Snorkeling is simply diving any without equipment, and it is an incredibly fun experience to try. It’s an easy way to explore the ocean without having to wear heavy dive gear. You only have to dive a few meters underwater to discover the many aquatic wonders.
Scuba diving is not always the best option for discovering the aquatic treasures of Mauritius. Many visitors and tourists choose to snorkel. The island has the third largest barrier reef in the world, which remains very accessible with lagoons teeming with aquatic life and where you can practice scuba diving on most beaches of the island. The placid waters of the lagoons are shallow, you just need to know how to swim and of course have your own snorkeling kit.
The best thing about it is that it’s free. At the hotel as in your villa, you just have to visit the nearest beach to swim next to lovely marine creatures. There are also excursions for underwater hiking in the marine parks and other inaccessible sites from the beach. Sometimes buoys are placed at short distances from each other to indicate the ideal places for snorkeling.
If you have never snorkeled, shallow beaches like Flic en Flac or Grand Baie are ideal to try. The show is quite surprising even on the public beaches. The warm crystalline water will tempt you to immerse yourself even more. Snorkeling is not very dangerous in Mauritius but it would still be prudent to avoid dangerous fish such as lionfish or sea urchins, and of course avoid the sea currents.
Snorkeling in Mauritius
Mauritius has some 450 different underwater species. This number is increasing year by year with new species being discovered.
The Mauritian underwater world is not very well documented, the seabed and corals varying considerably from one location to another. The coral is well protected in certain areas such as the Blue Bay Marine Park and the snorkeling spot a few meters before the coral reef that are accessible by boat. In general, the beaches and the lagoon offer great opportunities for snorkeling but there are also beaches with damaged reefs that should not be spoiled or collected.
It’s easy to spend whole days exploring some of the 100 beaches on the island with your dicing fins. The curious ones will venture to the beach opposite while lovers will prefer exploring the calm waters surrounding the uninhabited islands and marine reserves. Whatever your choice, the island is almost entirely surrounded by the coral reef protecting the many species of the lagoon. Here are the most beautiful places for snorkeling in Mauritius:
The western region of Mauritius is very popular for its climatic conditions which coincide with the presence of the most beautiful beaches of the island. They are valued not only by man but also by fishes that seem to adore the warmer waters of the west.
Flic en Flac is the most beautiful beach in this region and one of the longest on the island. The beach is so long that it has been divided into three parts.
The first beach (just behind the small village) of Flic en Flac is the most popular amongst snorkelers. The water is shallow even at high tide and you can easily go to hundreds of meters in the water. An ideal spot for beginners. There are beautiful coral tables that are several meters wide.
On the other beaches of Flic en Flac, one can easily find a fast boat to explore larger spaces for snorkeling. You can also enjoy boat trips to Ile aux Benitiers or swim with dolphins, these outings usually cost no more than 40 € with food and drinks including some stops for snorkeling.
The East and the Southeast
Because of the proximity of Ile aux Cerfs, the small village of Trou d’Eau Douce has become a little touristy, but its small beach is not so busy. The Trou d’Eau Douce pier is where you have to go to find the tour operators who will be ready to help you discover the nearby snorkelling spots for really cheap. We recommend group outings, which are much more secure and the crew will inform you of any probable danger.
Whatever the time of year, the coast is much less crowded than on the western and northern coasts because of the windy weather. You can also book a catamaran trip to ile aux cerfs which also includes barbecue, drinks and snorkeling kit for around 50 euros a day.
Belle Mare public beach is very popular amongst tourists for its white sandy beach, but if you venture a little in the water with your mask, you will find true aquatic villages just a few meters from the beach. You do not even need a boat to see a wide variety of corals and fishes in their natural habitat.
Blue Bay is home to a large marine park which is known as the best place for snorkeling in Mauritius. If you have a car rental in Mauritius, the beach is a few minutes from the airport but it will take you a short boat ride to reach the marine park and its many schools of fish.
The beaches of the north of the island are very busy and not always the best choices for a snorkeling trip. Beaches like Mont Choisy or Grand Baie are known for the numerous motorized water sports facilities but you can find other tranquil spots like Pointe aux Piments or Trou aux Biches.
Always respect warnings of the “Mauritius Beach Authority” indicating dangerous bath / strong currents / prohibited fishing wherever you find them. There are many on the eastern and southern coasts and they are there for a reason.