White sand and warm, crystal-clear turquoise waters welcome you to the snorkeling paradise of Leroux Beach, Guadeloupe – the largest of the French Caribbean islands. My girlfriends and I stayed at a small bed and breakfast just a few towns north and rented a car to get ourselves to this quiet, unassuming beach. I recommend bringing lunch from the nearby town of Deshaies. Once you arrive and set up on the sand, you won’t want to leave until well after sundown.
Plage Leroux in Guadeloupe
Just below the surface at Plage Leroux (that’s French for Leroux Beach) is a veritable paradise of coral, sponges and tropical fish – and with calm, crystal-clear water in the mid 80’s, the snorkeling here is some of the best on Guadeloupe. But be forewarned, with all the beautiful distractions beneath the waves, it’s easy to get burned in that Caribbean sun, so make sure you cover yourself (especially your back!) with sunscreen. My friends and I spent two whole days at Plage Leroux, snorkeling, swimming and sunbathing. It’s a quieter option than some of the big beaches that tourists frequent, and the waves here are relatively calm, making it a better beach for relaxing and spotting the local wildlife.
Once you’re sun baked and ready to hit the road, you’ll want to roll north to Deshaies for dinner on the water. If you leave early enough you’ll be able to catch the sunset over Deshaies harbor while dining on some unbeatable local seafood. Follow that up with a stroll through some of the numerous local artisan shops that line the beach. If you left the beach late and missed out on sit-down dining, don’t panic, you can always stop at one of the many late night food trucks that line the main highway. For just a few Euros you can buy some local street food. Our favorite street food snack was something called a Bokit (pronounced pocket)! This delicious treat is basically a puff pastry stuffed with meat, hot sauce, veggies and lettuce.
At the end of our trip we found it hard to leave such an idyllic place. Guadeloupe offers something for everyone, from hiking to fine dining along with countless beaches to explore, each with their own unique world beneath the waves. The people and culture are warm and friendly, and we plan on returning someday to pick up where we left off. If you’re looking for a less crowded, less commercially developed Caribbean destination with a unique culture and diverse activities, then Guadeloupe is an island you don’t want to miss!