Snorkeling Around Castries

Although Castries itself may not be highly recommended as a destination for snorkeling on St. Lucia, tourists planning their getaway here don't have to worry – there are plenty of top snorkeling sites within easy reach.

The thing about Castries is that looks can be deceiving.  Hotels and resorts line the beaches, and from the shore conditions look great.  Visibility is often between 25 and upwards of 100 feet and water temperatures are never lower than the upper-70s in degrees Fahrenheit, while the surf generally remains calm and inviting.  You can certainly grab your snorkeling gear and head out into the waters of any beach in this town and not be bothered.  The problem is, the underwater landscape is less than thrilling.  Sure, you'll probably see a few rays hiding in the sandy bottoms, but the true sites to be seen are best accessed by boat.

Many of the island's best snorkeling sites are about 20 to 30 minutes away by boat.  You can access them by participating in a sailing boat charter, as many captains are happy to stop and let their guests do a bit of snorkeling.  There are also tour guides that specialize specifically in taking their guests to the top snorkeling destinations including the Coral Gardens and Anse Cochon.  One of the more popular options is to hook up with your local dive center.  Most allow snorkelers to travel along with them as they take divers out – that is, if they don't offer a snorkel-specific tour of their own. 

When you do make it out to the gorgeous underwater sites, you'll be treated to several different colorful and shapely species of coral that form into healthy reef systems dotted with sponges and sea fans.  Clownfish, parrotfish, barracudas, seahorses, eels, stingrays, and even sea turtles can be seen in these areas. 

Snorkeling Boat Trips

Spencer Ambrose Tours

Some people believe the most enjoyable snorkeling is located off shore.

If you'd like to combine some snorkeling with a boating adventure, you might want to check with Spencer Ambrose Tours. Spencer Ambrose was born and raised on St. Lucia, and before he became a captain he was a member of their police force as well as a forest ranger. This experience has only added to his credibility as your host of Spencer Ambrose Tours, so relax and breathe easy knowing you are with good company.

Another option worth investigating is Carnival Sailing. Four custom designed catamarans make up the fleet of this highly acclaimed sailing tour group. In past years they have won not only the Best Leisure Award and the Best Coastal Cruise Award, but they are known for their return customers and ability to cater to every occasion. They're situated in Bisse.

Be sure to look at the following table to learn more about day sails and boat trips that provide snorkeling.

Day Sails and Boat Trips In Castries
Name Phone Location
Carnival Sailing (758) 452-5586 Bisse
Spencer Ambrose Tours (758) 721-8844 0.3 mi. Northwest of Downtown Castries

Snorkeling Services

If you're looking for a place that offers snorkeling gear, excursions or similar services, you might want to check with Dive Fair Helen. Make your next snorkeling adventure a comfortable one, but traveling with this tour operator aboard their luxury boat as you go from one snorkeling site to the next. This is also a great option for families who may have people who want to relax and enjoy the ride while other members of their party take to the water. They are located in downtown Castries.

A second company catering to snorkelers is Eastern Caribbean Diving. Explore the underwater world with a team that is professional and courteous when you choose this dive center that is PADI International Resort Association Member to help you get your snorkeling adventure started.

A third company worth contacting is Scuba Steve's Diving. This PADI Five Star Resort Dive Center specializes in guided tours that the whole family can enjoy. Their goal is for their guests to experience the best of the island with them. They're found in Rodney Bay, easily reached by taxi North-Northeast of central Castries.

Take a moment to read the table just below for information regarding 5 firms that offer services of interest to snorkelers.

Snorkeling Services In And Around Castries
Name Phone Location
Carnival Sailing and Snorkel (758) 452-5586 0.5 mi. Northwest of Downtown Castries
Dive Fair Helen (758) 451-7716 Downtown Castries
Eastern Caribbean Diving (758) 453-3483 La Brelotte Bay, 3.6 mi. North-Northeast of Central Castries
Holiday Adventures Snorkeling (758) 452-6067 3.1 mi. North-Northeast of Central Castries
Scuba Steve's Diving (758) 450-9433 5.0 mi. North-Northeast of Central Castries

For more information about snorkeling, including tips and suggestions for both "old pros" and beginners, read our exhaustive guide to snorkeling in the Caribbean.

By now, you're surely intrigued by the possibility of snorkeling during your Castries vacation.  A great way to begin is to book your snorkeling excursion in advance of your trip so that you can ensure you have time to spend participating in the sport – and you may just find a good deal waiting for you if you book early. 


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