Trou d'Eau Douce

Trou d’Eau Douce (literally « fresh water hole » in French) is a village located on Mauritius West Coast. It stands next to a wide lagoon closing on Cerf Island (l’Île aux Cerfs), about 1 mile south from there. With its picture-perfect white sand beaches shaded by filaos, this islet actually is the most visited place in Mauritius and about half a million people visit it each year. Trou d’Eau Douce is the starting point for most excursions to Cerf Island. Many of them include stops on the lagoon for snorkeling, in places too far from the shore to be accessed without a boat. If the seabed quality is medium to poor, many species can be spotted here, and the background is just splendid.
How to get there?

The easiest way to snorkel in the middle of the lagoon is to book a day excursion to Cerf Island including one or several stops on the way. They will cost you from 1 200 to 2 200 rupees (€30 to 60) per person, including beverages and a meal on the island. You can book it from your hotel (including transfer to the departure point), from local operators or asking local fishermen on Trou d’Eau Douce beach. When booking, ask about which snorkeling stops are included.

If you don’t want to visit Cerf Island, you can also plan your own tour on the lagoon. Numerous fishermen and boat owners in Trou d’Eau Douce will accept to lead you to the reef for one or two hours in exchange of 20 to 40 euros.

Water entrance

You will enter the water directly from the boat.

Aerial view


The spot covers the inner part of the bordering reef, an area that is sheltered from waves and currents and offers a constant depth (6-10ft/2-3m).

Sadly, as often in Mauritius waters, coral is degraded. Vast areas in the reef are made of dead or decaying corals. Moreover, fishing is permitted here and there won’t be as many fish as you might spot in an area such as Blue Bay, which has been protected since 1997. Head there for a true experience of Mauritius reefs biodiversity.

Snorkeling Trou Eau Douce Mauritius
Trou d'Eau Douce lagoon, Mauritius

Despite these flaws, Trou d’Eau Douce lagoon remains a nice place to snorkel. You will still spot a wide variety of fish (parrotfish, damselfish, butterflyfish, surgeonfish…), as well as some colorful giant clams. Young corals sprouting on the seabed indicate that the reef now begins to start off again. And of course the background, with a fantastic blue lagoon and the island’s green mountains on the horizon, is magnificent.

Restaurants and accommodation

If you booked a day trip to Cerf Island, a barbecue on the beach is generally included. Ask for details when booking.

Snorkeling Report gives the most precise tips possible about the snorkeling spots and potential dangers, but each one of us is responsible for our own safety in the water. For more information, take a look at the snorkeling safety page. If you want to add extra information or make any corrections to the spot descriptions, please contact us.

Spot’s weather forecasts (°C)

Spot tips

  • Type of spot
  • Level of difficulty
  • Maximum depth
  • Water entrance
    From a boat
  • Lifeguard
  • Visitor numbers
  • Access costs
    Tour price (from €20pp.)

Spot map

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