Guadeloupe is a region of France and the biggest island of the Lesser Antilles Archipelago. It is washed by the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Its shape reminds of a butterfly because of a narrow strait between the two islands: Grande-Terre and Basse-Terre. It is an amazing place with wonderful beaches, secluded bays, uninhabited islands and a range of diving options. Snorkelling is especially popular. The major features of these parts are picturesque reefs, rocks and caves full of sea dwellers: Achelata, crabs, starfish, jellyfish, dolphins, barracudas, turtles and many others. You should visit the Cousteau Marine Park, a safe habitat for fish and mammals.
There are about 30 certified dive clubs here. Most of them are based on the coast and on the Basse-Terre, Pointe Carrangue, Iles de la Petite Terre. Dive shops provide equipment for rent, guide and coaching services, as well as special training courses. You can also book a dive tour or a diving safari.
March is a perfect time to visit Guadeloupe. You will enjoy the warm weather and perfect water temperature. In April and May it is significantly warmer. The air temperature rises to +29-31°C, water temperature heats up to + 26-28 °C.
In the summer the weather on the island is warm, but August brings the heat. The air temperature is between + 31 and 32 °C, water is from + 28 to 29 °C.
The beginning of autumn is quite hot but in October and November, the weather becomes more pleasant. The air temperature is + 30 or 31 °C, while the water temperature is between + 28 and 29 °C.
Although the tourist season in Guadeloupe continues all year round, winters are considered to be cold. The air temperature in January and February drops down to +29 °C and the water temperature settles +26 to +27 °C.
There is a lot of interesting dive sites on Guadeloupe Island and nearby, such as: Sec Pate, Grand Cul de Sac Marin, Iles des Saintes, Epave Le Franjack, Epave Le Gustavia, Epave de l'Augustin Fresnel II, Jardin Japonais, Jardin de corail, La Grotte aux Baracudas, Les Sources de au Chaude and Pointe.
Healthcare systems in Guadeloupe meet French standards. There are about 40 hospitals with modern equipment. Guadeloupe has a healthcare agreement with most of the countries, however, it is advised to purchase an international tourist insurance for emergencies. Before the trip, you should get vaccinated against diphtheria, tuberculosis, rabies, hepatitis B, bilharziasis, typhus and poliomyelitis. The island is somewhat rough and safe because of the high unemployment level. Be careful during the walks even in daylight and at night, petty thefts and frauds sometimes occur here. The resort areas are relatively safe, however, standard safety measures are necessary.
Waters of the Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean are not really dangerous for divers. Standard precautions should be taken during diving. The danger may come from moray eels, Pterois and stonefish, besides, sea urchins may prickle you with their spines.
The local cuisine is a mix of French traditions enhanced with local ingredients. You should try boiled lambis, chicken in coconut milk, stewed crabs, fish stew and boiled octopus. Eat Accras — fish or crab fritters with spices and chillies. Here goat colombo is served, it is a roast spiced meat of wild goat, calalou — vegetable stew with seafood or bacon, Boudin — spicy blood sausages. Meat is served with a variety of garnishes, such as: rice, potatoes or vegetables. As for drinks, the national pride is rum. In this country, it is recommended to drink only bottled water.