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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.
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.).
You will enter the water directly from your boat.
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.
In this highly frequented spot, a large part of the corals is damaged. Few areas are still intact and the seabeds alternate dead corals and small reefs in a good state. In some 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 by pairs. 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 seafloor, 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.
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.
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.
Shallow lagoon with coral and colorful fish
Free shore access
Shallow reef with a decent variety of fish
Free shore access
National Park with coral gardens and vibrant marine life
Patch reef with anemonefish
Small rocky pool with a diversity of fish
Shallow lagoon and reef drop off with turtles and colorful fish