Bathed by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, Mauritius is surrounded by 100 miles (160km) of barrier reefs. To the east and south-west of the island, the lagoon, with a total surface area of 115mi² (300 km²), is at its most extensive. In parts, it measures over 1 mile (1.5km) in width.

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Mauritius can boast some 430 different species of underwater creatures. The quality of the sea bed and the coral (and therefore the richness of the underwater life) varies greatly. The coral is well protected in certain sheltered areas (especially the Blue Bay Marine Park) and beyond the barrier reef (in many snorkeling spots accessible by boat), but is generally damaged near the beaches and in the lagoon. In the seascapes of broken or bleached coral, sometimes over large areas, the underwater life is less rich and less spectacular.

Snorkeling Report Mauritius
Ermit crab, a Blue Bay, aerial view of Blue Bay, and coral at Trou d'Eau Douce

As long as you choose your spots well, Mauritius can offer great snorkeling experiences. While beginners will be happy with the sea bed that can be accessed from the beach, more experienced snorkelers will opt to take a boat to visit the most spectacular areas.
When to go to Mauritius?

You can take to the water all through the year in Mauritius, but weather conditions vary. The east coast, which contains the largest lagoon (and the famous Blue Bay Marine Park), is also the area that is most exposed to wind, particularly during the southern winter (June to August).

In this purely tropical climate, the water temperature is on average 82°F (28 °C) in summer and 70°F (21°C) in winter. Even though the water temperature is ideal all through the year, the summer months are considered to be the best time for snorkeling.

Where to spot them?

Convict surgeonfish

In large schools at Blue Bay

Lagoon triggerfish

On all spots

Threadfin butterflyfish

On all spots

Raccoon butterflyfish

On all spots

Giant clam

On all spots, particularly at Trou d'Eau Douce

Moorish idol

On all spots

Sixbar wrasse

On all spots

Vagabond butterflyfish

On all spots

Melon butterflyfish

On all spots

Whitetail dascyllus

On all spots