Snorkeler surveys coral reef, Guadeloupe, French West Indies, Caribbean Sea

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Réserve Cousteau

Top choice in Basse-Terre Island

Jacques Cousteau brought Pigeon Island to international attention by declaring it to be one of the world’s top dive areas, and the waters surrounding the island are now protected as an underwater park. The majority of the dive sites around Pigeon Island are very scenic, with big schools of fish and coral reefs shallow enough for good snorkeling. It’s only a 10- to 15-minute boat ride to the dive sites; myriad operators run trips from Malendure Beach.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Basse-Terre Island attractions

1. Zoo de Guadeloupe

2.66 MILES

One of Guadeloupe's must-sees, this excellent zoo, high in the mountains of Basse-Terre, combines animal enclosures with a jungle adventure. Follow the…

2. Maison du Cacao

2.77 MILES

One of Basse-Terre's most enjoyable attractions, the Maison du Cacao is for anyone who loves their chocolate. Presentations in English take place at 10am,…

3. Saut d'Acomat


A short drive inland from the Maison du Cacao, this waterfall and deep pool are one of Basse-Terre's most accessible beauty spots. Cool off in the rushing…

4. Cascade aux Ecrevisses

7.24 MILES

This idyllic jungle waterfall drops from a Basse-Terre mountainside into a small riverside pool where you can swim. It's a wonderful and therefore popular…

5. Parc National de la Guadeloupe

7.78 MILES

Guadeloupe's only national park is an absolute stunner, covering much of the interior of Basse-Terre and including such sights as the Chutes du Carbet…

6. Jardin Botanique de Deshaies

9.03 MILES

Away from the beach, Deshaies' top attraction is its botanical garden, which also has some interesting animal life to keep the kids entertained. Among the…

7. Valombreuse Floral Park

10.16 MILES

Nestled in the hills west of Petit-Bourg, this mature 14-hectare botanical garden includes a wide range of tropical plants and flowers, a palmery, and…

8. Grande Anse

10.59 MILES

This superb golden-sand beach with no hotel development in sight is just 2km north of Deshaies. This is one of Basse-Terre's longest and prettiest…