Jacques Cousteau's Underwater Reserve

Jacques Cousteau's Underwater Reserve, Guadeloupe: Address, Phone Number, Jacques Cousteau's Underwater Reserve Reviews: 4/5

Jacques Cousteau's Underwater Reserve

Jacques Cousteau's Underwater Reserve
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See the beautiful marine life of the Caribbean by snorkeling, scuba diving or glass-bottom boat touring.
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4.0
252 reviews
Excellent
126
Very good
63
Average
33
Poor
22
Terrible
8

jmufan24401
Staunton, VA49 contributions
A 2 hour journey in a glass bottom boat with 20 minutes using provided sub par snorkeling gear. It was ok, but limited time in the bottom of the boat in a confined space with lots of other vacationers trying to take in the sites. Not the most impressive underwater scenery for the extremely limited amount you get to see.
The snorkeling time, was limited in many ways and the gear less than average to use.
Written March 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Margaret H
6 contributions
There were so many people snorkeling/diving here I almost crashed into several and went I went underwater I saw almost as many bodies as fish. That said, wow - there are amazing schools of fish here and very pretty coral. If you have the energy, rent a kayak and go out on your own earlier in the day. I went with a tour and didn't like being forced into a group instead of snorkeling on my own (you're at the mercy of 6 people with mask issues).
Written February 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

John Licharson
Kingston, Canada379 contributions
Couples
We kayaked out and snorkelled the reef areas because this is something you really must do if you are at all healthy and spending any time in Guadeloupe.

There are good numbers of fish and, if you are young or have not had the experience of what Caribbean reefs were like before global warming damage, you will probably be well satisfied with all that you see.

For us old timers, however, it was almost a sad experience. This is a very pale reflection of the superabundance and vivid colours we experienced on the reefs at these latitudes in both the Caribbean and East Africa in the 1970s and 1980s.

All, really, that is left here is brain coral and some fire coral and, in retrospect, pretty sparse numbers of fish.

In any case, do see this while you still can. In another twenty years, unless something drastic changes, this will likely resemble more an under water desert.

(Try to find some of the old Cousteau TV programs to see what reefs used to be.)

Written January 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

RomseyChechy
Romsey, UK306 contributions
We went on a trip from a cruise ship and thought we would be snorkeling at the reef. We went on a glass bottom boat tour, taking it in turns to go below and look at the reef.
It is certainly ot pristine and we had better snorkeling in other places in the caribbean. It was also VERY expensive from the ship, costing $169 each including the transfer.. I am sure that there are better places in guadeloupe to choose. Its trading on its name. The road there from Basseterre is quite twisty and our driver was rather fast which did not help. There is not much there on the beach, a couple of bars and souvenir shops.
Written February 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

J_travelB
Guelph, Canada1,348 contributions
Its amazing. The reef here is so alive... the corals are amazing to look at and the fish life is abundant! Would love to have spent more time here. It was so beautiful. It is like swimming in an aquarium. The reef is close enough to the surface you don't need to scuba, but that would be nice also in some parts.
Wished we could have spent waaaay more time here exploring!
Written January 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

RumRunner65
Toronto, Canada332 contributions
Couples
Visiting the small Pigeon Islands (part of the protected Reserve Cousteau) is a must while in Guadeloupe. You essentially have 3 options: scubadiving, a glass-bottom boat tour with snorkelling, or kayaking/snorkelling on your own.
Scubadiving (13 different dive sites from beginner to advanced levels) with local tour companies (many available, and if you ask, some with english-speaking instructors and staff) is available at Malendure beach and the other neighbouring communities (Pointe-Noire, Pigeon, Bouillante).
Glass-bottom boat tours are available through "Le Nautilus" (2 boats) at Malendure beach and cost 21 euros per person. The tour last about 75-80 minutes and includes about 20 minutes of viewing underwater scenery near the islands with beautiful coral and fish (we saw over 10 varieties of fish and 100s in quantity, including yellowtail snapper, parrotfish and a barracuda). The boat also anchors in a cove at the islands and allows 30 minutes of snorkelling (if you don't have your own, they provide the mask, tube and fins for free). We snorkelled along the shores with clear views to 10 meters and saw fantastic underwater scenery with corals, fish and turtles, including swimming within reach of beautiful parrotfish and many other exotic types. Back on the boat, planteur with or without rum is offered. On the way back towards the dock, you can go back to the bottom of the boat and see turtles swimming on the bottom.
You can also rent a kayak for a few hours, paddle over to the islands (30 min max) with your snorkelling gear, land at the small beach and spend as long as you want snorkelling around.
We also added another hour of very nice snorkelling by walking to the north end of Malendure beach and following the shore underwater, again beautiful scenery and fish including seeing a school of calmars.
There are great little Creole restaurants on Malendure beach (we tried Chez Sylvie and it was great!).
As you can see, there are enough options to make this visit special for anyone.
Written September 4, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

SZ
Covington, KY261 contributions
The scuba diving excursions are led by real professionals but no one speaks English. My daughter had to translate for an American in the group. There is an abundance of snorkeling and glassbottom boat trips, as well. You can swim at the beach where the excursions depart, but it isn't very attractive. There are better ones nearby.
Written November 22, 2003
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

James L
Edinburgh, UK16 contributions
Couples
It might have been good before the hurricane, however now there is very few fish and little coral. It is not worth going at the moment . The beach area has been mostly washed away and is very dirty. Snorkelling is not worth the effort.
I hope that the area will recover soon
Written October 22, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Aphrodite1114
Newent, UK69 contributions
Couples
We chartered a sailing boat for a couple of weeks out of Pointe à Pitre with a prime aim to visit Deshaies (site of "Death in Paradise" filming).
One place of call was Malendure where we found a shack on the beach that offered food that evening. It looked a bit shabby and the kitchen was enclosed in corrugated iron but there was no other choice.
Taking the dinghy ashore that evening we waited for the Ouassous without a clue as to what it was. (I thought madame said oisseaux!).
We waited at a little table on the beach and, when the food arrived, we were gobsmacked.
The arrangement on the plate of a variety of vegetable and fruit belied the tin shack label. The ouassous (fresh water crayfish we had never heard of before) were huge (we discovered by comparisons later) and absolutely delicious.
The meal for two including a couple of drinks came to €18!

My search on Google map failed to find said restaurant but it was at the northern end of the beach.
(Apologies to the reserve centre - that was the only route to the review!).
If anyone can name this restaurant, please add it.
Written October 26, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Roger K
Gaithersburg, MD46 contributions
Friends
We went snorkeling in the Cousteau Underwater Reserve (Pidgeon Islands) on our trip to Guadeloupe in January 2016. We went on a boat from the mainland to the island, mostly with divers. We were given masks, snorkels, flippers and wetsuits. I was also given special goggles that had correction lenses. I've been snorkeling many times, and this is the first time a snorkel boat has offered me goggles to correct for my lousy vision. And it was included in the cost of the snorkel. The water is very clear, we saw lots of beautiful tropical fish and many coral formations. Unfortunately the coral in many snorkeling locations has been killed by ocean warming, so we were pleasantly surprised by the nice coral here. The boat we went on was very professional and well run. We didn't see any turtles, but one of the divers told us he had. Also our friends went on a glass bottom boat, and they saw lots of turtles.
Written February 10, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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