You know the way that bubbles rise from the bottom of a glass of champagne? That’s exactly what the water looks like when snorkeling Champagne Reef. Thanks to small, volcanic vents in Dominica’s ocean floor, powerful streams of miniature bubbles emerge from cracks between the rocks and dance their way to the surface. Place your hand on the ocean floor, and it’s even possible to feel the burst of air bubbling up from the Earth. Add in a wealth of colorful marine life and the turquoise, tropical waters, and it’s little wonder why Champagne Reef is one of Dominica’s most popular destinations to explore with mask and snorkel.
Champagne Reef is about a 20-minute drive from Dominica’s capital, Roseau. Because the area is part of a marine reserve, visitors are advised to not step on the coral and no anchoring or fishing is allowed. The beach in front of the snorkeling spot is rocky—so don’t expect to sunbathe—but once you’ve made it out past the waves it’s an easy swim to the reef.
Did You Know? The bubbles are formed by geothermal activity, and of the Caribbean’s 16 active volcanoes, nine are located on Dominica.