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, hosts beautiful coral reefs (although broken in some areas) and abundant sea life, that is unequalled in 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 Blue Bay Beach.
There are three 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 located in the lagoon (snorkeling zone 2 on the map). This area is also reaches with boat tour (from 1000 rupees pp.). It is prohibited to swim by yourself from the shore to these coral reef areas. The coast guards patrol frequently in the area.
3/ The coral areas edging the western tip of the public beach (snorkeling zone 3 on the map). You are free to snorkel this area from the shore without a guide.
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.
The boat access area #1 has the richest coral and sea life, but the shore access area #3 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 this part of the bay. 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. Boat access area #2 is much shallower (6ft/2m), with pretty healthy coral beds, interspersed with some broken coral areas.
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.
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, samosas) on the beach, too.
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 coral and colorful fish
Shallow reef with a decent variety of fish
Small rocky pool with a diversity of fish
Shallow lagoon and reef drop off with turtles and colorful fish
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