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Many divers and snorkelers come to Anses d’Arlet region to snorkel the top-sites of Anse Noire and Anse Dufour. You can also have great snorkeling from the village, on the rocky and grassy areas lying about 50 to 200 yards from the main beach. Here you will find surprisingly fishy areas, and encounter green sea turtles which visit the bay to feed on the seagrass beds.

Green sea turtle at Anses d'Arlet
Green sea turtles are frequently seen in Anses d’Arlet extensive seagrass meadows (photographed in zone 1).

How to get to the Anses d’Arlet snorkeling spot

The village of Les Anses d’Arlet is located 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.

The village is well sign-posted. There are many spaces to park in the village, near the beach. It takes about 40 minutes by car to reach Anses d’Arlet (20mi) from Fort-de-France when the traffic is light.

Anses d'Arlet snorkeling map, Martinique
Anses d’Arlet snorkeling map, Martinique.

Water entrance for snorkeling Anses d’Arlet

The water entrance point depends on the area you want to explore. Go just north of the pontoon (on your right when we are facing the sea) if you want to explore the small rocky patch (area 1 on the map).  Or go at the north end/south end of the beach for snorkeling along the rocky coast (zones 2 and 3 on the map).

Caribbean trumpetfish
A Caribbean trumpetfish encountered on the small reef facing the beach (zone 1 on the map).

Anses d’Arlet snorkeling exploration tips

There are three recommended snorkeling areas in Anses d’Arlet:

1. The small rocky reef near the pontoon (zone 1 on the map).

It is a perfect snorkeling location for beginners and kids, as it is shallow (↕1-3 feet) and close to the beach.

This reef features a snorkel trail, called “Sentier Sous-Marin Lakay”, made up of four information buoys. Many fish find shelter in the rocks, such as bluehead wrasse, blue tangs, and the abundant sergeant major. Beyond the reef you’ll find seagrass beds (↕3-5 feet), in which green sea turtles are frequently seen.

School of pompano and chromis
A school of pompano and chromis in zone 2.

2. The reef which fringes the northern coast of the bay (zone 2 on the map).

It is mainly made of rocky scree, covered in places with corals, gorgonians and sponges. Along the reef, you may spot a great diversity of fish, such as French angelfish, peacock flounder and squirrelfish.

It is not unusual to find small moray eels (most commonly the spotted moray) or snake eels (notably the sharptail eel) hiding in the rock cavities. At the foot of the reef, there are deep seagrass beds which cover almost the entire bay. Here is where green sea turtles and flying gurnards are pretty easy to spot. Advanced snorkelers can follow the rocky shore far beyond the area marked on the map above.

Longlure frogfish at Anses d'Arlet
A longlure frogfish, a rare but possible sight at Anse d’Arlet.

3.  The reef which fringes the southern coast of the bay (zone 3 on the map).

This area has more or less the same profile as the northern area but is less visited. It features a mix of rocks and corals with a diversity of reef fish.

Be very careful around the many small boats that anchor in the bay. If you go out of marked or shallow areas (for example if you explore the seagrass in the center of the bay), take your diving flag.

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

You will find in the village of Les Anse d’Arlet a large choice of shops, restaurants, snacks and accommodation.


  • Level required Beginner
  • Maximum depth14ft/4m
  • Water entranceEasy, from a sandy beach
  • Potential DangersBoats
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersMedium
  • Access costsFree
  • Restaurants nearbyYes

MAP Spot

Sea turtles watching in Anses d'Arlet


Green sea turtles are a familiar sight at Anse d’Arlet. In order to be a responsible snorkeler, be sure to respect the following rules when observing them:

  1. Do not attempt to touch or ride sea turtles
  2. Stay a distance of 15ft from sea turtles
  3. Do not chase a turtle that is swimming away
  4. Avoid sudden movements and allow sea turtles plenty of space when they come up to the surface to breathe

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.