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The boat trips to Ile aux Bénitiers are among the most popular day trips in Mauritius Island. Among other activities, they generally include a snorkeling stop in the nearby lagoon. If the corals are unfortunately damaged in this highly frequented and shallow area, we can still spot a wide variety of colourful fish on the reef. It is also the right occasion for a snorkeling session with the majestic Morne Brabant in the background, the iconic mountain of Mauritius, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

School of sharpen barracuda at Ile aux Bénitiers
School of young sharpen barracuda (Sphyraena acutipinnis) are sometimes spotted in Ile aux Bénitiers lagoon.

How to get to Ile aux Bénitiers snorkeling spot?

Snorkeling in Ile aux Bénitiers is generally done by taking part in a boat trip to Bénitiers Island. These day trips mostly include several activities, including dolphin-watching close to the Morne, a bath close to Crystal Rock (a picture-perfect rock which emerges from the lagoon), barbecue on a beach of Bénitiers Island and finally, snorkeling stop at the coral reef. You will have no trouble booking this trip almost anywhere on Mauritius Island and there are different points of departure. Prices may vary from single to double, depending on the services offered (on average MRU1400 to 2600pp.).

Ile aux Bénitiers snorkeling map

Water entrance for snorkeling Ile aux Bénitiers

You will enter the water directly from your boat.

Ile aux Bénitiers snorkeling exploration

The boats usually take their guests to the reef located approx. 1.2mi/2km in front of Ile aux Bénitiers. It is the best snorkeling area in this part of the lagoon, but your guide may take you to another nearby snorkeling spot.

This spot is located in the lagoon, on the inner face of the reef. Protected by a coral barrier, the sea is generally very calm here, even if waves may occur during the windy days. The water depth is pretty moderate, between 3-8ft/1-2.5m on average in the area.

Green chromis
The green chromis is one of the most easy-to-spot fish in the lagoon.

In this highly frequented spot, a large part of the corals are damaged. Few areas are still intact and the seabeds alternate dead corals and small reefs in good state. In certain areas we can swim over beautiful patches of branching and porites corals, which attract a vibrant underwater life. There are many species of butterflyfish living in the lagoon, spotted almost every time in couple. The most common types are raccoon butterflyfish and melon butterflyfish, but we can also spot, more rarely, the yellowhead butterflyfish. We can seldom come across schools of yellowfin goatfish, resting above the sea floor, but also wrasse, triggerfish and whitetail dascyllus. In some areas, snorkelers are surrounded by schools of scissortail sergeant and false-eye sergeant, apparently used to being fed.

Shoal of yellowfin goatfish at Ile aux Benitiers
Shoals of yellowfin goatfish (Mulloidichthys vanicolensis) are really common at this spot.

Restaurants and accommodation near Ile aux Bénitiers

There are many accommodation possibilities in the area, especially at the foot of the Morne, where several luxurious hotels lie along the beach (among which, from north to south, Paradis Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa, LUX Le Morne Resort, St. Regis Mauritius Resort and Hotel Riu Le Morne). If you decide to stay there, the trips to Ile aux Bénitiers can be arranged directly with the hotel.




 

  • Level required Intermediary
  • Maximum depth8ft/2.5m
  • Water entranceFrom a boat
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersHigh
  • Access costsIle aux Bénitiers day tour cost (from MRU 1400pp.)
  • Restaurants nearbyNo

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.