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Chatham Bay is one of the wildest and most pristine places of Union Island, complete with turquoise waters and a white sand beach surrounded by green hills. The coastline located north of the bay is also perfect for a snorkeling session. Many species can be observed in its shallow waters: Moray eels, porcupinefish, angelfish and even lobsters, which seem to appreciate the bay’s rocky seabed.

Spotted moray eel in Chatham Bay
Spotted moray eels are commonly found in the reefs and rocky areas.

How to get to Chatham Bay for snorkeling?

Chatham Bay is a rather isolated place located on Union Island’s west coast. As no roads lead there, you can consider arriving by boat: taxi boats leave from Clifton (located at the island’s other side, 30 to 35 euros). If you’re on a Grenadines cruise, your catamaran will probably take you there.

It is also possible to walk to the beach from the paved road crossing the north-western part of the island. Locate the start of the path (see on Google Maps here), then walk down to the bay. It is a 15-to-20-minute walk down a steep path. The way back up to the road is at least 10 minutes longer, and it can be exhausting, especially when the sun is shining.

Chatham Bay snorkeling map

Entering the water at Chatham Bay for snorkeling

Entering the water at the beach’s northern extremity, just in front of Sunset Cove restaurant, is the best option to get as close as possible to the snorkeling area. If you’re mooring in the bay, you can of course enter the water next to the spot, directly from your boat.

Chatham Bay snorkeling tips

The exploration area extends along the bay’s northern coastline. You are free to come and go as you like along the shore, however, try not to swim away from it as many boats circulate in the bay.

Coral reef at Chatham Bay
French grunts and a glasseye photographed in Chatham Bay.

The seabed is mostly made of screes and sand (↕3-12ft/1-4m), alternating with sparse, quite degraded coral flats where coral and sponges can be seen. While not spectacular, it displays a decent overview of Caribbean underwater life.

Moray eels and snake-eels are commonplace in the rocky areas, just like lobsters, which hide in the shadows (look for antennas sticking out of their lairs). Surgeonfish and butterflyfish are easy to observe in the whole area, and you might even meet juvenile French angelfish. Nice cushion sea stars boasting different colors (red, yellow, orange or brown) can sometimes be seen on sandy areas.

Porcupinefish in Union Island
A spot-fin porcupinefish encountered in Chatham Bay.

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

Tenuta Chatham Bay (next to the beach, south of the bay) is the only hotel close to the spot. Several food options can be found on the beach, notably Sunset Cove and Paradise View Beach Bar.


  • Level required Beginner
  • Maximum depth15ft/5m
  • Water entranceFrom a sandy beach
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersMedium
  • Access costsFree
  • Restaurants nearbyYes
  • Public toilets & showersNo

MAP Spot

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.