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Palmar beach, bordered by a narrow lagoon and several small rocky coves, is a popular snorkeling spot on the east coast of Mauritius. Although the coral is in quite bad condition in the lagoon, it is a good location to spot reef fish, such as butterflyfish, wrasse, damselfish and Moorish Idols.

Dusky farmerfish
Dusky farmerfish are abundant in the lagoon and can be aggressive towards snorkelers if they enter their territory.

How to get to Palmar Beach snorkeling spot?

Palmar is a village on the east coast of Mauritius, nestled between Belle Mare in the north and Trou d’Eau Douce in the south. A public beach, lined with lawns and casuarinas, stretches south of the village, for more than a kilometer.

You can reach the beach by bus, taxi, or with your own vehicle.

Palmar Beach snorkeling map, Mauritius

Water entrance for snorkeling Palmar Beach

Get into the water from the beach, from one of the small coves formed between the rocky points. We especially recommend zone 2 on the map above.

Palmar Beach snorkeling exploration tips

Palmar beach is actually made up of several small beaches, interspersed with rocky points. We particularly recommend the cove located exactly 600m after the hotel Les Badamiers when arriving from Trou d’Eau Douce (zone 2 on the map).

Collector sea urchin in Mauritius
A collector sea urchin noted on the reef flat.

On this part of the coast, the lagoon is barely 250m wide, which makes the reef very accessible by swimming from the shore. By entering the water from the beach, you will first swim above sandy bottoms (↕3-6ft/1-2m), with here and there a few corals. Many sea urchins, including burrowing sea urchins, long-spined sea urchins and collector sea urchins can be seen in this area.

Approaching the barrier, you’ll reach denser coral areas, unfortunately quite unhealthy. Only a few pretty branching and digitate coral remain in places, attracting around them dusky farmerfish, Mauritian gregories and whitetail dascyllus.

Moorish Idol in Palmar Beach
The Moorish Idol is commonly seen in Palmar Beach, as almost everywhere in Mauritius.

All over the lagoon, you can come across Moorish Idols, sixbar wrasse, several types of butterflyfish, as well as honeycomb groupers posted on the coral or the sand.

Also take a time to snorkel along the small rocky points found in the lagoon, where you can see blennies and juveniles of many reef fish species.

When there is swell, the sand in the lagoon is whirled up and the underwater visibility can get bad.

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

Food trucks are often found on the beach. There are several hotels north of the beach, in Palmar village, as well as to the south, on the border with Trou d’Eau Douce.

 

  • Level required Beginner
  • Maximum depth10ft/3m
  • Water entranceFrom sandy beaches
  • Visitor numbersMedium
  • Access costsFree

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.