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Anse Caiman is one of the best shore snorkeling spots to see sea turtles in La Digue. Its seabed, mainly made of granite rocks and coral patches, is also home to colorful fish species as emperor angelfish, bluespotted grouper and palette surgeonfish. This small cove located on the wild northeastern shore of the island is rather hard to access, and due to the relatively high depth in the area, is not recommended for beginners.
Anse Caiman is located on the east coast of la Digue, some 3.5km from the main pier. It is a remote spot, with no direct road access. To reach this spot, you first have to rent a bike and head to Anse Fourmis, which is at the very end of the coastal road running along the northern side of the island. Park your bike at the end of the road. At this point, you are at approximately 400 meters from Anse Caiman. You then have two options to reach it:
Enter the water from the sandy beach of Anse Fourmis, reach the outer side of the reef, and swim south for 400 meters (on the right side when you are facing the sea) to Anse Caiman. Only enter the water if there is no surf. If you choose the hiking option, enter the water from the rocks bordering the cove.
The area to explore covers the edge of the cove, which is made of huge granite blocks immersed in 12 to 20ft of water (4 to 6 meters). This underwater scape, with ray of lights of the sun breaking through the deep blue sea, is an amazing subject for photographers.
Anse Caiman is renowned for snorkeling with hawksbill sea turtles. It is common to see 2 or 3 sea turtles resting at the foot of the granite rocks, or slowly swimming around them. Most of the sea turtles are quite timorous, and are not easy to get close too, contrary to the turtles you can encounter at Coco Island, Felicite Island or Grande Soeur, more used to snorkelers. If you wait a little, you will probably see them coming up to the surface to breathe.
In some places, you will also find some patches of healthy hard corals. Among the dozens of species of reef fish that you could see around it are the oriental sweetlips, the goldbar wrasse, the clown surgeonfish, and groups of impressive orbicular batfish. Shoals of blue tang, (or palette tang, the fish who inspired the absent-minded Dory in Finding Nemo’s movie), are often seen swimming along the slopes of the reef.
Anse Caiman is a remote and completely natural site, with no water supply nor restaurant. Along the road to the village, you will find some huts where you can get fresh fruit juices or snacks. Take water with you.
Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
Hawksbill sea turtles are a familiar sight in La Digue and its neighboring islands. In order to be a responsible snorkeler, be sure to respect the following rules when observing them:
On La Digue main island, Anse Patates (free shore access) is another excellent snorkeling spot to encounter sea turtles.
These spots are only recommended to good swimmers, in good physical conditions, and with excellent snorkeling skills. These spots can experience currents, moderate waves, important depths, tight or narrow passages, or tricky water entrance, and can be located near hazardous areas (channels, boat traffic, strong currents…). The distance to swim to reach the most interesting snorkeling areas can be important - up to 500 meters. The “advanced” category includes drift snorkeling (transported by currents) and snorkeling off the coast.
This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell.You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.
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