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Anse Patate is iconic in the Seychelles Islands with its big polished rocks and its coconut trees stooping over the sea. As a snorkel spot, it is not as ideal: the area is exposed to waves and snorkeling is only possible when sea conditions are perfect. If they are, you will be able to observe many hawksbill sea turtles, sometimes really close to the shore, and a relatively well preserved coral reef starting about 30 meters from the beach.
Anse Patate is located at La Digue Island’s northern extremity, several hundreds of meters after Anse Sévère and close to Patatran Village Hotel. Bike is the most widespread means of transportation on the island and most people come to the beach this way. It will take you about 10 minutes from La Passe village. Just before Patatran Village Hotel, you will see below the road a small beach closed by granite rocks. Take the stairs down to get there.
Enter the water directly from the small sandy beach. Do not snorkel here if the sea is rough.
We can recommend two areas to explore from Anse Patate beach.
The first one is parallel to the shore, on the western side of the beach (when looking towards Anse Sévère). Once in the water, swim past the granite formations and along the shore on your left. You will quickly be over a shallow area (↕2-4 m) covered with coral fragments. The degraded seabed is of little interest, but hawksbill sea turtles can often be seen there. As always in La Digue waters, they are very easy to spot and don’t swim away in the presence of snorkelers. On this spot, you will probably see them taking a rest on the seabed. Spotted eagle rays also often come here.
The second area is located in front of the beach. After swimming past areas covered with coral debris, you will come to a relatively preserved coral reef. But the water depth (↕4-6 m) is too important to really enjoy it with simple snorkel gear. This area is more open to the ocean and only experienced snorkelers should go there. On the reef, many different fish species can be seen such as green humphead parrotfish, palette surgeonfish, different wrasse species and sergeant majors.
From Anse Patate, fit swimmers can reach Anse Sévère and its far more spectacular reef. The reef front is located about 500m from Anse Patate, on the left side when facing the sea. This journey must only be undertaken when the sea conditions are perfect.
Patatran Village Hotel directly overlooks Anse Patate beach: its residents enjoy rooms a few steps from the beach. Several guesthouses also settled nearby. The island’s main village, where you will find all basic amenities, is only a 10 minutes bike ride away from the beach.
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 Caiman (free shore access) is another excellent snorkeling spot to encounter sea turtles.
These spots are accessible to anyone with basic snorkeling skills, and feeling comfortable in the water and with his snorkeling gear. You will enter the water from the shore (beach, pontoon, ladder, rocks) or from a boat. The water height in the sea entrance area is reasonable, but you will not necessarily be within your depth. Moderate currents can occur in the area, even when the sea conditions are good. The distance to swim to reach the most interesting snorkeling areas of the spot does not exceed 200 meters.
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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