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 to Blue Bay snorkeling spot?

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 Blue Bay Beach.

Scrawled butterflyfish in Blue Bay, Mauritius
Among the dozen of butterfly species snorkelers can see in Blue Bay, the scrawled butterflyfish (chaetodon meyeri) is certainly one of the most beautiful.

There are two different snorkeling areas in Blue Bay:

1/ The coral gardens extending at the center of the bay (snorkeling zone 1 on the map). To reach this area, which has the most beautiful coral and sealife, you’ll have to book a boat tour (from 1000 rupees pp.). Several operators (of both glass-bottom boats and snorkeling tours) can be found on the beach. Departures are from the pontoon on the beach (see map). Boat tours are the only way to snorkel this area: it is prohibited to swim by yourself from the beach to these coral gardens.

2/ The coral areas edging the western tip of the public beach (snorkeling zone 2 on the map). You are free to snorkel this area from the shore without a guide.

Entering the water in Blue Bay

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 Marine Park snorkeling map

Snorkeling tips to discover the beauty of Blue Bay

The “boat access” area has the richest coral and sea life, but the “shore access” area also worth a visit if you spend a day at Blue Bay beach. The depth of the water (15-20ft/5-6m) is the same in all the area. The large and healthy branching 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, as well as soft coral.

Soft coral in Blue Bay, Mauritius
Some parts of Blue Bay’s reef are covered with hundreds of healthy soft corals.

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 the most preserved areas, look for sea anemones: you may spot some Mauritian clownfish, endemic to the island. It is also possible -but not guaranteed- so encounter sea turtles.

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 neighboring 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
Although they can be small and hard to find, nudibranchs are common at Blue Bay’s reef.

Accommodation and catering near Blue Bay

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
Green sea turtle Chelonia mydas  
Hawksbill sea turtle Eretmochelys imbricata  
Emperor angelfish Pomacanthus imperator  
Mauritian clownfish Amphiprion chrysogaster  
Threadfin butterflyfish Chaetodon auriga  
Vagabond butterflyfish Chaetodon vagabundus  
Chevron butterflyfish Chaetodon trifascialis  
Raccoon butterflyfish Chaetodon lunula  
Yellowhead butterflyfish Chaetodon xanthocephalus  
Melon butterflyfish Chaetodon trifasciatus  
Blackback butterflyfish Chaetodon melannotus  
Indian Ocean teardrop butterflyfish Chaetodon interruptus  
Scrawled butterflyfish Chaetodon meyeri  
Masked bannerfish Heniochus monoceros  
Moorish idol Zanclus cornutus  
Convict surgeonfish Acanthurus triostegus  
Green Chromis Chromis viridis  
Whitetail dascyllus Dascyllus aruanus  
Indo-Pacific sergeant Abudefduf vaigiensis  
Sixbar wrasse Thalassoma hardwicke  
Goldbar wrasse Thalassoma hebraicum  
Bluestreak cleaner wrasse Labroides dimidiatus  
Lagoon triggerfish Rhinecanthus aculeatus  
Chinese trumpetfish Aulostomus chinensis  
Tripletail wrasse Cheilinus trilobatus  
Reef needlefish Strongylura incisa  
Yellow boxfish Ostracion cubicus  
White-spotted boxfish Ostracion meleagris  
Valentinni’s sharpnose puffer Canthigaster valentini  
Scrawled filefish Aluterus scriptus  
Tiger snake eel Myrichthys maculosus  

 

  • 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.