This tiny beach, situated in Les Saintes archipelago, is a little taste of paradise. In the shadow of the Pain de Sucre, its golden sand and palm trees bathe in translucent waters that are ideal for a snorkeling session. On either side of the little bay, you will never tire of following the fish as they move between the sea fans, sponges and coral that have colonized the rocky seabed.

How to get there?

Les Saintes archipelago is situated some 10 miles/15km south of Guadeloupe. It is within easy reach during the day from Trois-Rivières, the starting point for a number of boats each day. Once you are ashore at Terre de Haut, you will need to travel over 1.5 miles/2km to arrive at your destination, along the main road towards the west (to the right when you reach the road). Renting transportation is easy, but expensive (scooters or cars), but you can also get to the beach on foot in about 40 minutes. Since the road is hilly, this option may prove grueling when the sun is at its height.

Pain de Sucre beach, Les Saintes snorkeling

Water entrance

You can enter the water anywhere along the little beach. Since the central part of the bay is the least interesting part to explore, it is easier to begin on the far right or far left of the beach.

Pain de Sucre Beach snorkeling map, Guadeloupe

Exploration

All the little bay is worth exploring, but underwater life is at its most abundant along the rocky outcrops on either side of the bay.The central part of the bay (where a few boats are moored, so be careful) is mainly made up of seagrass and sandy beds (↕3-10ft/1-3m) without much interest. Only a few groups of small bluefin trevally and damselfish seem to venture there.So move along quickly toward the rocky areas along the shore, on each side of the bay (↕3-15ft/1-4m).

Coral and sponges at Pain de Sucre beach, Les Saintes, Guadeloupe

The area to the right is probably the most spectacular. Although the seabed is rocky, it has been colonized by large numbers of multi-colored sea fans that sway in the current. You can look for flamingo tongue snails, extremely elegant small gastropods. Sponges and sabella, as well as some fine coral formations, complete this underwater garden. You will see blue surgeonfish, butterfly fish and many others. Don’t leave the water until you’ve taken a look at the left-hand part of the bay, which is less spectacular, but just as rich in fish.

Flamingo tongue snail at Pain de Sucre beach, Les Saintes, Guadeloupe

Visibility is generally excellent and the waters are particularly calm. Photography is easy and enjoyable, as a result. But you should be careful near the coast, where the water can be rougher and you could be thrown against the rocks. A few sea urchins inhabit the seabed, particularly in the sea grass, but they are not dangerous as long as you don’t put your foot on the seabed, as is the usual practice.

Restaurants & accommodation

There are no restaurants on the beach. To get something to eat, you need to go back to the main road, a ten-minute walk away. In any case, bring at least some water and a snack.



Species you may spot while snorkeling Plage du Pain de Sucre
COMMON NAME SCIENTIFIC NAME ABUNDANCE FISHBASE WIKIPEDIA
Atlantic blue tang Acanthurus coeruleus  
Doctorfish tang Acanthurus chirurgus  
Banded butterflyfish Chaetodon striatus  
Bluehead wrasse Thalassoma bifasciatum  
Yellowhead wrasse Halichoeres garnoti  
Scissortail damselfish Chromis atrilobata  
Beau gregory Stegastes leucostictus  
Jewel damselfish Microspathodon chrysurus  
Purple sea fan Gorgonia ventalina  
Venus sea fan Gorgonia flabellum  
Flamingo tongue snail Cyphoma gibbosum  
Yellow goatfish Mulloidichthys martinicus  
Sergeant major Abudefduf saxatilis  
Trumpetfish Aulostomus maculatus  
Striped parrotfish Scarus iseri  
Diamond lizardfish Synodus synodus  
Sabella Sabella sp.  
Brain coral Diploria strigosa  

 

  • Level required Intermediary
  • Maximum depth15ft (4.5m)
  • Water entranceEasy, from a sandy beach
  • Potential DangersUsual precautions
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersMedium
  • Access costsFree
  • Restaurants nearbyNo
  • Public toilets & showersNo

MAP Spot

These spots are accessible to anyone with basic snorkeling skills, and feeling comfortable in the water and with his snorkeling gear. You will enter the water from the shore (beach, pontoon, ladder, rocks) or from a boat. The water height in the sea entrance area is reasonable, but you will not necessarily be within your depth. Moderate currents can occur in the area, even when the sea conditions are good. The distance to swim to reach the most interesting snorkeling areas of the spot does not exceed 200 meters.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.