written in collaboration with Veronique (2 spots)
Anse Noire is located in Anses d’Arlet, on the southwest coast of the island. From Fort-de-France, take the A1 to the airport, then the N5 south for a few miles. Turn right on D7, following the signs to Anses d’Arlet. Halfway between Trois Îlets and Anses d’Arlet, leave the main road and head for Anse Dufour, well signposted. There are many places to park near the beach, in the parking area or along the road. Continue for around ten minutes on foot, following the path going down to the beach. It takes about 40 minutes by car to reach Anse Noire (20mi/35km) from Fort-de-France when the traffic is light.
You can enter the water anywhere along the beach, but since the seabed becomes rocky a few meters from the beach, we recommend that you use one of the ladder on the pier to access directly to deeper areas.
All the little bay is worth exploring, but underwater life is at its most abundant along the rocky outcrops on either side of the bay (↕3-10ft/1-3m). Although the seabed is rocky, it has been colonized by large numbers of colorful sponges, small corals and sea fans. Bluehead wrasse, foureye butterflyfish, and small groups of caribbean sergeant major are easy to see.
Anse Noire, Martinique © credit photo Vero & Franck
The central part of the bay, made up of sand and seagrass areas, is poor in fish (↕10-20ft/3-6m). But, on the other hand, this is the area where you will have the best chance of spotting a green sea turtle. Many of them come to feed daily on the seagrass. By criss-crossing the area, you should not have to wait too long before seeing them.
As always with turtles, you should respect the elementary rules of observation: don't chase after them, don't hold on to their shells, don't touch them, and leave them enough room when they come up to the surface to breathe. For more information, visit the Réseau des Tortues Marines de Martinique website (in French only)
Anse Dufour and Anse Noire are within a distance of a few hundred meters from each other, only separated by a rocky point. Combine the exploration of the two spots, walking for less than 10 minutes on the path connecting the two beaches. From the western tip of Anse Noire beach, visitors in good physical shape can swim to Anse Dufour, following the rocky point for about 400 to 500 yards).
Anse Noire has a traditional fishing activity. You will have to share the little bay with boats, fishing nets… and a few friendly pelicans, attempting to steal fishermen’s catch of the day !
Restaurants and accommodation
In Anse Dufour, about 10-minutes footwalk from Anse Noire, a few snacks and local restaurants are dotted along the beach and the road alongside it, so you can get something to eat and drink at low prices, but the choice is limited.