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 September 20, 2022
Trou-aux-Biches lagoon is an appealing option if you’re looking for snorkeling spots on Mauritius Island’s west coast: it is an easily accessible and enjoyable place. The corals that were still very degraded a few years ago seem to recover on the barrier reef. Many tropical fish can be seen on the reef, and lucky ones will even spot a sea turtle.
Trou-aux-Biches beach is located on Mauritius northern coast, about 7 kilometers south of Grand Baie. Several local bus lines stop at the beach. If you’re driving, there is a shady parking lot next to the public beach.
Several hotels are set along the shore, providing direct access to the spot. Half of the beach is privately managed by Trou-Aux-Biches Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa. If you’re not staying at one of the beach hotels, the public beach (see map below) gives you free access to the spot.
You can enter the water anywhere you want from the 1500-meter-long beach.
You can explore the whole Trou-aux-Biches lagoon. It is 300 to 400 meters wide depending on the areas. Starting from the beach towards the barrier reef, you will have to swim over 200 to 300 meters to reach the areas where coral is best preserved. The sandy areas next to the beach don’t attract much fish except for a few triggerfish and butterflyfish. Water depth rarely exceeds 6ft/2m inside the lagoon.
When sea conditions are excellent, you can consider snorkeling the outer side of the reef. To reach it, you can swim along the reef towards the south and go through the pass (option 1 on the map above), or use one of the small natural “channels” splitting the reef (option 2 on the map, only possible at high-tide).
The outer reef attracts fewer fish, but coral is better preserved and boasts more colors than inside the lagoon. It is also the area where you’ll have the best chances to spot sea turtles. This option is for experienced snorkelers only: it requires an excellent understanding of the area.
Corals have been tremendously damaged in recent years, but it seems like they have been starting to recover since 2018. Some areas remain very degraded (dead or broken coral, covered with seaweed), but large areas are welcoming life again. Fine branch coral and finger coral can be seen next to the barrier reef. A few giant clams, red pencil urchins, and conches still live among the coral.
Moorish idols, convict tangs and whitetail dascyllus are the predominant fish species on this spot, as they are in all Mauritian lagoons. Filefish, pufferfish and triggerfish are also commonplace in the area. Lucky ones will even spot one of the sea turtles reported to often visit the area.
As a lot of boats roam the lagoon, we advise taking a small diving flag with you.
The food trucks set on the beach are a cheap option to have a meal. A large variety of restaurants can be found nearby, especially along Trou-aux-Biches Road (look for the road starting in front of the public beach). A dozen restaurants, hotels and holiday apartments are set along the beach, the most notable being Trou-aux-Biches Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa, Sakoa Boutik Hotel and O’Biches Mauritius.
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.
Small rocky pool with a diversity of fish
Shallow lagoon and reef drop off with turtles and colorful fish
Free shore access
Shallow coral reef with colorful fish
Coral reef bordering a small uninhabited island
Shallow lagoon with reef fish and stingrays
Shallow lagoon with coral and fish
Free shore access
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