The small Palm Island is a true tropical paradise, bathed in the calm and translucent waters of the Caribbean Sea. You can start snorkeling from the beach of Palm Island Resort & Spa, the main hotel established on this private island. While the sea floor is poor in corals, it is full of colourful fish, even at shallow depth. Please note nevertheless that the access to the island (and therefore to the snorkeling spot) is reserved to the resort’s guests or to the clients of the surrounding villas.

Schoolmaster snapper at Palm Island
The schoolmaster snapper (Lutjanus apodus) is pretty common around Palm Island.

How to get to Palm Island snorkeling spot?

Palm Island is located less than 2km off the Union Island coast, at the heart of the Grenadines. It is also 5km to the south-west of Tobago Cays, the most famous snorkeling spot of the archipelago. Palm Island is a private island which hosts a hotel complex – the Palm Island Resort& Spa – and luxury villas sometimes available for rent. In order to snorkel around the island, you must book a stay in one of the accommodations of the island (you will be picked up by boat from Union Island). If you visit the Grenadines by boat, you can also anchor on the leeward coast of Palm Island, but the main beach (where you can find the snorkeling spot described on this page) is not opened to day visitors.

Palm Island snorkeling map

Water entrance for snorkeling Palm Island

You can get into the water from any area of the beach stretching all along the northern side of Royal Palm Restaurant.

Palm Island snorkeling exploration

Best snorkelling is found on the house reef which stretches on the outskirts of the beach of Palm Island Resort & Spa, north-west of the island.

Around the western tip of the island, facing the Royal Palm Restaurant, you can discover a sandy seabed, with steep slopes descending towards deep seagrass meadows (↕3-4m). In exchange, the northern tip of the island faces a sort of half-lagoon, with more shallow waters (↕1-2m).

Spotfin butterflyfish at Palm Island
The spotfin butterflyfish (Chaetodon ocellatus) is one of the most beautiful fish found in Palm Island shallow waters.

The seabed of Palm Island has rather few corals. With the exception of a few reef areas, you will finswim over sandy seabeds, seagrass and dead reef flats. Despite this average quality seabed, there is a beautiful diversity of fish living here: grunts, snappers, filefish, goatfish and bigeye trevally can be seen almost everywhere in the lagoon. The beautiful spotfin butterflyfish is also common to Palm Island, just like the Caribbean trumpetfish, the lizardfish (often camouflaged by the sand) and small jacks, which are not shy at all. With a little luck, you might come across reef squids which take shelter in the calm waters of the island.

Lizardfish at Palm Island
Keep and eye on the sandy areas: it is frequent to spot lizardfish here, like this diamond lizardfish (Synodus synodus).

If you decide to stay in Palm Island between June and October, you might have the chance to observe sea turtles laying eggs on the beaches of the island, usually during the night. You can rarely see them while snorkeling around Palm Island, but you can easily snorkel with sea turtles in the Tobago Cays, a little further north.

Restaurants and accommodation in Palm Island

The Palm Island Resort & Spa, which offers 43 cottages, suites and villas, is the main accommodation of the island. You can also rent from individuals certain private villas located all along the northern coast of Palm Island.




 

  • Level required Beginner
  • Maximum depth2m in the lagoon
  • Water entranceFrom a sandy beach
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersLow
  • Access costsStay on the island's resort or villas
  • Restaurants nearbyYes
  • Public toilets & showersYes

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.