Guadeloupeans claim that la biguine was invented here, not on Martinique, and they dance it as if it truly was their own. Of course, there's also calypso, technically imported from points farther south such as Trinidad; merengue sounds from the Dominican Republic; salsa from Puerto Rico; and fusion jazz from Cuba, too -- the islanders are known for their dancing.
Ask at your hotel for details on the folkloric Ballets Guadeloupéens performances. This troupe makes frequent appearances at the big resorts.
The major casino, one of only two on the island, both administered by the same company, is Casino Gosier-les-Bains, 43 Pointe de la Verdure, Gosier (tel. 590/84-79-69). A casually elegant spot, it's open daily from 10am until 3am (4am on Fri and Sat), although the hottest games -- those associated with roulette, chemin de fer, and blackjack -- don't open till 9pm. ID is requested. All areas of the casino are free of admission.
A smaller casino, with fewer slot machines, is Casino de St-François, avenue de l'Europe (tel. 590/88-41-31), near the Le Kalenda Resort in St-François. It is open daily 10am to 2am.
If you don't like casino action, you can find other nighttime diversions in Guadeloupe, although these tend to be seasonal, with more offerings in the winter. Sheathed in wood and open to the outdoor breezes, the Zoo Rock Café at La Marina in Gosier (tel. 590/90-77-77; www.zoorockcafe.com) offers a revolving series of theme parties ("Midnight in Rio" and "Carnival in New Orleans") that might remind you of something in St-Tropez.
Cuban salsa and Latin dancing draw patrons to Lollapalooza, 122 Montauban, Gosier (tel. 590/84-56-18), where pictures of dictator Fidel and the long-dead Che Guevara decorate the walls. If you get tired of this joint, try Fanzy Bar, Mathurin Poucette (tel. 590/84-41-34), where musical styles might include 1980s-style French disco, Bob Marley reggae, and, in an occasional orgy of nostalgia, Edith Piaf singing songs from the 1940s and '50s. All these bars are free, but the island's dance clubs charge a uniform fee of about 20€, which includes the cost of a first drink. After that, most cocktails are a pricey 10€ to 15€.
The clientele and psychedelic colors of Bar Americano, sur la Plage in Ste-Anne (tel. 590/88-38-99), might make you believe that the 1960s era of flower power is still alive and thriving. Set directly adjacent to the beach and artfully grungy, it's the kind of hangout that might remind you of your college years. More animated, but open only Friday and Saturday nights, is La Cascade, in Gosier (tel. 590/84-33-69), which rocks and rolls, often to salsa or other Latin beats, for an audience of locals and short-term holidaymakers.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.