At the heart of the arch formed by the Lesser Antilles, Guadeloupe is a French archipelago made up of two main islands (Grande-Terre and Basse-Terre) and a number of neighboring islands, with the most important being Marie Galante, Les Saintes and La Désirade. Swept by the Atlantic Ocean and soothed by the Caribbean Sea, Guadeloupe has the biggest coral reef in the Lesser Antilles (24 miles - 39km long) off the Grand Cul-de-Sac Marin bay, which is an integral part of the Guadeloupe National Park.

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Guadeloupe has a wide range of beaches (with white and black sand, surrounded by mangroves or coconut trees), with the most famous being Plage du Bourg or Plage de la Caravelle in Sainte-Anne, on the south coast of Grande-Terre. Malendure beach (an ideal spot for watching green turtles) and the sites located on the Pigeon Islands (as the Coral Garden), in Bouillante, are among the island’s best snorkeling spots. But whether you are a beginner or an expert, don’t leave Guadeloupe without a visit to Petite Terre (where you can find rays, sharks and turtles, and where day excursions set off from Saint-François) or to Les Saintes (the Plage du Pain de Sucre, in particular, is like a life-size aquarium).

Snorkeling Report Guadeloupe
Sainte-Anne Beach, lesser antillean iguana at Petite Terre and orchid
When to go to Guadeloupe?

Guadeloupe enjoys a tropical climate tempered by oceanic influences and the trade winds. In the region a dry season, known as “lent” (from January to June) can be distinguished from a humid season (“wintering”, from July to December). With an average temperature of 80°F/27°C (77-90°F/25-32°C in the dry season and 75-85°F/24-29°C in the humid season), and an average water temperature of 82°F/28°C, snorkeling can be enjoyed all through the year. The hurricane season, which may prevent sailing and swimming for several days, runs from May to November.

CDC Guadeloupe EN

Where to spot them?

Lemon shark

You can't miss them at Petite Terre

Green sea turtle

Abundant at Malendure, frequent at Petite Terre

Spotted eagle ray

Mainly at Petite Terre

Southern stingray

Mainly at Petite Terre

Atlantic blue tang

On all spots

Sergeant major

On all spots

Foureye butterflyfish

On all spots

Banded butterflyfish

On all spots

Flamingo tongue snail

Common on sea fans, particularly at the Pain de Sucre


On all spots

  • Francois Bergeron

    dead dead dead. The corals are almost all gone.