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'd like to see what's down below you might enjoy. 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 within western Guadeloupe.
La Desirade Beach is another snorkeling spot 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.
The following table lists more information on the 9 of the most popular places where you can go snorkeling in this area.
|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|
For some people, the most enjoyable snorkeling is accessed away from the shore.
If you're hoping to go snorkeling during a boat trip, you might want to check with 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 worth investigating 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 within 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.
Take a minute to read the table below to read more about boat operators that offer snorkeling.
|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 looking for a place that offers snorkeling gear, excursions or similar services, you might want to contact TropicalSub Diving. This centrally located dive center is ideally set so that it enjoys easy access to the top snorkeling sites in the area. They are located in Deshaies, in the western part of Guadeloupe.
Another company worth knowing about is Anbadlola Guadeloupe-Plongee. Personalized excursions that take guests to Pigeon Island in hopes of snorkeling with turtles and dolphins is what this operation specializes in.
A third option 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. They're situated in western Guadeloupe.
Some information with regard to 13 firms that provide services related to snorkeling are provided directly below.
|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|
|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|
|TropicalSub Diving||(059) 028-5267||1.5 mi. South West of Central Cafeiere||Basse-Terre|
For more information concerning snorkeling, including suggestions and helpful tips for both "old pros" and beginners, check out this extensive guide to 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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