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 January 25, 2022
At first glance, Simpson Bay’s large sandy beach is of little interest for snorkeling. However, it hosts an interesting spot: a large shipwreck, which emerges from the water a few meters from the shore. Colonized by coral, sponges and sea fans, this wreck attracts many fish around, in a singular underwater landscape.
Simpson Bay (or Simpson Baai) is a large bay on the south coast of Saint-Martin. It is located in the Dutch part of the island, and stretches along the runways of Princess Juliana International Airport.
The wreck is at the western end of the beach, just before the seawall that marks the entrance to Simpson Bay Marina and Lagoon. You can park in a large car park nearby (see map) or in the surrounding streets.
Enter the water from the beach, near the wreck.
We advise you to snorkel only on the wreck and its surroundings (↕3-10ft/1-3m). All around, the seabed is sandy and of little interest.
This boat wreck fully plays its role of artificial reef. Over the years, it has been covered with corals, gorgonians, sponges and other encrusting organisms, bringing the seabed to life.
The wreck also offers many faults and hiding places, attracting a variety of reef fish, often juvenile. While exploring the wreck, you will encounter in particular sergeants majors, several species of grunt, bluehead wrasse, as well as blue tang.
This spot is located near the entrance to the marina, around which there is quite a lot of boat traffic. Don’t stray away from the wreck.
Many hotels and restaurants follow one another along the 2km-long beach that borders Simpson Bay, as well as at Kim Sha Beach, about 600m on foot from the wreck.
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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Snorkel Park with coral reef and wrecks
Marine reserve with seagrass beds, sea turtles and stingrays
Free shore access
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Large sandy beach edged with shallow coral reefs
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US Virgin Islands
Protected bay with reefs, fish and occasional sea turtles