If your snorkeling style is to hire a boat and visit deeper waters, Basseterre may be just the place for you. Although there are some options for snorkeling by the shore, most people have the greatest success at offshore reefs.
Basseterre's conditions lend itself to being your typical Caribbean Sea snorkeling destination. Waters typically hover around 80 degrees Fahrenheit, though there are some days in the winter where temperatures dip into the mid-70s and you may consider the need for a wet suit to keep you warm. Additionally, visibility usually ranges between 40 and 100 feet below the surface, so even at those deep water sites you should be able to see quite a lot.
You'll typically have the best luck snorkeling here if you sign up for a snorkeling tour, or hire a sailing charter that will take you to the deep water reefs. There, you'll encounter creole wrasse, barracudas, lobsters, and turtles along with many other species of reef fish. If you feel more comfortable sticking to the local beaches, you can rent your gear from a local dive shop for around $10(USD). Make sure to check with your hotel or rental property first because many include snorkeling equipment as part of your stay.
If you're looking forward to experiencing what's below the surface you might enjoy visiting. The underwater world off the coast of this tiny island is impressive, filled with colorful corals, schools upon schools of tropical fish, and stingrays as well. This snorkeling site is situated in eastern Basseterre.
Frigate Bay South is another snorkeling spot you might enjoy. A beach of soft sand leads out to calm Caribbean waters that are great for snorkeling thanks to a narrow reef that an abundance of sea life call home. Here, you can expect to see eels, lobsters, and turtles in addition to the colorful reef fish.
A third site to consider is White House Bay. This pebble beach leads out to sheltered waters that are great for snorkeling. Jagged coral reef is where sea life makes their home and you'll see brightly colored fish darting in and out of the nooks and crannies looking for food to nibble on.
A fourth place to go snorkeling is. Though it is on the Atlantic side of the island and the waves can be rough, if you make sure to pay close attention to water conditions, this beach can be great for snorkeling. You can swim out to the reef from the beach and glimpse colorful coral and fish -- though seaweed can get in the way at times. If you want to experience it for yourself, this site is found easily reached by taxi East-Southeast of central Basseterre.
Check the following table to learn more about 5 of the best places to experience snorkeling in this area.
|1.4 mi. East-Southeast of Downtown Basseterre|
|Frigate Bay South||Frigate Bay, 2.5 mi. East-Southeast of Central Basseterre|
|Frigate Bay North||Frigate Bay, 2.6 mi. East of Central Basseterre|
|4.3 mi. East-Southeast of Central Basseterre|
|White House Bay||5.1 mi. Southeast of Central Basseterre|
Some people believe the most enjoyable snorkeling is located off shore.
If you're hoping to snorkel during a boat trip, you might want to check with Blue Water Safaris. Sign up for one of Blue Water Safaris' legendary tours, and you can experience St. Kitts by sailing around the perimeter on one of their catamarans.
Another option worth investigating is Leeward Islands Charters. The fleet at Leeward Islands Charters consists of three sailing catamarans: the 78' Spirit of St. Kitts, 67' Eagle, and 47' Caona. They offer sail and snorkel trips, half and full day tours, sunset cruises, sunset snorkeling excursions, and moonlight and bonfire beach cruises. They're found in downtown Basseterre.
Take a look at the chart below for a listing of day sails and boat trips that offer snorkeling opportunities.
|Blue Water Safaris||(869) 466-4933||Downtown Basseterre|
|Leeward Islands Charters||(869) 465-7474||Downtown Basseterre|
If you looking for a place that offers snorkeling excursions, rentals, or other services, you might want to check with St. Kitts Snorkeling Tours. Part snorkeling boat, part fishing boat, part party boat, this tour operator offers visitors a great way to spend some time out on the water, both above and below the surface. They are located in downtown Basseterre.
Another company worth knowing about is Kenneth's Dive Centre. Custom boats, a friendly crew, and knowledge of all of the best snorkeling sites around, this tour operator will make sure you get in touch with the beauty of the island's underwater world.
A third option is Dive St. Kitts. They offer several snorkeling trips that all include your gear, guide, snacks, and drinks. The Power Boat Half Day Snorkel Trip heads to the south east peninsula where you'll visit Nags Head and Nevis. They're situated in eastern Basseterre.
The table directly below provides a few details with regard to 5 firms that offer snorkeling related services.
|Dive St. Kitts||Snorkeling Tour Operator||(869) 465-1189||1.5 mi. East-Southeast of Downtown Basseterre|
|Kenneth's Dive Centre||Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service||(869) 465-2670||Downtown Basseterre|
|Kittitian Taxi Tours||Snorkeling Tour Operator||(869) 762-8994||Downtown Basseterre|
|Pro-Divers||Snorkeling Tour Operator||(869) 466-1358||Central Basseterre|
|St. Kitts Snorkeling Tours||Snorkeling Tour Operator||(780) 628-2344||Downtown Basseterre|
For more information concerning snorkeling, including helpful suggestions and tips for both "old pros" and beginners, check out this comprehensive Caribbean snorkeling article.
Even if you may have to a little planning in advance to see some of Basseterre's best underwater sites, once you've made it to the peaceful blue underwater world that surrounds the island of St. Kitts you'll know your time making it happen was well worth it.
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