Malendure Beach, on the west coast of Guadeloupe, faces the Îlets Pigeon. Although the sea bed, which is mainly made up of sea grass, is not very spectacular, it is an ideal place to observe turtles, and green turtles in particular. There are many of them, and are the spot's main attraction.

Update: after hurricane Maria hit Guadeloupe in september 2017, the seagrass beds have been seriously deteriorated, and the turtles are now rarer than before in the bay
How to get there?

Malendure Beach is in Basse-Terre, on the west coast of the island. From Pointe-à-Pitre, take the N1 then the D23 roads (Route de la Traversée). Once you reach the coast, follow the N2 south for a few miles. The beach is well signposted and can be seen from the main road, a few miles before you arrive at Bouillante. It takes about 45 minutes by car (25 miles/40 km) from Pointe-à-Pitre when the traffic is light.

Water entrance

You can enter the water anywhere along the beach. But to get closer to the best snorkeling spots and to avoid the boat-anchoring area, walk north up the beach 300 feet (100m) or so (to the right when you are facing the sea). Get into the water from the beach in front of the area of rocks. This spot is not generally subject to waves or currents, but stay alert and leave the water if conditions deteriorate.

Aerial view


The area to explore, covering all the bay, is enormous. The sea bed is relatively poor, and there is little interest in visiting it all. Concentrate on finding the sea turtles.
Don't linger in the first thirty metres from the beach. The sea bed is sandy, uninhabited and the water not very clear (↕0-7ft/0-2m).

Snorkeling Report Turtle Malendure Guadeloupe
Green sea turtle at Malendure

Only after this area (100-600ft/30-200m from the beach), where the water level is highest (↕7-12ft/2-4m) and the sea grass thickest, can the green turtles generally be found. By criss-crossing the area, you should not have to wait too long before seeing them. It is not unusual to come across groups of two or three, feeding on the sea grass.

As always with turtles, you should respect the elementary rules of observation: don't chase after them, don't hold on to their shells, don't touch them, and leave them enough room when they come up to the surface to breathe. For more information, visit the Guadeloupe Turtles Network site (in French only).
Although the sea bed is not rich in fish, you will still come across some small jacks, damselfish and other relatively common species. The buoy anchors also provide small areas of sea life that are interesting to explore.

Restaurants and accomodation

On the beach, you will find a wide range of bars and restaurants for every budget. The Bouillante tourist office and many companies organise excursions to the Îlets Pigeon (Cousteau Reserve), which are also nearby.

Snorkeling Report gives the most precise tips possible about the snorkeling spots and potential dangers, but each one of us is responsible for our own safety in the water. For more information, take a look at the snorkeling safety page. If you want to add extra information or make any corrections to the spot descriptions, please contact us.

Spot’s weather forecasts (°C)

Spot tips

  • Type of spot
  • Level of difficulty
    Intermediary level
  • Maximum depth
    15ft (4.5m)
  • Water entrance
    Easy, from a sandy beach
  • Potential Dangers
  • Lifeguard
  • Visitor numbers
  • Access costs
  • Restaurants nearby
    Yes, inexpensive
  • Public toilets & showers

Spot map

Spot photos

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Underwater spot photos

Species you may spot while snorkeling Malendure

Common name Scientific name Abundance Fishbase Wikipedia
Green sea turtle
Chelonia mydas Abundant in +3m deep areas
French angelfish
Pomacanthus paru Occasional
Sergeant major
Abudefduf saxatilis Abundant
Scissortail damselfish
Chromis atrilobata Common
Queen triggerfish
Balistes vetula Occasional
Bar jack
Carangoides ruber Common
You encountered a specie at this spot that is not listed here?
  • Jean-Baptiste Parizot

    Des tortues faciles à trouver et à observer dans une mer peu agitée (anse).
    Attention aux bateaux, kayak et autres paddle :) C’est un lieu très touristique avec la magnifique réserve Cousteau !!