The 8 best diving spots in Guadeloupe

Discover fantastic aquatic landscapes with the best diving in Guadeloupe!

Nestled in the heart of the Antilles, the Guadeloupe archipelago is a little corner of paradise, where the diversity of its landscapes is sure to delight. A top destination for vacations in the sun, it attracts visitors keen to relax on white sandy beaches, as well as nature lovers dreaming of lush forests and cool waterfalls.

Underwater explorers are not left out either. With a multitude of dive sites dotted around the island, it won’t be difficult to find what you’re looking for. From Basse-Terre to Grande-Terre, via Les Saintes, Marie-Galante and La Désirade, you’ll have the chance to swim in coral gardens, descend along drop-offs and marvel at marine flora and fauna as rich as they are colorful.

So, are you ready to have your eyes filled? Here’s a selection of the best diving spots in Guadeloupe!

1. The Cousteau Reserve

Guadeloupe Réserve Cousteau

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Kaca Skokanova

  • 📍 D eparture point: Bouillante
  • 🌡️ Water temperature: 26°C
  • ☑️ Level: All levels
  • 🐚 Fauna and flora: corals, mud sponges, turtles, shrimps, moray eels…

A must for diving in Guadeloupe, just a few minutes from Malendure beach, the Réserve Cousteau is a marine area comprising the îlets Pigeon and 1,000 hectares of fabulous seabed. An integral part of the Guadeloupe National Park, this protected environment is a delightful playground for divers.

Home to a diversity of equally beautiful places, it promises unforgettable experiences and surprising encounters. While it’s not uncommon to come across turtles, tropical fish or shrimp, you may also be lucky enough to hear the song of a humpback whale.

Here, there’s something for every taste and level. Here’s an overview of what you’ll find:

  • The Japanese Garden
  • The Coral Garden
  • Barracuda Point
  • Le Franjack
  • Le Gustavia

And more!

2. The great marine cul-de-sac

Grand cul de sac

Photo credit: Shutterstock – LACROIX CHRISTINE

  • 📍 D eparture point: Port-Louis, Sainte-Rose, le Gosier
  • 🌡️ Water temperature: 26°C
  • ☑️ Level: All levels
  • 🐚 Fauna and flora: corals, sea fans, starfish, turtles, crabs…

Recognized as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve since 1994, the Grand-Cul-de Sac Marin is a remarkable natural site covering no less than 15,000 hectares. With the largest coral reef in the Lesser Antilles as its maritime boundary, it comprises not only a marine area, but also a terrestrial part made up of mangroves, ponds and swamp forests.

Off the coast, a series of unoccupied islets, seagrass beds and snorkeling lagoons await you. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced diver, you’ll enjoy discovering the beauty of a place that resembles a gigantic aquarium. Take a plunge into the crystal-clear waters and let yourself be seduced by the colorful aquatic life sheltered from the ocean swell. A must-see if you want to dive in Guadeloupe.

3. Gosier islet

gosier plongée guadeloupe

Photo credit: Shutterstock – David Svestka

  • 📍 D eparture point: le Gosier
  • 🌡️ Water temperature: 26°C
  • ☑️ Level: All levels
  • 🐚 Fauna and flora: corals, black sea urchins, white sea urchins, moray eels, lobsters…

Located opposite the commune of the same name, L’îlet Gosier – a small islet barely 1 kilometer long – is an ideal spot for snorkeling enthusiasts. Set off on an underwater trek in its shallow waters and move between its coral reefs, home to a variety of tropical fish and a few moray eels.

If you look hard enough, between or under the rocks, you may find lobsters hidden from view. On the ground, you’ll be able to spot white sea urchins and black sea urchins. Be careful not to step on them, though, as their spines are very painful, and could quickly spoil your afternoon of diving in Guadeloupe.

4. The Augustin Fresnel

plongée guadeloupe

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Ravenash

  • 📍 D eparture point: Bouillante
  • 🌡️ Water temperature: 26°C
  • ☑️ Level: Level 2 / Advanced
  • 🐚 Fauna and flora: corals, stingrays, barracudas, turtles, sea urchins…

Built in Canada in the 1940s,Augustin Fresnel has had several lives. After serving as a vessel for the Phares et Balises in the Mediterranean, she was assigned to buoy maintenance in the French West Indies and Guyana in the 90’s. She finally ended her career by becoming an artificial reef when she was voluntarily submerged in 2003 between Malendure and the town of Basse-Terre.

Set at a depth of almost 29 meters, this 53-meter-long wreck has become a haven for aquatic fauna and a dream destination for diving enthusiasts in Guadeloupe. Walk along the exterior, visit the foredeck, enter the bedrooms and don’t forget the kitchen and dining room. Who knows what surprises await you!

5. The Saint-François Lagoon and the Petite Terre Reserve

guadeloupe saint françois

Photo credit: Shutterstock – GixelArt

  • 📍 D eparture point: Saint-François
  • 🌡️ Water temperature: 26°C
  • ☑️ Level: All levels
  • 🐚 Fauna and flora: corals, lemon sharks, rays, green turtles…

In the far south of Guadeloupe, in the charming fishing village of Saint-François, you’ll find this wonderful lagoon with its crystal-clear waters. Perfect for beginners, this exceptional site is sure to please even the most experienced. Dive into its warm waters, protected from the ocean’s waves, and enjoy the magnificent spectacle of colorful fish.

A little further afield, you’ll be delighted to find the magnificent Petite Terre Reserve. This small islet off the coast of Saint-François is a wonderful place for snorkeling, where you’ll encounter unique species such as the lemon shark and nurse shark. It’s also not uncommon to come across green turtles feeding in the seagrass beds.

And if you’re lucky, a school of bottlenose dolphins may be just around the corner. In short, a sublime diving spot in Guadeloupe!

6. Le Sec Pâté

 Terre de haut

Photo credit: Shutterstock – boivin nicolas

  • 📍 D eparture point: Terre-de-haut (les Saintes), Vieux-Fort
  • 🌡️ Water temperature: 26°C
  • ☑️ Level: Level 2 / Open Water Advanced
  • 🐚 Fauna and flora: coral reefs, corals, octopus, tuna, starfish, whitetip sharks…

If you’re looking for a place to dive in Guadeloupe, here’s one of the most legendary: Sec Pâté!

Ranked among the 100 most beautiful dives in the world, access to this site is reserved for the most experienced among you. This underwater mountain, nestled between Les Saintes and Guadeloupe, offers a spectacular backdrop to some of the Caribbean’s most fabulous specimens.

Around the three rocky peaks that form the summit of this mountain, you’ll be able to observe queen angelfish, oceanic triggerfish and even white-tip sharks. All in a breathtaking setting you won’t soon forget. Diving conditions can be challenging, but don’t be in any doubt that it’s well worth the effort!

7. The Plane

Port-Louis

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Pays Guadeloupe

  • 📍 D eparture point: Port Louis
  • 🌡️ Water temperature: 26°C
  • ☑️ Level: Level 2 / Advanced / PE40
  • 🐚 Fauna and flora: corals, sponges, angelfish, barracudas, lionfish…

If you’re an explorer with a penchant for wrecks of all kinds, this one’s for you. This CESSNA 188, a former agricultural aircraft used for pesticide spraying, was submerged near coral reefs in 2000. Now overrun by coral and a diverse fauna, it lends itself perfectly to dives for advanced levels.

After contemplating the butterfly fish, angelfish and other tropical species around theAvion, you can continue by exploring the coral plateau where gorgonians and sponges proliferate. As you scan the sand, you’ll catch a glimpse of small heterocongres, also known as « garden eels ».

8. La Pointe de la Grande Vigie

Grande Vigie

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Benny Marty

  • 📍 D eparture point: Anse Bertrand
  • 🌡️ Water temperature: 26°C
  • ☑️ Level: Level 1 / Open Water
  • 🐚 Fauna and flora: corals, turtles, groupers, jacks, barracudas…

Head for the extreme north of Grande-Terre, in the commune of Anse-Bertrand, and find a stunning spot: the Pointe de la Grande Vigie. Accessible only when conditions permit, this little-visited site is full of surprises. Here, at the foot of vertiginous cliffs swept by the Atlantic waves, you’ll feel tiny.

If you immerse yourself underwater, you’ll make even more extraordinary discoveries. First you’ll have to scramble between boulders. Then venture into the tunnels, and be sure to enter the not-to-be-missed Grotte Amédien. In the Jardin de la Vigie, you can marvel at the tree-like gorgonians and reef fish slaloming between corals and turtles.