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Curieuse Island & St Pierre From Praslin – Snorkeling & Tortoise Sanctuary (Seychelles)

Curieuse Island & St Pierre From Praslin – Snorkeling & Tortoise Sanctuary (Seychelles)

Experience a once-in-a-lifetime island hopping day trip from Praslin to Curieuse Island and the breathtaking St Pierre Islet in the Seychelles. An inspiring travel guide with everything you need to know.

Are you considering a trip to Praslin Island and in the Seychelles? Let me convince you with this travel guide showcasing Praslin Island’s amazing island hopping and snorkeling adventure to Crurieuse Island and St Pierre Islet. Get close and personal with the world’s largest living land tortoises, snorkel amongst abundant marine life, spot turtles and small sharks, and witness the most post-card perfect island in the world (St Pierre).

In this guide, you’ll find detailed and up-to-date information about Curieuse Island (Marine National Park) including how to get here, information about the tortoise sanctuary, and of course, photos from my day trip that I hope will inspire your visit.

Tip: Curieuse Island is the best place in the Seychelles to visit if you want to see giant tortoises. That’s because they are abundant, healthy, and roam freely on the island. As a result, you’ll be able to enjoy this wildlife experience sustainably and more naturally.

Featured in: Praslin Island Travel Guide – 15 Best Things to do

Olly gaspar

By Olly Gaspar, full-time traveler & adventure photographer for 6 years with 700+ published travel guides. I visit every place I write about & share real tips from what I learn.

Seychelles Island Hopping: How to Get to Curieuse Island From Praslin

The best way to get to Curieuse Island from Praslin is to jump on board one of the many island hopping and snorkeling trips departing Praslin daily. Most of these trips will also stop at neighboring St Pierre Islet (which is a must-see when visiting the Seychelles).

I recommend picking a "small group" trip which is a much more personalized experience and overall much more enjoyable.

Below I've linked to the top-rated Praslin Island hopping day trip which you can book online and includes hotel pick-up and drop-off. This boat is a glass-bottom boat option which means you'll be able to spot the incredible marine life from the comfort of the boat.

Island hopping to st pierre islet, seychelles

Where is Curieuse Island

Curieuse Island is located just over a kilometer (0.6 miles) from the northwest tip of Praslin Island. ,

Below is a map showing the locations of the islands including the highlights on the famous Praslin island hopping trip to Curieuse Island and St Pierre Islet.

Praslin island hopping map with curieuse island, st pierre islet

What to Expect: Seychelles Island Hopping Day Trip from Praslin

Below is a run-down of exactly what to expect on an amazing Praslin island-hopping and snorkeling adventure featuring Curieuse Island and St Pierre Islet.

However, keep in mind that weather conditions can alter the locations for snorkeling. Luckily, since Praslin is quite a small island, there's usually a cove with great snorkeling that is protected.

Praslin island hopping day trip

Cruising Past Some of Praslin's Best Beaches

One of the best parts about this Praslin island hopping adventure is that it allows you to witness the island's incredible beaches from the sea. Furthermore, many of these beaches are actually only accessible via boat.

On our trip, we were taken past some of Praslin's most iconic beaches, including

  • Anse Lazio
  • Bois de Rose
  • Anse Georgette
  • Petite Anse Lazio
Island hopping praslin, seychelles
Anse lazio from the water
Petite anse lazio
Praslin beach

First Stop: Snorkeling at Praslin Marine Park

Our first stop before heading to Curieuse Island was a quick 1 hour snorkeling stop. This was in the Praslin Marine Park, just off Anse Pasqueire. Here, we snorkeled in roughly 2-5 meters of crystal clear waters.

There are healthy corals to be found here, as well as many fish species. I was hoping to spot a cruising turtle. But, unfortunately, I didn't have any luck.

Beach on praslin island

St Pierre Island: Seychelles' Most Beautiful Postcard Islet

The next stop of the day was a visit to St Pierre Islet. Along with many other tropical wonders like Anse Source D'Argent and Vallée de Mai, St Pierre is a poster boy for Seychelles tourism. After traveling full-time for over 4 years to many of the world's 'best' tropical islands, St Pierre Islet stole my heart and I'd consider it the most beautiful and perfect island I've ever seen.

St pierre islet, the seychelles

This unbelievably beautiful little granite island is very small. St Pierre Islet is not much more than a stack of weathered granite boulders with strings of coconut palms leading out from its centre. But, it is its minimalistic charm that really makes it so unbelievably photogenic. Around its shore is some of the clearest water on earth. This radiates a vibrant turquoise before dropping off into a deep blue.

As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to fly my drone to really capture a unique perspective. Below are some of the shots I captured of St Pierre Island with my Mavic Pro 2 drone.

St pierre islet, seychelles
St pierre islet, seychelles
St pierre islet near praslin and curieuse island, the seychelles
St pierre islet

After an enjoyable drone flight, we had enough time to do some snorkeling. Overall, the snorkeling is better at St Pierre Island than at other parts of Praslin. We spotted a Green Turtle and many fish in 25-30 meters of visibility!

Snorkeling at st pierre islet

Last Stop: Curieuse Island

For the main event of this Praslin island hopping day trip, we of course visited the one and only Curieuse Island. Our arrival was at Laraie Baie. Immediately upon disembarking the boat we spotted our first Aldabra Giant Tortoise chilling on the sand. For me, seeing these guys is really awesome. It really blew my mind just how relaxed and free they are on Curieuse Island.

Curieuse island tortoise sanctuary

By now, it was time for lunch. We were treated to a BBQ-style meal. This consisted of fresh fish, Creole chicken curry, fresh papaya salad and tropical fruits.

Fresh creole meal in the seychelles

After lunch, it was time to explore Curieuse Island!

About Curieuse Island - What to Expect

Like many of the Seychelles Islands in the archipelago, Curieuse Island is a small granitic island that is roughly 2.9 km2 in size. What makes this island stand out is its unique red earth and populations of endangered coco de Mer palms. Of course, Curieuse Island is also the largest and most successful giant tortoise sanctuary in the inner islands.

This hilly island is surrounded by a fringing reef that drops off into a deep channel between Curieuse Island and Praslin. Below is a bit more information on what to expect at this amazing place on an island-hopping trip from Praslin.

Curieuse island drone photo
Curieuse island
Morne blanc viewpoint seychelles

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Tortoise Sanctuary

The main attraction and reason why most people want to make the trip to Curieuse Island is its giant tortoise sanctuary.

These tortoises are endemic to the Seychelles, and were originally elusively found on Aldabra Atoll. However, they have since been introduced to many of the inner islands of the Seychelles to aid in breeding programs such as the one on Curieuse Island.

Once they are at an appropriate age, the tortoises roam freely on Curieuse Island. This is great as it's an opportunity to see and photograph the tortoises in their natural environment. Below are some interesting facts that I learned about the Seychelles' giant tortoises. If you take a day trip to the island, your guide will be able to explain much more.

  • The Seychelles giant tortoise can live up to 200 years
  • They can weigh up to 200 kilograms (440 lb)
  • Tortoises eat almost everything, from grass and fresh fruits to fish

I spent about 45 minutes just watching them do their thing on the beach and on the grass field. The tortoises are usually very hungry and spend most of their time eating or sleeping. We were told that it is safe to feed them banana peels and they absolutely loved them!

Baby giant tortoise on curieuse island
Feeding a giant tortoise, the seycheles
Aldabra giant tortoise, the seychelles

Mangrove Forest Hike to Anse St Jose

After spending some time hanging out with the giant tortoises of Curieuse Island, it was time to explore. Our guide took us through the mangrove forest trail leading to Anse St Jose, the most beautiful beach on the island. This trail is roughly 1.7 kilometers long and took us about 30 minutes with stops to admire the view and learn about the native flora and fauna.

Crab on the beach in the seychelles
Seychelles green gecko
Mangroves in the seychelles
Curieuse island, the seychelles
Nest in the mangroves of curieuse island

There is only one uphill section that involves climbing over a small hill to a viewpoint. However, this short nature trail is overall very easy and doable by anybody with a general level of fitness.

Once we arrived at Anse St Jose, we had some free time to swim in the warm, Seychellois tropical waters. Luckily, we didn't have to walk back as our boat captain picked us up from Anse St Jose. From here, we enjoyed a late afternoon return journey back to our accommodation on Praslin Island.

Anse st jose, curieuse island, the seychelles
Anse st jose, curieuse island, the seychelles
Anse st jose, curieuse island, the seychelles

A Brief History of Curieuse Island

Curieuse Island is curious indeed. In fact, it was first named Ile Rouge due to its uniquely red soil.

The island's name was then changed to Curieuse Island in 1768 when the French claimed possession. The name stems from the schooner ship La Curieuse, which was in command by Mar-Joseph Marion du Frense, a notable French explorer.

What makes this island very unique is that it was used as a leper colony for over a decade between 1829 to 1965. There are many remnants of this dark past, including the leprosarium ruins and the physician's residence at Anse St. Joseph.

Due to Curieuse Island functioning in this capacity for so long, its nature and unique ecosystem was largely undisturbed by major development.

Giant tortoises of the seychelles
Seychelles travel guides

The Ultimate Seychelles Travel Resource

Looking for more Seychelles travel guides and inspiration? Below are my most comprehensive guides that will serve as a great resource for your trip.

Tip: Where to Stay on Praslin Island

Praslin is the second largest of the inner islands and flaunts some incredible hotels and resorts. Being a little sleepier than Mahe, Praslin caters to the more relaxed crowd.

The main area to stay in Praslin is along Cote D'Or Beach. This is the main tourist strip with plenty of hotels and beachside resorts. However, there are many more resort areas and accommodations in Praslin, including near Anse Lazio. Below are my top 3 picks.

Acajou resort, praslin island seychelles

1. Acajou Beach Resort Mid-Range

A 4-star resort right on the doorstep of the white sands of Cote D'Or. I had the pleasure of staying here and it was one of the best resorts I've ever stayed at.

Lemuria resort seychelles

2. Constance Lemuria Luxury

Tucked away between 3 of the best beaches on Praslin, this luxury, 5-star resort is ranked as one of the best honeymoon resorts in the Seychelles with an attached luxury spa center complete with a hot tub & sauna set in a palm and bamboo forest.

Self catering treasure island retreat in the seychelles

3. Treasure Island Retreat Self-Catering

This hotel offers seafront apartments on Anse Kerlan, each complete with king-sized beds and a fully-equipped kitchen, and a furnished terrace or balcony.

More Photos

Below are a few more photos that I captured on my island hopping day trip from Praslin to St Pierre Islet and Curieuse Island.

Praslin island hopping day trip
Praslin island hopping day trip
St pierre islet and praslin
Mud crab in the mangroves seychelles
St pierre island in the seychelles
Praslin island hopping day trip, the seychelles
Arriving on curieuse island from praslin
Praslin island hopping day trip
St pierre island
Seychelles accommodation

Plan Where to Stay in the Seychelles

Wondering where to stay in the Seychelles? Don't miss these up-to-date accommodation guides.

After Curieuse Island - More on Praslin and the Seychelles

I hope that this travel guide to visiting Curieuse Island and St Pierre Island from Praslin, the Seychelles has inspired you to check out this truly amazing destination. If you have any feedback for this article or any questions, please let me know in the comments below.

Otherwise, while you're here, check out some of my other articles below. Here, you'll find many more inspiring travel pieces for the Seychelles with more photography to get you excited for your trip.

Thanks for Reading

I'm Olly Gaspar, adventure travel journalist & photographer. Traveling non-stop since 2018, I've published over 700 travel guides on We Seek Travel. These draw on my personal experience to share unique itineraries, accommodation tips, & fun adventure guides covering hikes, viewpoints, beaches, waterfalls, & tours. Read my Publishing Ethics Statement.

Your feedback & updates are crucial to keep my guides factual & current. Got new info or updates? Drop a comment below or contact me directly.

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Saturday 9th of April 2022

Hi Olly, may I please ask, which company did you do this Curieuse & St. Pierre trip in Seychelles with? Thank you, Lucy