Diving at La Pirogue and Sugar Beach with Sundivers
November 08 2017
November 08 2017
The pristine, white sandy shores of Mauritius draw tourists from far and wide. And it’s no wonder; tropical waters in every shade of blue you can imagine lap powder-fine sand beaches, lined by luminous green trees and volcanic backdrops—there are few places as naturally beautiful as Mauritius. Famed for its island lifestyle, aromatic food, gorgeous landscapes and eclectic culture, Mauritius is a bucket list worthy destination for many, no less those looking to explore the magic of the underwater world. In fact, for many, the real allure of Mauritius lies in the glittering tropical waters—the perfect aquatic playground for nature enthusiasts eager to escape to the tranquillity of the ocean and explore the mysteries of the sea. Avid divers are in for a phenomenal experience with incredible dive sites, vivid corals and a plethora of marine life all waiting to be discovered. And at La Pirogue Resort and Spa and Sugar Beach Golf Resort and Spa along with our in-house dive centre, Sundivers, we endeavour to help guests maximise the diving opportunities. Here are some of the best dive sites in Mauritius and the courses on offer to ensure you can make the most of them:
Three of the best
Mauritius offers a myriad of dive sites to discover, but a dive with Sundivers could take you to any of the 24 exceptional sites that they frequent. The best sites of the day are carefully planned according to the season, conditions, weather and, of course, the diving abilities of the group. Here are three of the best sites you could explore:
Rempart Serpent or “Snake Reef” is a fascinating flat dive site when diving in Mauritius. Situated just off the west coast of Mauritius, and is so named because of the collection of volcanic rocks that lie no higher than 2 meters off the sandy ocean floor, in an elongated shape that resembles a snake. The name, arguably, also stems from the fact that while there are no actual snakes at this site, it is home to a huge population of moray eels.
At first glance, the site might not excite avid divers, but a closer look will reveal hundreds of brightly coloured fish and a wealth of different species of scorpionfish (for which it is unique). It also serves as breeding and hatching grounds for fish which tends to attract the larger fish species and it’s one of the most exciting cleaning stations, attracting larger pelagic fish and making it the perfect site to spot ‘pink’ rays. This dive, with an average depth of 25 metres, is reserved for advanced divers, ideally using Nitrox (to extend bottom time and for a safer dive) and is best explored in the summer months.
By far one of the most breathtakingly beautiful dive sites in Mauritius,‘The Cathedral’, lies just off the west coast of Mauritius. At the dive site, 18 metres underwater you will realise why it is named as it is; a massive underwater cave of volcanic rock rises majestically out of the ocean floor, and the way in which its arches and caverns are illuminated by the light streaming through the water is reminiscent of a cathedral.
The major drawcard of this site is this magnificent underwater architecture, but it also has a plethora of marine life, especially exciting when there is a current. When the current hits the volcanic wall, bigger fish species line up and catch fish riding the current. Some of the incredibly unique sightings that are possible here include a resident shoal of chubs, a family of puffer fish, the occasional kingfish and Japanese moray eels. With a maximum depth of around 30 metres this dive, which can be enjoyed throughout the year, is also better for advanced divers, and ideal for the use of Nitrox.
Aquarium and Big Rock
This dive combines the incredible sites of Aquarium and Big Rock and is great for divers of all abilities. Aquarium, as the name alludes, is a site with a huge variety of reef fish, vibrant corals and moray eels, reaching a depth of 30 metres if you explore the site where it meets Big Rock, but offers equally exquisite sights in its shallower waters. Big Rock is unsurprisingly a huge rock attached to the Aquarium. If you happen to visit this site in the five or six days in which the current moves from north to south, you will stand a chance to see an amazing group of eagle rays, but on most days you can spot the resident turtle, affectionately nicknamed, Sophie.
The diving courses
For certified divers that are looking to become more advanced, or for those that haven’t yet obtained their diver’s certification, but have always dreamed of exploring the underwater world, Sundivers offers a range of excellent courses—both PADI and SSI certifications—where you are bound to find the perfect option. From beginner to advanced courses and excellent add-ons (underwater photography courses as an example), Sundivers is the ultimate place to learn how to dive so you can make the most of the crystalline tropical waters of Mauritius. And with a huge array of diving sites and mysterious wrecks to explore, it would be a huge pity not to.
The best part of these courses? The theory elements of each course can be completed through the PADI or SSI apps, which means that you can access the digital classroom from anywhere in the world. That way, instead of spending precious time in the classroom while on holiday, you can focus on completing the exhilarating practical components of the courses in Mauritius and writing your final exam, which gives you far more time to enjoy your holiday and make the most of the gorgeous weather and turquoise ocean in Mauritius.
Another interesting offering at Sundivers is their Nitrox Course. This simple, yet hugely valuable, speciality course is suitable for all divers with a certain certification and upwards (for example, for PADI, you need to have at least your PADI Open Water Certification) and has incredible benefits. Not only does diving with Nitrox (or simply put: “enriched air” that is made up of a higher concentration of oxygen and a lower concentration of nitrogen) ensure that your dives are infinitely safer (safety being an absolute priority for Sundivers and something that they are fast gaining an outstanding reputation for), it increases your bottom time and leaves you feeling much more energised and refreshed than if you were diving on normal oxygen. Diving on Nitrox doesn’t mean that you can go deeper (this is a common misconception) but that you can dive for longer and get back in the water sooner.
For those looking to get their diver’s certification, advance their diving level or further their technical diving education, then a stay at either Sugar Beach or La Pirogue will ensure an unparalleled holiday. Not only is Sundivers located on the La Pirogue property itself (which is situated adjacent to Sugar Beach), either of these two incredible Sun Resorts offers everything you could want for a memorable holiday in paradise. If your wife and kids don’t share your passion for diving, that’s no problem, they are sure to have more than enough to entertain them at the Sun Kids Club, spa and beach while you are exploring the big blue. It’s important to keep in mind that diving is dangerous, which is why it’s vital that you only dive and train with reputable and experienced professionals using the most state-of-the-art equipment, so that you can rest assured that your dives are as safe as they are rewarding—a promise that Sundivers deliver on, every time.