Diving Réserve Cousteau


Diving in the Cousteau Reserve

The Cousteau Reserve in Malendure is undeniably the most beautiful diving spot in Guadeloupe. A real aquarium, this natural reserve has been protected by the Guadeloupe National Park since 2009 and the strict rules put in place contribute to its preservation. With PPK Plongée, go and discover these wonders of nature buried underwater.

The natural sites of the Reserve

Delimited by the Pigeon islets opposite Malendure beach, the Cousteau Reserve (named after the famous Pacha) is a protected area of unprecedented wealth. Hundreds of fish, at least as many corals and turtles by the dozen live there peacefully. It is possible from the shore to go and see this underwater wealth by snorkelling but not only. There are several sites where scuba diving is a sublime experience:

Here you can say hello to Captain Cousteau, among others. A statue of his bust has been immersed at a depth of 12 metres as a tribute to the Pasha, thanks to whom the place is now a protected reserve.

A magnificent underwater walk that will take you through different coral reefs that look like they have been created by an expert landscaper. You can descend to a depth of more than 25m. This site is accessible to all levels, from beginners to advanced divers.

A site that lives up to its name, no need to say more. The drop offs are up to 60m deep.

Between drop offs and coral plateaus, this site takes you from the 6 metre zone to 40 metres. Spectacular schools of big-eyed trevally of several hundred individuals will accompany you, especially when the current gets involved… Hence its name!

This site is perfect for training on the white sand tongue which reminds us of a swimming pool. Beyond, drop offs and coral plateaus mingle at all depths. The place is ideal for a first dive or an exploration accessible to all levels.

At a depth of 10 metres, you can slide down a drop-off that takes you to 40 metres. And hidden at different depths, you will discover volcanic hot springs.

On the most exposed side of the large ilet, you will discover wilder underwater depths that extend beyond 40 metres. Perfect for certifications such as Deep Dive (SSI) or PE40 (ANMP/FFESSM)

Precautions: You are in a site protected by the Guadeloupe National Park. Some rules must be respected:

  • Wearing gloves is forbidden
  • Do not wear sun cream, you will be in a wetsuit that will protect you. If you have to use it at all costs, make sure you use cream that respects the oceans.
  • As everywhere: don’t throw anything into the sea, don’t leave anything lying around and don’t touch anything underwater.

The wrecks of the Cousteau Reserve

The Cousteau Reserve is also home to wrecks that have been submerged to the delight of divers.


The Franjack

The Franjack is a wreck of a former 50-metre Hourglass that was, like many others, seriously damaged by Hurricane Hugo in 1989. After being cleaned up, it was submerged 7 years later. It now lies on its keel at a depth of 24 metres. During this dive you will see a lot of corals, sponges and other sea life on the walls of the wreck. You will meet a lot of tropical fish: Parrotfish, French Angels and many others, and probably even turtles. A real festival of colours.

Diving possible from Level 1/Open Water Diver.

Bonus: PPK Plongée also offers night dives on the Franjack. An unforgettable experience with a completely different fauna: The turtles are out and the fish that are more shy during the day make their appearance at nightfall. The lobsters bring out their antennas and the octopuses come out of their taverns. A unique spectacle and atmosphere.

Our advice: Rent a bungalow at Tikaz in Voyaj or the Villa Karukera to be close to the dive sites, you will be able to rest directly after the dive.

The Gustavia

Immersed at a depth of nearly 50m, the Gustavia is another popular hourglass in the Cousteau Reserve. From 1982 to 1989, it was used to transport goods between Guadeloupe and the northern islands (Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélémy). The passage of Hurricane Hugo rendered her unseaworthy, as did the Franjack. In 1991, she was sunk off the coast of the îlets Pigeon after having been cleaned up. The wreck of the Gustavia was the first wreck sunk in the area to make an artificial reef. It now rests on a sandy bank right on its keel.

The dive is also exceptional, and open to divers with PE40/Deep Diver and above. You don’t have one of these certifications yet? Now is the time to take it.


Augustin Fresnel

The Augustin Fresnel is a Canadian lighthouse and buoy vessel that arrived in Pointe-à-Pitre in 1990 to maintain the buoyage in the Antilles-Guyana area for 4 years. Nearly 10 years later, and after decontamination, she was sunk to serve as an artificial reef. It now rests on its keel at a depth of 31m. At 53 metres long, it is impressive for the wealth of underwater life it harbours.

Holders of Level 2 / Advanced Open Water can dive on the Augustin Fresnel … You don’t have it yet? Now is the time to take it.