Scuba Diving Near Guadeloupe

Is there a greater compliment than Jacques Cousteau calling your next vacation location a top dive spot?

Photo credit © Les Heures Saines
 

The famed Jacques Cousteau called the waters surrounding Pigeon Island, Guadeloupe one of the top diving spots in the world. You can explore this site, and many others, when you plan a diving or snorkeling trip in Guadeloupe.

...encounter a wide array of gorgeous sea life...

 

When it comes to the islands of the French Caribbean, Guadeloupe is the most popular country for diving . Not only are the waters that surround Guadeloupe relatively calm, but the government has taken certain measures to ensure protection of the area's marine life. This allows coral, fish, and other sea creatures to thrive, and gives divers the opportunity to see them at their finest.

Before you can go diving in Guadeloupe, you've got to learn the ropes. Many hotels offer what are called “resort dive courses,” in which you spend a day focusing on instruction and practicing your newfound skills in the hotel pool. This way you gain your certification, and can hire someone to take you out to dive. Local dive companies also offer these courses, and the price of the course usually includes your first real dive into the sea.

Be aware that because the official language of Guadeloupe is French, it can be hard to find an English speaking instructor. Your hotel concierge desk should be able to direct you to someone that speaks your language.

There are 24 dive services, a dive shop, and at least 28 interesting dive sites to choose from.

Dive Operators and Shops

The dive shop worth considering are shown in the table below.

Dive Shops Near Guadeloupe
Name Type Phone Location Island
Sa Ka Plonje Dive Shop//12577 (069) 091-9908 6.1 mi. East of Central Grand-Bourg Marie-Galante

If you're ready to go diving, you might want to check with Les Heures Saines. Offering certified training courses and several dives around the area daily, Les Heures Saines always has something going on related to scuba diving. They are located in Bouillante, in western Guadeloupe.

Another option is Bleu Passion. Explore the underwater world with a group of expert divers guiding your underwater journey. At Bleu Passion they can assist you with any of your scuba diving needs; you can undergo professional French training or PADI courses, or simply book a scuba diving day trip. You can call them at (059) 092-8576.

A third good option is Centre de Plongée des Ilets. From baptism diving all the way through CMAS and PADI certification courses, the staff at Centre de Plongee is equipped to teach you everything you need to know about scuba diving. Once trained up a bit, you can participate in wreck, reef and night dives on a daily basis. They're located in western Guadeloupe.

The following chart shows some information concerning the area's dive services.

Dive Operators Near Guadeloupe
Name Phone Location Island
Alavama (059) 028-6549 Ste. Rose, Northwestern part of Guadeloupe Basse-Terre
Alize Plongee (069) 072-3203 9.3 mi. North-Northwest of Central Basse Terre Basse-Terre
Anse Caraibe Plongée (059) 099-9095 1.6 mi. North of Central Mahaut Basse-Terre
Antidote (059) 084-9357 0.4 mi. West of Central Port-Louis Grande-Terre
Aqua Zen Plongee (069) 065-9726 Ste. Anne, Central Guadeloupe Grande-Terre
Archipel Plongee -- 2.2 mi. South of Central Mahaut Basse-Terre
Bleu Outremer (059) 090-8511 Bas-du-Fort, Central Guadeloupe Grande-Terre
Bleu Passion (059) 092-8576 9.3 mi. North-Northwest of Central Basse Terre Basse-Terre
Blue Pearl (059) 083-3914 1.5 mi. South West of Central Cafeiere Basse-Terre
Centre International de Plongee (059) 098-8172 2.2 mi. South of Central Mahaut Basse-Terre
Centre de Plongée des Ilets (059) 041-0961 1.5 mi. South of Central Mahaut Basse-Terre
Eden Plongée (059) 022-8727 Port-Louis, Northern part of Guadeloupe Grande-Terre
Gwadive (069) 050-9591 Port-Louis, Northern part of Guadeloupe Grande-Terre
Habiss Plongee (069) 095-0190 1.5 mi. Northwest of Central Baillif Basse-Terre
La Dive Bouteille (059) 099-5425 2.3 mi. East of Central Grand Anse Terre-de-Haut
La Palanquée (059) 028-4755 1.5 mi. South West of Central Cafeiere Basse-Terre
La Rand'eau (069) 032-1379 7.0 mi. Northwest of Central Saint Claude Basse-Terre
Les Baillantes Tortues -- 6.5 mi. South of Central Cafeiere Basse-Terre
Les Heures Saines (059) 098-8663 9.3 mi. North-Northwest of Central Basse Terre Basse-Terre
Man'balaou Club de Plongee (059) 097-7524 0.0 mi. South West of Central Saint Louis Marie-Galante
Pisquettes Plongee (059) 099-8880 0.3 mi. South-Southwest of Central Grand Anse Terre-de-Bas
Plaisir Plongée Karukera (059) 095-8325 1.7 mi. South of Central Mahaut Basse-Terre
Ti'bulles Dive Center (059) 097-5490 0.6 mi. Southeast of Central Grand-Bourg Marie-Galante
TropicalSub Diving (059) 028-5267 1.9 mi. South West of Central Cafeiere Basse-Terre

Dive Sites

Details concerning some of the area's dive sites are shown right below.

Dive Sites Near Guadeloupe
Name Quality Experience Max Depth Current Latitude Longitude
Arches -- -- 70.0 -- 16.4594296984 -61.5438386986
Baille Agent -- -- 40.0 -- 16.2367270555 -61.8126604149
Epave Le Franjack Very Good All Divers 75.5 Negligible 16.163906751 -61.7845937798
Epave Le Gustavia Very Good Advanced Open Water / CMAS ** 131.2 < 1 knot 16.163329686 -61.7880270073
Epave de l'Augustin Fresnel II Very Good Advanced Open Water / CMAS ** 95.1 1-2 knots 16.098559073 -61.7864227295
Fort St. Charles -- -- 130.0 -- 15.9801091771 -61.7402193138
Grand Anse -- -- 70.0 -- 16.3283425984 -61.8078538963
Grand Sec -- -- 100.0 -- 16.265073124 -61.8463060448
Ilet Fajou Very Good -- 100.0 -- 16.3549870963 -61.579415519
Ilet Kahouanne -- -- 60.0 -- 16.3693991428 -61.7776844093
Jardin Japonais Good All Divers 82.0 1-2 knots 16.17841526 -61.7855379173
Jardin de Corail Good All Divers 65.6 1-2 knots 15.8710736084 -61.59390449
Jardin de corail Very Good All Divers 131.2 < 1 knot 16.1674515418 -61.7875120232
La Grotte aux Baracudas Excellent Advanced Open Water / CMAS ** 82.0 < 1 knot 16.4406563557 -61.5521907806
La Sablière Good All Divers 55.8 Negligible 16.2079792782 -61.3984251022
La Vierge Good All Divers 39.4 1-2 knots 15.8405245361 -61.6131305642
Les Sources de au Chaude Very Good Advanced Open Water / CMAS ** 131.2 < 1 knot 16.1697597436 -61.7900869438
Lizards Leap -- -- 130.0 -- 16.1378959349 -61.7863103935
North Point -- -- 100.0 -- 16.5117739472 -61.4744875023
Pain du Sucre Good All Divers 65.6 < 1 knot 15.8638908565 -61.600513453
Petite Terre Good All Divers 16.4 1-2 knots 16.1744947294 -61.1055278778
Pointe Barracuda Good Advanced Open Water / CMAS ** 196.9 Negligible 16.1677400685 -61.7932626793
Pointe Carrangue Good All Divers 82.0 < 1 knot 16.1662562125 -61.7877265999
Pointe Gouvernail Good All Divers 68.9 < 1 knot 15.8630652376 -61.64626121
Pointe Malendure Very Good All Divers 82.0 < 1 knot 16.1743760662 -61.7845508644
Sec Pate Excellent Advanced Open Water / CMAS ** 82.2 > 2 knots 15.929014718 -61.611328125
St. Francois -- -- 70.0 -- 16.2225524892 -61.2729570457
Tete a l'Anglais -- -- 70.0 -- 16.3375676889 -61.7961809227

For more information about snorkeling, including useful tips and suggestions skilled divers as well as beginners, check out our exhaustive guide to diving in the Caribbean.

Sites with Sights

Although you can snorkel at practically any beach along Guadeloupe's 150 miles of coastline, there are not nearly as many designated sites to seek out as divers have.

Guadeloupe Diving

The Réserve Cousteau is located off Basse-Terre. There are several dive sites that make up the reserve, all of which are marked with buoys. Glass bottom boat tours are available for those who aren't quite ready to dive in. Nearby Pigeon Island is also home to two wreck sites.

The Reserve of Grand Cul-de-Sac Marin is an area that become protected in 1990. Located within the reserve is a barrier reef measuring about 29 km long. The area also features mangrove swamps and seagrass beds.

The eastern and southern shores of Marie-Galante Island are surrounded by reefs and seagrass beds. To the west is a submerged coral bank worth checking out. La Desirade is another small island also fringed with slight reef formations. 

Other dive sites in Guadeloupe include AquariumBay of Petit Cul-de-Sac MarinCaretPiscineFajouJardin de CorailJardin JaponaisPointe Barracuda, and Pointe Carrangue.

Tips

Regardless of where you choose to dive, you will encounter a wide array of gorgeous sea life, from healthy coral to plump fish, and maybe even a sea turtle of two. Use the following tips to keep you, and Guadeloupe's marine creatures, safe.

  • Be aware of currents and stay watchful of your location. Getting too far off course can make returning difficult.
  • Wear a watch so you don't lose track of time - it's easy to do underwater.
  • Don't feed the fish or touch the animals or coral. Their protective layers can be stripped away.
  • Never stand or walk on a reef, and tread carefully in shallow water around reefs. (Shuffle your feet to avoid stingrays, and watch out for sea urchins, spines.)
  • Never wear jewelry. Caribbean fish, barracudas especially, seem to be drawn to shiny objects that look like their natural prey, small silver fish.
  • Avoid jellyfish, fire coral, and other stinging creatures.
  • Never reach into holes or crevices; animals - especially moray eels - like to make their homes in them.
  • Shark spottings are rare, and sharks that are spotted are usually passive. If you do see a shark, stay calm, and if necessary, move slowly out of the water.
  • Never remove anything from dive sites and reefs; it is illegal to do so.

When it comes to scuba diving in the French Caribbean countries, Guadeloupe is your best choice. Don't miss out on the exhileration, the awe, and the wonderment that comes as you dip your head from the human world down into the marine world.

 

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