, then SFR has the best prepaid offering. Their coverage is almost as good as Orange, which has the best coverage, but SFR is much cheaper than Orange.
However, if you want to take advantage of the Orange quality but not pay full Orange process, consider La Poste Caraïbes Mobile, which uses the Orange network and offers combo packages with much more data than Orange offers.
Even then, coverage with all operators in Guadeloupe is close to excellent.
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Unlike most countries in the Caribbean, you do not have to show your passport when buying a Guadeloupean SIM card.
Mainland France is part of the European Union (EU). As of June 2017, a new regulation has been enforced, which is known as roam like at home, meaning that those with a European Union (or EEA) SIM card should be allowed to use (some) of their data allowance in other EU/EEA countries without a surcharge.
As French Overseas Departments are considered to be part of France, the roam at like home rules apply in Guadeloupe, meaning that those from the EU/EEA can use their SIM cards in Guadeloupe without a surcharge, and you can use your Guadeloupean SIM card in the EU/EEA as well.
However, make sure your operator has included Guadeloupe (sometimes referred to as French West Indies or French Antilles) in their roam like home destination page, as they sometimes “forget” to do so, which could result in high roaming charges.
With that being said, let’s see what Guadeloupe has to offer to us.
Orange Guadeloupe, just Orange and also known as Orange Caraïbe, is the largest operator in Guadeloupe. They have the best coverage throughout the island, but they are also the most expensive option in Guadeloupe.
Orange has 3 types of prepaid SIM cards: Card Classique, Card Seconde, and Card Play. All of them cost €15 and are available in Orange stores. The differences between the SIM cards are the default rates for data, minutes, and SMS. If you plan on buying a data package, then it does not matter which SIM card you choose.
Orange offers combo packs (Les recharges Max, Les recharges Classiques & forfait mobile sans engagement) and data packs (La recharge Internet & Internet Everywhere), which are listed below:
- €5: 25 MB and €5 in credit for calls and SMS for 6 days
- €5: 5 GB for 20 days
- €10: 50 MB, 10 SMS, and €10 in credit for calls and SMS for 15 days
- €15: 100 MB and unlimited minutes and SMS for 7 days
- €19: 1 GB for 30 days
- €20: 200 MB and unlimited minutes and SMS for 10 days
- €20: 200 MB, 20 SMS, and €20 in credit for calls and SMS for 45 days
- €30: 300 MB, 30 SMS, and €30 in credit for calls and SMS for 50 days
- €50: 500 MB, 50 SMS, and €50 in credit for calls and SMS for 90 days
- €54: 50 GB and unlimited calls and SMS for 30 days
- €69: 100 GB and unlimited calls and SMS for 30 days
- €100: 1 GB, 100 SMS, and €100 in credit for calls and SMS for 180 days
All Orange plans can be activated online, on the Orange app, or by dialing #124#.
SFR Guadeloupe, just SFR and also known as SFR Caraïbe, is the second-largest operator in Guadeloupe. They have good coverage throughout the island and are generally cheaper than Orange.
You can get an SFR SIM card, called SFR La Carte, for €15 in SFR stores. It comes with €10 in credit and another €10 after your first top-up. Top-up vouchers are sold in denominations of €5, €10, €20, and €40 in SFR stores, post offices, and supermarkets.
SFR has 4 combo plans and 2 data-only plans, which are all valid for 30 days :
- €9.99: 3 GB, 2 hours of call time in Guadeloupe, to mainland France, France Overseas Departments, and Europe, and unlimited SMS in Guadeloupe, to mainland France, France Overseas Departments, and Europe, and unlimited SMS in Guadeloupe, to mainland France, France Overseas Departments, and Europe
- €14.99: 1 GB
- €14.99: 5 GB, 4 hours of call time in Guadeloupe, to mainland France, France Overseas Departments, and Europe, and unlimited SMS in Guadeloupe, to mainland France, France Overseas Departments, and Europe
- €24.99: 10 GB
- €24.99: 40 GB, unlimited call time in Guadeloupe, to mainland France, France Overseas Departments, Europe, and select international destinations, and unlimited SMS in Guadeloupe, to mainland France, France Overseas Departments, and Europe
- €29.99: 60 GB, unlimited call time in Europe, in Guadeloupe, to mainland France, France Overseas Departments, Europe, and select international destinations, and unlimited SMS in Guadeloupe, to mainland France, France Overseas Departments, and Europe
* Europe: Austria, Azores, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canary Islands, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madeira, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, St Pierre and Miquelon, Sweden, United Kingdom
* International destinations – landline only: Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Macao, Malaysia, Mexico, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Russia, South Africa, Taiwan, and Vietnam
* International destinations – mobile and landline: Canada, China, Colombia, Hawaii, Hong Kong, India, Kenya, Laos, Nigeria, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Turkey, United States, Uruguay, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Venezuela
Digicel Guadeloupe, just Digicel, is the smallest operator in Guadeloupe. Their coverage is lacking compared to their competitors, but Digicel is the cheapest option in Guadeloupe.
Digicel SIM cards are sold for €15 in Digicel stores and come with 100 MB, 20 SMS, and €5 in credit for 10 days. You will get another €10 if you top up at least €10.
Digicel has combo packs (Les Recharges Quick Picks) and data-only packs (Les Pass Internet)
Digicel Les Recharges Quick Picks
The Recharges Quick Picks are combo plans that come with data, local minutes (Guadeloupe, Martinique, Guyana, Saint Martin (French side), and Saint Barthelemy), and international minutes. There are 3 variants of them:
- €5: 500 MB, 10 local minutes, and 10 international minutes for 5 days
- €15: 1 GB, unlimited local calls, and 20 international minutes for 10 days
- €25: 2 GB, unlimited local calls and 30 international minutes for 30 days
All Recharges Quick Pics can be activated online or with the MyDigicel app.
Digicel Les Pass Internet
Les Pass Internet passes are data-only packages. 4 of them are available:
- €3: 100 MB for 5 days
- €5: 250 MB for 10 days
- €10: 500 MB for 30 days
- €15: 1 GB for 30 days
Pass Internet packages can be activated online, on the MyDigicel App, or by dialing *123#.
La Post Caraïbes Mobile
La Poste Caraïbes Mobile, mainly known as Poste Mobile, is the only MVNO in Guadeloupe. They use the Orange network, so you can expect good coverage and fast speeds with Poste Mobile.
Poste Mobile SIM cards are sold for €10 in post offices and a few other stores, and they come with €5 in credit to be used within 15 days.
There is a registration process that you have to be aware of if using a Poste Mobile SIM card. Make sure to call 555 within 24 hours after using your Poste Mobile SIM card. Otherwise, your line will be deactivated. You also have to send them the activation form and a copy of your passport within 15 days. Else, they will deactivate your line.
As a reward for going through all the hassle, La Poste will give you €10 in credit once they have processed your form.
Post Mobile has 3 monthly combo plans:
- €14.99: 1 GB, 2 hours of call time, and unlimited SMS
- €24.99: 3 GB, 3 hours of call time, and unlimited SMS
- €34.99: 15 GB and unlimited calls and SMS
Other Ways to Stay Connected When Traveling in Guadeloupe
Now you know everything about buying a SIM card in Guadeloupe, but what are your other options? Although buying a local SIM card is almost always the cheapest option, the cheapest option would be using free WIFI connections in Guadeloupe, but you can also roam with your provider in Guadeloupe, use an international SIM card in Guadeloupe, or use a mobile hotspot in Guadeloupe. Let’s see what our options are.
Using Free WIFI hotspots in Guadeloupe
Using something free is always better than paying for something. However, sometimes, free stuff may be of bad quality. Sure, you do not have to pay anything for using a free hotspot (unless you are required to purchase a beverage or meal at an establishment), but it may be a challenge to find a free hotspot. Moreover, the connection may be so slow that it is practically useless.
In the case of Guadeloupe, you can find many hotspots throughout the island.
Do note that public hotspots are unsecure. Hackers love to steal sensitive information on unprotected connections because it is apparently easy to do so. That is why I use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) when using a public hotspot, and I would encourage you to do so too.
What a VPN does is creating an encrypted tunnel between your device and the hotspot so that your data will stay private. I use NordVPN, and you can get up to 70% off when you get a NordVPN subscription. Get your NordVPN subscription now!
Roaming with Your Provider in Guadeloupe
Roaming is a term used in wireless telecommunication that indicates a mobile device is outside the range of its home network and has connected to a different, available cell network. Let’s say your provider is A1 Macedonia, then you would be roaming with A1 Macedonia in Guadeloupe.
Roaming may be the most convenient way of using your phone abroad. You do not have to buy a new SIM card, which, in turn, means you do not have to swap SIM cards. As a result, your friends and family from home can easily reach you on your cell. With many providers, the only thing you need to do is to turn on the data roaming setting on your phone, and you are good to go.
No idea how roaming works? I made this comprehensive guide about what roaming is and how it works. It is worth the read – promised!
Although roaming with your provider may be the most convenient way of staying connected in Guadeloupe, it can also be the most expensive option. There have been many horror stories where people have racked up roaming bills up in the thousands and even more than ten thousand.
Luckily, many providers have affordable roaming plans, allow you to roam for free in some destinations like Guadeloupe, or allow you to use your plan’s allowance in Guadeloupe. For example, with Virgin Mobile Canada, you can use your plan’s allowance for 12 Canadian dollars per day. This may be affordable in some destinations for a small number of days, but it will be expensive for prolonged periods.
If you are unsure about the roaming options of your provider, I have written many articles about roaming with various operators around the world. I analyze them in-depth and give you my advice on whether you should roam with your provider or not. If yes, I also state for how long you should roam to take the most advantage of the offer.
One thing that should be avoided at all costs is to Pay As You Go roaming where you pay per minute, SMS, or MB. This is how many people get expensive roaming bills because the roaming prices for data are usually extremely high.
If you want to roam, make sure to get a roaming plan. Unless your provider offers extremely low Pay As You Go roaming rates, which is only a handful of providers, then you can consider doing so. Furthermore, if your provider lets you roam for free in Guadeloupe, then you should go for it. Just note that your speeds will be lower as a roamer than if you were to buy a Guadeloupean SIM card.
Using an International SIM Card in Guadeloupe
International SIM cards are SIM cards that work internationally. Most SIM cards do work abroad, but then you have to roam with your provider. International SIM cards, however, let’s you use one SIM card in many destinations around the world for, often, the same price. This way, your friends and families can still reach out to you while traveling.
International SIM cards are, however, much more expensive than buying a local SIM card in many cases, but they are often cheaper than to roam with your provider. There are many international SIM card providers out there, but a few providers I can recommend are OneSimCard, SimOptions, Surfroam, BNESIM, and SimCorner.
International SIM cards are useful for those who frequently travel for leisure or for business. That way, everyone can reach you on one number instead of a handful of local numbers scattered around the world.
Moreover, many destinations in the world require you to register yourself before you can buy a local SIM card. In some countries, the process is quick, while others require much more of your time. Furthermore, the registration process may be cumbersome in countries.
Finally, the language barrier may be off-putting to some. It can be a challenge dealing with a salesperson who does not understand you. They may try and sell you the most expensive option out there. Luckily, you know the prices of SIM cards and packs in Guadeloupe, so you cannot be taken advantage of.
My recommendation, however, is to get a local SIM card if you are only visiting one destination. If you are visiting multiple destinations in one trip, an international SIM card could be handy. If you want to learn more about international SIM cards, check out my international SIM card comparison article, where I analyze 10 international SIM card providers so that you do not have to.
Using a Mobile Hotspot in Guadeloupe
A mobile hotspot is a portable, battery-powered wireless router that allows you to connect your phone, laptop, or tablet without needing multiple SIM cards for those devices to be connected to the internet. They are compact and lightweight so that you take them along with you whenever you need internet access on the go.
Many companies have created mobile hotspots (just have a quick search on Amazon, for example, you will find many). Skyroam and Travelwifi are reputable pocket WIFI providers I know. You can get a discount if you rent a router through Skyroam by using coupon code PHONETRAVELWIZ. Cellular access with Skyroam starts at $8 a day. Travelwifi offers Teppy, the name of the pocket WIFI, starting from $7 per day. All these services cover more than 130 destinations around the world.
I often recommend mobile hotspots to those who are traveling in groups or with families. They can save groups a lot of money if they are visiting destinations where buying multiple SIM cards would become an expensive endeavor.
I recently wrote an article analyzing the 7 Best Mobile Hotspots for Travelers like yourself, which should be an interesting read if pocket WIFI is something you are considering. I do reviews of individual devices every now and then, so check out my mobile hotspot category to stay up to date.
The Best Way to Stay Connected When Traveling in Guadeloupe
Getting a SIM card from SFR would be your only when considering a Guadeloupean SIM card. Be sure to explore the roaming options your provider offers you, as they may offer free or cheap roaming bundles.
You could also consider getting an international SIM card or using a portable hotspot. International SIM cards like OneSimCard, SimOptions, Surfroam, BNESIM, and SimCorner are attractive for those visiting multiple destinations at once or within a year. Portable hotspots like Skyroam and Travelwifi will be useful when traveling with multiple people so that not each individual has to get a SIM card but can use the hotspot.
Visiting other countries in the Caribbean? Check out my Caribbean SIM card buying guide covering the other Caribbean destinations, such as Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, the Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Cuba, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, French West Indies (French Guiana & Martinique), Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin (French) & Sint Maarten (Dutch), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, and Turks and Caicos. Going to other places around the world? Then you should also check out my sim card buying guides for other destinations around the world.
What is next?
Looking for the best companies and gadgets to enhance your travel experience? Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel! Save money on plane tickets, bus rides, cruises, and accommodation. Besides that, I also list services and items I use to make my life easier – and I believe they will help you too!
Book Your Flight for Guadeloupe
It is time to book your flight. Find cheap flights with AirWander so that you can add free or cheap stopovers in destinations you have not considered yet before going to Guadeloupe.
Book Your Accommodation for Guadeloupe
I am a huge fan of Airbnb because it allows me to live with a local or get a local place for myself. Staying in someone’s house or apartment feels much different than being in a ho(s)tel, especially in Guadeloupe. At least, that is how I see it. Moreover, Airbnb can often be much cheaper than staying in a Guadeloupean hotel.
Get Your Travel Insurance for Guadeloupe
You will regret not having travel insurance once you actually need it and “forgot” to get it. Nowadays, travel insurance is cheap and comprehensive unlike back in the days. World Nomads is by far the best travel insurance for adventurous travelers like yourself. You can even get insured WHILE already traveling in Guadeloupe, which is not something many insurance companies allow you to do.
Get a Travel Debit Card
Travel Cheques are outdated. Paying with your credit card or debit card can be expensive because of all the exchange commissions banks charge you. TransferWise allows you to convert your main currency to Euros for a small fee (up to 8 times less than with your bank!) Getting a Transferwise Borderless account is FREE, so you will get an instant return on your investment.
Enjoy your trip!