Thinking of taking a trip to Guadeloupe?
The Caribbean is a destination that is loaded with luxurious connotations: pure white sand beaches, palm trees and elegant looking holidaymakers – but it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg to scuba there.
In between finishing University and the start of my ‘adult life’ I spent two years bumming around the Caribbean finding work wherever I could and spending all the money that I earned on diving (and food). I’d thought that my time there would be dominated by work and that I’d not have time to socialise or enjoy myself, but I was wrong. Thanks to the surplus of hospitality jobs out there you’ll often find that you’ll be able to trade a couple of scuba trips and boarding in return for a few days work.
Guadeloupe was one of my favourite locations whilst I was out there. So chill, so blue, so lovely. These are my top recommendations for dive companies and places to stay there:
Plage de Malendure
As with many of the Caribbean islands you’re bound to find tourist hot spots and this is certainly one of them. If you can’t handle crowds then this might not be the best location for you, but you can get some great deals with the operators here because there’s so much competition, so in my opinion it’s definitely worth it.
Who to scuba with: Centre de Plongee des Illets
Jaques and Isabelle own this friendly diving centre, with nearly fifteen years in the game they’re super experienced and have a real passion for the sport. They lead a number of night dives to local shipwrecks that make for an awesome activity as well as offer the standard selection of PADI courses up to instructor level.
Where to stay: Gite Mayo
There are a tonne of carbon copy hotels in the area but none of them close to the service you get at Gite Mayo. Brigitte and Johnny rent out rooms, cottages and entire studios to holiday makers at an affordable rate – giving you a home from home in Guadeloupe.
More of a commune than a town, Deshaies is one of those utopian communities that I couldn’t bear to leave. Under 5,000 people live there giving it a real village vibe and the beaches are much less busy than other places on the island.
Who to scuba with: Diving Guadeloupe – Tropicalsub Diving
Eric is the lead instructor at this Centre who’s been leading expeditions and taking classes for years now. Their passion for the sport is only rivalled by their care for the planet, which helps you learn to dive safely as well as conscientiously.
Where to stay: O Couer de Deshaies
I was lucky enough to score a bed-making job here for few weeks, although I was only allowed to make use of the pool during off-peak hours those few hours were so totally worth it. I’d recommend booking in to get the complete experience.
Who to scuba with: Les Amis De La Mer
The Caret islet is the destination of choice for those looking to visit this part of the island, the endangered marine life here can be spied on at your luxury should you wish to take an excursion with the environmentally conscious ‘Friends of the Sea’.
Where to stay: Habitation du Comte Hotel Restaurant
Built over 70 years ago, this small hotel oozes class and chilled out vibes. There are only seven air-conditioned rooms and a separate bungalow on the property, so the pool will never feel too busy should you wish to take a break from the sea.