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Located to the south of La Saline-les-Bains, Trou d’Eau lagoon is the least visited in Saint-Gilles region. However, its shallow waters are home to well-preserved corals, including healthy branching coral colonies. As you swim between the reefs, you’ll encounter triggerfish, butterflyfish, wrasses and potentially dozens of other colorful fish species.

Melon butterflyfish
The melon butterflyfish is one of the most common butterflyfish species in the lagoon.

How to go snorkeling at Lagon de Trou d’Eau

Trou d´Eau beach is located south of Lagon de la Saline, about 10 minutes by car from Saint-Gilles-les-Bains city center. A parking lot has been set up behind the beach (the entrance is located approximately 250m before the Akoya Hotel & Spa).

Trou d'Eau snorkeling map, Réunion

Water entrance for snorkeling Lagon de Trou d’Eau

Get in the water wherever you want from the sandy beach.

Trou d’Eau beach snorkeling exploration tips

At Trou d’Eau, the lagoon is about 450m wide. You can snorkel in the whole area, except the wilderness area, which begins at the yellow beacon that you will see from the beach, on the right.

About 50m from the barrier, the corals are too dense and too close to the surface to be able to continue snorkeling forward. Throughout the lagoon, the depth is less than 6ft/2m.

Corals in Trou d'Eau lagoon
Coral is spectacular and pretty healthy in the northern part of the lagoon.

Near the beach, the seabed is mostly sandy, before gradually becoming covered with corals. The zone located near the integral reserve shelters in particular superb branching coral areas, perhaps the most beautiful in Réunion Island (see map).

Further south, there is less coral and you have to really get close to the barrier to start seeing beautiful reefs. Trou d´Eau lagoon allows snorkelers to spot a wide range of local lagoon life.

Several species of butterflyfish, Moorish idols, masked bannerfish and goatfish are very common. In the branching corals, blunt snout gregory and ebony gregory defend their territory. Sometimes a school of hundreds of convict tang crosses the lagoon, stopping to graze here and there on the reef.

Yellow boxfish
A yellow boxfish, encountered just 15 meters from the beach.

Blacktail snappers, blackspotted puffer and lagoon triggerfish are among the hundreds of other species that can be seen in the lagoon. In the sand, you can see many sea cucumbers, sea urchins, and sometimes cushion starfish.

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

The Akoya Hotel & Spa***** is located in front of Trou d’Eau beach, just across the road. There are several restaurants in the area, especially by walking towards La Saline.


  • Level required Beginner
  • Protected areaRéserve Naturelle Marine de la Réunion
  • Maximum depth6ft/2m
  • Water entranceFrom a sandy beach
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersMedium
  • Access costsFree
  • Restaurants nearbyYes

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.