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Last updated on April 8, 2021
Located off the north coast of Mauritius, Coin de Mire (aka Gunner’s Quoin) is a small island shaped like a sailboat, which offers one of the most beautiful landscapes of the island. At the foot of its cliffs, where the iconic tropicbird nest, you can snorkel on a shallow and rather unspoiled coral reef. There is a great diversity of reef fish, including butterflyfish, angelfish, damselfish, and wrasse.
Coin de Mire is a small island located about 8km north of Mauritius. It is an uninhabited island, protected by a nature reserve, on which no landing is allowed.
To snorkel at Coin de Mire, you will have the choice between two types of snorkeling tours: the short tour to Coin de Mire only (a few hours), or a combined excursion to Coin de Mire, Flat Island and Gabriel Island (where you can snorkel in the channel that separates the two islands).
For the combined excursion (often referred to as the “three island tour”), prices start at around MRU 2000pp., departing from Grand Baie, Pereybere, or Cap-Malheureux.
Disembarking on the island is prohibited. You will get into the water directly from your boat.
The snorkeling area is located in the southwest of the island. Here the coast forms two small bay, under the shelter of which a coral reef has grown.
At the foot of the cliffs, the reef forms a shallow flat (↕0.5-1m), which then descends in irregular slopes (↕2-4m). On the reef, there is a beautiful diversity of hard coral (often very colorful), and some soft corals.
The remoteness of Coin de Mire means that the corals are in better condition there than on the main island, but some areas are quite degraded due to the high frequentation of the spot (visited by several boats every day).
Many fish can be seen at Coin de Mire reef, including the emperor angelfish, several species of butterflyfish, streamlined spinefoot, Moorish Idols, and parrotfish. Near the surface, sergeants majors, damselfish, and surge wrasse sometimes have fun swimming around snorkelers.
Coin de Mire Island is an uninhabited nature reserve. The “three islands” tour (which combines a visit to Coin de Mire and Flat and Gabriel Islands) generally includes a barbecue on the beach. Inquire when you book.
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.
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Shallow lagoon with reef fish and stingrays
Free shore access
Small rocky pool with a diversity of fish
Shallow lagoon with coral and fish