7 things to do in the Saintes archipelago

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A little corner of paradise to the south of Basse-Terre in Guadeloupe, the Saintes archipelago invites you to relax in a sublime setting of white sandy beaches and turquoise waters. But even if this restful atmosphere encourages you to do nothing all day, there are plenty of things to do in Les Saintes to make your stay memorable!

Made up of 9 islands, only the 2 largest of which are inhabited (Terre-de-Haut and Terre-de-Bas), the Saintes archipelago is not to be missed on a trip to Guadeloupe. Departing from Trois-Rivières in the south of Basse-Terre, it takes just 15-20 minutes to reach by ferry, making it an ideal destination for a day trip. But don't forget that if you want to spend a few days there, it's entirely possible: you won't have time to get bored, thanks in particular to these activities to do in Les Saintes!

1 - Put on a mask and snorkel for snorkelling

snorkelling with turtles in Les Saintes
Voil Ô Saintes

With crystal-clear waters teeming with tropical fish and temperatures generally fluctuating between 25 and 28°C, the Caribbean Sea offers exceptional bathing conditions all year round in Les Saintes. So don't hesitate to get yourself a mask and snorkel, as the underwater world of Guadeloupe has some wonderful surprises in store! Of course, you can also snorkel from the beaches yourself, in a fun and enjoyable way, for example by hiring a seabob in Terre-de-Haut, opposite the Pain de Sucre. However, taking advantage of a boat trip to Les Saintes with snorkelling on the programme will allow you to get into the water in less-frequented areas, while receiving advice from professionals about the fauna and flora you may encounter underwater!

2 - Scuba diving for a closer look at underwater life

Following on from snorkelling, scuba diving is another great activity to do in Les Saintes if you're not afraid of immersing yourself completely underwater for several minutes at a time. Whether you're a beginner looking for a twenty-minute introduction to scuba diving, or a certified diver looking for a longer exploration dive, you'll have an unforgettable experience at close quarters with the underwater life of the Caribbean Sea! There are many dive sites to explore in the archipelago, including Pain de Sucre, Pâté, Grand-Îlet, Pointe du Gouvernail in Terre-de-Bas and Passe de la Baleine.

3 - Paddle a kayak or SUP for a beautiful ride on the water

kayaking and stand-up paddling in Les Saintes
Leisure activities in Les Saintes

Between relaxation and discovery, sea kayaking or stand-up paddling is the ideal way to sail at your own pace on the turquoise waters of the Saintes archipelago, surrounded by magnificent scenery. And to get even more out of the activity, without even having to get wet, transparent kayak hire in Terre-de-Haut is ideal! You'll be able to observe the underwater world through the hull of your boat, without disturbing the fish as you take to the water. But if you're keen to go sailing while still being able to swim, then stand-up paddle hire in Les Saintes is just the thing for you, with the added bonus of different types of board for an experience to suit your tastes!

4 - Learn to sail on a catamaran between the islands of the archipelago

catamaran in Les Saintes
Voil Ô Saintes

Catamaran sailing from Terre-de-Haut is undoubtedly a must-do activity in the Saintes archipelago, with the idyllic setting of the 9 islands adding a superb scenic touch to the experience. Aboard a small 8-metre sports catamaran, you'll set sail alongside a state-certified instructor who will introduce you to the helm in the bay of Les Saintes, heading for Terre-de-Bas. You'll also have time for a snorkelling break at Grande Baie, the archipelago's top spot for spotting turtles!

5 - Relax on a private boat for you and your loved ones

If you want to spend some quality time with your family and/or friends, there's nothing like hiring a boat that you can share with just the two of you. For half a day or a full day, you can hire a Donut BBQ boat opposite the Pain de Sucre to share not only a meal with your companions, but also moments of swimming in areas a little further away from the beach for greater privacy. Hiring a pontoon boat without a licence in Terre-de-Haut offers you the same advantages, as well as allowing you to sail further into the island's bay, between Pain de Sucre and îlet à Cabrit.

6 - Discover the new thrills of kitesurfing

kitesurfing in Les Saintes
Caribean Kite School

If you're looking for a bit of adrenalin in Guadeloupe, kitesurfing in Les Saintes is sure to please! Beginners and experienced kitesurfers alike can take lessons tailored to their level and expectations, at the best spots in the archipelago for optimum conditions, especially between mid-November and mid-May. You'll be supervised by qualified instructors who will stay at your level on the boat at all times to advise you on the best way to get the most out of your experience!

7 - Explore the Saintes on foot or by bike

After the water-based activities on offer in Les Saintes, it's time for the land-based ones! As the islands of the archipelago are small, the best way to discover them apart from boat tours is on foot, or by bike in Terre-de-Haut and Terre-de-Bas. It would be a shame to stay in your hotel without venturing out on the many footpaths that criss-cross the islands! Not only will you be able to reach the must-see sites such as Fort Napoléon, but also the less-frequented beaches and coves such as Anse Figuier and Pompierre. The best views of the Caribbean Sea and the other islands of the archipelago are yours to enjoy on your walk!

landscape on the Caribbean Sea in Les Saintes
Mawaly Excursions

With its white sandy beaches, turquoise waters and lush green jungle, the Saintes archipelago has plenty to offer on each of its islands. So it would be a shame to confine yourself to your hotel or a single beach during your visit! As mentioned above, there are plenty of things to do in Les Saintes, so don't hesitate to plan to spend more than a day there if you can.

And if you're looking for other experiences to liven up your stay on the butterfly island, don't wait any longer to discover the activities to do in Guadeloupe for a dream trip!