Free shore access
This spot have a free shore access: you can go snorkeling there freely and without having to book a tour or pay an entrance fee.
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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.
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 des 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.
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.
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 (↕12-20ft/4-6m), known to be visited by many green sea turtles. We often see them grazing peacefully on the seagrass or resting on the seabed. 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, bar jacks, barracuda, and sharksucker attached to the turtles or swimming alone in the open water.
All along the northern coast of the cove (↕6-12ft/2-4m), the seabed 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, French angelfish 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. Pay attention to the numerous boats which navigate and moor in the cove.
There are no restaurants or hotels in Anse de Colombier. You can find all the necessary facilities around Petite Anse and Anse des Flamands, 20 minutes by foot from Anse de Colombier.
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.
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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.
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