Snorkeling Around Guadeloupe

Photo credit: © Anbadlola Guadeloupe-Plongee

Filled with vibrant colors and active sea life, the underwater world that surrounds Guadeloupe is highly acclaimed for scuba diving.  Although often overlooked when reports of the country are written, the snorkeling here is equally divine.  

If the idea of spending part of your vacation in a “classroom” is too intense for you, stick to snorkeling, a sport that can be just as rewarding as diving. The same dive shops that offer diving courses and day trips will also rent or sell you snorkeling equipment. This typically includes a snorkel, dive mask, swim fins, and sometimes a life jacket to use as a flotation device. 

Water temperatures rarely dip below 77 degrees Farhenheit, and with so many coral reefs around, many of the shores remain calm and easy to manage by independent snorkelers.  While there are plenty of beaches you can snorkel from, most people choose to hire a tour guide to take them a little further offshore to the Jacques Cousteau's Underwater Reserve which includes access to the famed Pigeon Island.  Here, there are two ship wrecks as well as a reef to explore, all teeming with bright and friendly fish and uniquely formed corals.  

You can typically rent gear for around $15 to $20(USD) from local dive shops, while the snorkeling tours can cost over $40(USD).  Some scuba excursions will allow snorkelers to ride along with them as long as you pay to rent the equipment.  

Snorkeling Sites

If you're ready to experience below the water's surface you might enjoy visiting Pigeon Island. The waters that surround this island make up the Jacques Cousteau Underwater Reserve and feature a gorgeous and thriving shallow reef where you'll be able to interact with turtles, parrotfish, trumpetfish, barracuda, surgeon fish, and mush more. This snorkeling site is located in western Guadeloupe.

La Desirade Beach is another option. Protected by a system of coral reef that rings around most of the island, this spot is known for its clear waters and excellent biodiversity.

A third location to consider is Plage Leroux. A crescent shaped cove with calm waters, this site features a macro reef of brain coral. Within this system lives starfish, bluehead wrasses, parrotfish, angelfish, eels, bright tangs, and octopus among many others.

The chart right below enables you to get more information on the 9 of the best places to experience snorkeling in this area.

Snorkeling Sites Near Guadeloupe
Site Location Island
Pigeon Island 1.9 mi. South of Central Mahaut Basse-Terre
La Desirade Beach 13.7 mi. East of Central Saint-Francois Desirade Island
Plage Leroux 4.0 mi. South West of Central Cafeiere Basse-Terre
Ilet du Gosier Gosier, Central Guadeloupe Grande-Terre
Anse Montillor 2.4 mi. Northeast of Central Anse-Bertrand Grande-Terre
Deshaies Bay 3.1 mi. South West of Central Deshaies Basse-Terre
Parc Aquacole de Guadeloupe 10.8 mi. Northwest of Central Basse-Terre Basse-Terre
Pointe du Vieux Fort 4.2 mi. South of Central Basse Terre
Epave Le Franjack 2.4 mi. South of Central Mahaut Basse-Terre

Snorkeling Boat Trips

Some people believe the best snorkeling is accessed away from the shore.

If you're ready to snorkel during a boat trip, you might want to contact Le Nautilus. Tours with Le Nautilus begin with a sail through the Cousteau Reserve, then it makes a 30 minute stop for some snorkeling in warm water. Finally, on the sail home you're treated to snacks and drinks.

Another option to investigate is Bleu Blanc Vert. This popular sailing tour offers guests a half day trip hosted by passionate locals who love the natural elements of their island. They're located in Ste. Rose, in northwestern Guadeloupe.

A third option is Azimut Croisiere. The boat leaves every morning at 8:30 a.m. from Baie-Mahault and sails around the lagoon of the Grand Cul-de-Sac Marin over a shallow wreck dive.

Some information concerning boat trip providers that offer snorkeling are provided right below.

Day Sails and Boat Trips In Guadeloupe
Name Phone Location Island
Azimut Croisiere (069) 041-8808 Baie-Mahault, Northwestern part of Guadeloupe Grande-Terre
Bleu Blanc Vert (069) 063-8243 Ste. Rose, Northwestern part of Guadeloupe Basse-Terre
Gwadaventure (069) 099-6954 0.5 mi. North-Northeast of Central Ste. Rose Basse-Terre
Jean Luc et Marie Laure Tours (059) 028-3961 Ste. Rose, Northwestern part of Guadeloupe Basse-Terre
La Paillote Boat (069) 061-5985 0.6 mi. East of Central Saint-Francois Grande-Terre
Le Nautilus (059) 098-7034 1.7 mi. South of Central Mahaut Basse-Terre
No Limit Excursions (069) 065-5760 0.6 mi. East of Central Saint-Francois Grande-Terre
Orphee Private Day Tours (069) 698-1730 Downtown St. Francois Grande-Terre
Paradoxe Croisieres (059) 088-4173 Saint-Francois, Northeastern part of Guadeloupe Grande-Terre

Snorkeling Services

TropicalSub Diving

If you looking for a business offering snorkeling excursions, rentals, or other services, you might want to check with Clear Blue Caraibes. Watersports don't necessarily mean you have to put your head under water and get wet. Clear Blue Caraibes (also known as Centre Éconautique) has a wide range of rentals and tours available. They are located in Isle de Saintes.

A second company worth knowing about is Archipel Plongee. One of the best things about this tour operator for visitors from the United States is that they speak English well, but they are also very experienced in the area and can show you the top snorkeling sites no problem.

A third company worth contacting is Les Heures Saines. When you sign up to snorkel with this tour group you get a trip to Pigeon Island on board a new, custom built boat, and a knowledgeable guide to show you the best snorkeling in the area. They're found in western Guadeloupe.

The chart right below has some key facts with regard to 13 firms that provide snorkeling services.

Snorkeling Services In Guadeloupe
Name Phone Location Island
Anbadlola Guadeloupe-Plongee (069) 047-1161 6.5 mi. South of Central Cafeiere Basse-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 Passion (059) 092-8576 1.9 mi. South of Central Mahaut Basse-Terre
Centre de Plongée des Ilets (059) 041-0961 1.9 mi. South of Central Mahaut Basse-Terre
Clear Blue Caraibes (069) 065-7981 Isle de Saintes
Ecotour Snorkeling Guadeloupe (059) 090-9238 Gosier, Central Guadeloupe Grande-Terre
Eden Plongée (059) 022-8727 0.4 mi. West of Central Port-Louis Grande-Terre
La Rand'eau (069) 032-1379 6.9 mi. Northwest of Central Saint Claude Basse-Terre
Les Heures Saines (059) 098-8663 1.8 mi. South of Central Mahaut Basse-Terre
Man'balaou Club de Plongee (059) 097-7524 0.0 mi. South West of Central Saint Louis Marie-Galante
Ti'bulles Snorkeling (059) 097-5490 0.6 mi. Southeast of Central Grand-Bourg Marie-Galante
TropicalSub Diving (059) 028-5267 1.5 mi. South West of Central Cafeiere Basse-Terre

To learn more concerning snorkeling, including tips and suggestions for beginners and "pros" read our exhaustive discussion of snorkeling in the Caribbean.

A seemingly unexplored world of alluring underwater sites exists off the coast of Guadeloupe just waiting to be discovered by you.  Bring your snorkel or rent a kit when you arrive, but whatever you do, make sure you get into the water and see the beauty for yourself. 


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