Free shore access
This spot have a free shore access: you can go snorkeling there freely and without having to book a tour or pay an entrance fee.
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Last updated on May 30, 2021
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.
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.
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 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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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