Snorkeling Around Grand Case

Photo credit: © Octopus Diving

Snorkeling in Grand Case can be done from the shore, but most agree that heading out to some of the reefs and rocks further from shore will result in greater rewards.

The first step in planning your snorkeling getaway is familiarizing yourself with local conditions.  The waters of Grand Case are generally calm and range in temperature from 77 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.  Even though it may seem like a dream to swim and snorkel in such warm temperatures, it is notable that visibility can diminish from 100 feet deep to 60 feet deep during the heat of the summer months.  60 feet of visibility is still great, but if you want the clearest waters possible, a wintertime trip will be best for you.

If you snorkel from the beach, you'll mainly encounter sandy areas and patches of sea grass which are often home to juvenile fish and rays who like to bury themselves in the sand.   For a greater diversity of sea life, you'll want to sail out to one of the offshore reefs or rocky outcroppings.   and local tour operators offer half day trips to the area's best snorkeling sites.  

Snorkeling Sites

If you're looking forward to experiencing what's down below you might want to visit Molly Smith Point. Right along the coast in about three to 15 feet of water is where you'll find the best snorkeling here. It consists of rocks and coral filled with tiny, vibrantly colored fish swimming about. This snorkeling site is found in Grand Case.

Turtle Reef is another option. If you want a guarantee that you'll see sea turtles during your snorkeling excursion, this site is your best bet, and it is also one of the area's little known destinations. In the shallow areas, you'll see brain coral, pillar coral, and soft corals which tropical fish make their home. The turtles stay in the rocky out areas, and are good at hiding so you'll have to pay close attention to spot one.

A third location to consider is Grande-Case Beach. Although there is no coral reef here at this beach, it can be a great place for some light snorkeling thanks to the calm waters. Withing the sea grass patches and sea weed gatherings you might have a chance to see eagle rays, trunkfish, and cowfish.

A fourth location where you can go snorkeling is Baie Maria. Old coral skeletons cover the floor of these waters, and juvenile fish swim in and out of all the little holes looking for food and shelter. Rock outcroppings here are covered with new, healthy corals and sponges, but keep an eye out for and steer clear of black sea urchins. If you want to check it out, this site is located in western Grand Case.

Creole Rock is a fifth site to consider. Surrounding a rock that is an important nesting site for sea birds is a magical underwater landscape that is one of the most popular among snorkelers. It is very diverse as well, including areas of sea grass, shallow reefs, deep reefs, and sandy patches that within them include numerous species of coral, eagle rays, peacock flounders, shrimp, parrotfish, wrasses. arrow crabs, and many other fish species as well.

Some details concerning 10 of the best places where you can enjoy snorkeling in this area are listed right below.

Snorkeling Sites Near Grand Case
Site Location
Molly Smith Point 0.9 mi. West of Central Grand Case
Turtle Reef 0.9 mi. Northwest of Central Grand Case
Grande-Case Beach 0.2 mi. North of Central Grand Case
Grande-Case Beach Central Grand Case
Baie Maria 1.0 mi. West of Central Grand Case
Friar's Bay Beach 1.4 mi. West of Central Grand Case
Creole Rock 1.2 mi. North of Central Grand Case
Cul de Sac Bay French Cul-de-Sac, 2.2 mi. East of Central Grand Case
Orient Beach 2.3 mi. East of Central Grand Case
Ilet Pinel 2.7 mi. East of Central Grand Case

Snorkeling Boat Trips

For some people, the best snorkeling is accessed away from the shore.

If you're hoping to combine some snorkeling with a boating adventure, you might want to contact CaptainJo Boat Charter. CaptainJo Boat Charter makes exploration easy, even for those unloading a cruise ship in St. Maarten.

Some details about the opportunity to take a boat ride that includes snorkeling are provided down below.

Day Sails and Boat Trips In Grand Case
Name Type Phone Location Island
CaptainJo Boat Charter Boating and Day-Sailing Provider (069) 074-7001 0.6 mi. North of Central Grand Case the island of St. Martin and Sint Maarten

Snorkeling Services

Octopus Diving

If you looking for a business that offers snorkeling excursions, rentals, or other services, you might want to contact Octopus Diving. All snorkeling charters include a professional boat captain and snorkeling guide, your gear, water, and snacks. The half day trip takes guests to Creole Rock, Turtle Reef, and Happy Bay; while the Full Day trip takes guests to those sites, plus Tintamarre Island and Pinel Island for lunch. They are found within northern Grand Case.

Another place catering to snorkelers is Ocean Explorers. The shop has a variety of gear for everyone to rent on hand in a variety of sizes and styles.

A third option is Sea Dolphin. Guests staying at the Le Flamboyant Hotel and Resort have access to this dive center, which also offers a daily snorkeling trip. They're located within Baie Nettle, easily reached by taxi South West of central Grand Case.

View the following table for details on 4 companies that offer services of interest to snorkelers.

Snorkeling Services In And Around Grand Case
Name Type Phone Location
Ocean Explorers Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service (721) 544-5252 5.1 mi. South West of Central Grand Case
Octopus Diving Snorkeling Tour Operator (059) 029-1127 0.4 mi. North-Northeast of Central Grand Case
Sea Dolphin Snorkeling Tour Operator (059) 087-6072 Baie Nettle, 4.6 mi. South West of Central Grand Case
The Scuba Shop Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service (059) 087-4801 5.0 mi. South West of Central Grand Case

To learn more concerning snorkeling, including useful tips and suggestions for both "old pros" and beginners, read our detailed Caribbean snorkeling article.

The waters of Grand Case can be hard to resist, and that is only looking at them from the shore.  Once you've had the chance to peer directly into the deep blue depth and interact with local sea life on a snorkeling trip, you'll spend your days wishing you could do it again. 


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