At the heart of the arch formed by the Lesser Antilles, Guadeloupe is 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.
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).
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.
We strongly recommend these guides if you want to anticipate on what you will discover on the Caribbean marine life!
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Unmissable in the channel of Petite Terre, a few meters from the beach
Frequently seen at Malendure Beach; occasional sightings in Petite Terre
Common in Petite Terre
Mainly found in the channel of Petite Terre, rare elsewhere
Present on all spots, sometimes in large schools in the deeper areas
On all spots
Common on sea fans, particularly at the Pain de Sucre beach
Protected shallow channel with lemon sharks, rays, sea turtles and reef fish
Marine reserve with coral reefs, turtles and barracudas
Fringing reef with fish and coral
Fringing reef with a vibrant marine life
Marine reserve with seagrass meadows and sea turtles
Shallow lagoon with sand, seagrass and coral
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