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Snorkelling in Champagne Reef, Dominica

Snorkelling in Champagne Reef, Dominica

Before snorkelling in Champagne Reef in Dominica I couldn’t get the image of myself snorkelling in an actual pool of champagne out of my head.

I was imagining that first sip of champers where the bubbles hit your nose before they hit your lips and you smell that fruity, spicy, alcoholic tang. And then the bubbles hit your tongue and it’s like a little disco going on in your mouth. I’d close my mouth and hold it there for a second to enjoy the warm buzz and the promptly begin gulping away like a fish.

OK, Champagne Reef in Dominica isn’t actually filled with champagne. The reef gets its name thanks to the tiny streams of bubbles that rise from the surface of the seabed. The underground volcanic activity heats the water, making Champagne Reef not only bubbly but also delightfully warm.

We humans aren’t the only creatures who love the warm water and the reef is teeming with fish, making this one of the best places in Dominica for snorkelling and scuba diving.

After half an hour of snorkelling around the coral we entered a bubbly through a gap in the rock where I swam headfirst into a school of fish.

A tornado of fish frantically swarmed around me as I hovered in disbelief. I a actually began smiling manically at one point – a stupid thing to do while snorkeling because my mask immediately flooded with water. I surfaced as quickly as I could to empty my mask before diving back down to join the underwater party.

I stayed like that for as long as I could, beaming internally (I’d learnt my lesson about smiling) and playing with the bubbles.

Among the fish were colouful plants, bright and flamboyant coral and even a canon from an old shipwreck. I was in snorkeling heaven.

It began raining during my snorkel, but if you’ve even swum in the rain you’ll know that it’s actually really nice. It’s refreshing and as the air temperature drops it makes the water feel warmer.

I snorkelled in Champagne Reef with Champagne Reef Dive & Snorkel. The 45-minute guided tour included high quality equipment and costs $19. They also offer diving from $60 and a combination of reef and rainforest tours.

During Dominica’s peak season and when cruise ships come in it can get busy at the reef but when I visited (May) I was the only person there. My guide was lovely and really knowledgeable about the plants, fish and coral. He was also really patient and helpful so I imagine he’d be great with first-time snorkelers.

If you’re visiting Dominica, make sure a trip to Champagne Reef is on your to-do list because it was a lot of fun!


Adventurous activities in Dominica

Wednesday 22nd of April 2015

[…] Snorkelling Champagne Reef is one of the most memorable things I did in Dominica. The world-famous snorkelling spot gets its name from the continuous stream of bubbles triggered by underwater volcanic vents, creating the illusion that you’re in fact swimming around in a giant glass of bubbly. The reef provides a home for numerous species of coral and fish so when you’re not amazed by the bubbles there’s a lot to look at! […]

Carrie Glaser

Friday 3rd of October 2014

Wow! You've been to Dominica? Snorkeling and diving are two of my favorite things to do and to be able to do them in a place such as Dominica would be a bliss. Got to book my flights now! Hah!


Sunday 5th of October 2014

It's an incredible place, definitely the highlight of my year so far!

Everything you need to know about a holiday in Dominica | The Travel Hack

Monday 16th of June 2014

[…] were shot in Dominica and you can take a Pirates of the Caribbean tour to see them. I saw one while snorkelling at Champagne Reef and one during a paddleboat trip down the Indian […]


Friday 6th of June 2014

This looks awesome! I love snorkelling and diving and this has got me seriously excited about my upcoming adventures in the Whitsundays and Great Barrier Reef! Not to mention the whale sharks in Mexico and the Blue Hole in Belize! I'm always amazed at how deep the guides can swim and for how long. To me, snorkelling means floating on the surface while looking down...


Wednesday 4th of June 2014

Hooray for Dominica! It's pretty cool that such a unique and very diverse reef is so close to shore and accessible. But we can one-up champagne reef... snorkeling with Sperm Whales in Dominica :)