Basse-Terre is set on a volcanic mountain range, topped by the famous La Soufrière. Covered mostly in forest reserve, about 35,000 acres of rainforest, is managed by the National Park.
Along the western side of island and heading south, toward Bouillante, is Plage de Malendure, where numerous dive centers operate. This is the easiest area for access the Cousteau Reserve, the highlight being, the diving around Pigeon Islets. Pigeon Islets.
A 5-minute boat ride will bring you to Coral Gardens, where a special bronze bust of Jacques-Yves Cousteau rests on the ocean floor. It was in 1955 that Cousteau made a movie, The Silent World (Le Monde du Silence) , about the fascinating diversity of marine life around Pigeon Islets.