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Located just a stone’s throw from the very popular Thunderball Grotto, Not The Grotto is not a typically snorkeled spot, but it offers good snorkeling. Only accessible by boat, it remains preserved and uncrowded. Not The Grotto’s reef hosts a large diversity of reef fish, and is occasionally visited by sharks and sea turtles.

Snorkeler at Not The Grotto
A snorkeler over Not The Grotto reef.

How to get to Not The Grotto snorkeling spot?

This site is only accessible by boat. You can anchor in the sand just off the islet. Charters are available from Staniel Cay and the surrounding islands. This is not a spot typically snorkeled, but it offers good snorkeling.

This site can be snorkeled before or after snorkeling the nearby “Thunderball Grotto”, which must be snorkeled at low tide.

Not. the Grotto snorkeling map

Water entrance for snorkeling Not The Grotto

Water entrance is from a boat.

Not the Grotto snorkeling exploration tips

This site should only be snorkeled at slack tide as there can be a swift current. If you snorkel on the ebb or flow, you will need to stay away from the ends of the islet where the current flows.

At slack tide, you can snorkel around the entire islet, but the southwest side does not offer as much to see. Depths are 4m to 2.5m.

Stoplight parrotfish at Staniel Cay
The stoplight parrotfish is easily sighted at this location.

There are a few good coral heads to explore, and all are home to many fish. Along the edge of the islet, schools of fish congregate. There are multiple species of snapper including large Cubera snapper. There are also schools of bar jacks, and various wrasses.

There are also numerous Queen angelfish, squirrelfish, schoolmaster snapper, multiple types of parrotfish, trumpetfish, and grunt. Less common are barracuda, nurse sharks, and sea turtles which are seen about 50% of the time. A more uncommon sighting is the shy porcupinefish.

Nurse shark at Not The Grotto
A nurse shark sheltering under the coral.

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

Staniel Cay, a 100m boat ride from the islet, has a wide choice of resorts, cottages and restaurants.


  • Level required Intermediate
  • Maximum depth12ft/4m
  • Water entranceFrom a boat
  • Potential DangersCurrents
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersLow
  • Access costsFree (by boat)

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.