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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.
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.
You can get into the water from any area of the beach stretching all along the northern side of Royal Palm Restaurant.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Fringing reef with colorful fish and sea stars
Marine reserve with seagrass meadows and sea turtles
Cliffs and reef drop off with colorful fish
Marine reserve with fringing coral reefs
Vibrant coral reef and seagrass meadows with sea turtles
Sheltered cove with seagrass meadows and sea turtles
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