Written by Scuba Instructors ~ DIVEIN.com’s Complete Guide to:
The Best Diving In Guadeloupe Islands In 2022
The Guadeloupe islands are comprised of five main islands and offer visitors a fantastic blend of the tropics, African, South Asian and French culture.
Each of the five islands have a unique atmosphere and stunning landscape.
Quick note: When you go, make sure to split your time up between the islands.
The country has over 150 miles of pristine coastline. The whole archipelago is comprised of over a dozen small islands surrounded by warm twinkling water and stunning jungles covering the mountains. Travellers flock to this island nation to get away from the stress of city life and to experience the beauty of the Caribbean Sea.
One of the main reasons to travel to these isolated and wild islands of Guadeloupe is to scuba dive. Jacques Cousteau himself considered the dive spots around pigeon island to be one of the best in the world. The dive sites around the archipelago vary greatly in diversity, and diver levels. You will be able to find dive sites suitable for open water, or more advanced levels.
A divers note: Keep in mind that French is the national language of this island nation and finding a dive guide who speaks English may be a little challenging. So, when you are booking your dive trip, enquire about the languages they offer.
The 15 Best Dive Sites in Guadeloupe Islands?
La Grotte Aux Baracudas
The most iconic dive site in Guadeloupe is the Grotte aux Baracudas that is a gorgeous blue cave. It has become the home to a massive school of barracudas who swirl around in the blue. The depth makes this dive site an advanced spot and ideal for any experienced divers to witness the underwater wonder.
- One of the favorite dive spots of Jacques Cousteau
- Features plenty of Barracudas
- Great spot to see invertebrates
What you will see: Apart from the iconic barracudas, you will also have the chance to spot spiny lobsters and other crabs hiding in the cracks and cervices in the cave. There are also plenty of starfish, and other invertebrates camouflaged in the dark. There are also moray eels, frogfish, reef fish, and rays.
The 173 ft Augustin Fresnel ii was originally a lighthouse ship that was assignment to the center of Pointe a Pintre during the early 1990s. It was placed there to keep the area safe during the maintenance of the buoys in Antilla and Guyana. During a hurricane season, it was however moved to Guadeloupe and sunk at a depth of 82 ft in 2003. A particularly strong hurricane, Hurricane DEAN pushed the whole wreck deeper into 108 ft. It is now a spectacular artificial reef, and a great spot for advanced and wreck specialty divers.
- A deep dive site for advanced divers
- Is a home to two large groupers
- Purposefully sunk for scuba divers and scientific divers
What you will see: The wreck has attracted plenty of species to it. There are groupers, tunas, barracudas, and sting rays that can be frequently seen on dives. The metal structure itself has been colonized by coral growths and provides divers a fantastic backdrop to a unique and safe dive. Enjoy your dive through the hundreds of swallowtail perch swarming around.
This dive site can be spotted from above the surface as a little patch of dry land rising from the water. The drop off from the surface features plenty of sponges, and a gradual descent to 130 ft where the drop off is drastic. Bouillante is well known for its volcanic and geothermal activity, that makes this a fascinating dive site featuring hot springs bubbling from the seabed.
- Geothermal activity causes hot springs to bubble from the seabed
- Deep dive for advanced divers
- Unique topography and marine life can be found here
What you will see: The uniqueness of this dive site means you will come to face with an interesting collection of sea life. You will be able to spot crustaceans and fish including firefish volitans, a trevally, groupers, barracuda, octopus and punctuated char. The bubbles rising from the jagged reef are also warm, providing you with additional spouts of hot water in the already warm environment. There are also frequent sightings of turtles and dolphins.
Sec Pate (Les Saintes)
This dive spot is better suited for advanced open water divers as there are frequently strong currents in the area. The Sec Pate dive site is located around the underwater pinnacle reminiscent of a row of witches’ hats. This dive site is in the channel right off Les Saintes.
- The three underwater peaks attract a variety of fish life
- The strong currents in this area are best suited for experienced divers
- Keep a look out for sting rays and green moray eels!
What you will see: This dive spot has a large variety of healthy coral growing on the underwater pinnacles grabbing nutrients from the current. See if you can spot the iconic black coral, or diverse types of sponges. The reef in the area is the home to many angelfish, little rays, damselfish, and the occasional green moray eel peering out from under a rock. There are also lizardfish, stone fish, cuttlefish, goat fish, tunas, and groupers swimming around!
The Quecy Point
This dive site is located a short distance from the popular town of Bouillante. It is a relatively shallow dive with an incredible biodiversity of marine animals. The site leads divers along a reef towards a small cave. There is also a volcanic pipe that can you can swim through to offer an alternative perspective on the underwater world.
- Divers can swim through a volcanic pipe at this dive site
- Shallow water well suited for beginner and intermediate divers
- Typically, minimal current, but plenty of marine life.
What you will see: The small cave is the home to many interesting and well camouflaged critters. Bring a dive torch and see how many species you can find in the dark, with their shining eyes reflecting your torches light. There will be cleaner shrimp, crabs, spiny lobster, and sometimes a moray eel.
Jardin de Corail
This spectacular coral garden is in the Cousteau reserve, and is the home of some of the most beautiful coral in the area. The reef can begin at a depth of 6 ft and descends to 150 ft. Divers of any level will be able to explore the coral at their preferred depth.
- Iconic dive site within the Cousteau reserve
- Great opportunity for photographers of macro fauna
- Go down and check a 36-foot statue of Jacques Cousteau
What you will see: There are plenty of species of coral, including hard and soft corals. There are gorgonian fans along with sponges scattered among the reef wall. The marine animals in this area include jackfish, sea turtles, and stingrays. For real crowd pleasure, head over to the 36-foot-tall statue of Cousteau located on the sand.
Just like many other ships in the area, the coaster La cascade-Michaux got battered by a strong hurricane in 1991. Hurricane Hugo made it impossible for this ship to return to sea, and instead it was sunk to a depth of 127 ft. It is now located a short boat ride away from Pigeon Island and is teeming with sea life.
- Deep dive for advanced divers
- Plenty of curious fish surround divers on each dive
- One of the three purposefully sunk wrecks in Guadeloupe
What you will see: Around the safety stop, there are frequently hundreds of curious barracudas who swirl around divers on every dive. The wreck itself is covered with sponges and soft corals. There are plenty of angel fish, and other schooling fish dancing around the sunken ship and providing a beautiful display for divers. The sandy areas surrounding the bottom of the wreck are covered in eels peeping out, along with the occasional sting ray almost invisible in the sand.
Grand Cul-de-Sac Marin
The Grand Cul de Sac is in the natural reserve between Grande-Terre, and Basse-Terre. The natural reserve means that all species of animals, and plants are protected here allowing them to thrive. The reef stretches a long distance, with plenty of spots where divers can hop in and begin their dive.
- Located in a marine protected area
- There are seagrass beds near the coral reef
- Great dive spot for macro photography
What you will see: Among the rich coral reef, you will find all the usual suspects including angelfish, damselfish, lionfish, frogfish, moray eels, goatfish and more. There are also sting rays that can either be spotted swimming around the sand, or well camouflaged on the bottom of the sea. The seagrass and mangrove swamps are also beloved destination for small fish, as these areas are protected nurseries for juveniles.
Jardin Japonais (Japanese Garden)
The Jardin Japonais (the Japanese Garden) is located off the coast of Grande Terre. It is a popular dive spot for beginner divers, as well as snorkelers and swimmers. The dive site is shallow, there are minimal currents, and the healthy corals make it an ideal destination! The Japanese garden is a collection of rocks and sand bars where marine creatures play hide and seek in the topography. There is an arch located at 32 ft in depth.
- Great spot for snorkelers and beginner divers
- The shallow reef gives amateur photographers a great chance to practice and play around
- Abundant coral and marine animals
What you will see: This healthy coral reef is the home to angelfish, damselfish, butterfly fish, wrasse, goatfish, moray eels, sting rays, crabs, brittle stars, and cleaner fish. There are also gorgonian fans, hard corals, soft species, and sponges! Keep an eye into the blue, as you will be able to potentially spot tuna, or barracuda!
This beginner friendly dive site begins at a shallow depth and descends to greater depths for more advanced divers. The shallow depth of this dive site also means it’s a great place to practice photography and have a nice long dive.
- Great dive spot for photographers
- Varied depths suited for beginner or more experienced divers
- Plenty of sea turtles living in this area
What you will see: This dive site is the home to plenty of fish, including frogfish, damselfish, stonefish, triggerfish, and pelagic. If you are a fan of sea turtles, then this is a great dive spot for you. You can frequently see these creatures gracefully swimming over the reef, taking naps under ledges, or swimming up to the surface for a gulp of air. If you want to have a fantastic turtle experience, do not make eye contact with it, as that will allow you to approach it closer without threatening it.
The Franjack is a wreck that was sunk in 1996 to create an artificial reef for divers in Guadaloupe. Along with Le Gustavia and Láugustin Fresnel ll It is one of the three wrecks located in the Archipelago. Le Franjack is a 50m long ship that now rests on its port side following the storm Berta. The wreck is in a located in a shallow dive site, so it is well suited for any level of diver.
- Intermediate dive site at an artificial reef
- One of the three wrecks in Guadaloupe
- Covered in coral growths and marine animals ideal for photography
What you will see: The wreck is located on a sandy patch at a depth of 78 ft. The wreck is beautifully overgrown with hard corals, soft corals, and gorgonian fans. While swimming around, you will see schools of fish swirling around the eerie metal skeleton. There are trigger fish, grunts, damsel fish, and crabs that can be seen on any given dive. There are also spiny lobsters, sting rays, and crabs hiding among the coral growth.
La Piscine is known as “The Pool” in English, and certainly simulates pool like conditions in the open water. It’s a great dive spot for beginner divers, or divers who wish to have a refresher. Scuba training is frequently conducted in this area since there is a large white sandy patch.
- Shallow sandy bottom area ideal for dive training
- Proximity to coral reef allows you to learn to dive in a beautiful environment
- Great spot for a first dive after a long break
What you will see: This shallow dive spot has a stunning coral reef teeming with life. See how many different butterfly fish, damsel fish, or other reef fish you can spot swimming around. There are also plenty of eels hiding in cracks in the reef, and well camouflaged crabs tightly jammed inside coral.
This stunning dive site is located in a calm bay, and typically has visibility up to 98 ft. Open Water divers are welcome at this dive spot to explore the beautiful coral reef bommies, and plateaus covered in fish life.
- Dive site well suited for any levels of diver
- Depth can descend down to 40m, so stick to your certification level
- Healthy coral reef is the home to plenty of marine animals
What you will see: The coral reef is the home for turtles, tunas, groupers, lizard fish, sea urchins, trumpet fish, and anemone fish! Sting rays also frequent this area and provide a beautiful subject for photographer. If you are interested in seeing some moray eels, make sure to check crevasses and under ledges for these shy creatures. See how many trevallies you can spot, as that is what this dive site is named after!
The point Malendure offers divers the chance to dive among several large rocks located at a relatively shallow depth. These rocks are the home to plenty of fish life, and interesting growths on the coral. Typically, there is not much of a current making the dive site well suited for most dive levels. Unfortunately, the visibility tends to be low.
- Unique underwater topography
- Plenty of marine life can be found in this area
- Great place to spot macro fauna
What you will see: The rocks are a popular spot for plenty of barracudas, snapper, cassava, and lionfish to swim around and hunt in the area. It is almost worth not moving much, and simply observing these beautiful fish darting around the place. The seabed is also teeming with sea urchins, and other small invertebrates.
Point Mahaut (Point Noir)
Another fascinating collection of rocks located at a comfortable 65 ft is a great dive site for intermediate divers. There is an abundance of marine animals all along the rocky structures. This is a great dive site to have a long dive and see how many marine critters you can identify.
- Well suited for intermediate divers
- Brimming with sea life around every rock
- Great spot to practice photography
What you will see: The typical reef fish can all be seen swimming around the rocks including parrotfish, butterfly fish, and surgeon fish. These are spectacularly colored and can be fantastic subjects for your photograph. If you wish to test your identification skills, see what well camouflaged animals you can find. This dive spot has plenty of stone fish, lionfish, trumpet fish, sea horses, and frogfish hiding away from plain site.
Apart from scuba diving, there are also plenty of land-based activities to partake in during your non dive days. Why not visit the botanical gardens? Wander through the jungle? Or stop at the Maison du Cacao and learn about the creation of chocolate?
When to go to Guadeloupe
The temperatures throughout the year remain warm, with the water hardly dipping below 68 °F. This makes the islands an ideal destination for snorkelling, diving, and other water related activities. The air temperature fluctuates between 68 °F in January, to 75 °F in June. Typically, there is more rain during the summer months, while the dry season stretches from December until April. This makes it the ideal time to visit the island. Warm temperatures, no rain, and clear visibility for the perfect scuba holiday. Unfortunately, particularly during the Christmas and new years season, many tourists flock to this part of the world, so prices do increase.
What are your favorite dive sites in the Guadeloupe? Did we miss anything important? Drop us a comment below and let us know why you love diving in the Guadeloupe!