For information before you go, contact the French Government Tourist Office (tel. 202/659-7779; www.francetourism.com). There are offices at 444 Madison Ave., 16th Floor, New York, NY 10022 (tel. 212/838-7800); 9454 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 715, Beverly Hills, CA 90212 (tel. 310/271-6665); and 676 N. Michigan Ave., Ste. 3360, Chicago, IL 60611 (tel. 312/751-7800).
To get to Guadeloupe, most U.S. travelers will have to fly elsewhere in the Caribbean and transfer. You can take an American Airlines (tel. 800/433-7300 in the U.S. and Canada; www.aa.com) flight to its hub in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and then get the one American Eagle flight daily on to Guadeloupe. There are also connections available through Martinique. Delta (tel. 800/241-4141 in the U.S. and Canada; www.delta.com) also offers flights from Atlanta on Wednesday and Saturday.
Air Canada (tel. 888/247-2262 in the U.S. and Canada, or 590/21-12-77; www.aircanada.ca) flies between Montréal and Guadeloupe every Saturday year-round. Between December and April only, it also maintains an additional flight from Montréal to Guadeloupe every Wednesday. Passengers can also fly from Toronto on one of the daily nonstop flights to Barbados and transfer onto other carriers (usually LIAT), making the ongoing journey to points within the French West Indies.
Air France (tel. 800/237-2747 in the U.S. and Canada; www.airfrance.com) flies into Guadeloupe every day from Paris, with efficient connections from Britain and the rest of Europe. Air France also maintains direct service to Guadeloupe from Miami, via Port-au-Prince, Haiti, 3 days per week.
If you're already on the islands, you can wing into Guadeloupe on LIAT (tel. 888/844-LIAT  in most of the Caribbean, or 268/480-5601; www.liatairline.com), which flies from Antigua, St. Maarten, St. Croix, St. Lucia, Martinique, Barbados, Grenada, Trinidad, and Dominica. Air Caraïbes (tel. 590/82-47-47; www.aircaraibes.com) operates a half-dozen flights a day into Guadeloupe from Martinique, as well as at least one flight a day from St. Barts, French St. Martin, and Cayenne in French Guyana.
Consider arriving in Guadeloupe as many of the locals do, on one of the daily ferryboats operated by Express des Iles (tel. 0825/35-90-00; www.express-des-iles.com), whose vessels originate every day in Fort-de-France, Martinique, at 2pm; make a 30-minute stopover in Dominica en route (departing from Dominica around 4pm); and then dock at the quays of Pointe-à-Pitre sometime around 5:45pm, depending on weather, tides, and the vagaries of island life.
One-way passage to Pointe-à-Pitre from Dominica costs 64€ per person each way; one-way passage to Guadeloupe from Martinique is 66€ and round-trip 100€, partly the result of government subsidies. For timetables and more information in Guadeloupe, call Agence Penchard (the local representative of Express des Iles). For timetables and information in Martinique, contact Express des Iles (tel. 0825/35-90-00; www.express-des-iles.com).