Nestled in the rocky side of northern Saint-Barthélemy, Colombier Beach (Anse de Colombier) is the most famous snorkeling spot on the island. It offers a beautiful beach and a calm and turquoise sea, well sheltered from the waves. Being protected by a natural reserve, this spot allows to observe a vibrant underwater life. Green sea turtles, stingrays, barracuda and sharksuckers meet here among the sea grass, while a myriad of reef fish takes shelter among the rocks which border the bay.

Snorkeling with a sea turtle at Anse de Colombier, St Barth
Green sea turtles (chelonia mydas) are fairly common at Anse Colombier.

How to get to Anse Colombier snorkeling spot?

Anse de Colombier is located on the north-western tip of Saint-Barthélemy island. This cove is only accessible by sea or by two hiking trails. The most enjoyable trail is the one which starts at the end of Anse de Flamands: it runs along Petite Anse, before descending towards Anse de Colombier. Plan a 20 to 30 minutes’ walk to get to the beautiful beach.

Anse Colombier Beach snorkeling area map

Water entrance for snorkeling Anse Colombier

If you go to Anse de Colombier by foot, you can get into the water from the beach. We rather recommend the northern side of the beach (on your right while facing the sea) in order to be closer to the reef areas, which are less frequented by boats.

If your boat moor in the cove, you can enter the water from the boat.

Anse Colombier snorkeling exploration tips

You can snorkel the whole cove, but we recommend the northern area, less frequented by boats, which come in high number to dock in Colombier.

In the middle of the bay you can find rather deep seagrass beds (↕4-6m), known to be visited by many green sea turtles. We often see them grazing peacefully on the seagrass or resting on the sea floor. They are used to the presence of boats and swimmers, and they easily allow people to watch them. If we go to Colombier especially for sea turtles watching, the protected seagrass of the cove allows you to observe many other species, especially southern stingrays, beautiful bar jacks, barracuda and even sharksucker attached to the turtles or swimming alone in the open water.

Stingray and barracuda at Anse Colombier, St Barth
A southern stingray and a barracuda seen form the surface of the sea at Anse Colombier.

All along the northern coast of the cove (↕2-4m), the sea floor is covered by rocky screes, with few corals. Pay attention to sea urchins, pretty numerous in the area. Here you can watch many species of Caribbean fish: grunts, butterflyfish and sometimes small moray eels, surprised while sliding between the rocks, or lobsters. Since Colombier Beach is part of Saint-Barthélemy Natural Reserve, fishing is prohibited here and, therefore, the underwater life is thriving.

Live sharksucker at Anse de Colombier, St Barth
Live sharksuckers are frequently seen at Anse Colombier, attached to sea turtles or swimming alone.

Pay attention to the numerous boats which navigate and moor in the cove.

Restaurants and accommodation in Anse Colombier

There are no restaurants or hotels in Anse de Colombier. You can find all necessary facilities around Petite Anse and Anse des Flamands, 20 minutes by foot from Anse de Colombier.

 

  • Level required Beginner
  • Protected areaRéserve naturelle nationale de Saint-Barthélemy
  • Maximum depth6m in the center of the bay
  • Water entranceFrom a sandy beach (or a boat)
  • Potential DangersMany boats mooring in the area
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersMedium
  • Access costsFree
  • Restaurants nearbyNo

MAP Spot

These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.

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.