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Trou d’Eau Douce is a village located on Mauritius West Coast. It stands next to a wide lagoon closing on Cerf Island (l’Île aux Cerfs), about 1 mile south from there. With its picture-perfect white sand beaches shaded by casuarina trees, this islet actually is the most visited place in Mauritius and about half a million people visit it each year. Trou d’Eau Douce is the starting point for most excursions to Cerf Island. Many of them include stops on the lagoon for snorkeling, in places too far from the shore to be accessed without a boat. If the seabed quality is medium to poor, many species can be spotted here, and the background is just splendid.

Pink coral at Trou d'Eau Douce, Mauritius
Fine heads of pink coral can be seen on the reef, although globally unhealthy.

How to get to Trou d’Eau Douce snorkeling spot?

The easiest way to snorkel in the middle of the lagoon is to book a day excursion to Cerf Island including one or several stops on the way. They will cost you from 1 200 to 2 200 rupees (€30 to 60) per person, including beverages and a meal on the island.

You can book it from your hotel (including transfer to the departure point), from local operators or by asking local fishermen on Trou d’Eau Douce beach. When booking, ask about which snorkeling stops are included.

If you don’t want to visit Cerf Island, you can also plan your own tour of the lagoon. Numerous fishermen and boat owners in Trou d’Eau Douce will accept to lead you to the reef for one or two hours in exchange of 20 to 40 euros.

If you are looking for shore snorkeling, head instead to Palmar Beach, just 2km from Trou d’Eau Douce village.

Trou d'Eau Douce snorkeling map, Mauritius

Entering the water at Trou d’Eau Douce

You will enter the water directly from the boat.

Snorkeling tips while exploring Trou d’Eau Douce

The spot covers the inner part of the bordering reef, an area that is sheltered from waves and currents and offers a constant depth (6-10ft/2-3m).

Damselfish at Trou d'Eau Douce, Mauritius
A footballer damselfish photographed in the lagoon.

Sadly, as often in Mauritius waters, coral is degraded. Vast areas in the reef are made of dead or decaying corals. Moreover, fishing is permitted here and there won’t be as many fish as you might spot in an area such as Blue Bay, which has been protected since 1997. Head there for a true experience of Mauritius reef biodiversity.

Despite these flaws, Trou d’Eau Douce lagoon remains a nice place to snorkel. You will still spot a wide variety of fish, including parrotfish, damselfish, butterflyfish, surgeonfish, as well as some colorful giant clams.

Young corals sprouting on the seabed indicate that the reef now begins to start off again. And of course, the background, with a fantastic blue lagoon and the island’s green mountains on the horizon, is awesome.

Snorkeling Trou d'Eau Douce lagoon, Mauritius
Trou d’Eau Douce lagoon.

Accommodation and catering around Trou d’Eau Douce

If you booked a day trip to Cerf Island, a barbecue on the beach is generally included. Ask for details when booking.


  • Level required Intermediate
  • Maximum depth10ft/3m
  • Water entranceFrom a boat
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersLow
  • Access costsTour price (from €20pp.)

MAP Spot

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.