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If many visitors of southwest Martinique come to Anses d’Arlet to snorkel the top-sites of Anse Noire and Anse Dufour, you can also have a great snorkeling from the village, on the rocky and grassy areas lying about 50 to 200 meters from the main beach. Here you will find surprisingly fishy areas, and come across green sea turtles, which visit the bay for feeding on the seagrass beds.

Spotted moray eel at Anses d'Arlet
Moray eels (here, a spotted moray eel) are pretty common in the reef areas (photographed in zone 2 on the map).

How to get to 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 signposted. 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/35km) from Fort-de-France when the traffic is light.

Anses d'Arlet snorkeling map

Where to get into the water for snorkeling Anses d’Arlet?

The water entrance point depends on the area you want to explore: 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 at the end of the beach for snorkeling along the rocky coast (zone 2 on the map).

Chinese trumpetfish at Anses d'Arlet
A Caribbean trumpetfish encountered on the small reef facing the beach (zone 1 on the map).

Anses d’Arlet snorkeling exploration tips

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

1 / The small rocky reef located near the pontoon (zone 1 on the map). It is a perfect snorkeling location for beginners and kids, as it is shallow (↕1-3m) and close to the beach. 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 (↕3-5m), in which green sea turtles are frequently seen.

Snorkeling at Anses d'Arlet, Martinique
The small rocky patch found near the pontoon is not very fishy, but offer perfect conditions for beginners (photographed in zone 1).

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 frequent to find small moray eels (most commonly the spotted moray) or snake eels (notably the sharptail snake eel) hiding in the rock cavities. At the bottom of the reef there are deep seagrass beds (which cover almost the entire bay), 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.

Green sea turtle in Anses d'Arlet
Green sea turtles are frequent in Anses d’Arlet extensive seagrass meadows (photographed in zone 1)

Be very careful with 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 at a distance (15ft/5m) from sea turtles
  3. Do not chase a turtle swimming away
  4. Avoid sudden movement 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.