Snorkeling Around Roseau

Photo credit: © Dive Dominica

Just south of Roseau is where visitors will find what is arguably the top snorkeling on the island.  Located within the protected grounds of Scott's Head Marine Reserve there are numerous places to snorkel, but one has been recognized around the world as the top site in the Caribbean.

That site is called Champagne Snorkeling, and it is well loved because of the hot springs and warm sea vents that make the water bubble like a bottle of champagne.  Somehow visibility remains uncompromised, and snorkelers can view nearly 200 species of fish, sea urchins, lobsters, crabs, sea anemones, sponges, coral, and more.  Also within the marine park is an underwater volcano ridge that has been covered with coral.

There are plenty of reasons to recommend snorkeling in Roseau.  Visibility can be up to 100 feet on any regular day, but with so many sites to see so close to the shore, you rarely need to see that far.  Add in the fact that water temperatures rarely dip below 76 degrees Fahrenheit and that renting your snorkeling kit will usually cost under $20(USD), and you can see why this is such a popular pastime – not even counting the beauty of the underwater landscape. 

If you've never been snorkeling before, this is a great time to learn.  You may feel more comfortable hiring a tour guide to take you to the best spots for your skill level, but most beginners feel perfectly comfortable snorkeling off the calm beaches of Roseau.  A snorkeling tour will typically cost around $30(USD).

Snorkeling Sites

If you're ready to see what's below the surface you should consider a visit to Champagne. Named for the bubbly water that is a result of streams of air effervesce, this site is certainly a unique one. Underwater, snorkelers will see hard and soft coral alive with lobster, frogfish, sea horses, sea anemones, yellow sponges, sea urchins, and schools of juvenile fish. This snorkeling site is found easily reached by taxi South of central Roseau.

Solomon Reef is another option. Although technically on the outskirts of the marine reserve, most visit this reef as part of their trip to the park. Here, you'll find volcanic rock formations in addition to coral reef. Throughout this habitat are brightly colored fish that include creole wrasse, brown chromis, squirrel fish, trumpet fish, puffer fish, arrow crabs, sea cucumbers, sponges, coral shrimp, and much more.

A third location to consider is Pointe Guignard. While you will typically see coral reef teeming with brightly colored reef fish when you snorkel, this area is known for bringing out the more unique sea life including octopus, sea horses, and lobsters.

A fourth place to go snorkeling is Coral Gardens South. With a maximum depth of 15 feet, this shallow site has a great diversity of marine life to explore including sea anemones, moray eels, and sting rays. If you're interested, this site is located easily reached by taxi South of central Roseau.

The following table provides you with more information about 4 of the most popular places where you can go snorkeling in this area.

Snorkeling Sites Near Roseau
Site Location
Solomon Reef 1.9 mi. South-Southeast of Downtown Roseau
Champagne 4.2 mi. South of Central Roseau
Pointe Guignard 4.5 mi. South of Central Roseau
Coral Gardens South 4.8 mi. South of Central Roseau

Snorkeling Boat Trips

Some people believe the most enjoyable snorkeling is accessed away from the shore.

If you want to go snorkeling during a boat trip, you might want to check with Waitukubuli Adventure Tour Co.. Enjoy a relaxing day of sailing the beautiful waters off the coast of Dominica, or sign up for a tour that will take you on a hunt for whale sightings.

Another option worth investigating is Anchorage Dive and Whale Watch. The main product from this dive center is their scuba tours and whale watching. They are also able to give you basic diving instructions that will enable beginners to also go out and dive. They're located within Roseau.

Still another option is Waitukubuli Eco Tours. Waitukubuli Eco Tours gives you the option of several boat tours from whale watching and dolphin spotting to general sightseeing tours that focus on local heritage.

Some key facts about day sails and boat trips that offer snorkeling can be found right below.

Day Sails and Boat Trips In Roseau
Name Phone Location
Anchorage Dive and Whale Watch (767) 448-2638 1.1 mi. Southeast of Downtown Roseau
Dominica Marine Center (767) 440-2628 1.1 mi. Southeast of Downtown Roseau
Waitukubuli Adventure Tour Co. (767) 440-2628 Downtown Roseau
Waitukubuli Eco Tours (767) 275-7001 Roseau

Snorkeling Services

Dive Dominica

If you looking for a business that offers snorkeling gear, excursions or similar services, you can check with Dive Dominica. Don't take for granted all of the wonders that Scotts Head Marine Reserve has to offer. This tour group specializes in helping snorkelers see the best of the best within the reserve based on the day's conditions. They are located in Roseau.

Another place that offers snorkeling related services is Al Dive. Sign up for a guided tour when a trained guide brings you and your group to the waters and teaches you tips and tricks for snorkeling, as well as introduces you to local sea life. A supervised tour is also available, in which someone from the staff is nearby for safety reason and helps you when needed, but basically lets you and your group snorkel on your own. If you're interested, they also offer the PADI Snorkeling Master Course.

A third company worth contacting is Nature Island Dive. The shop is located within 10 minutes of the Scotts Head Marine Reserve, which gives them access to over 20 dive and snorkeling sites that they can share with their guests. They're found within Soufriere, easily reached by taxi South-Southeast of central Roseau.

Some key facts with regard to 6 companies that provide snorkeling services can be seen right below.

Snorkeling Services In And Around Roseau
Name Type Phone Location
Al Dive Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service (767) 440-3483 1.6 mi. South-Southeast of Downtown Roseau
Champagne Reef Snorkel Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service (767) 440-5085 4.2 mi. South of Central Roseau
Dive Dominica Snorkeling Tour Operator (767) 448-2188 0.8 mi. Southeast of Downtown Roseau
Fort Young Hotel Snorkeling Snorkeling Tour Operator (767) 448-5000 Downtown Roseau
Irie Safari Snorkeling Tour Operator (767) 440-5085 4.1 mi. South of Central Roseau
Nature Island Dive Snorkeling Tour Operator (767) 449-8181 Soufriere, 5.2 mi. South-Southeast of Central Roseau

To learn more concerning snorkeling, including useful tips and suggestions for beginners and "pros" check out this detailed Caribbean snorkeling article.

Once you glimpse the slightly rippling, crystalline waters off the coast of Roseau, you'll see for yourself what draws others to want to learn more about what goes on beneath the surface of Dominica's sea.  You can be one of them simply by bringing along or renting a snorkeling kit and jumping in. 


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