Snorkeling in Mauritius can give travelers the opportunity to see a whole new universe when visiting the island. There are so many stellar underwater scenes that are just vying to be viewed and marveled at.
This Mauritius snorkeling guide shows you how to get undersea on your Mauritius trip – from etiquette and rules to the best Mauritius snorkeling tours.
If you’re looking simply for the best snorkeling tours in Mauritius, our top two tour options are this one that goes to several different islands and this one that I took that goes to Ile aux Cerfs that also includes other activities.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Mauritius Snorkeling Guide: Best Places For Snorkeling in Mauritius
- Best Places for Snorkeling in Mauritius
- Best Mauritius Snorkeling Season
- Mauritius Marine Life
- Etiquette for Snorkeling in Mauritius
- Mauritius Snorkel Tours
- What To Bring to Snorkel in Mauritius
Mauritius Snorkeling Guide: Best Places For Snorkeling in Mauritius
The idyllic islands that make up Mauritius rise out of the tranquil blue waters of the Indian Ocean and are known as some of the most beautiful islands in the world.
Formed by underwater volcanic activity around 8 million years ago, the islands are relatively young and form part of the Mascarene Islands that are made up of Mauritius, Rodrigues, and Réunion. All formed around the same time from the same volcanic hotspot.
The islands, for much of their existence, were uninhabited, with only Arabic sailors passing through occasionally until the Dutch settled there in the 16the-century.
The lack of human activity for so many years allowed nature to flourish and left the island’s interior and surrounding waters teeming with life. Sadly, we caused irreversible damage and caused the extinction of some of the local wildlife, such as the Dodo.
As the island started to suffer from coastal erosion, a large underwater sea plateau formed, creating the perfect habitat for coral to grow.
The reef is relatively new compared to others, but since the country was uninhabited for so many years, it was able to grow quickly and soon became one of the largest in the world.
The reef is important for the island since its extensive size creates a lagoon that surrounds much of the island, protecting it from the sea and causing the crystal clear blue waters Mauritius is now famous for.
Today, the island is trying to protect the coastal waters and the stunning reefs that encircle them, to ensure future generations can enjoy the spectacular marine life and the raw beauty of the Indian Ocean.
Best Places for Snorkeling in Mauritius
There are loads of brilliant spots for snorkeling throughout Mauritius, each with its own unique beauty and nature. Although much of the island has amazing snorkeling, to see specific things, you will need to head to specific places in Mauritius.
The following section details the best places for snorkeling in Mauritius and the areas and parts of the island where you will find them. If you’re into adventure or seeing something different, you will absolutely want to head snorkeling to your Mauritius itinerary.
Blue Bay Marine Park
The Blue Bay Marine Park is one of the most amazing places to snorkel on Mauritius. The beautiful lagoon is a protected area and is teeming with marine life with plenty of fish and coral.
The waters on this southern beach are calm and relatively shallow, meaning even novice snorkelers and swimmers can enjoy the beauty of the Indian Ocean.
Pointe aux Piments
One of the biggest draws to snorkeling around the shallow reefs that surround the island is the chance to see sea turtles in their natural habitat.
Pointe aux Piments, on the northern coast of Mauritius, is one of the premier places to see the gorgeous animals swim amongst the reefs. In addition to turtles, there is a range of other bright and colorful sea creatures that call the reef their home.
Ile aux Cerfs
Just off the coast of Mauritius is Ile aux Cerfs, a sandy little island that rises out of the tranquil lagoons. The water surrounding the island is calm and shallow with sand bars rising up and down on the sea bed.
There is plenty of wildlife in the lagoon with colorful fish and large fish, such as snappers and groupers. The tropical island also provides an amazing backdrop to the underwater life. There are many Mauritius catamaran tours to Ile aux Cerfs, but
Flic en Flac
On the western coast, you will find the island’s longest beach, Flic en Flac. The long, sandy beach is one of the premier snorkeling spots as the waters are calm and shallow and the surrounding reefs are home to brightly colored tropical fish, such as the blue tarred parrotfish.
There is also the chance to see dolphins playing out at sea, which makes the beach very popular amongst tourists who flock to see these creatures playing in the water.
Best Mauritius Snorkeling Season
Located in the southern hemisphere, Mauritius enjoys a tropical climate year-round.
The best months to go snorkeling in Mauritius are throughout the warm summer months of October to December when the warm and nutrient-rich water attracts fish in droves.
After the warmth of summer in Mauritius, the tropical air collides with the cooler air of the approaching winter which can cause a risk of cyclones during the months of January and February. Snorkeling should only be enjoyed if the weather is safe and permitting.
The winter in Mauritius is warm and dry even though the winds can pick up, especially in the southern part of the island, during this time snorkeling can be enjoyed but expect to see less variety of fish during this season.
The best time of day to go snorkeling in Mauritius is early in the morning before the majority of tourists reach the beaches.
During the early hours, you will see a larger variety of marine life as fish come out early to feed and enjoy the calm. Once the crowds reach the beaches, the animals tend to go into hiding.
Mauritius Marine Life
The warm, mineral-rich waters that surround Mauritius are perfect for hosting a treasure trove of life.
The island is almost completely encircled by some of the world’s most beautiful coral reefs that are home to a fantastic array of reef-dwelling fish, such as clownfish, parrotfish, angelfish, and many other beautiful sea creatures.
The rich waters also attract larger exotic fish, like the blue-striped snapper, black-tipped groupers, and many others.
Along with the vast array of fish, there is also the opportunity to swim with sea turtles that frequent the northern coast of the island. In the deeper waters just past the reef, there are also plenty of resident dolphins, along with resident and migratory whales that pass through the deeper waters of the Indian Ocean.
Dolphins are generally around in the mornings before heading out to deep waters to hunt. Tracking down dolphins ethically is one of the best things to do in Mauritius.
There are relatively few dangerous animals in the coastal waters with sharks not venturing past the outer reefs.
However, the seafloor is littered with sea urchins that can cause a nasty injury. During cyclone season or after high tide, jellyfish are known to drift into the lagoon and cause a sting and should be avoided at all costs.
Although rare, there is a possibility that you may encounter a stonefish, a creature that should also be avoided if spotted. I highly advise protecting your feet with rubber swimming shoes just to be safe.
Etiquette for Snorkeling in Mauritius
Reefs are fragile ecosystems that are suffering more and more due to human activity; coral bleaching a real threat to the reef that surrounds Mauritius.
To help protect these gorgeous reefs, there are certain rules that should be followed to ensure you do not cause damage or negatively impact the underwater habitat.
Never place your feet on the coral. Stepping on the coral in Mauritius will not only hurt you, but it could also damage it. The reefs are a living animal and should be treated as such- so stepping on one should be treated no differently from stepping on another living creature.
Look- don’t touch. Don’t touch the coral, shells, or marine life. Observe the natural beauty at a safe distance for both you and the animals that live there. Even if the coral has broken off and died, you should not remove it from the sea.
Do not feed the animals. Underwater ecosystems are fragile and a slight imbalance can cause a huge amount of upset. If the fish start feeding on introduced food, they will not feed on the algae which can then suffocate the reef as it overgrows.
Consider the reef when applying sunscreen and only use reef-friendly sunscreen. Regular sunscreen contains chemicals that accelerate reef bleaching and cause harm to the animals that live amongst them. Be sure to purchase reef-friendly sunscreen like this one.
Don’t throw trash into the sea. Plastic waste is plighting our oceans and you should not allow any to enter the water. Even trash that claims to be biodegradable can have an adverse effect and should be returned to the store.
Mauritius Snorkel Tours
One of the best and safest ways to enjoy snorkeling in Mauritius is to go on a snorkeling tour. Mauritius snorkeling tours will be able to take you to the best snorkel spots and your experienced guide will be able to point out the different creatures you see in the ocean.
Also, snorkeling tours will often provide all equipment needed, meaning you do not need to pack extra gear for your trip.
There are plenty of snorkeling tours available in Mauritius and below are some of the best ones.
Snorkeling on South East Islands Discovery
Seasons available: Year-round
Dotted around the southeast coast of Mauritius are plenty of tropical islands that are surrounded by beautiful blue waters that are teeming with an array of marine life.
Take a tour where you will visit several different islands by boat and snorkel in the crystal clear waters with an expert snorkel guide. Along with plenty of snorkeling, you will enjoy some of the island’s other beautiful sights, such as waterfalls and tropical birds that will come up close to you.
The tour also includes a BBQ on the beach for lunch with some traditional Sega music. After being picked up at 0830, you will be provided with all the gear you need for a day of snorkeling.
For those who are not as comfortable with swimming, there are life vests available. Even though the snorkel spots are not too deep, you can still see some incredible wildlife just by floating in the water.
Swimming with Dolphins in Mauritius in the Black River
Seasons available: Year-round
In the waters beyond the protective reef are two species of dolphin, the bottlenose and spinner. Starting off at 7am, you will enjoy breakfast as you head out to find where the dolphins are playing in the sea.
You will then spend the morning snorkeling with the dolphins before too many other boats head to the spot and the dolphins swim to deeper waters. After the dolphins head to the depths of the ocean, you will return to shore.
The tour can not guarantee seeing dolphins, but if they are not found, you will be booked on to another trip the following day. During the mating season, dolphin tours tend not to run in order to give these beautiful animals the chance to breed in peace.
Full-Day Cruise to Ile aux Cerfs with BBQ Lunch Included
Seasons available: Year-round
Take a cruise to Ile aux Cerfs and experience amazing snorkeling opportunities along the way. I took this trip when in Mauritius and had the chance to snorkel there while doing it.
Departing from the main island, you will head out on a beautiful catamaran, stopping along the way at one of the best Mauritius snorkeling spots where you will have the chance to swim away from the crowds where the fish will be less disturbed.
After snorkeling, you will enjoy a fantastic BBQ lunch and then enjoy free time on the island where you can enjoy whatever you wish, including more snorkeling from the shoreline.
The cruise departs from Pointe Jerome Embarkation point on the south east part of the island, although a hotel transfer is available for an additional cost.
Ile Des Deux Cocos Day Trip with Transfer
Seasons available: Year-round
In the Blue Bay Marine National Park, you will find the Ile Des Deux Cocos. Rising out of the tranquil waters, the island is an amazing place to really get a feel of the truly luxurious side of this tropical paradise.
On this 8-hour day trip, you will be taken to the island where you can then enjoy various activities, including snorkeling. The snorkeling there is rated some of the best in Mauritius with the reserve being home to many beautiful fish and coral.
This trip is perfect for those who are traveling with people who are not wishing to snorkel, as the cruise also offers a glass-bottom boat ride instead of snorkeling.
The tour also includes food and drinks and the opportunity to rest on the beautiful white sandy beaches after a hard day snorkeling.
What To Bring to Snorkel in Mauritius
Although many of the tours will offer snorkeling equipment that you can use, if you wish to do further snorkeling independently, you will need to bring your own stuff. There are also a few other essentials that I recommend bringing with you on your Mauritius snorkel trip. Here are those things:
Buy a complete snorkel set before you travel to Mauritius so you can be comfortable with your own equipment and not have to worry about renting some.
I recommend buying a complete set which includes fins so that you effortlessly glide through the water. There are plenty of sets out there for both men and women, however, I recommend this unisex snorkeling set, perfect for everyone on the trip.
Even those with facial hair may wish to opt for a non-full face set. One of the best things about this snorkel set is it offers a place to mount your GoPro.
Although the beaches are picture-perfect under the water, the sand can get fairly sharp with sea urchins and broken shells littering the sea bed.
GoPro Hero 8
Since you will have the memories of your underwater adventure forever, I recommend purchasing an action cam to make the most of your time snorkeling and photographing the marine life in their natural habitat.
The GoPro Hero 8 is an amazing action cam that is fully waterproof and takes stunning photos and videos. The new stabilization software is far improved from previous GoPros and will leave you with a beautifully smooth video.
Reef Friendly Sunscreen
The underwater reef ecosystem is fragile and as visitors, we should aim to make sure we do not negatively impact this unique world.
Many regular sunscreens include Oxybenzone, a chemical that harms and kills young coral and can not be filtered out of the water.
So if you are planning to head in the water, I recommend purchasing some reef-friendly sunscreen to protect yourself against the sun and the reef from any danger.
I hope that your Mauritius snorkeling adventure is everything you had hoped it would be! Mauritius is the perfect place to snorkel and check out the undersea world and these Mauritius tours will help you find the easiest ways to do it.
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