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 . 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.
If you're looking forward to experiencing below the water's surface you might want to check out. 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 place you might enjoy. 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.
Some details concerning 9 of the best locations where you can enjoy snorkeling in this area are listed in the following table.
|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|
|2.4 mi. Northeast of Central Anse-Bertrand||Grande-Terre|
|3.1 mi. South West of Central Deshaies||Basse-Terre|
|Parc Aquacole de Guadeloupe||10.8 mi. Northwest of Central Basse-Terre||Basse-Terre|
|4.2 mi. South of Central Basse Terre|
|2.4 mi. South of Central Mahaut||Basse-Terre|
Some people believe the most enjoyable snorkeling is accessed away from the shore.
If you'd like to go snorkeling during a boat trip, you might want to check with Le Nautilus. Enjoy the unique experience of seeing what is going on in the waters below as you sail on Le Nautilus, a glass bottom boat that provides daily adventures around the island.
Another option to consider is Bleu Blanc Vert. A typical tour begins by departing from Sainte Rose, heading to explore the mangrove, sailing down the Moustique River, spending some time snorkeling a nearby coral reef, then relaxing on a sandy islet. Four adults can travel per boat, and they are treated to a knowledgeable guide and snorkeling equipment. They're located in Ste. Rose, in northwestern Guadeloupe.
Still another 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 details regarding day sails and boat trips that provide snorkeling opportunities are displayed down below.
|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|
|(069) 698-1730||Downtown St. Francois||Grande-Terre|
|Paradoxe Croisieres||(059) 088-4173||Saint-Francois, Northeastern part of Guadeloupe||Grande-Terre|
If you're looking for someone that offers snorkeling excursions, rentals, or other services, you can check with 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 are located within western Guadeloupe.
Another place worth knowing about is TropicalSub Diving. This centrally located dive center is ideally set so that it enjoys easy access to the top snorkeling sites in the area.
A third company worth contacting is Anbadlola Guadeloupe-Plongee. The staff at Anbalola Guadeloupe-Plongee are experts in the Caribbean Sea and the many wonders it holds. Tour guides have a passion for the waters and will join you not just for the boat ride, but also in your snorkeling adventures. They're situated in Pointe-Noire, in the western part of Guadeloupe.
Some information concerning 15 companies that provide snorkeling services are listed in the following table.
|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|
|(059) 098-8730||9.3 mi. North-Northwest of Central Basse Terre||Basse-Terre|
|(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|
|(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|
|(059) 097-7524||0.0 mi. South West of Central Saint Louis||Marie-Galante|
|(059) 089-2651||Gosier, Central Guadeloupe||Grande-Terre|
|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|
For more information about snorkeling, including helpful suggestions and tips for both "old pros" and beginners, check out 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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