Turtle Reef Snorkeling
The 5th most popular snorkel dive spot in St Martin - Sint Maarten.
Tuesday 4 December 2018 06:55 GMT
In Grand Case Bay off St Martin, the snorkeling at Turtle Reef is a well known for its namesake green sea turtles and hawksbill turtles. At this circular reef of brain and pillar coral, the water depth ranges from 6 to 25 feet deep and the water clarity can exceed 90 feet. During Turtle Reef snorkeling, you may encounter toadfish, frogfish, octopus, stingrays, eaglerays, flying gurnards, nurse sharks, spotted eagle rays, hawksbill turtles and green sea turtles. The sea turtles tend to hide on the outer rocky areas.
While this boat-accessed snorkel spot is one of the best on St Martin, it can be very difficult to find so make sure to go with a charter boat service. There are usually three mooring buoys.
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.
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, Turtle Reef is the 5th most popular snorkel dive spot of all 15 snorkeling dives in St Martin - Sint Maarten. Several of the better snorkeling spots are nearby Turtle Reef including Creole Rock, Pinel Island, Tintamarre Island, Happy Bay, Baie Aux Prunes and Baie Rouge.