Kanumera Bay shelters one of the most accessible and enjoyable snorkel spots in the Isle of Pines. Its reef is small, with a length not exceeding 100 meters, but an incredible marine biodiversity gathers there. Dozens of colorful fish species gravitate over a carpet made of branch corals, amongst which angelfish, groupers, clownfish and a lot of different damselfish.

Highfin grouper at Kanumera Bay
Juveniles highfin groupers (Epinephelus maculatus) are sometimes spotted above Kanumera Bay’s branching coral.

How to get there?

Kanumera Bay is located in Kuto, on Isle of Pines south coast. You can easily drive there. Those staying at one of the area’s hotels and guesthouses can also walk to the bay. Once on the beach, walk closer to Kanumera Rock, the odd rock located almost at the center of the bay. Do not climb on it, it is taboo (some locals consider it a sacred place).

Kanumera Bay snorkeling map

Water entrance

The exploration area is located at the left-hand side of Kanumera Rock when looking at it from the beach. Enter the water next to this area.

Exploration

The snorkel area encompasses the small coral reef fringing the rock’s eastern side, as well as the seagrass meadows extending between the shoreline and the reef. Snorkeling and swimming is prohibited on a 10-meter-large strip around the western side of the rock (see map) in order to let coral regenerate in the shallowest areas. The prohibition area matches to a certain extent with the area where foothold is possible around the rock.

Fire clownfish in a sea anemone at Kanumera Bay
Fire clownfish (Amphiprion melanopus) is abundant around Kanumera Rock.

The coral reef slopes down more or less gently, finally ending in a sandy seabed about 3-5 meters deep. A great variety of coral species can be seen there, and corals located out of the reach of surface snorkelers (more than two meters deep) are well preserved. The underwater landscape is dominated by branching and finger coral, sometimes punctuated by table coral.

This spot is full of fish: while fringing the reef, you will discover a thriving underwater life. Damselfish, wrasses and butterflyfish circle above coral as schools of goatfish stay still over the sand. Small angelfish (like the keyhole angelfish) can easily be spotted here. Parrotfish, rabbitfish and surgeonfish are also commonplace on the reef. Kanumera rock is also an excellent place to spot clownfish. Look for the specific area where sea anemones gather, at the reef’s southern end (↕2-3m). Two species abound here: Barrier Reef anemonefish and fire clownfish.

Sixbar wrasse at Kanumera Bay
The inquisitive sixbar wrasse (Thalassoma hardwicke) is commonly seen swimming around snorkelers.

In the seagrass meadows (see map above), lucky ones might spot a sea turtle or a stingray.

This shallow spot boasting quiet waters and easy access from the beach is adapted to beginners and families.

Restaurants and accommodation

There are no snacks nor restaurants next to the spot, but a few accommodation options can be found less than 500m from the rock, either in Kanumera Bay (Nataiwatch Guest House, Ouré Lodge Beach Resort) or in Kuto Bay (Kou-Bugny hotel). Note that you will have to walk for about 900 m to reach the spot from neighboring IGESA resort in Kuto Bay.




Species you may spot while snorkeling Kanumera Bay
COMMON NAME SCIENTIFIC NAME ABUNDANCE FISHBASE WIKIPEDIA
Keyhole angelfish Centropyge tibicen  
Fire clownfish Amphiprion melanopus  
Barrier Reef anemonefish Amphiprion akindynos  
Bluebarred parrotfish Scarus ghobban  
Melon butterflyfish Chaetodon trifasciatus  
Sixbar wrasse Thalassoma hardwicke  
Moon wrasse Thalassoma lunare  
Green Chromis Chromis viridis  
Whitetail dascyllus Dascyllus aruanus  
Threespot dascyllus Dascyllus trimaculatus  
Yellowfin goatfish Mulloidichthys vanicolensis  
Yellow boxfish Ostracion cubicus  

 

  • Level required Beginner
  • Maximum depth15ft/5m
  • Water entranceFrom a sandy beach
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersMedium
  • Access costsFree
  • Restaurants nearbyNo

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.