Creole Rock Snorkeling
The 4th most popular snorkel dive spot in St Martin - Sint Maarten.
Friday 12 January 2018 06:55 GMT
North of Grand Case off St Martin, the snorkeling at Creole Rock offers marine diversity among healthy coral. It is considered the most popular snorkeling spot on the island. Creole Rock is a body-shaped rock formation known for colorful brain coral and gorgonian coral along with sea fans. During Creole Rock snorkeling, you may encounter blue striped grunts, sergeant majors, parrotfish, blue tangs, cow fish, octopus, eagle rays, barracuda, sea turtle, nurse sharks and dolphins among the coral reef covered with sea fans and fire coral. The best coral and marine life is found near the head shape.
Located at the northern end of Grand Case Bay, this boat-accessed snorkeling spot lies within a marine reserve. The reserve area around Creole Rock is marked by five yellow buoys about 750 feet offshore, and there are thirteen boat mooring buoys. The water depth ranges from surface to 30 feet deep. There are several snorkel charter tours that head out to Creole Rock. The region is known for heavy boat traffic and high currents, so exercise care.
To reach the snorkeling on Saint-Martin by air, fly into Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM). Note, there is a $30USD departure tax collected at the airport. Head on over to the marine at Grand Case Bay where you can find a charter snorkeling tour heading out to Creole Rock.
TIP: Plan for a few extra days on your snorkeling trip to St Martin/Sint Maarten to make use of the ferries to other nearby islands. There are two ferries providing service to Anguilla, and one ferry heading over to St Barts. Matter of fact, many tourists use these ferries for day trips to the islands.
SPECIAL NOTICE: In September 2017, the island of St Martin/Sint Maarten took a direct hit from the destructive Hurricane Irma. The island infrastructure was severely damaged and will take significant time to rebuild. The hotels should begin the reopening process in late Spring 2018 and should be fully open by Winter 2018-2019. While there have been no reports on the exact impact on the coral formations, the high surf associated with hurricanes of this magnitude typically result in coral smoothering due to sand and the breaking of large coral structures. Therefore, the quality of the snorkeling should be adversely impacted for many years to come.
Overall, Creole Rock is the 4th most popular snorkel dive spot of all 15 snorkeling dives in St Martin - Sint Maarten. Several of the better snorkeling spots are nearby Creole Rock including Pinel Island, Turtle Reef, Tintamarre Island, Happy Bay, Baie Aux Prunes and Baie Rouge.