On an island where the lagoons have been badly damaged and heavily fished, Blue Bay is an exception. This little bay, which has been listed as a Marine Park since 1997, contains superb coral beds and abundant undersea life that is unequalled in Mauritius.

How to get there?

To explore Blue Bay, you can either take a boat or get into the water from the public beach. While the first option costs money, it is still the only way to reach the finest areas of the reef, which are far from the beach, in complete safety. But in any case the areas accessible from the beach are far from disappointing.

Scrawled butterflyfish in Blue Bay, Mauritius

To reach Blue Bay from anywhere on the island, head for Mahébourg, a town with 15,000 inhabitants, and just a few miles from the airport. If you don’t have a car, you will have no trouble reaching Mahébourg by bus or taxi. From Mahébourg, it only takes a few minutes by taxi or you can opt for a (very pleasant) 45-minute walk along the coast, via Pointe d’Esny, to reach your destination.

Water entrance

If you are exploring the spot from the shore, go to the far west of the public beach of Blue Bay, where the white sand gives way to rocks. This is the best place to enter the water, since the reef is nearby. If you take a boat, your guide will show you where to get into the water.

Blue Bay snorkeling map, Mauritius

Exploration

The zone to explore is opposite the Blue Bay public beach. The western part has the richest coral, and little by little gives way to the sandy areas towards the east. The limit to the authorized bathing area is shown by buoys. Beyond that, the presence of a large number of boats makes snorkeling dangerous.

The depth of the water (15-20ft/5-6m) is the same in all the reef area. The large, branched and table coral beds covering the ocean floor have earned Blue Bay its reputation. Dozens of fuchsia mushroom corals cover the sea bed in places.

Soft coral in Blue Bay, Mauritius

Vast shoals of convict surgeonfish (several hundreds) continually criss-cross the reef. Parrotfish, Moorish idols, damselfish and sergeant major fish are some of the species that are easy to see in this spot.

In 2013, murky waters invaded Blue Bay on several occasions for reasons that have not been clearly identified. A number of hypotheses (mud from a neighbouring worksite, a rise in water temperature, pollution or fertilizers poured into the sea) were put forward. Today, life is back in the area, although it will probably take some time for the reef’s former glory to be restored.

Nudibranch in Blue Bay, Mauritius

Restaurants & accommodation

The Shandrani Resort and Spa and the Blue Lagoon Beach Hotel, on either side of the bay, have direct access to the snorkeling spot. In the village of Blue Bay, in the streets closest to the beach, you will find quite a wide choice of food and accommodation. You often find food sellers (fruits, samossas) on the beach, too.



Species you may spot while snorkeling Blue Bay
COMMON NAME SCIENTIFIC NAME ABUNDANCE FISHBASE WIKIPEDIA
Threadfin butterflyfish Chaetodon auriga  
Threebanded butterflyfish Chaetodon humeralis  
Vagabond butterflyfish Chaetodon vagabundus  
Chevron butterflyfish Chaetodon trifascialis  
Raccoon butterflyfish Chaetodon lunula  
Yellowhead butterflyfish Chaetodon xanthocephalus  
Reef needlefish Strongylura incisa  
Green Chromis Chromis viridis  
Whitetail dascyllus Dascyllus aruanus  
Indo-Pacific sergeant Abudefduf vaigiensis  
Sixbar wrasse Thalassoma hardwicke  
Bluestreak cleaner wrasse Labroides dimidiatus  
Lagoon triggerfish Rhinecanthus aculeatus  
Chinese trumpetfish Aulostomus chinensis  
Tripletail wrasse Cheilinus trilobatus  
Convict surgeonfish Acanthurus triostegus  
Moorish idol Zanclus cornutus  
Emperor angelfish Pomacanthus imperator  

 

  • Level required Intermediary
  • Protected areaBlue Bay Marine Park
  • Maximum depth20ft/6m
  • Water entranceEasy, from a sandy beach (or from a boat)
  • Potential DangersUsual precautions
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersMedium
  • Access costsFree or snorkeling tour (approx. 500Rs/$20 pp.)
  • Restaurants nearbyNo
  • Public toilets & showersNo

MAP Spot

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.