Exploring the Coral Reef at Colombier

This weekend, I had the pleasure of spending the afternoon at Colombier snorkeling and exploring the spectacular reef.   As mentioned in a previous post, the hike to the beach is a fantastic excursion and taking the 25 minute journey (the trail is just about 1km long) gives you a sense of entering a true wilderness.  Upon arriving at the end of the path, you find yourself atop a fantastically isolated cove with white sand, crystal clear water, and sail boats swaying with the current- but for me, the life below the waters surface are the true treasure to be found at Colombier.

Surgeon Fish

The reef is home to many species including these 2 Surgeon Fish.

This Sunday was particularly busy, as March is one of the busiest months of the season here.  Although the parking area was nearly full, we had the trail all to ourselves, but, as soon as we got to the beach, we were greeted with an incredible energy of boaters and beach-goers.  At the far end of the beach, there was a crowd gathered to celebrate the upcoming Mardis Gras week and we could just barely hear the percussion over the lapping waves providing a truly tropical vibe. We set up our spot to the right of the stairs and got a little sun before taking to the sea.  Hugging the farthest right corner of the bay, we set out for our adventure hoping to have a good look at some spectacular fish and coral and perhaps a sea turtle or two (Colombier is one of the best spots to see turtles).  After a few short kicks of our fins we were swimming above the white sand, now tinted blue with the reflection of the sky.  The sun provided reflections of dancing rainbows across the sea floor as little yellow and black striped fish (Sergeant-Major Fish) darted in and out of our view.

2 Banded Butterfly Fish at the Coral Reef in Colombier

2 Banded Butterfly Fish.

Pressing onward, the reef began to build up to our right, with vibrantly colored red and yellow corals projecting from corners and crevices.  Toward the shallow coastline, I could see the waves crashing from below the surface and schools of fish swaying back and forth with the current.  It felt like swimming in an aquarium!

A spotted Morey slinks through a crevice in the reef.

A Spotted Morey Eel slinks through a crevice in the reef.

We followed the coast for about 30 minutes and then turned back toward the beach.  It seemed we saw more fish at every turn and we took great pleasure in pointing out our sightings.  Over the past few snorkeling trips, I’ve seen so many different species including Angel Fish, Puffer Fish, Spotted Rays, Morey Eels, and so many more.  If you have the opportunity, I highly recommend exploring the reef at Colombier- both thrilling and relaxing, it is certainly one of my favorite ways to spend the day in St. Barths.


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