The music of Guadeloupe is constantly evolving. There is a foundation of Gwo Ka, then in the 1980s, Zouk music started to become more mainstream and we are now moving into sounds like Akoustik Kreol. It is rhythmic, it is lively, it is the music of the people. There are the hypnotic beats that you can’t help but move your feet to, they are addictive and captivating. If you are planning a road trip of Guadalupe, make music your focus and follow where the beats and the melody takes you.
A note on your vehicle
Before you set out on your road trip, make sure that you hire a vehicle that is in good condition. A 4×4 or a jeep type car is always a good option. There is an expressway through the island that is marked and paved, but a lot of the rural roads on your trip are wide dirt tracks, which can also get muddy in the rain. The tyres on your car in particular should be in good condition.
Zoo Rock Cafe
Many of the restaurants and bars on the islands are transformed into music venues in the evenings. The Zoo Rock Cafe (Route de la Marina Pointe-à-Pitre GP 97190) is one that should be on your road trip list – the ambience is second to none. Wednesday nights is Old School Rock night, bringing you classic sounds through until 5am. There are regular band nights, live DJs and dancing. Don’t worry if you don’t speak French, everyone is made to feel welcome, irrespective of language.
Auberge de la Vieille Tour
If you are a true music fan, you will be right at home at Auberge de la Vieille Tour (Le Gossier, Grand-Terre). Not only can you listen to some great bands, but the accommodation is fantastic. It is a great example of a colonial style hotel, well looked after and with a great restaurant. One of the things that the auberge is most famous for is the live jazz evenings. Sitting on the deck looking over the ocean, with a plate of salt fish fritters, a rum in hand and some sultry sounds washing over you is Caribbean heaven.
Carnival of Guadeloupe
The final stop of your Guadeloupe road trip should be the Carnival, it’s not just a one day event either. It is on every Sunday from January through to Ash Wednesday, followed by the Mardi Gras – three days of festivities that are not to be missed. Accommodation is relatively easy to book across the island from bungalows to hotels. You are best to phone for reservations however, instead of relying on email.
Guadeloupe is a great destination for a music road trip, particularly in the first few months of the year during Carnival time. There are so many different styles to choose from, you can get a true taste of Caribbean music style.