Le Trou de David
Le Trou de David is a beautiful natural hole about 80 feet in diameter that is located between Baie Rouge and Pointe du Bluff. It can be accessed via a dirt road that veers off where the road to Baie Rouge meets the main road through the lowlands. The hole itself will be on your left when you park at the end of the road, and you can enter the water, very carefully, right beside the hole. The area where you enter is quite shallow, with sharp rock formations and many sea urchins.
Two arches lead from the sea into the hole itself, and you can swim into the hole through the larger one on the left. It is fun to go into the hole, but the main attraction is the reef outside the hole. Filled with large rock formations that create overhangs and canyons, this area is full of tropical fish and corals. We even found a young hawksbill turtle on our visit. The reef area extends out a couple hundred feet where there is a sandy bottom at about 25 feet deep. Many of the rock formations extend up to near the surface.
From the outside of the hole, the shoreline is a cliff, and the reef follows around the end of this cliff to where you can see the beach at Baie Rouge. It is possible to enter at Baie Rouge and snorkel to Le Trou de David, although it is a relatively long snorkel. This route does, however, pass another beautiful natural arch. Along the cliff there are at least a few submerged or semi-submerged caves, although the surf makes it very difficult to see inside them and I definitely would not recommend swimming inside them unless you have the requisite training and experience.
On the way to Point du Bluff, there are also a series of shallow pools created by what seem to be a combination of natural and man-made barriers. The first few are quite shallow and don’t seem to harbor too much life. The final one is somewhat deeper, a few feet in some places, and is full of sea cucumbers. I also saw a small spotted eagle ray whilst snorkeling there.
This area is probably the richest, most beautiful natural reef that is accessible from the shore on Saint Martin and well worth a visit. As a bonus, you can visit the ruins of La Belle Creole, a resort that was abandoned after Hurricane Luis in 1995.
More information and photos here: Snorkeling Le Trou de David.