A few granite rocks, lapped by the waves, a handful of palm trees swaying in the wind – the tiny Saint-Pierre Island is the perfect illustration of a mythical desert island. It is approximately 1 mile off Praslin and can only be reached by boat, although it is not possible to land there. The waters around the islet, although sometimes a little turbulent, are clear and rich in fish.
Saint-Pierre island is less than 2 miles/3km off the coast of Praslin, opposite Anse Volbert and the village of Côte d’Or. Several tour guides (many of them will offer their services on Anse Volbert beach) organise snorkeling tours, often combined with a visit to Curieuse Island. The price is at least €50 per person, including a meal.
Your guide will show you where to get into the water. If you go to the snorkeling spot in your own boat, get into the water near the islet, on the Praslin side. This is where the richest sea beds and the calmest waters are.
While the coral was badly damaged in the tsunami in December 2004 and the reef has not yet regained its former glory, the sea bed is still very rich in fish. The most interesting area to explore (and also the shallowest) lies to the west of the islet (that is, on the Praslin side).
You will find yourself above a badly damaged coastal bench (↕6-13ft/2-4m), covered with pieces of dead coral. Here and there, the coral is growing back, but has only reached medium size. At the edge of the coastal bench, the water level is higher (↕13-16ft/4-5m). The seabed is mainly sandy (or covered in pieces of dead coral), and scattered with vast granite rocks that emerge from the water in places.
Fortunately, despite the damaged seabeds, St Pierre still deserves its reputation as a natural aquarium. Clown surgeonfish and powder blue tang pass from rock to rock, groups of sergeant major fish play in the eddies, and shoals of fusiliers and jacks dart through the granite rocks.
This spot is sometimes visited by jellyfish, and due to its fairly exposed position, the sea can be turbulent. In this case, keep your distance from the rocks and bear in mind that the water may be less clear.
If you visit St Pierre islet and Curieuse, the meal is generally included. Ask your guide for more details, and at the least take some water and a snack with you.
These spots are accessible to anyone with basic snorkeling skills, and feeling comfortable in the water and with his snorkeling gear. You will enter the water from the shore (beach, pontoon, ladder, rocks) or from a boat. The water height in the sea entrance area is reasonable, but you will not necessarily be within your depth. Moderate currents can occur in the area, even when the sea conditions are good. The distance to swim to reach the most interesting snorkeling areas of the spot does not exceed 200 meters.
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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