Level: Free shore access This spot have a free shore access: you can go snorkeling there freely and without having to book a tour or pay an entrance fee. Resort nearby
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Blue Bay is widely considered the best snorkeling spot in Mauritius. This small bay, which has been listed as a Marine Park since 1997, hosts beautiful coral reefs and abundant sea life, including angelfish, anemonefish, cornetfish and triggerfish, as well as occasional sea turtles.
Blue Bay is located a few kilometers south of Mahebourg, next to Mauritius international airport. If you don’t have a car, you can easily reach the bay by bus or taxi. If you stay in Mahebourg, you can opt for a very pleasant 45-minute walk along the coast, via Pointe d’Esny, to reach Blue Bay Beach.
The heart of the marine park can only be visited with guided boat tours. This option is the most recommended, as this is the only way to access the best-preserved parts of the reef, with the most beautiful coral and sea life (areas 1 and 2 on the map below). You will easily find boat tours on Blue Bay Beach (from 1000 rupees pp.), near the jetty.
Two very small areas, with not much coral, can be snorkeled from the shore without supervision (areas 3 and 4 on the map).
If you are on a boat tour, you will enter the water from the boat ladders. If you are exploring one of the shore access areas, enter the water from Blue Bay Beach for zone 3, and from the small sandy area just north of Pointe Corps de Garde for zone 4.
There are four different snorkeling areas in Blue Bay, two only accessible by boat (zones 1 and 2), and two with free shore access (zones 3 and 4).
1/ The coral gardens in the inner part of the bay, between Blue Bay Beach and the pass (zone 1 on the map above).
Well sheltered from waves and currents, this area allowed the growth of extensive coral formations. The depth is relatively constant in the area (↕15-20ft/5-6m), with some coral bommies closer to the water surface. The large and healthy branching and table coral found here, as well as the hundreds of mushroom corals present on the seabed, are what make Blue Bay a very special snorkeling location.
Large schools of convict surgeonfish visit the reef, as well as parrotfish, Moorish idols, damselfish, and sergeant majors, which are some of the species that are easy to see here. Occasional encounters with sea turtles, both hawksbill and green, are also reported in this area.
2/ The large lagoon bordering the eastern side of the bay (zone 2 on the map).
This area is also reached with boat tours, which organize either regular snorkeling or drift snorkeling depending on currents. The lagoon is loaded with corals, including large areas of table coral, branching coral, and massive coral. This area is shallower than the coral gardens, 6-12ft/2-3 meters on average.
Among the most common fish species observed in the lagoon are butterflyfish, parrotfish, cigar wrasse, as well as clouds of green chromis sheltering near the branching coral.
3/ The coral areas found in front of Blue Bay public beach (zone 3 on the map).
This area features small coral patches scattered on a steep sandy slope. The seabed is not spectacular, but colorful fish live around, such as the lagoon triggerfish, the red-cheek wrasse and several species of damselfish. Do not go beyond the rocky point at the southern edge of the beach, as it is the limit to a strict conservation area (see map).
4/ The lagoon facing Pointe Corps de Garde, at the edge of the marine park (zone 4 on the map).
This area, at the border of the Marine Park, has free shore access, but be careful not to enter the protected area, which can only be snorkeled with a guide. At this location, the lagoon features shallow coral and sandy beds, damaged in places. In addition to common reef fish, you might spot several kinds of echinoderms such as long-spined urchins and sea stars.
The Shandrani Resort and Spa and the Blue Lagoon Beach Hotel, on either side of the bay, have direct access to Blue Bay. In the village and on the beach, you will find a choice of food and accommodation.
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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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.
Patch reef with anemonefish
Shallow reef with a decent variety of fish
Shallow lagoon with coral and reef fish
Level: Free shore access
Shallow lagoon with coral and fish
Level: Free shore access Resort nearby
Shallow lagoon with coral and colorful fish