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Avowedly a little piece of France in the beautiful Caribbean, the lovely and charming tropical island of Martinique delivers the goods on stunning world-class beaches, lush gardens of the tropics, eye-popping mountains, and amazing history all rolled up into one incredible Caribbean playground package. Should you look for not only the most wonderful beaches on the French-Creole Isle of Flowers but also the best spots to go snorkeling in Martinique, here we tell you where to go for an unforgettable underwater experience to see vibrant coral reefs and swim with turtles!
Martinique snorkeling conditions
The island has a tropical climate with two seasons that are moderated by the trade winds and the Gulf Stream currents.
January through June is called the dry season of lent (with average daily temps of from 77 F to 90 F/25 C to 32 C), while July through December is the wintering humid season (where temps average 75 F to 85 F/24 C to 29 C).
Thanks to the high average water temps that run around 82 F (28 C), snorkeling here may be comfortably enjoyed all year long. Hurricane season can interfere with swimming and sailing for several days at a time, and this runs from May through November, so if you can, schedule your vacation out of this period.
To enjoy the most ideal conditions, plan your Martinique snorkeling trip between the months of December and May that are the least rainy, and also this is the time when the chance to find sargassum covered beaches is the lowest.
Best places to go snorkeling in Martinique
The primary beach of the town Trois-Ilets is the stunning expanse of white sand called Anse Mitan. This strand of sand is excellent for spending a relaxed day at the beach, watching the sunset, but and if enjoy snorkeling, you can do that as well (the northern side of the bay is the best but watch out for the boats).
From Anse Mitan you can take in the stunning views of Fort-de-France along with the shuttle boats that rapidly ferry sun worshipers over the bay to a beachside jetty. When you get hungry you will find several restaurants and stands that back up to the beach as well as others on the streets that lie behind. This beach draws in primarily holiday making families.
Considering staying at anse Mitan? Check out Hotel Bambou!
Found between Trois Îlets and Anses d’Arlet, the peaceful Martinique snorkeling destination of Anse Noire does not disappoint. Its composition of lush vegetation and black volcanic ash sand only contributes to the magic of the place. Also this is one of the best places t see sea turtles in Martinique since they are attracted to the tiny bay for its seagrass and feeding opportunities.
For the very best sub-marine life here, snorkel around the bay’s two sides where the rocky outcroppings lie. While the seabed is covered in rocks, many brightly colored sponges have colonized it along with sea fans and smaller coral. It is common to spot Caribbean sergeant major, four eye butterflyfish, and bluehead wrasse here.
Tip: should you look for an authentic place to stay that is great for couples, check out the Domaine de Robinson bungalow!
Anse Dufour is a stunning beach found on the island’s southwest coast. Thanks to its powder white sand, incredible blue shades, and brightly colored fisherman homes visitors are continuously charmed coming here year in and year out.
This little cove is not only a wonderful place, but also a hot spot for snorkeling in Martinique. The primary attraction of this bay is that you can swim with green sea turtles, and there is a small reef to enjoy colorful sub-marine life including moray eels, butterflyfish, and angelfish to name a few.
Those who are looking for a less-touristy spot to go snorkeling in Martinique should head to Anse Couleuvre. It lies sandwiched in between two points of cliffs and benefits from the shade of verdant vegetation and trees. The sand here is black, helping to contribute to the reputation that this beach enjoys of being among the finest of all those on Martinique. As a remote beach, it is also unspoiled. Lying along the island’s most northerly point, it occupies the foothills of the volcano called La Montagne Pelee.
You can easily enter the water from before the rocks. Beware rough seas though, as they can be dangerous. The best snorkeling spot here is the reef area that runs along the beach’s north end. Beneath the waves you will not only see a wide variety of hard and soft types of coral that are colonizers, but also moray eels and angelfish to discover as they swim among the roots of the sea fans.
Maman d’lo Saint Pierre
Snorkeling at Saint Pierre is a must when visiting Martinique since this is the place where an enormous underwater statue weighing more than 20 tons, the Manman Dlo can be seen that was created by Laurent Valère Martinican artist and immersed into the sea in 2004. The sculpture is said to be the Creole version of a mermaid that capsizes the ships passing overhead according to the local legend.
To find this installation, look for the yellow buoy that is approx. 200ft/60 m from the shore opposite the Fish bo Kay restaurant. Carrying a surface marker buoy is recommended because there can be quite a few boats around.
The sculpture rests in about 20ft/6m deep water and now the whole area is an artificial reef. Manman Dlo has been colonized by corals attracting sea life including lots of fish to the area, but eels, lobster and turtles can be found in the surrounding seagrass beds.
There is a pair of fantastic snorkeling spots on Martinique found at Anse Figuier. This popular place lies just over the bay of Le Marin, near Pointe Borgnèse While the two places are about half a mile apart (1 km). Both places boast really worthwhile coral reefs and rocky areas teeming with fish.
If you are a strong swimmer, you might snorkel from the Pointe Borgnèse on over to Anse Figuier (or in the other direction based on which way the current is flowing at the time).
Tip: if you are on a family vacation, we recommend staying in the Edasama holiday villa that is very close to this beach!
Anse Caritan is a tiny beach found to the south of Martinique. You will need to rent a car to reach it, but it is definitely worth the trouble to get to because of its justifiable fame as one of the Martinique snorkeling spots.
Although the beach is fairly narrow, it still earns respect from tourists and locals alike as one of the most popular beaches here. With huge overshadowing trees leaning over the crystalline waters and gentle shelter from the wave action, coming here to swim is both pleasurable and safe. If you like walking, nature, fauna and flora, landscape and the view of the Caribbean Sea, Anse Caritan is the perfect place for you!
Tip: there are no big hotels but lovely apartments here where you can stay. We recommend Hauts de Caritan that is perfect for 2 people!
If you are looking for snorkeling from the beach in Martinique, don’t miss out on visiting Plage de l’Anse d’Arlet that offers ideal conditions also for novice snorkelers. This spectacular beach is famous not only for the great snorkeling, but also for its big wooden pier, cute church, large choice of restaurants and shops.
The reef starts just about 330ft/100 m from the shore in the north end of the beach, in front of the church. There are surprisingly lots of fish in the shallow water sheltering in the rocks such as sergeant major fish and blue tangs.
Advanced snorkelers can swim a little further out, where another reef fringes the northern coast with gorgonians and more coral. Since there is also sea grass here, often turtles and stingrays can be spotted too!
Tip: this area is one of the best places to stay on the island since there is a lot to do around. Families or bigger groups will certainly love Villa Ondines where 12 people can sleep!
Anse à Prunes
Only a little to the south of the Grande Anse des Salines, the Anse à Prunes has an interesting lighthouse that stands at the far southernmost point of Martinique. Besides this compelling attraction, the half-moon shaped fine sandy beach draws people in by the droves to appreciate the fact that this bay is sheltered from wind and waves. It is a perfect spot for those who want to enjoy superb snorkeling from shore in Martinique, and since this spot is rarely crowded, you could have the experience all (or mostly) to yourself.
Anse à Prunes is still in its natural state, you can reach it via a dirt road with a car. There is also a famous trail called the Trace des Caps that passes nearby in the adjacent countryside and takes visitors down to the two neighboring spots of interest the Savane des Petrifications and finally to Anse Trabaud.
For a unique grey sand experience, visitors come to try out Anse Ceron. The hammock lined beach boasts a little coral reef that protects the shores from the Atlantic Ocean side of the island and simultaneously delivers interesting snorkeling opportunities. The seabed may not offer much to see while snorkeling close to the beach, but it provides unrivalled things to take in near the coastal islets.
You can get out to these on a boat trip from the Sainte-Anne area Ilet Chevalier, the Le Francois Ilet Thiery, or the Le Robert-located Ilet Madame to take in the wealth of the sub-marine life. There are many different sea creatures to enjoy including coral, invertebrates, and tropical fish.
Over 300 individual fish species from the Caribbean haunt the islands’ coasts. These include angelfish, butterflyfish, pufferfish, tang, damselfish, and bluehead wrasse that are quite commonly seen. Frequenting the rockier underwater parts are interesting creatures including snake eels, moray eels, lobsters, and Jack-knifefish. Even cushion sea stars are commonly seen lying among the sandy floor and seagrass. it is no wonder that this remote spot continues to draw in tourists who are seeking out the best snorkeling in Martinique.
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